Abbas woos his home crowd, alienates Israel, ‘fires’ the US

Employing incendiary rhetoric, the PA president’s ‘genocide’ speech to the UN makes plain he’s done with negotiating via the Washington model

BY REBECCA SHIMONI STOIL, TOI September 27, 2014, 8:11 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at Cooper Union, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in New York. (photo credit: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at Cooper Union, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in New York. (photo credit: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at Cooper Union, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in New York. (photo credit: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Abbas, striding through the UN’s corridors Wednesday, reached the doors to the plenary together with his sizable security detail to attend the General Assembly’s opening speeches. The guards at the doors to the room told him that he could go in — but that those guys he came with needed to go around to the other door.

Abbas entered. Behind him, a brief scuffle broke out between his entourage and the UN guards. Safely inside the room, such minor unpleasantnesses literally behind him, Abbas was somehow above the fray, an elder statesman representing his people to a largely sympathetic audience.

This is the Abbas who makes speeches at New York universities, and is a trendy figure for student crowds interested in the Palestinian cause. He’s a statesman, one of the good guys. Those pushy, aggressive guys he comes with? They’re not really part of the picture at all….

But the more accurate narrative actually began two days earlier, with a long run-up of officials dropping hints that the Abbas who would take the podium at the annual meeting of world leaders would be Abbas the activist, and that he would “drop a bomb.” The Abbas of 2014, they made clear, was here to shake up the UN, to demand strident action to achieve what decades of terror, negotiations, and incrementalism have failed to achieve.

On Friday in New York, we got a little of Abbas the statesman, calling for an immediate resumption of diplomacy with Israel, but this was overwhelmed by Abbas the bruiser, dismissing diplomacy with Israel as unworkable. “It is impossible, and I repeat – it is impossible – to return to the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental question,” Abbas warned. “There is neither credibility nor seriousness in negotiations in which Israel predetermines the results via its settlement activities and the occupation’s brutality.”

And the preconditions that Abbas set in his speech for useful talks — ones in which the “agreed objective” is “ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian Territory occupied in the 1967 war” — all but eliminate the possibility of getting Israel to sit down at the table at all.

This was an address deep in the helpless rhetoric of victimization but one that also viciously leveled the outrageous, incendiary charge of genocide against Israel. The PA president has a history of deeply provocative major speeches, issued even during recent years and even during periods of relative calm with Israel; Friday’s calculated genocide calumny rendered this speech arguably the most provocative of all.

Abbas was strident in his rhetoric, accusing Israel of having “chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people.” And with similar calculation, he referred later to Israel, in terms harking back to pre-Oslo Accords terminology, as “the occupying Power,” “the colonial occupying Power,” and “the racist occupying State.”

The words “Power” and “State,” it is worth noting, were capitalized each time in the official Palestinian-issued transcript of Abbas’s talk — on the off-chance that it was not clear that this was a stand-in for referring to Israel by its proper name.

Sometimes the statesmanlike Oslo veteran and the provocative, uncompromising PLO apparatchik combined schizophrenically in a single sentence, but the latter inevitably overwhelmed the former.

Take, for instance, this passage: “Our grief, trauma and anger will not for one moment make us abandon our humanity, our values and our ethics; we will always maintain our respect and commitment to international law, international humanitarian law and the international consensus, and we will maintain the traditions of our national struggle established by the Palestinian fedayeen and to which we committed ourselves since the onset of the Palestinian revolution in early 1965.”

The first half sounds very UN-ish — positive affirmation of law and consensus, values that are ostensibly near and dear to the hearts of the world’s international bodies. But in the same breath, the other Abbas takes over, memorializing the fedayeen, notorious in Israeli historical memory for their raids on civilian communities.

So who was the intended recipient of Abbas’s speech? Was it a message to President Barack Obama that Abbas would no longer follow Washington’s expectations, reinforcing his refusal in March to endorse Secretary Kerry’s framework for a permanent accord, presaging the collapse of the negotiations just weeks later? The dismissal of the utility of previous negotiations — together with Abbas’s implied message that Washington had failed to secure Israeli good behavior, notably on settlements, during the talks — certainly sounded like a “you’re fired” order to the US negotiators.

And the angry US response, issued by State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, demonstrated that the message had reached its desired recipient.

