Commentary Magazine


PA’s Response to Eilat Attack Facilitates Anti-Israel Terror

As Jonathan noted yesterday, Hamas-run Gaza provides a grim warning of what an independent Palestinian state might look like. But the picture presented by Israel’s alleged “peace partner,” the Palestinian Authority, isn’t a whole lot better, as its response to last Thursday’s cross-border raid near Eilat makes clear. That attack killed eight  Israelis and wounded 30 on sovereign, pre-1967 Israeli territory. Yet the PA’s response was to condemn not the assailants, but Israel.

On Saturday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas sought an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss “halting Israeli aggression” in Gaza. Not a word about halting the anti-Israeli aggression that sparked Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes. Indeed, the PA didn’t even acknowledge that aggression’s existence. Instead, as the Jerusalem Post  reported, “PA officials claimed that Israel was stepping up its attacks on the Gaza Strip in a bid to thwart the September statehood bid and avoid the internal economic and social crisis.”

Mohammed Subh, the PA envoy to the Arab League, for instance, charged that “Israel is preparing for war to distract attention from the Palestinian Authority’s plan for September [its bid for UN recognition as a state] … We were expecting Israel to intensify tensions in the region as we approached the September deadline.” Nimer Hammad, a senior adviser to Abbas, offered an alternative theory: “The Israeli government is trying, through this new aggression, to avoid internal pressure because of the demonstrations,” referring to the recent socioeconomic protests.

Not a single Palestinian official acknowledged the truth: that Israel was responding to a vicious cross-border attack. And about the attack itself, the PA hadn’t a word to say. This, as Israeli government officials told the Jerusalem Post, is a new low: Even Yasser Arafat would issue pro forma condemnations of terror attacks (albeit only in English); the “peace-seeking” Abbas dispensed even with this.

But that’s not so surprising, given that Abbas has continued Arafat’s tradition of inciting terror. Earlier this month, for instance, Palestinian Media Watch reported on a new Ramadan special, innocuously titled “The Best Mothers,” now airing on the PA’s government-run TV station. Already, it has featured the mothers of two terrorist “martyrs” – a bomb-maker and a female suicide bomber. In both cases, these “best mothers” lauded the terrorist activities that killed their offspring.

So here we have the face of Israel’s “peace partner”: It actively incites terror, refuses to condemn it, and seeks to prevent Israel from exercising its right of self-defense against it. In short, it facilitates terror in every way possible short of actively perpetrating it – or in other words, in every way possible while the Israel Defense Forces still maintain security control over its territory – and would likely ramp up its activities if the brake provided by the IDF’s presence were removed.

Abbas can get away with this because the world persists in seeing him as a “peace seeker” and ignores all evidence to the contrary. But it’s high time for Israel and its friends to stop cooperating with his charade.