Mahmoud Abbas, missing the opportunity

Mahmoud Abbas, missing the opportunity

As rockets rain down on Israeli citizens, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accuses Israel of committing “genocide.” Really? 

The Jewish community knows about genocide. We have been victims — six million people exterminated. That is genocide. We have worked for the past 60 years to end genocide wherever it occurs, such as in Darfur. Sorry, Mr. Abbas, stopping a terrorist organization from shooting rockets into Israel is not genocide.

And, where is Mr. Abbas and his newly created Hamas-Fatah unity government? This is an opportune moment for him to show his leadership and call on his new governmental partners to stop the violence, to be mature participants in the international community and prove that they can be trusted partners for peace. 

Although Abbas did work with the Israeli security community in helping to locate the murdered Israeli teens, he has not called for the arrest and condemnation of their killers, nor has he publicly called for the end of rocket fire. Sorry, Mr. Abbas, if you want to choose a government with terrorists versus peace with Israel — that is not genocide; it’s your poor judgment.

Mr. Abbas — while Hamas is shooting rockets into Israel, targeting civilians — Israelis are actually trying to avoid harming civilians, including warning them before impending attacks. More than 500 rockets have landed on Israel this year, 300 in the last several days — more than six million Israelis, Jews, Christians, and Arabs live in terror. These innocent civilians have not pursued any form of violence against your people. 

Rather, they have called for peace talks. They gave the Gaza Strip back to the Arabs, put billions of dollars into the West Bank so that a state could be formed, and offered help to the Palestinian Authority to govern its people.

Mr. Abbas, you want to blame the lack of peace on the settlements. This is just an excuse. Under two prime ministers, Israel agreed to a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory in the West Bank, with land swaps to accommodate “consensus” settlements, but the Palestinian Authority rejected these offers. 

Mr. Abbas, Israel has not stopped commerce with the Palestinian people in Gaza even while under rocket fire. It has not prevented humanitarian services and aid from being delivered, or turned off the gas and electricity, or even stopped treating members of your family. Mr. Abbas, what have you done?

Mr. Abbas, it is time for you to show your leadership. Call for an end to the violence against Israel’s civilians and an end to the rocket fire. Call for the arrests of and justice for those who killed the three Jewish teenage boys. Call for peace and the creation of two states. Too many people are getting hurt; too many opportunities for peace and coexistence are being lost. The time is now! 

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