Washington, too. His Iran-style turning of Israel from a legitimate state into the entity-that-must-not-be-named — as well as the references to Palestinian revolution and, of course, fedayeen — was focused on two other audiences.

The genocide, war crimes, resource theft and colonialism accusations against Israel were red meat for Palestinian domestic consumption. Abbas was plainly intent on not coming off as too moderate and thus helping Hamas — with its summer war victory claims — into a stronger position on the Palestinian street.

However, that slanderous content also spoke loudly to Israelis and to attuned pro-Israel audiences. The American Jewish Committee issued a rare statement on Rosh Hashanah to complain that “it made a speech with tough content come off as even more pugnacious, a rejection of some forms of negotiation sound like a rejection of all, and touched upon sensitive ears as reflecting a particular kind of anti-Israel rhetoric that moderates hoped had been relegated to the pre-Oslo past.”

September 27, 2014 | 41 Comments »

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41 Comments / 41 Comments

  1. honeybee Said:

    We never hugged or touched in my family,

    Mine either and they weren’t Swedish. My father hated me. I always did things opposite to what he wanted and would please him….Mom protected me and he was jealous.

    I was raised by my grandmother my mother and her 4 sisters along with neighbor friends daughters through the first 4-5 years of my life didn’t know what men were except grandad.
    I suppose that’s why I feel more comfortable around women than men. What would Sigmund say? Then who gives a shxxt.

  2. yamit82 Said:

    The Lord’s curse upon His Chosen People for some unpardonable sin perpetrated in antiquity (probably relating to “The Joey Bishop Show”).” (AR

    No, for Groucho for seeing through the hypocrisy of society.

  3. yamit82 Said:

    Scandinavians seem to be extremely emotionally stoic but that stoicism belies a primal volcano ready to erupt

    We never hugged or touched in my family, never. Never talked to strangers, ever. It wasn’t until I brushed up against Mexicans that I learned. I use to watch Molly Goldberg on TV and wish she was my Mom.
    As for the primal volcano, I save that for Max and dweller when they get “smarty pants” with me, yidvocate and CA also.

  4. @ the phoenix:
    But of course. The speechster will make unotherr speech… Razor sharp this time… so there!
    When Rabin and Peres imported Arafat, Abbas, etc, did they waive the right to return or exchange the merchandise?
    Lets say that the duo above and their peons made an honest mistake… by allowing that filth into Eretz Israel, now that everyone knows what a disaster that import was is there any physical reason not to return the garbage to their place overseas?
    Pick up and send back the trash. And Peres, Livni, Zoabi, ect, can travel with them as well.

  5. BB never learns.

    “He is Forrest Gump plus Goober Pyle divided by Lucy Ricardo.

    A lesser version of Jimmy Carter.

    The Lord’s curse upon His Chosen People for some unpardonable sin perpetrated in antiquity (probably relating to “The Joey Bishop Show”).” (AR)

  6. @ honeybee:

    Scandinavians seem to be extremely emotionally stoic but that stoicism belies a primal volcano ready to erupt.

    Jews are emotional we cry a lot over almost everything.

  7. SHmuel HaLevi 2 Said:

    Netanyahu will now go to the “un”

    Shmuel, don’t knock it….

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is promising a “razor sharp” speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185569

    RAZOR SHARP, shmuel. You got that?
    (Do they have in Israel a tv channel where this guy is slicing and dicing with a RAZOR SHARP type of a ghizmo that is just …just oh so awesome man… And if you cal this number in the next five minutes we’ll throw in TWO sets…..
    🙁

  8. Here is the same message as above with punctuation corrections:
    “Since the policy makers in both the State Department and the British government viewed the escape of Jews from sure annihilation as a ‘burden’ or a ‘danger’ it is hardly surprising that they looked upon the rescue of Jews as something to avoid rather than to strive for.” -David S. Wyman, from ‘The Abandonment of the Jews’

    Today, thanks to Israel’s formidable military, Jews do not need anyone to “save” them. But Western support (instead of the usual and predictable excoriations) for Israel in her political contentions and wars against those enemies who also want to annihilate the Jewish people would make the debate about those wars more winnable, especially the debate about Iran and it’s nuclear weapons development. But Western politicians view such public support as a “burden” or a “danger,” which is to say, politically inexpedient. Some things never change. The “unwillingness to offer refuge” of yesterday has today become an unwillingness to show public support for the State of Israel and Zionist ideals.

