Why can't the Palestinians simply condemn terror???
Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Medis Watch asks whether their problem with Hamas attacking Israelis is just a matter of timing...
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently spoke in Washington and publicly condemned the killings of four Israelis by Hamas terrorists near Hebron, it generated a feeling of cautious optimism: “What happened yesterday and what is happening today is also condemned. We do not want at all that any blood be shed, one drop of blood, on the part of the – from the Israelis or the Palestinians,” Abbas said.
After years during which glorifying terror and honoring terrorists has been a backbone of PA culture, was this statement heralding real change? Unfortunately, an examination of the internal PA responses to the attack, when not under the watchful eyes of Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and the world media, quickly erased hope that the PA had distanced itself from terror.
A comparison by Palestinian Media Watch of the PA response to the murders of four Israeli civilians to their reaction to the deaths during the flotilla confrontations, emphasizes that the PA’s response to Hamas’s attack was not a condemnation of terror or violence at all.
The central and recurring theme of PA leaders and PA-controlled media in response to Hamas’s attack was criticism of the timing of the attack because of the damage done to the Palestinian cause, and not criticism of the killings themselves. The PA’s central and recurring theme in response to the deaths on the flotilla was strong condemnation of what the PA repeatedly defined as “a massacre” and “a crime.”
The day after the Hamas killings, official PA media reported that “Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad said that the operation which took place tonight in the Hebron area and its timing, harms the efforts being made by the PLO to gather international support for the Palestinian position… He said: ‘We condemn this operation, which contradicts the Palestinian interests and the efforts of the Palestinian leadership to gather international support...’” [PLO news agency Wafa, Aug. 31, 2010]
Abbas, when he returned to Ramallah, like Fayyad, lashed out at his political rival, Hamas, for the timing of the shootings: “He [Abbas] said that the recent shooting operations in the West Bank did not constitute resistance: ‘… For why isn’t [Hamas] resistance happening every day, and isn’t happening at all, except on the day we went to negotiations?!… Why did resistance become legitimate only today?” [Al- Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010]
The PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash in his Friday sermon after the killings continued this PA line as he condemned the timing, even accusing Hamas of trying to help Netanyahu: “What is the secret of the timing for carrying out armed operations in the West Bank? We want to know the secret of the timing… Suddenly! – the moment that President Abbas reaches Washington, the moment that Netanyahu finds himself in the corner, pressed, forced to adapt and accommodate himself to the international approach, suddenly there is a respite for Netanyahu, and the Palestinians are in distress [because of the attacks]…” [PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 3, 2010]
SO THE PA objected to the timing of the killings. Actually, were the PA sincere in their intention to condemn the killings, the attack in Hebron was a great opportunity for them to send a clear message to their people that violence is wrong and immoral. If it was violence that they wanted to condemn, timing could not have been better. Yet, none of the PA leaders seized this opportunity to condemn violence because it is wrong.