by Morton Klein
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed out that, in the op-ed space granted to Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas in the New York Times (May 16), Abbas has produced a collection of shameless falsehoods.
• “It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued” [ZOA: Abbas neglects to mention that the Palestinians and Arab states utterly rejected the offer the UN proposal of a state and instead went to war to prevent Israel’s emergence.
• “Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued” [ZOA: In fact, the Arab side launched attacks on Palestine’s Jews even before the end of the British Mandate and the proclamation of Israel’s establishment in May 1948. In anticipation of the impending invasion of Arab armies, which commenced the day Israel was declared, many Arabs started leaving while still under British rule. Often, Jewish appeals for Arabs to stay, as in Haifa and Tiberias, went unheeded. Most of those Palestinian Arabs who left did so in the chaos and fog of the war which they and the neighboring Arab states had initiated. In contrast, every Jew was expelled from the West Bank, illegally seized by Jordan. Had there been no Arab-initiated war, there would have been no refugees – on either side.]
• “Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled … Only if the international community keeps the promise it made to us six decades ago, and ensures that a just resolution for Palestinian refugees is put into effect, can there be a future of hope and dignity for our people” [ZOA: The UN General Assembly in 1947 recommended the creation of an Arab state and a Jewish state in Palestine, which was an international offer of statehood – not a “promise” – and it was utterly rejected, as mentioned, the Palestinians and Arab states at the time. The Arab parties were explicit about their reasons – they rejected the legitimacy of a Jewish state alongside an Arab state. That rejection persists from Mr. Abbas to this day, who has said that, “I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.” In 2000, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered a Palestinian state on almost all the territories mentioned by Abbas, but was turned down. During 1948-67, no Palestinian state was set up, despite Judea, Samaria and Gaza then being under Arab control, because the primary goal was and remains Israel’s elimination, not a Palestinian state].
• “Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem” [ZOA: All Muslim shrines, like the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, have functioned continuously in Jerusalem under Israel rule. Jerusalem’s Arab population has increased, as has Arab construction. In fact, it is only under Israeli rule that there has been genuine freedom of religion in historic Jerusalem. Under its previous (and illegal) Jordanian occupiers, every synagogue was razed and Jews were barred from merely visiting the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Under Abbas’ PA, Jewish shrines, like Joseph’s Tomb, have been torched and violated. Last year, his government published an official “study” claiming that Jews have no rights or historical connection to the Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. In Gaza, under Hamas, with which Abbas has just signed a unity agreement, most Christians have fled for their lives.]
• “we have met all prerequisites to statehood listed in the Montevideo Convention, the 1933 treaty that sets out the rights and duties of states …” [ZOA: The PA does not meet all necessary international legal criteria for statehood. It does not exercise control in defined territory, as Israel shares in a range of responsibilities by agreement in at least some PA-controlled areas, while PA rule has not extended for years to Hamas-run Gaza and still does not at time of writing. Moreover, the PA is a signatory to the Oslo Agreements in which it committed itself to not altering the political status of the PA territories, except by a negotiated settlement with Israel.]
• “The State of Palestine intends to be a peace-loving nation, committed to human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Once admitted to the United Nations, our state stands ready to negotiate all core issues of the conflict with Israel” [ZOA: The PA is a terrorist-supporting entity run by Fatah, whose Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a deadly and proscribed terrorist organization which has murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians. Scores of streets, schools and sports teams have been named in honor of terrorists who murdered Jews. Fatah’s’ 43rd anniversary emblem shows all of Israel draped in a kffiyeh, with a picture of Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle alongside it. It recently signed a unity government agreement with Hamas, which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7). In seeking to circumvent negotiations and alter the political status, Abbas fails to mention that any such unilateral act violates the 1995 Oslo II agreement, which stipulates that “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”]
• “A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948” [ZOA: UN General Assembly Resolution 194 is a non-binding resolution that all Arab states rejected at the time. Every refugee problem of the twentieth century has been resolved by resettlement, not repatriation, which the PA demands].
• “We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own” [ZOA: The land earmarked for the British Mandate and for settlement by Jews with a view to eventual Jewish statehood includes present-day Jordan, which constitutes 78% of the territory in question. It is Israel itself, plus Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which constitutes 22% of the territory earmarked for Jewish settlement, of which 12% was offered in 1947 for a Jewish state and 10% for another Arab state]
Read Mahmoud Abbas’ NYT article by clicking here.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas has shown in his New York Times op-ed that his historical revisionism is not limited to the Holocaust, which he denied in a 1982 doctoral thesis at Moscow’s Oriental College and in 1983 book; it extends to the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948. It is a tragic commentary on our times that such a mendacious and error-ridden piece could be published in a leading newspaper.”