As Philip Klein points out, it’s a good thing that this “history lesson” comes from the Left’s favorite Palestinian moderate. Lord knows how this would have unfolded with a less rational personage than Mahmoud “Abu Mazen” Abbas. The Palestinian leader opened the first Palestinian National Council in 22 years yesterday, hoping to firm up his credibility enough to establish his preferred line of succession as well as unite Palestinians under his leadership. And what better way to accomplish this than some unadulterated and absolutely bat-s*** crazy anti-Semitic conspiracy theories?
In a long and rambling at speech in Ramallah at a rare session of the Palestinian National Council, Abbas touched on a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during what he called a “history lesson,” as he sought to prove the 3,000 year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is false. …
Pointing to Arthur Kessler’s book “The Thirteenth Tribe,” which asserts Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazars, Abbas said European Jews therefore had “no historical ties” to the Land of Israel.
Abbas tied this together this by arguing that the creation of Israel was a European strategy to colonize the Middle East for themselves, pointing to the Balfour Declaration as proof. That at least has some connection to reality, but it ignores two very salient facts. First, Jews had lived in the region for millennia, and not just in the narrow places within the mandate where the British and French planned for a Jewish homeland under their control. Second, it was almost literally the worst possible land in the region for colonization, having no material mineral or agrarian value (until the Israelis developed the latter on the kibbutzim, which first launched a few years before the Balfour Declaration). The Brits in particular were more interested in the oil fields of Iraq, which … is an entirely different topic.
Abbas then went on to put the blame for the Holocaust not on the Nazis, but … on the Jews themselves for their “social behavior” and sweet, sweet greed:
He went on to claim that the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism but rather of the Jews “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”
I bet Hamas and Islamic Jihad regret boycotting this now! At least Abbas actually acknowledged that the Holocaust occurred at all. But wait — it gets better, or worse, depending on your affinity for insanity. Not only was Israel a European colonial project, you’ll never guess who was behind it:
However, on Monday, Abbas claimed that Adolf Hitler, whose Nazi regime was response for the murder of 6,000,000 Jews in the Holocaust, facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel by reaching a deal with the Anglo-Palestine Bank (today Bank Leumi) under which Jews who moved to the British Mandate of Palestine could transfer all their assets there through the bank.
Ahem. The Nazis certainly took an interest in the assets of Jews, right down to their gold teeth, but it wasn’t to transfer them to someone else’s banks.
If anyone wants to know why Israel-Palestinian peace efforts have gone nowhere during Abbas’ reign, this seems like a pretty good demonstration. Despite forced declarations recognizing Israel’s right to exist, Abbas repeatedly rejects its legitimacy and that of Israelis when dealing internally with Palestinians, offering an annihilationist posture for domestic consumption. The Palestinian National Council only offered a rare open window on Abbas’ insanity.
Klein scoffs at the shock, shock coming from the Left over Abbas’ rhetoric:
Reading these stories, liberals have been putting on their shocked faces, as if this is some surprising new turn for Abbas. But that Abbas holds these beliefs should not be a surprise to anybody. Back in 1982, he wrote a dissertation arguing the Holocaust was exaggerated and claiming there was a secret relationship between Zionists and Nazis. This even though the leader of Arabs in the region during World War II was quite literally allied with a Adolf Hitler , and there’s actually photographic evidence.
Abbas, who is 82, will fade from the scene at some point. But it won’t stop liberals and their allies in the media from propping up some other Jew-hating, terrorist-celebrating , Palestinian leader as a “moderate” who is dedicated to peace.
Unfortunately, all too true. Fortunately, however, that schtick isn’t playing in the halls of power outside of Tehran and Damascus any longer — not in Riyadh, and thankfully not in Washington DC.