    “A brother is born for adversity and a friend loves at all times.” -Book of Proverbs

  9. “Since the policy makers in both the State Department and the British government viewed the escape of Jews from sure annihilation as a ‘burden’ or a ‘danger’ it is hardly surprising that they looked upon the rescue of Jews as something to avoid rather than to strive for.” -David S. Wyman, from ‘The Abandonment of the Jews’

    Today, thanks to Israel’s formidable military, Jews do not need anyone to “save” them. But Western support (instead of the usual and predictable excoriations) for Israel in her politcal contentions and wars against those enemies, who also want to annihilate the Jewish people, would make the debate about those wars more winnable, especially the debate about Iran and it’s nuclear weapons development. But Western politicians view such public support as a “burden” or a “danger,” which is to say, politically inexpedient. Some things never change. The “unwillingness to offer refuge” of yesterday has today become an unwillingness to show public support for the State of Israel and Zionist ideals.

    “A brother is born for adversity and a friend loves at all times.” -Book of Proverbs

  10. “Groveling seems to be part of the Jewish DNA.”

    “Are we forever to live a homeless people on the world’s crumbs of sympathy, forever in need of defenders, forever doomed to thoughts of refugees and relief?” -Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, 1943

  11. @ yamit82:

    Their justification is always the unprovable claim that their appeasement,cowardice and even treason is justified in the name of saving the country from something worse and more dangerous to our well-being, even our survival.

    Bernard Ross, has commented on this very issue several times.
    Whatever the hell the ‘scary bogey man’ happens to be, it involves the Israeli public at large.
    That would be a gamechanger.
    What kills me is this incessant game played by normal rational people, where they all agree how great the emperor’s new clothes look………..
    Yamit, it is not doom and gloom that I am saying.
    It is just a ‘colorful description’ (see my comment in today’s new thread)

  12. @ Bert:

    Who gives a shit what the little Hitler wannabees wants.

    What do we want should be the question and the answer demanded. Here I must agree with the Israeli left, not necessarily their conclusions and world view though.

    Everybody but me says they want peace. Yet nobody ever puts meat on the bone and defines that peace. Peace has become an abstraction the Tofu word in all languages and as tasteless.

  13. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:

    BB will go to the UN and Grovel before the world just like Olmert and Peres before him.

    Groveling seems to be part of the Jewish DNA.

    They must live up to the Gentiles stereotypes of Jews and Israeli appeasement, otherwise suffer the slings and arrows of our enemies and detractors for digression.

    The long employed MO of all Israeli leaders is to Grovel to the world and spin it at home as a victory and success, producing some crumbs of acceptance and legitimation as the reward.

    Their justification is always the unprovable claim that their appeasement,cowardice and even treason is justified in the name of saving the country from something worse and more dangerous to our well-being, even our survival.

    So far none has had the cajones to test that proposition. So we are always left with a de-facto fait acompli . Nobody ever asks us first.

  14. @ Bert:
    Precisely.
    Netanyahu will now go to the “un” and USA to soft paw one and all without specifics aligned to our National interests and rights. Flap lip service probably including “world” responsibility prattle and a cardboard prop here and there.

  15. We know what Abbas wants. He is clear and explicit. What exactly is Israel’s proposal to deal with the Arabs in Judea-Samaria, Gaza and Israel proper? Israel has NO clear solution and this allows for Abbas to paint Israel as the problem. The Israeli leadership refuses to claim its rights to the land because its leaders are faithless secularists who lack a clear vision of the future. Israel is unable to even protect the right of Jews to worship freely on the Temple Mount. This is how the Israeli government insures that the enemy will have the propaganda advantage and other governments will continue to blame Israel for the conflict.

  16. SHmuel HaLevi 2 Said:

    There is only one solution to finally getting rid of the stain.

    I agree.
    At which point though, is water’s current harnessed to yield its inherent force, and where does aimlessly treading water where visibly NOTHING HAPPENS, occur?

  17. The unJews will do all in their power to hide the further evidence and contrive to maintain the Oslo rubber bullet doctrine.
    There is only one solution to finally getting rid of the stain.

  18. The Oslo Era is over. Abu Bluff made it clear a compromise peace is not on the table.

    And things are not likely to improve any time soon.