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Friday, May 20, 2011

Ackerman's disappointment

Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) read 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's op-ed in the New York Times this week and was disappointed.
“I have always had a positive relationship with President Abbas, finding him to be a leader of great sobriety, modesty and dignity. Unlike his predecessor, who had a rather problematic relationship with the truth, Abu Mazen has always struck me as both frank and careful with his words, taking pains to say no more than he could substantiate.

His op-ed piece in the New York Times on Monday thus came as quite a shock. Expecting something perhaps not to my taste, but well-prepared, what I read struck me instead as the literary equivalent of spoiled meat. Laden with wretched falsehoods, glaring omissions and disgusting smears against Israel, the piece was simply unacceptable and indigestible.

Abu Mazen (as President Abbas is known), I always thought, at least had a grip on reality. He might not love the Israelis, but I felt sure he at least recognized them as fellow human beings with rights and needs as legitimate as his own. Yesterday's piece truly represented a sad departure in that he not only called into question the basic obligations the Palestinians undertook as part of the peace process, but worse, presented this withdrawal and his ghastly reunification agreement with Hamas as the fault of the Israelis. Moreover, his misrepresentation of the most basic facts of the Palestinian and Arab rejection of partition, of Israel's establishment, and of the (thankfully) failed effort by the Palestinians and their Arab allies to destroy the new Jewish state all call into question his basic comprehension of how he and the Palestinians wound up where they are.
All true, but why has it taken so long for Ackerman to notice? Why did he ever deem Abu Mazen honest? How did he not know about Abu Mazen's Holocaust denying thesis? How many other members of the US Congress don't know about it? Does the White House know about it? And by the way, why is Israel doing nothing to get the word out?

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