Today is Friday, June 20, 2014. It is day eight following the kidnapping of three Jewish boys. The boys, contrary to Arab claims, are not soldiers.
They are 100 per cent civilian. They are students. Two boys are 16. One is 19. They are not military personnel. They attend a Yeshiva (religious school).
They have not yet been found. We unite to pray for them. We pray for their safety. We pray for their return—unharmed.
Today, we look at the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is no friend of Israel. His Fatah (the Party he leads) promotes the destruction of the state of Israel. The Fatah logo reflects this goal: it shows the new Arab ‘Palestine’ replacing Israel.
Abbas promotes the Arab narrative. That narrative about Arabs and Jews is riddled with misrepresentations, incorrect information and lies.
Abbas tells the world he wants peace—then promotes incitement against Jews and Israel. He claims he is non-violent--then celebrates convicted Jew-killers as national heroes.
Virtually everything he says about Israel is—and should be—suspect. For example, he has claimed that his new unity government will adhere to the principle of peace with Israel (“Palestinians form new unity government that includes Hamas”, The Washington Post, June 2, 2014). He has claimed that Hamas will have no influence whatsoever on PA policy (ibid).
Consistent with these declarations, he has criticized Hamas for its connections to this kidnapping. He has also, on June 18, 2014, declared that it is in the PA’s interest to engage in security coordination and cooperation with Israel.
That is a policy statement. It is not something he said in English for foreign consumption. It’s what he said in Arabic to a meeting of PA officials.
But Hamas has objected to this statement. It has stated that, “President Abbas's statements on security coordination with Israel are unjustified, harmful to Palestinian reconciliation” (“Abbas Backtracks on Hamas Criticism, Calls for Unity Elections”, Arutz Sheva, June 20, 2014).
After Hamas objected to an Abbas policy statement, Abbas backtracked. He will not harm the reconciliation. Hamas, which is supposed to have no influence whatsoever on PA policy, has flexed its muscle. Abbas felt the pressure. He has yielded to that pressure. He will do as Hamas demands.
Abbas is a liar. He dissembles before the world so that the world can claim, ‘look, he’s non-violent; he won’t give Hamas any power! He won’t be influenced by Hamas!’
Abbas may be a liar. But he still tells the truth.
That’s why we want to talk about him today. To look at the truth he speaks.
In his June 18, 2014 speech, when he declared that coordination with Israeli security was in the PA’s interest, he meant it. He understands that resisting the IDF will destroy him. When he also said in that same speech that those who executed the kidnapping ‘want to destroy us,’ he meant that, too.
Abbas’ concern for being destroyed may sound like paranoia. Perhaps it is. But he’s right, nonetheless. If Fatah wants to survive as the ruling authority of the PA, it cannot allow someone to provoke the wrath of the IDF.
Fatah has a very tenuous hold on power in the PA. That power depends upon keeping his people satisfied. The consequences for provoking the IDF are disastrous. For one thing, IDF actions inside PA cities will undermine Arab faith in Abbas. It will undermine his people’s belief that he can take care of them.
If the IDF continues to blow doors off people’s homes in the PA during the middle of the night, people will reject anyone who cooperates with that kind of enemy. They will turn to the more militant Hamas. Under IDF pressure, Hamas’ influence will ascend. Fatah will wane.
If Hamas gets control of the PA, it will not be kind to Fatah. Abbas will be out. Fatah will be out. The PA will become another Gaza—ruled by the iron fist of Hamas.
If anyone or any event destabilizes Fatah's hold on the PA, the odds increase that Hamas will take over. That’s what Abbas means when he says that this kidnapping was started by those who want to destroy him. IDF actions inside the PA can empower Hamas. That empowerment will threaten Fatah’s hold on the PA. That threat could easily provoke an internal war, Arab versus Arab, Fatah versus Hamas. The purpose of this war will be to determine who will rule in the PA—Hamas or Fatah.
We know what an Arab versus Arab war looks like. We see it every day in Syria. It destroys everything.
Inadvertently, Abbas speaks the truth. He is right. Caught between Hamas and the IDF, he sits on the cusp of destruction.
This is how the G-d of Israel will judge those who seek our destruction. His judgment will take the form of measure-for-measure.