Thursday, May 3, 2018

Scent of anti-Semitism in Abbas' Speech Doesn't Change His Support for Two States

Amira Hass, Haaretz

Image from article, with caption: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he chairs a Palestinian National Council meeting in Ramallah on April 30, 2018

The president's speech before the Palestinian National Council reflected his authoritarian style and habit not to listen to criticism

Abbas’ summary of Israel’s historiography is that the establishment of a state for the Jews was a colonialist project undertaken by Christian nations, and that the proponents of the project were Jew-haters who did not want them to live in their countries. But the Palestinian president’s legitimate précis contains embarrassing mistakes, important omissions and also a claim with a harsh scent of anti-Semitism: In Europe they hated the Jews not because of their religion, but because of their professions involving money-lending and banking.

His insistence on falling into the trap of declarations that will aid Israeli hasbara (public diplomacy [JB emphasis]), which also completely ignores his relevant messages related to the path to peace, reveals something about the man and his style of rule: He is consistent in his positions, does not listen to criticism and does not consult others – or, he chooses advisers who will not tell him anything he does not want to hear. He also chooses to be updated only on what suits him. ...

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