Nepal and the Palestinians
According to Wafa, the news agency that serves as the mouthpiece for the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas extended his condolences to the people and government of Nepal on Sunday, and affirmed his willingness “to provide all possible help.”
This statement of sympathy from Abbas on the day after the massive earthquake struck Nepal went largely unnoticed for two reasons. The first is that countries across the world were already mobilizing to send actual help to the scene of the disaster, in which the death toll has now surpassed 4,000 and is still rising. Indeed, assistance of all kinds is being dispatched to the area, including medical supplies and personnel, governmental and volunteer search-and-rescue teams, equipment, food, clothing, blankets and money.
The second reason that Abbas’ words of solace for the quake victims have been drowned out is that his actions are speaking far louder. While Israel is tirelessly trying to locate all of its own citizens in Nepal (to bring both bodies and survivors back home) — and engaged in saving everyone else — the PA is busy promoting and abetting terrorism inside Israel.
Though it is an ongoing assault, the current spate of violence against Jews is worth mentioning.
During the hours leading up to and at the height of the earthquake in Nepal, a number of attacks, including stabbings, firebombs and vehicular rammings, were perpetrated in Jerusalem and Hebron.
One of these attacks is notable, both for its nature and for the response to it by the PA. A 16-year-old Palestinian named Ali Abu Ghannam attempted to hack border policemen at a checkpoint near Maaleh Adumim with a meat cleaver. When they fired shots in the air, Abu Ghannam fled and was chased until he reached another checkpoint. There he took out a knife with which he tried to stab the guards on duty. They, too, fired shots in the air and ordered him to halt. But to no avail. At this point, they shot him dead.
As always happens in these cases, the terrorist’s family said he was merely a boy, in this case on his way home from a party, killed out of the blue by big bad Israeli Border Police.
Abu Ghannam’s death not only sparked riots in the A-Tur neighborhood of east Jerusalem where he lived; it also provided yet another opportunity for Abbas and other PA officials to accuse Israel of murder, while denying that Abu Ghannam had done anything wrong.
“This crime proves the cruelty and criminality of the occupation against the defenseless Palestinian people,” Abbas’s office charged in a statement on Saturday. “Such ugly crimes have occurred more than once under various pretexts, which requires the intervention of the international community to provide protection to our people and work toward ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.”
The PA Foreign Ministry chimed in as well, calling Abu Ghannam’s killing a “crime against humanity,” which it would add to the list of Israeli war crimes it intended to bring before the International Criminal Court.
Palestinian social media, meanwhile, is awash with antisemitic cartoons and threats of revenge. Nothing new there either.
Abu Ghannam’s funeral, held at dawn on Monday morning, was attended by a few hundred (or a few thousand, depending on which Arab media outlet’s account one reads) angry mourners, many of them masked — terrorist-style — and shooting in the air. Undoubtedly, this will serve as the ostensible impetus for additional riots and acts of terror, though any excuse will do.
But because of the disaster that befell Nepal, the violence and lies perpetrated by Palestinians are being largely ignored at the moment, even by most Israelis. It is this fact, coupled with Israel’s customary stepping up to the plate with humanitarian aid where it is needed, that Abbas is bemoaning. Yes, the earthquake has upstaged him internationally, underscoring his actual size in the greater scheme of things. It is the only positive aspect of this otherwise colossally painful catastrophe.
Ruthie Blum is the web editor of Voice of Israel talk radio (voiceofisrael.com). This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.