Nobody doubts today that Nobel Prize-winning terrorist Yasser Arafat was, well, a terrorist.
Even after the signing of the Oslo accords in which the PLO promised to renounce terrorism, Arafat continued to call for Jihad in Arabic. In a 2001 raid on Orient House, the PLO headquarters in Jerusalem, Israeli security forces found documents establishing Arafat’s personal orders to pay for terror operations beginning in the late 1990s and continuing through the Second Intifada. In 2002, the Israeli navy intercepted a Palestinian Authority-owned ship, the Karine A, which was carrying what Israel said was $100 million worth of weapons purchased by the PA. Had it reached Gaza, the word ‘war’ would have been more appropriate than ‘terrorism’.
But Arafat’s successor as head of Fatah, Chairman of the PLO and ‘President’ — his term ended five years ago but new elections were not held — of the PA Mahmoud Abbas is supposedly not a terrorist (although he has been credibly accused of past terrorist activities, including a leading role in funding the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich).
It is true that as PA head Abbas has not been implicated in directly ordering or paying for terror activities. Nevertheless, when Abbas took over from Arafat the PA media, schools, mosques and other institutions continued their never-ending campaign of incitement to terror.
And Abbas’ personal commitment to murderous ‘resistance’ is made manifest by his public praise of terrorist ‘martyrs’. For example, Abbas offered condolences to the family of the attempted assassin of Rabbi Yehuda Glick last week:
“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his anger and his condemnation of the abominable crime committed against Martyr (Shahid) Mutaz Hijazi, who was murdered last Thursday [Oct. 30, 2014] by the killing and terror gangs of the Israeli occupation army.
In a telegram delivered yesterday [Nov. 2, 2014] by Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and District Governor Adnan Husseini to the Martyr’s relatives in the village of Silwan, he [Abbas] said that Martyr Mutaz rose to Heaven while defending our people’s rights and holy places. In addition, he condemned this barbaric act, which is added to the occupation’s crimes against our people since the Nakba (i.e., ‘the catastrophe’ Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), as well as the continuation of the historic injustice being committed against it wherever it is present.” — [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 3, 2014]
Glick, of course, was an advocate for Jews to be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. Last month, in a video broadcast nineteen times on official PA TV, Abbas exhorted Palestinians to prevent “in any way” Jews from “defiling” the Temple Mount:
It’s not enough for us to say: ‘There are those carrying out Ribat’ (religious conflict / war over land claimed to be Islamic). We must all carry out Ribat in the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]. It’s not enough for us to say: ‘The settlers have arrived [at the Mosque]’. They have come, and they must not come to the Sanctuary (i.e., Temple Mount). We have to prevent them, in any way whatsoever, from entering the Sanctuary. This is our Sanctuary, our Al-Aqsa and our Church [of the Holy Sepulchre]. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. We must prevent them. Let us stand before them with chests bared to protect our holy places.
Abbas is often quoted ‘opposing violence’. This is not a correct characterization of his position, which is that an out-and-out war with Israel like the Second Intifada would be counterproductive. But he clearly supports informal asymmetric warfare which is much more difficult for Israel to respond to.
It is important to understand that when he opposes “armed struggle” he is not calling for nonviolence after the fashion of Gandhi or Dr. King, but rather what I’ve called “misdemeanor terrorism“:
“[Abbas] emphasized that he supports the options that the Arabs will choose, and added: ‘I have said more than once that if the Arabs want war – we are with them. I cannot fight alone. We tried military action during the Second Intifada and during the attack on Gaza at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, after the [Hamas] refusal to renew the ceasefire, and it brought destruction upon us. 25% of the homes in Gaza are still in ruins.’
He noted that he opposes military action and that he believes that popular operations resisting settlement and the [security] fence lead to clear positive results for the Palestinian cause. He noted that 50% of the participants in these demonstrations are Israelis, while 25% are foreigners.
He added: ‘We are determined to continue this activity, and we do not wish to turn to armed struggle, because our capabilities and the international atmosphere do not allow for it. — [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2011, quoted by Palestinian Media Watch]
Rock and firebomb throwing and arson, and now vehicular assaults are all included in “popular operations,” which can be — and are — encouraged and praised by the PA and Abbas himself, while they deny responsibility. Nevertheless, they are inciting for murder and the meaning of their words is quite clear to Palestinian ‘activists’.
Don’t be fooled. This is the signature terrorism of Mahmoud Abbas.