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Sunday, March 09, 2008

The $150 million interview

On February 28, I blogged an interview that 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen (pictured at top left with his friend Valdemert) gave to the Jordanian newspaper al-Dustur:
"At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we can't succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different," he said.

The PA president also expressed pride both in himself and his organization, Fatah, for trailblazing the path of resistance.

"I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it's like; when it is effective and when it isn't effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is," Abbas said.

"It is common knowledge when and how resistance is detrimental and when it is well timed," he addad. "We (Fatah) had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps."
At least one Congresswoman noticed that interview: Nita Lowey (D-NY). Because of her efforts, that interview may cost Abu Bluff's 'Palestinian Authority' $150 million.
A top congressional appropriator, Foreign Operations Chairman Nita Lowey, said flatly, “President Abbas' recent statements cast doubt on his willingness to take the steps necessary for peace with Israel.”

But Mr. Abbas' comments alone likely would not have sparked this fracas. Just one day after news of the interview shocked key legislators and staffers, who learned of it last Thursday when it was translated into English by watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the administration sent over its request for $150 million in direct cash assistance to Abbas' PA.

“What were they [administration officials] thinking sending over the request the day after Abbas announces he's open to re-starting terrorism and doesn't really recognize Israel's right to exist?” asked one miffed Hill staffer.


Most concerning to Congress, however, was a statement that at first blush might seem relatively innocuous. Discussing the question of whether or not Hamas must “recognize” Israel, Mr. Abbas explained, “I don't demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. I only demanded of the [Palestinian] national unity government that would work opposite Israel in recognition of it.”

This comment raised eyebrows because it shifted the common understanding of what it means to “recognize” the Jewish state. Most understand “recognition” to be fairly straightforward: The acknowledgement of the right of Israel to exist peacefully as a Jewish state neighboring a Palestinian one. Mr. Abbas, however, now defines “recognition” as acknowledging in a literal sense that an entity named “Israel” is the country at the other end of the negotiating table.
Should this be enough to turn off the funding spigot to the 'Palestinian Authority'? Joel Mowbray of the Washington Times thinks so:
Mr. Abbas does not deserve the benefit of the doubt on this count. Defending his “recognition” of Israel on TV network Al-Arabiya in October 2006, he explained that it was more a practical reality than a meaningful political position. He cited as an example the need for the PA to get $500 million from Israel: “The Palestinian finance minister has to come to an agreement with the Israeli finance minister about the transfer of the money. So how can he make an agreement with him if [the PA finance minister] does not recognize him? So I do not demand of Hamas nor any other to recognize Israel. But from the government that works with Israelis in day to day life, yes.”

In other words, Mr. Abbas only recognizes Israel when money is on the line, but not in the way the U.S. and Israel think he does.
Of course, all of this is nothing new to anyone reading this blog and many others that don't just rely on the mainstream media. In fact, Palestinian Media Watch is soon going to put out a report on 'Palestinian' signals to 'their people' since Annapolis that this really isn't all about peace. But will it be enough to turn the funding off? Not if Condi and Valdemert gets their way:
Even if Rep. Lowey gets strong bipartisan support to withhold the $150 million from the PA, odds are Mr. Abbas will get the money he needs in the short run, whether from the U.S. or not. But in the future, he might finally be more careful before speaking — even in Arabic.
Maybe it's time to highlight what Abu Mazen really thinks - no matter what language he says it in - and to call off this sham of a 'peace process.'


At 5:21 PM, Blogger Don P said...

I used to get a magazine put out by an evangelical organization called Friends of Israel. One of their articles publishes news clippings from Israel, including statements made (for arab consumption) by middle eastern leaders. None of them have ever had any problem telling the west one thing, then telling the audience at home something entirely different. It was there that I first read Arafat's statement "i have offered them the peace of Saladin". The western media never calls them on this stuff; I know that a lot of the time the fact that they use terrorist propagandists as stringers means that they never even hear about it, but that can't explain it all, there is certainly a level of complicity in the media.

At 5:43 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - get this - while Israel arrests Jews for trying to tear down the terrorist family's celebration tent in Jerusalem - the Jordanian government has banned it. They're not even Jews! With Ehud Olmert in power, its hard to make sense of Israeli government policies. Believe it or not, in the Jewish State, there is NO law that forbids terrorists' relatives from celebrating the slaughter of Jews. So Jews get the short end of the stick. Its ironic when the Jordanian Arabs do what Israel's government ought to have done in the first place.

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

don p mentions a good point and a good magazine (but note, Israel My Glory is an unashamedly Christian Zionist magazine--one that's probably still free for the first year, sample articles here.

As for don's point that media and leaders don't call the PA (or Muslim's in general) on red flag comments, I add that sometimes they can't call them on it because they don't even pick up on it due to ignorance of Islam, to our peril, they ignore study of the Sunnah(i.e., the example of Muhammad and his Companions), which Muslims base their acitons off of, and which totally explains Abbas' statements in Carl's post:

"At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we can't succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different"--Abbas

You see, this principle of not fighting jihad during incapacity was/is taught by the Muslim Brotherhood and others today based on, among other things, a battle in which Muhammad justified Muslims retreating, when Mo sent 3000 Muslims to fight 200,000 (!) and after their first 2 commanders were killed Khalid ibn Walid took over and "withdrew from the battlefield simultaneously as the Roman Army withdrew to the North." (from The Battles of the Prophet of Allah, Vol II).

We must study the Sunnah to catch the significance of what the Muslim and Arab nonMuslim leaders are saying today (for the nonMuslim Arabs also follow Muhammad, for Arab nationalist reasons--he was their first king, after all).

Oh, and since incapacity is one of the handful of justifications not to fight jihad, all the more reasons Israel needs to totally incapacitate both Hamas and Fatah--not aid, arm, legitimize, and give them launching pads.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Orde, judging from Israeli media reports this morning - the Olmert-Livni-Barak government has in fact reached an understanding with Hamas. Of course Ehud Olmert denies it but an Olmert denial can be taken as an admission that is in fact what happen. Israel has now legitimated, unofficially Hamas. So why shouldn't east Jerusalem Arabs back Hamas? They've seen Israel's leaders have no stomach to take on the terror group.


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