U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s open incitement of violence against Israelis last week gets the Palestinian Authority off the hook from having to express its love for terrorists and encouragement of “resistance.”
Mahmoud Abbas now can live up the Palestinian Authority commitment in the Oslo Accords, which demand that it not incite against Israel. Why should Abbas and his Fatah party do the dirty work when they have Kerry to do it?
As The Jewish Press’ Lori Lowenthal Marcus reported here last week, “An Israeli reporter asked Kerry, ‘How do you think a picture of Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, hugging murderers that killed children 20 or 30 years ago and say that they’re heroes of the Palestinian people – what kind of message do you think this is sent about peace process or peace atmosphere to the Israeli people?'”
Kerry did not directly answer the question and instead argued, “The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?”
Similar threats by the Palestinian Authority have been noted as clear incitement. Coming from the mouth of the Secretary of State, it is not incitement; it is diplomacy, just like Abbas “You give, I take” policy is “negotiations.”
If a “third intifada” is on the way, “what would Kerry call what has been going in the current violence, which is an extension of the second intifada that simply was another chapter in the first and continuing intifada?
On the other hand, although the United States affixed its signature to the Oslo Accords, the agreement binds only Israel and the Palestinian Authority to halt incitement.
The Interim Agreement (Oslo 2) of September 28, 1995 (Article XXII) states that Israel and the PA “shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other and, without derogating from the principle of freedom of expression, shall take legal measures to prevent such incitement by any organizations, groups or individuals within their jurisdiction.”
So Kerry is scot-free. He can give terrorists the green light to attack Jews and then blame Israel for the attacks while the PA continues to violate the Oslo Accords, which also states that neither side may take unilateral actions to circumvent peace talks, such as Abbas’ going to the United Nations for recognition of the PA.
Kerry also repeated one of his favorite statements that “not one Israeli in 2012 was killed” in Judea and Samaria. But this time he added, “And that’s a huge step forward. And the reason I’m so urgent about this is because the Palestinians and President Abbas have committed themselves to nonviolence. So it is important for Israel to strengthen them, to help provide this peace so that the nonviolence is rewarded. Because if nonviolence is not rewarded, the alternative will be that people go back to the other.”
Kerry may not be aware of this, and it would be a shame to break down his illusions, but at least five Israelis have been killed by Palestinian Authority terrorists this year. So if 2012 was a step forward because no one was killed, isn’t it amazing how much advancement has been made this year? Will 20 murder victims be a sign of further progress?
As for Kerry’s “non-violence,” following is a brief review of some of the actions for peace in the Palestinian Authority the past several days.
An Arab terrorist tried to kill a soldier last week in an apparent suicide attack. Anas Alatrash’s Facebook profile revealed that his attack last Thursday was likely a suicide mission, military spokesmen said.
The IDF soldiers’ swift response at the Bethlehem checkpoint they were guarding eliminated a direct threat to their lives and prevented what could have become a major tragedy.
When Alatrash charged IDF police forces with a knife, the soldiers called out for him to stop – but he continued to run toward their position. The soldiers were then forced to fire at him, and he died of his wounds after receiving medical treatment from Magen David Adom.
Two days before the attack, Alatrash posted a picture as his cover image on Facebook. The photo shows a well-known passage from the Koran, which in English means, “We belong to God, and to him we shall return.”
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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