by Ruthie Blum
Abbas has nothing to gain and everything to lose in any peace deal with Israel. He knows better than anyone that his status as a leader on the world stage depends precisely on the absence of Palestinian statehood.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lies about Israel not only as a matter of course but as one of policy. It was no surprise, then, when he stood up at the European Parliament on Thursday and regurgitated a claim made this week that rabbinical figures in the Jewish state had urged the government to poison Palestinian wells.
Abbas knew that this classically anti-Semitic blood libel was as false as a similar one, spread last week, that claimed Israel forced Palestinians from a certain village to flee by drying up their water supply during Ramadan. In fact, a pipe had burst, and it was immediately repaired. But not -- as media watchdog HonestReporting pointed out -- before the "water apartheid" lie, first "reported" by Al Jazeera, was picked up by The Independent, the International Business Times, Radio New Zealand and The Times of London.
In keeping with the tradition of his predecessor, the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Abbas encourages the invention of all kinds of blood libels, which he then states as fact, both to his own people and to the international community. Each libel is more ludicrous than the previous one, and they would be funny if they weren't reminiscent of Nazi propaganda and didn't serve the same purpose: to foster the kind of Jew-loathing that enables genocide.
But annihilating Israel and the Jews is not the real reason that Abbas perpetuates utterly insane accusations against the only democracy in the Middle East. More immediate personal concerns preoccupy the PA leader, who knows his days are numbered, literally and figuratively, if he does not remain relevant at home and abroad.
Indeed, Abbas constantly faces the possibility of being ousted by members of his own faction, Fatah, and by Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza. He manages to survive by enlisting financial and political support from the United States, Europe and the United Nations.
Viewed -- baselessly -- as a moderate who constitutes the best hope for reaching a peace deal with Israel, he continues to be received by world leaders and to keep the cash flowing into his coffers. That hardly any of it goes to building institutions in the PA or to rehabilitating Gaza appears to be of little concern to those holding the position that Abbas is more of a victim than a perpetrator.
What his apologists fail to see, however, is that if, by some miracle, the two-state solution were to be realized by its fantasists, Abbas would instantly be thrown into the dumpster of history in every respect.The only thing unclear about "the day after" is whether his corpse or his irrelevance will come first.
In other words, Abbas has nothing to gain and everything to lose in any peace deal with Israel. He knows better than anyone that his status as a leader on the world stage depends precisely on the absence of Palestinian statehood. Yes, it is this that drives his every move and all his lies. Key among these lies are the two fictions he reiterates from every podium, including the one he occupied in Brussels on Thursday. One is that Middle East stability rests on resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The other is that Israel, being responsible for the predicament in the first place, bears the burden of repairing the damage.
It therefore infuriates him every time the Israeli government urges him to come to the negotiating table, leading him to spin any overture from Jerusalem to his own advantage. His latest such act was to snub Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's invitation to meet in the European capital.
None of this is the least bit new. In fact, at this point, it is so obvious as to be boring. In any case, most Israelis are too busy trying to avoid being stabbed, shot or hit with Molotov cocktails to listen to Abbas' blather. Our blood is actually being spilled. We don't need libels or lip-service to highlight that reality.
But why does anyone else still treat Abbas as a man of integrity and stature? How could hundreds of EU Parliament members applaud his vile speech, when faced with the truth about Islamist terrorism? Where do they come off believing a single word he says?
By now, what any sane representative of a free country should grasp is that it is not Palestinian wells being poisoned but rather the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people.
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