Shimon Peres’ Funeral, Mahmoud Abbas’ Hypocrisy
On Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas requested and was granted permission from the Israeli government to travel to Jerusalem to attend the funeral of elder statesman Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday at the age of 93.
This gesture on Abbas’ part should make perfect sense to all who knew and loved Peres, much of whose illustrious history was spent singing literal and figurative songs of peace. Indeed, the former president, prime minister and defense minister of the Jewish state, who was honored the world over for his self-proclaimed “dreams” of a new Middle East, has spent decades sympathizing with what he considered to be the plight of the Palestinian people, ostensibly longing for independent statehood.
Peres also shared a Nobel Peace Prize with the late Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat for the signing of the Oslo Accords. Though these agreements were revealed to be an unmitigated disaster for Israel – leading to heightened waves of Palestinian terrorism – Peres never faltered. If anything, his fantasies of friendly economic and cultural ties between Israel and the Palestinian Authority grew with each passing suicide bombing perpetrated against innocent Jews.
Abbas has always known this about Peres, despite his own and other Palestinian officials’ public pronouncements over the years that the long-time Labor Party leader was, like all Jews, a liar and a war criminal.
Abbas is also keenly aware that leaders from countries around the world have begun landing in Israel to pay their last respects to the Israel’s most famous peace-monger. And he doesn’t want to be left out, particularly since he has been trying to persuade all of them, individually and collectively, that all he wants is a state he can call his own. Of course, he always fails to acknowledge that he already possesses sovereignty over most of the West Bank, while Hamas rules supreme in Gaza, and that Israel is not to blame for the ills suffered by his people.
Nor has he budged one iota from his assertion that no Jew would be allowed to live in a future Palestinian state. And why should he? After all, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused him recently of promoting ethnic cleansing, many of the dignitaries who are arriving en masse to say goodbye to Peres responded very harshly. Not to Abbas, mind you, but to Netanyahu.
Therefore, as far as Abbas is concerned, Peres’ funeral is not a place for grieving, but fertile ground for a show of propaganda. Yes, the head of the PA — who has encouraged his young people to commit “lone-wolf” stabbing, car-ramming and other attacks against Jews for the past year – wants to show his face at a venue where he believes his presence will be noted internationally.
But that’s all for foreign consumption. Back at home in Ramallah, Abbas is busy reassuring his people that he will never make a deal with Israel that doesn’t involve the total capitulation of the Jews. To convey this message, he simply gives his stamp of approval to every expression of Israel-hatred and anti-Semitism in the media outlets over which he has total control.
As the Jerusalem-based research institute Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported, his official TV station aired an interview on Wednesday with Israeli affairs “expert” Fayez Abbas, who called Peres “the greatest fraud in the history of the Zionist movement… a man that the world undoubtedly loves…the Arab states [also] believed [he] was a man of peace, even though he was the greatest man of war in Israel…”
The next day, according to PMW, Abbas’ Fatah faction posted a cartoon on its Facebook page, depicting a trembling Peres being read a rap sheet of his many “crimes” against humanity by the Grim Reaper, before being sentenced to Hell.
Yes, as the Peres family announced the passing of their loved one, and Abbas was granted permission by Israel to bring four Palestinian officials with him to join world leaders at the funeral, his Fatah underlings were spewing libelous condemnations of the man who championed their cause repeatedly, up until the very last second of his life.
This sums up the “peace process” on which Peres pinned eternal hope.
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.