[Published 17 March 2011]
The brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family including three children aged 11, 4 and 3 months - whilst asleep in their house - could only elicit the following pathetic response from President Obama:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of five Israelis in a terrorist attack in the northern West Bank, and we offer our condolences to their loved ones and to the Israeli people. There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home. We call on the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack and for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be held accountable.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas - in answer to Obama‘s statement - countered by stating:
“They [Israel] are now investigating and there’s no news about who perpetrated this crime. I don’t know why they are insisting on accusing the Palestinian people.”Not a word of condemnation was uttered by Abbas against Palestinians who celebrated the Fogel family slaughter by handing out candies and sweets to a joyful crowd in Rafah after the news of the massacre became public. They are his people and Abbas should have been appalled at such behavior.
Obama’s call for the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn the murders also received short shrift from Abbas - who reportedly told the Jerusalem Post that the international community must know that settlers are targeting villages, mosques, houses and olive trees every day - and was then quoted as saying:
“The international community and Israeli society need to know about these crimes because this is a crime and that is a crime too,”
There you have it - the slit throats of innocent men, women and children equated to vandalism of olive trees.
For Abbas there is no difference between murder and vandalism as he seeks international support for a Palestinian State within the 1949 armistice lines - without Israel‘s agreement. World leaders clamor in their droves to support him in this proposal that is contrary to international law as embodied in the Montevideo Convention.
There is a widespread culture calling for death to the Jews - and official support for that culture - rampant in Palestinian society as evidenced by the following:
1. Abbas - in January - allowed a presentation of $2000 to be awarded to the relatives of a Palestinian terrorist - reported as follows in Al-Hayat Al Jadida on 25 January:
“The governor of the Jenin district, Kadura Musa, has awarded a presidential grant to the family of the Shahid (Martyr), Khaldoun Najib Samoudy, during a visit that took place yesterday in the village of Al-Yamoun. The governor noted that the grant is financial aid in the amount of $2000 that the President [Mahmoud Abbas] is awarding to the relatives of the Shahid, who was recently killed as a Martyr at the Hamra checkpoint by the Israeli occupation forces”
2. Abbas was the President who did nothing to prevent the indiscriminate firing of thousands of rockets, shells and mortars into Israeli civilian population centres from Gaza and the smuggling of weapons into Gaza prior to being deposed there by Hamas in 2007. Hamas continues to maintain its threat to rid the Middle East of Israel - ostensibly as the democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people.
3. Both Abbas and Hamas leader - Ismail Haniyeh - head organizations whose Charters call for the elimination of the Jewish State and the denial of any right of statehood for Jews under the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
4. A Palestinian Authority TV tribute to “Martyrs” just three weeks ago included the terrorist who killed three Israelis in a 2002 terror attack in the same West Bank town of Itamar where the Fogel family was murdered.
The video was in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the DFLP (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine), and was broadcast on PA TV several times daily for four days. It featured a collage with photographs labeled “Martyrs (Shahids) of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Nablus.” It included the picture of terrorist Habash Hanani, who in May 2002 entered Itamar and murdered three students in the local high school.
5. Abbas sanctioned the inauguration of a square in el-Bireh in March 2010 named after Dalal Maghreb - the Fatah woman who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in which 37 Israeli civilians and an American photographer were killed, and 71 were wounded,
Three days later the Palestinian Authority launched a four day seminar named after Maghreb - called the “Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Camp,” in Jericho under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority’s Military Science Academy. Its main goal was to discuss the legislative and local elections in the PA territories.
Obama must surely express his abhorrence of such official incitement and extolling of the murder of innocent Jewish civilians and condemn such conduct as being reprehensible, immoral and absolute anathema in any society.
Abbas’s attempt to justify some kind of moral equivalence between land disputes and the murder of Jewish civilians - or to excuse those murders because of the failure to resolve the 130 years old conflict between Jews and Arabs - must be categorically rejected by President Obama.
The President must make it clear that this grossly immoral and heinous conduct and the culture that espouses and encourages it be ended - by publicly demanding that:
1. Abbas return to the negotiating table with Israel within fourteen days or understand that his failure to do so will result in America taking no further part in seeking to implement the Roadmap
2.Any attempt by the Palestinian Authority to circumvent such negotiations will be met with an American veto in the Security Council
3.Any further murders of Jewish civilians in the West Bank by Palestinians will result in America withholding or possibly withdrawing all financial aid and other support to the Palestinian Authority
Hopefully other leaders would be principled enough to follow President Obama’s lead in doing something constructive to try to end the culture that resulted in the murder of the Fogels and countless thousands of Jews before them - other than issuing bland condolences that serve no real purpose.
Such demands might just wipe the smirk off the Palestinian Authority officials laughing all the way to the bank to collect the hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid that continues to come their way.