After the terrorist attack on Passover eve, when Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi was shot dead and his pregnant wife and one of their children injured by a Palestinian terrorist, it was rumoured that Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas had condemned the murder.
But no. Abbas refutes such a malicious lie, and denies condemning the murder:
Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s office wasted no time on Wednesday in denying reports that he condemned the terrorist attack the occurred near Hevron on Monday.
The attack left Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi dead and two others, including his pregnant wife, wounded.
Leftist MKs who met with Abbas on Wednesday as Mizrahi was being buried told Israeli media that Abbas had condemned the murder, as well as “all other terror attacks.” The supposed condemnation was seen by many as a ploy to bolster the PA’s image.
However, something was apparently lost in translation in the meeting between Abbas and the leftist MKs, as Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh recalled Abbas’s statements quite differently.
Rudeineh quoted Abbas as saying “we are against violence and a return to violence,” but not specifically condemning the Hevron attack at all.
What does it say about Palestinian society that their leadership feel obliged to NOT condemn a terrorist murder of Israeli civilians? And if Abbas did indeed condemn the attack, what does it say about his society that he feels the need to deny the condemnation? Is he afraid of being murdered by his compatriots or of being deposed by one of his many rivals?
A similar story of Palestinian intransigence is noted when an independently-minded Palestinian Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian college students to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Read what happened next:
Professor Mohammed S. Dajani took 27 Palestinian college students to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland a few weeks ago as part of a project designed to teach empathy and tolerance. Upon his return, his university disowned the trip, his fellow Palestinians branded him a traitor and friends advised a quick vacation abroad.
Dajani said he expected criticism. “I believe a trip like this, for an organized group of Palestinian youth going to visit Auschwitz, is not only rare, but a first,” he said. “I thought there would be some complaints, then it would be forgotten.”
But the trip was explosive news to some, perhaps more so because it took place as U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were in danger of collapse, and emotion surrounding the decades-old conflict is high.
Controversy was also heightened by rumors — untrue — that the trip was paid for by Jewish organizations. It was paid for by the German government.
Dajani said that many Palestinians think the Holocaust is used by Jews and Israelis as propaganda to justify the seizure of lands that Palestinians say are theirs and to create sympathy for Israel. Others, he said, think the Holocaust is exaggerated or just one of many massacres that occurred during World War II.
“They said, ‘Why go to Poland? Why not teach our young people about the Nakba?’ ” Dajani said.
[...]One reader said that taking Palestinian students to Auschwitz was not freedom of expression but treason.
Other critics of the trip included newspaper columnists, TV analysts and fellow researchers in the West Bank.
While the Palestinian students were visiting Auschwitz, a parallel group of Jewish Israeli students from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Tel Aviv University ventured to Bethlehem to hear Palestinians from the Dheisheh refugee camp tell their story. The responses of both groups of students — Israelis and Palestinians — would then be analyzed.
A firebrand in the Fatah political movement when he was young, Dajani said he is now a proponent of moderate Islam and moderate politics. He founded a group dedicated to both, called Wasatia, in 2007. His writing and conversation are filled with references to tolerance, reconciliation and dialogue. He supports two states for two peoples and thinks Jerusalem should be shared by Israelis and Palestinians.
“He is a theologian and a pragmatist, and in that regard, he is unique here. He is also extremely brave,” said Matthew Kalman, a commentator at the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz who broke the story of the Auschwitz trip and who has followed Dijani’s career for years.
“He is also a proud Palestinian nationalist,” Kalman said, who regards the Israelis as occupiers. “But he thinks if you want to engage the Israelis, you have to understand where they’re coming from.”
The trip to Auschwitz was part of a trilateral research project called “Heart of Flesh — Not Stone,” named for a passage in the Book of Ezekiel and designed to not only increase empathy but also to study it. Organized by one of the oldest faculties of Protestant theology in Europe, at the Center for Reconciliation Studies at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, the trip was paid for by the German Research Foundation, a funding agency.
Some of Dajani’s detractors accused him of trying to brainwash Palestinian youth.
A university student who went on the trip but asked not to be named because of the charged atmosphere said the visit changed him. “You feel the humanity. You feel the sympathy of so many people killed in this place because of their race or religion.”
“Most people said we shouldn’t go,” the student said. “It is a strange thing for a Palestinian to go to a Nazi death camp. But I would recommend the trip.” He said it did not diminish his desire for a Palestinian state.
Many Palestinians today oppose what they call “normalization,” which they say seeks to paper over the injustice of the Israeli military occupation by encouraging joint projects between Israelis and Palestinians as if they were both equal, the one not subject to the greater power of the other. Such joint efforts, they reason, will only prolong the occupation by providing Israelis with cover.
In a statement last week, Dajani wrote: “I will go to Ramallah, I will go to the university, I will put my photos of the visit on Facebook, and I do not regret for one second what I did. As a matter of fact, I will do it again if given the opportunity. I will not hide, I will not deny, I will not be silent. I will not remain a bystander even if the victims of suffering I show empathy for are my occupiers. And this is my final statement on this issue.”
One can but admire Professor Dajani’s bravery in going against the mainstream Palestinian opinion. But contrary to the “bravery” of Western opinion-makers going against mainstream thought, the risk to Dajani is very real and very physical. Being called a traitor in Palestinian society is almost a virtual death sentence. He is literally putting his life on the line for opposing Palestinian group-think.
And again, as we can see from the Palestinian voices mentioned in the article who speak against normalization with Israel, what kind of society is this that Israel is expected to make peace with?
Well-meaning do-gooders (and plenty of not-so-well-meaning meddlers) constantly prod Israel to talk to the Palestinians and concede huge tangible assets for the sake of a
peace piece of paper. They try to encourage Israel by saying that “you make peace with your enemies, not with your friends”. But this is not true. You make peace with your enemies after they have decided to stop being your enemies, after they have given up attempting to destroy you, and after they accept your right to exist as a free and independent nation, and not while they are still trying to delegitimize you.
These are just two small examples of all that is wrong with the lopsided “peace” negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. These are besides the preposterous demands made by Abbas for him to agree to continue talking.