Obama Condemns Netanyahu Opposing PA State — Ignores Abbas Opposing Israel’s Existence
In recent weeks, President Barack Obama condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for appropriately opposing a Palestinian state because Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) has not only merged with the terrorist group Hamas, but also hasn’t met any of the conditions Netanyahu required in his 2009 conditional acceptance of Palestinian statehood, such as acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state, demilitarization, secure borders and a united Jerusalem.
In contrast, Obama has never condemned — indeed, has even covered for — Abbas for repeatedly opposing Israel’s very existence, even at the expense of establishing a Palestinian state. Consider:
- PA maps, official stationery, atlases and two recent PA-commissioned Fatah emblems depict all Israel as ‘Palestine.’ Obama has never taken Abbas to task for the PA’s erasing Israeli statehood in this manner.
- In September 2008, just before Obama assumed office, Abbas didn’t accept then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s extraordinary offer of Palestinian statehood in 94 percent of the West Bank, half of Jerusalem and all of Gaza, with commensurate swaps of Israeli territory. Obama never criticized the PA’s failure to accept or negotiate the highly concessionary Olmert plan.
- In March 2009, when PA/Fatah senior official Muhammad Dahlan declared that “we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today,” there was no outrage in the White House.
- In April 2009, regarding recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas declared, “I will not accept it.” This prompted no rebuke from Obama.
- In July 2010, Abbas told Arab journalists, “If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor.” Obama did not question Abbas’ sincerity regarding a negotiated, peaceful Palestinian state.
- In May 2011, Abbas wrote in a New York Times opinion piece that UN admission of ‘Palestine’ would “pave the way,” not to peace, but to “the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter … to pursue claims against Israel,” Again, Obama said nothing.
- During September-October 2011, the PA ambassador to Iran, Salah Zawawi, the PA ambassador to Brazil, Alzeben Ibrahim, and the former PA ambassador to Lebanon, Abbas Zaki, all declared publicly that Israel will be destroyed (Zaki also called both Netanyahu and Obama “scumbags”). Obama never held the PA to account or publicly doubted its commitment to accepting Israel.
- In January 2014, Abbas declared that, even if a Palestinian state is established, there would be no compromise or relinquishing of the deal-breaking ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees of the 1948-9 war and their millions of descendants, which would end Israel as a Jewish state. Again Obama said nothing.
- In March 2014, Abbas told Obama that he will neither accept Israel as a Jewish state, nor conclude a comprehensive peace if it means signing an ‘end of claims’ clause. That very same day, Obama praised Abbas for having “consistently renounced violence … consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security.”
- In June 2014, the Obama Administration responded to Abbas’ new alliance with Hamas, whose Charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews, by not merely ignoring this alliance, by saying that it would continue providing $500 million annually to the PA.
The evidence is unequivocal: Obama does not hold the PA accountable for pro-terror, anti-peace words and deeds. He is silent when Abbas’ PA takes a stance against Israel’s very existence, but lashes out at Israel when it says that, due to these very same PA anti-peace actions, a PA state is currently untenable.
Nor is this all. Obama condemned Netanyahu as a racist when Netanyahu urged his supporters to come out and vote to offset the surge of Israeli Arab voters being bused in to vote for “anyone but Bibi” (financed in part by foreign funds, including from the US State Department). But Obama’s accusation is groundless. Netanyahu’s statement was political — not racial. He didn’t decry Arabs voting; he knew that the left-wing Israeli Arab bloc would not support him and sought to offset this by rallying his supporters to vote. If a significant portion of Israel Arabs had been voting for him, he would have said nothing.
And why does Obama never lash out at Abbas’ genuinely racist declarations that no Jew would be allowed to live in a new state of Palestine?
Put simply, Barack Obama is the most hostile of presidents to Israel, while being fervently supportive of the PA’s anti-peace, anti-Israel, terror-promoting PA regime. Obama’s 20-year-long former pastor,Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and dear friend, Columbia professor and former PLO spokesman, Rashid Khalidi, are smiling.
Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’ s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Creation of Israel (Routledge, London, 2004). This article was originally published by The Washington Times.