The Madness of Mahmoud Abbas
For many years, Mahmoud Abbas was hailed as a moderate leader who would bring a sense of rationality and modernity to the Palestinian cause. He was courted by international leaders and given honorary titles from worldwide universities. He was a leader who would break from the rejectionist and terrorist agenda cultivated by his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.
But as many of us knew, it was an illusion — a mirage in the desert that would easily evaporate, because it was based on a hope that lacked any kind of solid foundation to back it up. It was based on the dreams of Israelis to live in peace — not on the reality of Abbas’ desire to live in a perpetual conflict.
All of this has become abundantly clear as Mahmoud Abbas’ rejectionist efforts have reached new heights, and finally been called out by President Donald Trump — something that few US leaders, and certainly no EU leader, have ever done.
In his 13 years of power, eight of it as an unelected official, Abbas has nothing for his “efforts.” He has not brought his people closer to any peace. He has not built the infrastructure and foundations of a future Palestinian society. He has not brought his people any hope. He has not prepared the Palestinians for a future based on peace, but rather, he has left them mired in the pit of conflict.
And Abbas had his opportunities – so many — butwhenever the time came to make the hard decisions, he chose not to.
Because he couldn’t.
The reason is that the whole Palestinian narrative is not based on building a better tomorrow, but rather on tearing down today. It is based entirely on conflict with Israel. Without conflict, their narrative evaporates and there is nothing left to do but build a society — something that they have avoided repeatedly throughout the past few decades.
This is the reason why the Palestinians and other Arabs have rejected all the peace overtures from Israel over the years, the reason why Arafat rejected all peace deals with Israel, and the reason why Abbas continued that tradition. They cannot bring themselves to end the conflict with Israel, because that would eliminate the raison d’être for their own existence.
Simply put, many Palestinians are incapable of making peace because they have been brought up with the unshakable belief that the Jews stole their land, and oppressed them. They have been taught that they will get their land back — even though it was never “theirs” in the first place. Unfortunately, this is a belief that has been reinforced not just by the Arab world, but by a world that has accepted this false narrative without question or any critical analysis — groups like the EU, UNRWA and others. It is based on fantasy rather than facts, and governed by an unquestionable slant of antisemitism: because somehow the Jews will always be judged differently than any other society on earth.
Abbas is an example of someone who had the world at his feet. Someone who was courted at the highest levels of government, respected by the highest echelons of society, but chose a path of rejectionism rather than peace.
But this is not a shock, or a revelation. Instead, Abbas is just being true to himself. He is a man who denies the Holocaust, a man who believes Jews do not deserve anything, a man who rewards those who murder innocent people, a man who not only is living in the past, but is living in a past that never existed.
Some would say that this is madness. Some would say that it’s a tragedy. But at the end of the day, Mahmoud Abbas is a man who is standing by his principles, no matter how skewered and warped they are.