On Wednesday, The New York Times, decades too late, finally expressed the opinion that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is an anti-Semite and should be deposed so Palestinians and Israelis can create a genuine peace — but it was as disingenuous an op-ed as the Times has ever written.
The Times noted Abbas’ recent comments in which he said millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust were killed because of their financial dealings, not simply because they were Jews. As the BBC reported, speaking before the Palestinian legislative body, Abbas ranted, “So the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion, but against their social function, which relates to usury (unscrupulous money lending) and banking and such.”
The Times wrote that Abbas “shed all credibility as a trustworthy partner if the Palestinians and Israelis ever again have the nerve to try negotiations.”
The Times acknowledged Abbas’ dissertation from over 30 years ago in which he denied six millions Jews were murdered in the the Holocaust. The Times tried to palliate Abbas’ dissertation by quoting him saying in 2003, “The Holocaust was a terrible, unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation, a crime against humanity that cannot be accepted by humankind.”
After citing the disastrous 1993 Oslo Accords when Abbas watched Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and PLO arch-terrorist and leader Yasser Arafat sign an agreement as a testimony to Abbas’ peaceful intentions, despite the fact that the cynical Arafat, who engineered the murderous intifada of 2000, never wanted peace with Israel, the Times mitigated its attack on Abbas by mounting its all-too-typical attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government:
Since the last serious peace talks collapsed in 2014, Israel’s hard-line government has expanded settlement building to cover more of the land envisioned for a Palestinian state. Although President Trump promised a peace plan, none has materialized, but reports suggest it would favor Israel.
The Times then lamented that other Arab states, who in the past had been counted on to oppose Israel, suddenly had bigger fish to fry than worrying about the Palestinian-Israeli issue:
Arab nations, once the Palestinians’ patrons, have lost interest and have turned their attention to fighting wars in Yemen and Syria and checking Iran’s regional influence. During a recent meeting with Jewish-American leaders, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia faulted Palestinian leaders for complaining and rejecting past Israeli peace offers.
Then the Times twisted the facts by stating that Abbas favored a non-violent approach to Israel:
Mr. Abbas opposed Mr. Arafat during the 2000-2005 second intifada, recognized Israel, and committed himself to a nonviolent approach to negotiations for peace and a two-state solution. He was valued by the West as Mr. Arafat’s successor, and for years he has deployed Palestinian forces to help Israelis maintain security in the West Bank.
It was reported in August 2017 that Abbas insisted he would always pay the families of murderous terrorists who had been jailed by Israel, saying, “I don’t intend to cease payment for families of prisoner martyrs, even if it costs me my seat, I will continue to pay them until my last day.” Then in March 2018, after Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, halting economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stopped paying money to families of terrorists, the Palestinian Authority earmarked NIS 687 million for the families of terrorists who were killed while carrying out terror attacks or in attempted attacks against Israel.
Hilariously, the Times, which says it wants peace, faults Abbas for not forming closer ties with the violent group Hamas, which is intent on destroying Israel, writing, "He has also failed to unify the Palestinians in the West Bank, where his Fatah faction dominates, with those in the even more desperate circumstances of the Gaza Strip, where Hamas holds sway." As Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, stated in 2006, the Palestinian people elected Hamas "democratically and peacefully."
The Times concludes, “Palestinians need a leader with energy, integrity and vision, one who might have a better chance of achieving Palestinian independence and enabling both peoples to live in peace.”
If the Times really wanted peace, it would stop lying about Israel, stop chanting that Hamas could ever make peace with Israel, and in general, do penance for its decades of anti-Israel hostility.