The Lies and Distortions Regarding the ‘Palestinian Plight’ and their Quest for an Independent State

In the op-ed space granted to Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas in the New York Times (May 16, 2011), in which he attempts to lay out the rationale behind the Palestinian move to seek U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in pre-1967 borders, Abbas has produced a collection of falsehoods. Here are a few:

"It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative." 

  • 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine Abbas neglects to mention that the Palestinians and Arab states utterly rejected the UN proposal of a state and instead went to war to prevent Israel’s emergence.

"Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued."

  • In fact, the Arab side launched attacks on Palestine’s Jews even before the end of the British Mandate and the proclamation of Israel’s establishment in May 1948.

  • In anticipation of the impending invasion of Arab armies, which commenced the day Israel was declared, many Arabs started leaving while still under British rule.

  • Often, Jewish appeals for Arabs to stay, as in Haifa and Tiberias, went unheeded.

  • Most of those Palestinian Arabs who left did so in the chaos and fog of the war which they and the neighboring Arab states had initiated.

  • In contrast, every Jew was expelled from the West Bank, seized by Jordan.

  • Had there been no Arab-initiated war, there would have been no Palestinian refugees.

"Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled… Only if the international community keeps the promise it made to us six decades ago, and ensures that a just resolution for Palestinian refugees is put into effect, can there be a future of hope and dignity for our people."

  • The UN General Assembly in 1947 recommended the creation of an Arab state and a Jewish state in Palestine, which was an international offer of statehood – not a 'promise' – and it was utterly rejected, as mentioned, by the Palestinians and Arab states at the time.

  • The Arab parties were explicit about their reasons – they rejected the legitimacy of a Jewish state alongside an Arab state. That rejection persists from Mr. Abbas to this day, who has said that 'I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.'

  • In 2000, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered a Palestinian state on almost all the territories mentioned by Abbas, but was turned down.

  • During 1948-1967, when Jordan controlled the Palestinians in the West Bank and Egypt controlled the Palestinians in Gaza – no Palestinian state was set up, despite these territories and their Palestinian inhabitants then being under Arab control, not Israeli control. 

  • In fact, during the 1948-1967 period of time, the Palestinians had never voiced any desire for an independent state.

"Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem."

  • Under Israeli rule, Jerusalem’s Arab population has increased, as has Arab construction.

  • All Muslim shrines, like the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, have functioned continuously in Jerusalem under Israel rule. In fact, it is only under Israeli rule that there has been genuine freedom of religion in historic Jerusalem.

  • Under its Jordanian occupiers, every synagogue in Jerusalem was razed and Jews were barred from merely visiting the Judaism’s holiest site despite reaching an armistice agreement with Israel that had provisions that would allow Jewish attendance at the Western Wall.

  • Under Abbas’ PA, Jewish shrines, like Joseph’s Tomb, have been torched and violated.

  • Last year, his government published an official "study" claiming that Jews have no rights or historical connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

  • In Gaza, under Hamas, with which Abbas has just signed a unity agreement, most Christians have fled for their lives.

"The State of Palestine intends to be a peace-loving nation, committed to human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Once admitted to the United Nations, our state stands ready to negotiate all core issues of the conflict with Israel."

  • The PA is a terrorist-supporting entity run by Fatah, whose Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a deadly and proscribed terrorist organization which has murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians.

  • Scores of streets, schools and sports teams have been named by PA in honor of terrorists who murdered Jews.

  • Fatah's 43rd anniversary emblem shows all of Israel draped in a kffiyeh, with a picture of Arafat and a Kalashnikov rifle alongside it.

  • PA has recently signed a unity government agreement with Hamas, which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7).

  • In seeking to circumvent negotiations and alter the political status, Abbas fails to mention that any such unilateral act violates the 1995 Oslo II agreement, which stipulates that 'Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.'

"A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948."

  • UN General Assembly Resolution 194 is a non-binding resolution that all Arab states rejected at the time.

  • Every refugee problem of the twentieth century has been resolved by resettlement, not repatriation, which the PA demands.

"We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own."

  • The land earmarked for the Palestine British Mandate and for settlement by Jews Under the 1917 Balfour Declaration (with a view to eventual Jewish statehood) includes present-day Jordan (then TransJordan). TransJordan constitutes 78% of this Palestine British Mandate territory. Separating TransJordan from the Palestine British Mandate territory (in 1921) and granting it independence (in 1928) removed 78% from the Palestine British Mandate territory, leaving the remaining 22% which includes today's Israel itself, plus the West Bank and Gaza.

  • Abbas' reference to the 'remaining 22%' is referring to land which currently includes all of the State of Israel.

  Palestine and Transjordan

It should also be noted that Mahmoud Abbas is a Holocaust denier, as stated in his 1982 doctoral thesis at Moscow’s Oriental College and in his 1983 book 'The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism'.

 

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