Once again, our enemies come along to remind us what’s most important to us.
All those who tout the “two-state solution” as the ultimate cure-all for the problems of the Middle East should listen closely to the warnings of Mahmoud Abbas, the successor to arch-terrorist YasIr Arafat and the head of the Palestinian Authority, the successor to the murderous Palestine Liberation Organization.
Speaking several days ago to Arab and other journalists in Ramallah, Abbas was straightforward: “One who agrees to a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as it capital and its heart is a traitor.”
What do people like Abbas do to traitors? Well, they torture and murder Arabs who try to sell land to Jews, so it’s not hard to guess what they would do to those who would give up on all of Jerusalem.
After all, Jerusalem is Islam’s third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. What this means is that Mecca and Medina are always holy to Islam, but Jerusalem is sometimes holy and sometimes not, depending on the political circumstances. This phenomenon began with Muhammad himself, who at first tried to win over neighboring Jews by announcing that prayers would be directed toward Jerusalem; when the Jews scorned his advances, he slaughtered many of them and proceeded to direct his followers’ prayers toward Mecca instead.
The Muslim abandonment of Jerusalem was so total that when Muslims later conquered the Holy Land, they ignored Jerusalem and established their capital in Ramle.
In any event, in his meeting with the journalists, Abbas also said, “We cling to our national founding principles, which speak of the establishment of our independent state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem within the pre-1967 borders.” Translated, this means that anyone who agrees to leave the Old City of Jerusalem – including the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and the Jewish Quarter – in Jewish hands is a traitor and must be dealt with accordingly.
Abbas is viewed by the world as a man of peace and diplomacy, yet a quick review of his biography shows precisely the contrary. In 1959, together with Arafat and others, he founded the Fatah terrorist organization, which later became a major part of the PLO. In fact, as the BBC noted, “Arafat took over as chairman of the executive committee of the PLO in 1969 – a year that Fatah is recorded to have carried out 2,432 guerrilla attacks on Israel.”
Abbas later proudly told an interviewer that it was he who had “fire[d] the first bullet of the resistance” back in 1965. He further boasted that the PLO had taught many jihadis around the world “how to resist…. We taught everyone, including Hizbullah, the ways of resistance. They were all educated in our training camps.”
After Arafat became PLO chairman in 1969, Abbas took up the role of security adviser and fundraiser. One of his “projects” was the 1972 massacre in Munich of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes, which he funded.
In later years, as head of the PA, he frequently called for an end to violence against Israel, mainly because it could not succeed – but he also called for the opposite. For instance (and there are many more):
In January 2007, Abbas stated, “We [Palestinians] should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation.”
In October 2014, Abbas exhorted Palestinians to use “all means” to stop Jews from visiting the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. In a PA television interview, Supreme Sharia Judge and Abbas advisor Mahmoud al-Habbash openly admitted that Abbas was inciting terror.
Less than a year ago, Abbas announced the awarding of honorary medals to three Fatah terrorists – one of many occasions the PA has honored murderers of Israelis.
Most recently, just days before the current Palestinian terror wave began, Abbas said: “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every martyr will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded by Allah’s will.”
But most insidious of all is the ongoing years-long bombardment of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in PA schools, textbooks, and television shows. It came to a head just this past week, when a 16-year-old boy from an Arab village near Gush Etzion decided it was time to stop merely “hearing” the incitement and time to take action. He grabbed a knife, went out to the nearest Jewish townlet – Otniel – and stabbed to death Dafna Meir, a 38-year-old mother of six. He later admitted during his interrogation that he had been influenced by the constant incitement to murder to which he had been exposed.
Prime Minister Netanyahu responded by calling upon the international community to “stop the hypocrisy and put an end to the Palestinian incitement that fans the terrorism against Israel.”
U.S. President Obama has said that Abbas “has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security…” Will anyone truly take Abbas to task for the incitement to murderous terrorism he consistently encourages?
In sum: Abbas, who has proudly admitted to having played a leading role in bringing modern-day terrorism to the world, threatens any leader who might agree to a PA state without Jerusalem with the charge of “treachery.” No striving for peace and compromise here; rather, the PA wishes to cut up the heart of the Jewish people – Jerusalem – and thus, it believes, bring closer its goal of destroying Israel. This is precisely why the PA will never compromise on Jerusalem.
Only when the Arabs come to terms with the existence of Israel, with Jerusalem as its eternal capital, will there ever be a chance for peace. But we must also make sure not to allow complacency to stymie our desire to secure forever a strong and united Yerushalayim under Israeli sovereignty.
KeepJerusalem invites you to visit Jerusalem and take part in our bus tours of critical but little-known parts of Jerusalem and environs in order to see for yourself the implications of dividing our Holy City. For information, send an e-mail to [email protected] or visit our website, www.keepjerusalem.org.