By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn
(The authors are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America. This is the eleventh in a series. To view previous installments, please visit http://www.phillyreligiouszionists.org/lessons-from-the-gaza-war/.)
Israel’s “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas slapped America in the face again, just hours after Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Middle East to seek an Israel-Hamas cease-fire.
Successive U.S. administrations have propped up Abbas, presented him to the world as a peacemaker, and championed his demand for a Palestinian state. The U.S. has given more than $10-billion since 1994 to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, both of which Abbas chairs.
And here’s what it received in return: Abbas’s PLO announced on July 23 that it completely supports all of the extremist conditions that Hamas has set for a cease-fire: The release of hundreds of Hamas terrorists imprisoned in Israel; the lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza (so that Hamas can import more Iranian rockets, plus lots of cement to build more terror tunnels); and huge amounts of international aid, which of course will go straight into the pockets of corrupt Hamas and PA officials.
That’s not all. The official newspaper of Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, on July 16, published an op-ed by a PA official slandering the United States in the most vile terms.
The author was not some fringe figure, but rather Muharram Barghouti, the director of a PA government agency, the Palestinian Youth Union.
“[W]e can see that the wars in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Palestine were planned by the U.S. in order to protect its interests,” Barghouti writes. Referring to ISIL –the terror group “Islamic State in Iraq and Levant,” which is now carving up Iraq– Barghouti continues: “The U.S. has been using the Jewish ISIL, which is led by Jewish extremism, as represented by [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman….Not even Hitler, Pinochet and Nero…ever reached this level…The U.S. engaged the Jewish ISIL to attack Gaza – not just in order to commit crimes, kill and destroy, but also to stir up an inter-Palestinian civil war, in an attempt to deepen the rift and Gaza’s separation from the rest of the occupied homeland, to prevent the establishment of the independent [Palestinian] state…We are now more aware that the Americans …are truly the head of the snake.”
From day one of the Gaza war, Abbas’s Fatah movement has openly sided with Hamas. The Obama administration just pretends not to notice.
Fatah’s official Facebook page features a dramatic full-color illustration of three heavily-armed Palestinians–one from Hamas, one from Islamic Jihad, and one from Fatah, standing together. The text reads: “Brothers in Arms: One God, one homeland, one enemy, one goal!” If anyone doubts whose side Fatah is on, this should lay such doubts to rest.
A video segment on Fatah’s Facebook page shows a masked Fatah member standing amidst a huge arsenal of rockets, declaring: “Praise Allah, our jihad fighters have managed to develop these rockets so they will reach the Zionist depth, Allah willing, to a distance of 45 kilometers inside the occupied Palestinian territories…With these rocket we will liberate our Jerusalem. With these rockets we will crush the Zionist enemy…”
Another video posted on the Fatah Facebook page, on July 10, shows Arab women training with weapons and preparing rockets for launching. The narrator declares: “Another aspect of the Palestinian woman’s role in all areas is being created here. She is not merely the man’s partner in domestic life, but his companion wherever he is; on the battlefield, she is at his side on the frontline, and fulfills an active role in training generations of resistance [fighters], who will confront the “invincible” army.”
It’s not just words. On July 7, Fatah’s Facebook page announced that Fatah’s military unit, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, “targeted the enemy’s bases and settlements with 35 rockets.”
(All translations courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)
The eleventh lesson from the Gaza war: Abbas has once again clarified whose side he is on. He has chosen Hamas, against not only Israel, but America.
[Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.