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October 16, 2016 6:17 am

Why the State Department Won’t Acknowledge the Truth About Abbas and Fatah

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow / JNS.org

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The US State Department denounced the latest Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem by condemning “the statements glorifying this reprehensible and cowardly attack.”

At first, this might seem like good news. President Barack Obama’s administration finally acknowledged and criticized the horrendous glorification of terrorist attacks by Palestinians.

Your optimism will fade, however, once you notice that the State Department forgot to mention one little thing: the identity of those it condemned. Who exactly has been making statements “glorifying” the attack? Who called the terrorist a hero and a martyr? Who defended and justified the murder of an Israeli Jewish grandmother?

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The answer is Fatah, whose chairman is Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) created the PA in 1994 in order to govern territories from which Israel was withdrawing. Yasser Arafat, head of the PLO, was the first head of the PA. After he died, Abbas succeeded him.

The PLO consists of eight terrorist organizations, Fatah being the largest. Arafat was chairman of Fatah and the PLO. Following Arafat’s death, Abbas become chairman of Fatah and the PLO. In other words, Abbas — who is hailed as a “moderate” by the Obama administration, the UN and the international  media — is chairman of the movement that is spearheading the glorification of terrorists.

Within hours of an October 9 attack, Fatah’s Facebook page featured a large, full-color cartoon depicting a hand with a machine gun waving from the top of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock. On the ground below,  two Israeli army helmets lay in a pool of blood. They represent Israeli police officer Yosef Kirme, 29, and the grandmother, Levana Malihi, 60, who were murdered in the attack. Evidently, Fatah regards Israeli grandmothers as soldiers.

Fatah’s Facebook page also featured an announcement praising “the shahid (martyr) Musbah Abu Sbeih, the one who carried out the operation.” Abbas’ Fatah uses the word “operation” when referring to terrorist attacks. That’s because it doesn’t consider murdering Israelis terrorism.

The Fatah posting described the terrorist as “one of the most prominent people in Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The posting further justified his attack, claiming “the occupation authorities persecuted him.”

Abbas’ Fatah party further justified the attack by falsely claiming, “The occupation government…is granting permission to the settlers to invade it, defile it, and desecrate its sanctity on a daily basis under the umbrella and protection of the occupation police.”

False claims about Jews “defiling” other people’s religious sites have been used throughout the ages to stir up anti-Jewish hatred and violence. It’s called blood libel.

At the same time, the Jerusalem branch of Fatah issued a call to Arab shopkeepers to go on strike “in memory of the souls of the martyrs of Palestine and this morning’s martyr.” The PA’s official Voice of Palestine Radio broadcast a call for a strike “due to the death of the Shahid Abu Sbeih.”

So why won’t the Obama Administration acknowledge the truth about what Abbas and Fatah are doing? Why won’t it refer to Abbas and Fatah by name? Because here’s what would happen:

Obama would have to put Fatah back on the US list of terrorist groups. He would have to stop giving Abbas $500 million each year, since it’s against the law to give US funds to terrorist groups. And he would have to give up his dream of forcing Israel to permit the creation of a Palestinian state led by Abbas, Fatah and the PA.

Obama’s entire policy concerning Israel and the Palestinian Arabs conflicts with telling the truth about Fatah.

No matter how loudly Abbas and Fatah cheer for terrorists, the Obama administration will never do more than make vague allusions to “the statements glorifying this reprehensible and cowardly attack.” They will never identify who is doing the glorifying.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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