Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Abbas Missed in His UN Speech

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Abbas is more concerned about Jews visiting the Temple Mount than thousands of Palestinians who are being butchered and expelled from their homes in Arab countries; he sees evil only in the actions of Israel and Jewish settlers.

As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was delivering his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations last week, one of his officials in Ramallah revealed that 250,000 out of the approximately 600,000 Palestinians in Syria have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of the conflict there.

The official, Mohamed Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that 93,000 of the displaced Palestinians fled to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.

He added that those who fled to the neighboring Arab countries were living in harsh conditions.

Yet in his speech, Abbas largely ignored the plight of these Palestinians. Instead, he chose to direct his criticism toward Israel and the settlers.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the UN General Assembly, September 26, 2013 (Photo credit: UN video)

Abbas saw no need to criticize the warring Syrian parties for killing Palestinians and driving them out of their homes.

Nor did he utter a word about Lebanon's mistreatment of the Palestinian refugees or the fact that the Egyptians have been mistreating Palestinian refugees.

The only time Abbas referred to the plight of the refugees was toward the end of his speech, when he stated, "In the past few years and this year, Palestinian refugees have paid -- and continue to pay -- a heavy price for the conflicts and unrest in the region despite their neutrality. Tens of thousands of refugees have been forced to search for new places to live in."

Abbas, of course, also ignored the fact that nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured in Syria in the past two years.

He did not, however, forget to mention in his speech that 27 Palestinians were killed by the Israel Defense Forces since the beginning of the year.

Abbas's speech shows that the Palestinian Authority leadership considers construction of new housing units in settlements and neighborhoods of Jerusalem as being more serious than the displacement of a quarter million Palestinians.

For the Palestinian Authority leadership, the security fence in the West Bank, which has put an end to suicide bombings, is more problematic than the killing and displacement of thousands of Palestinians in Syria.

Not surprisingly, Abbas did not condemn any of the Arab countries for mistreating and humiliating Palestinians, especially in recent years.

So what if the Egyptian authorities are shooting and killing Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria? So what if the Lebanese authorities are imposing severe restrictions on the entry of Palestinian refugees? So what if Palestinians are being killed every day in Syria by the forces of Bashar al-Assad and the "rebels?"

Abbas does not seem to have time to talk about the suffering of his people at the hands of Arab governments and terror groups.

As he was speaking, thousands of Palestinians were stranded on both sides of the Gaza Strip-Egypt border due to the closure of the terminal by the Egyptian authorities. Abbas saw no need to refer in his speech to the Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is hurting not only Hamas, but also the entire population.

As his speech has shown, he is more concerned about Jews visiting the Temple Mount than thousands of Palestinians who are being butchered and expelled from their homes in Arab countries. That hundreds of mosques and churches have been destroyed in Syria and Egypt is of no concern to Abbas, who sees evil only in the actions of Israel and Jewish settlers.

Khaled Abu Toameh


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

1 comment:

salubrius said...

There was a mass exodus of Arabs, from their homes, voluntarily at the behest of the Arab Higher Executive without ever seeing a Jewish soldier. Some 600,000 to 700,000 left, after having been told they could come back to their homes in a couple of weeks after the invading armies from surrounding states had annihilated the Jews. The Arab complaint became, they said go out so we can come in. We got out but they never got in. We were thrown into prison camps.

That is what Mahmoud Abbas wrote in "Filastin" the official organ of the PLO as revealed by the Wall Street Journal many years later.

Is this just what the Israeli's say? No:


Wall Street Journal, 5 June, 2003.

“Abu Mazen Charges that the Arab States are the Cause of the Palestinian Refugee Problem
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) wrote an article in March 1976 in Falastin al-Thawra, the official journal of the PLO in Beirut: ‘The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny, but instead they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, imposed upon them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe.’”

Jordan Daily Newspaper Falastin 19 February 1949

The Arab states which had encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees.

Cairo Daily Newspaper Akhbar El-Yom 12 October 1963

May 15 1948 arrived; on that very day the Mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the
Arabs of Palestine to leave the country because the Arab armies were about to enter
and fight in their stead.

Memorandum by the Arab National Committee to the Arab League Governments on their refusal to sign a truce 27 April 1948

When the Arab delegation entered the conference room, it proudly refused to sign the truce and asked that the evacuation of the Arab population and their transfer to neighbouring Arab countries be facilitated. The Jewish Representatives expressed their profound regret. The Mayor of Haifa adjourned the meeting with a passionate appeal to the Arab population to reconsider its decision...

Post a Comment