Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Still the Palestinian Authority Glorifies Terror

by Elliott Abrams
May 5, 2014


It is Israel’s Memorial Day today, a good context in which to note that still now–in 2014, and after months of negotiations led by Secretary of State John Kerry–the Palestinian Authority refuses to stop glorifying terror.

Palestine Media Watch reports on the latest of the endless series of PA actions that do this. On August 9, 2001, at about 2 pm, a suicide bomber named Izz Al-Din Al-Masri blew himself up in the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, killing 15 people–7 of them children, as might have been predicted in a pizza parlor–and wounding 130. It’s hard to think of a better definition of a merciless terror attack than this. Al-Masri’s remains were transferred from Israel to the PA last week, so what did the PA do? 

Honor him as a fallen hero. He received an official military funeral, and official government TV called him a “shahid,”  meaning martyr.

This is the kind of abuse covered by the pallid term “incitement.” While it continues as official PA policy, while Palestinian society is taught that blowing up a restaurant filled with parents and children is an act worth celebrating, it must seem to Israelis that peace is far away.


Post a Comment 12 Comments

  • Posted by LW

    How different are these countries and cultures. Israel commemorates Memorial Day with reverential silence. The Arab world demonstrates with the firing of weapons and fist-pumping. Multiculturalism indeed.

  • Posted by Beatrix

    Peace is not far away because Abbas glorifies killers of Israeli children, or because Abbas unites with Hamas a terror organization, or because Abbas wouldn’t agree with Kerry’s framework, and ignored all Obama’s requests. No. Israel and Palestine couldn’t reach a peace agreement because Israel plans to build in Gilo a city that everyone agrees Israel will keep in any peace agreement.

    I’m sure Netanyahu would like to be a dictator so he could stop these inevitable announcements, apparently political in origin, but he’s not. Would it be possible to get Abbas to stop walking out on peace conferences every time a basically harmless announcement is made?

    Abbas is also upset because Israel doesn’t want to put a time limit on it’s patrol of the Jordan Valley. What protection does a country have if you’re required to warn an enemy when you’re leaving?

    The reason Israel isn’t accepted is because the Jews are a dhimmi people and have no right to a nation. Getting Muslims to agree that Israel is a Jewish nation is central to Israel’s acceptance in the Mideast. America thinks this is irrelevant.

  • Posted by Freedomfriend


    3000 US trained Palestinian Authority “security” personnel going to Gaza to serve Hamas in Gaza.

    At some point US needs to see that Palestinian Authority and Hamas are two sides of same coin and cut all funding to Palestinian authority and UNRWA. Additional security funding can be given to Israel to minimize the West Bank and East Jerusalem Arabs violence against Jews.

  • Posted by AMT

    The negotiations between Palestinians and Israel have survived for nine months due to Obama’s pressure on Israel. Netanyahu was wise to go along with the US demand to do the negotiations, knowing full well they were futile.

    Obama wanted at any cost that Israel accept to negotiate, first to show that he is better than previous presidents, and second, according to my analysis, in order to please the Arabs, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf countries, except for Qatar. We should not forget that his Cairo Speech has brought almost no results at all, since Obama made the great mistake of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Thus Tunisia suffered in order to get rid of the Ennahda, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Egypt, thanks to General Al Sissi, a friend of Mubarak and of the Saudis, deposed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. As for Libya, Obama was completely incompetent in his strategy, leaving it to France to take care of it and leading from behind, which resulted in a catastrophe after the demise of Kaddafi, because no one was in charge of all the arms and ammunition left behind by his army.
    Qatar stepped in and sold these arms to Syria, to terrorist groups who paid them more and to Hamas, an affiliate of Morsi.
    Having said that, Obama has never made any move against the terrorists, although he knew what was going on in the world and he knew full well that Abbas was only playing his role, but had no power. Proof of this is that now he sided with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority became a part of it. Alas, it’s just a waste of time and resources to have sent Kerry, who knows neither the Arab nor the Jewish world.

    How could they have forced Israel to release criminals and let Abbas honor them and celebrate them?

    In my view, this is not the right moment for real peace, as the Palestinians are neither ripe nor educated for this purpose.

    The proof is that the Arabs who live in Israel can enjoy all democratic rights. Many of them are volunteers to serve in the Israeli Army.
    Time for peace will come when the Arabs will understand that it cannot be imposed upon a party by force and stop terrorist actions. Israel gives them the opportunity to enhance their quality of life.

  • Posted by ah

    And of course, Israel never valorizes or boasts of terror against Palestinians…

    Oh wait,

    The “incitement” of violence charge is outdated, ridiculous and simply a straw man used by pro-Israeli commentators to obscure the real hindrance to the peace process – the unwillingness of Israel to stop colonizing Palestinian land. Period, no ifs, ands or buts.

    If the PA offered full peace immediately with 100% guarantees to stop all the violence and all enforcement mechanisms in place, Israel would find some way to turn it down because Israel doesn’t want peace, it wants land – all of the West Bank in fact.

  • Posted by Anonymous

    It is indefensible . I am in agreement .

  • Posted by Stephen Luftschein

    I struggle to balance this post with your opposition to Senator Paul’s bill. In fact, it is my contention that American money is simply a)lining the pockets of the corrupt leaders of the PA; and 2) is used to either suborn, or fully support, terrorists, their training, and activity.

  • Posted by Michael

    C’mon USA grow some balls and stand up for what’s right.
    NO to terrorism and YES to a peaceful Israel that has the Biblical title to the land! 1% of the MIddle East??
    Kerry, how do you see yourself in the mirror every morning??
    Surely you must know wrong from right, just from unjust, peaceful from riotus, lawfull from lawless..

  • Posted by Peter

    I cannot improve upon Beatrix’s and Freedomfriend’s comments.

  • Posted by ah

    Pot calling the kettle black…


    Israeli children being taught to glorify killing Palestinians…. would love a post from you on this.

  • Posted by Adam

    Read the article. There was nothing substantive about glorifying killing of Palestinians and hatred. Just kids with guns playing soldiers. Questionable parenting, maybe? Depends. But certainly nothing that the NRA folks would disagree with. Nice try, ah.

  • Posted by ah

    I would offer the same advice Adam, and I would suggest to use a bit more rational thought. Are these Israel children being taught to play with guns in a vacuum? Or perhaps, with a bit of critical thought, one would think that they are simply being socialized to use these very weapons against the people they are being taught to hate daily… Arabs and Palestinians.

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