South African Jewry: 'Much Reassured' by Abbas

Leaders of two top Jewish organizations meet 'president' Abbas and give glowing reports, despite his support of terror.

Hillel Fendel ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

Leaders of two top South African Jewish organizations met with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, and said they came away "much reassured" by Abbas' words.

The Jewish representatives of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation met with Abbas in the Guest House of SA President Jacob Zuma - who took advantage of the opportunity to attack Israel for not accepting the international community's diplomatic solutions.

In a statement, the Jewish leadership said it was "much reassured by President Abbas' confirmation that he and his government are committed to achieving peaceful co-existence with Israel based on the Two-State model."

Abbas told his visitors that all issues must be negotiated with Israel to end the conflict. This stands in direct opposition to other statements that he has made in the past. 

For instance, Abbas slammed Hamas two years ago for implying that his own Fatah organization does not endorse terrorism strongly enough, and said: "[Senior Hamas members use] the word 'resistance' as if there was disagreement about it among Palestinians... It was we [Fatah] who initiated armed resistance for many years, and thanks to it, we obtained recognition of our rights."

The South African Jewish leadership also announced that it "welcomes the confirmation by President Abbas and his delegation that he and his government remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict with Israel."

In actuality, just over a month ago, Abbas said, “We must all carry out Ribat (religious conflict/war over land claimed by Islam) in the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]... We have to prevent [the settlers], in any way whatsoever, from entering the Sanctuary. This is our Sanctuary, our Al-Aqsa and our Church. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. We must prevent them. Let us stand before them with chests bared to protect our holy places.”

David Hersch, head of SAIPAC (The South African Israel Public Affairs Committee), totally rejected the tone of the Jewish leaders' announcement.

Specifically referring to an interview given by Zev Krengel, President of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, shortly after the meeting, Hersch posted the following: "We have been treated to a daily barrage of Abbas’ invented and inventive attacks on Israel.

"The recent terrorist attacks on Israeli pedestrians, the Har Nof Synagogue horror murders, etc. Krengel gave the distinct impression that Abbas is the willing peace partner and it is Israel that is not. That is not the case at all and is a great disservice to Israel, undermining its government and for all the lip service, is disloyal and treasonous."