By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
The biggest problem with the speech given by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before the United Nations General Assembly is that Abbas was perpetuating a terrible lie.
The president of the Palestinian Authority declared that Israel had perpetrated a genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza. He said it took place before the eyes and ears of the world.
That is not what happened in Gaza -- not at all what happened. And Abbas knows it.
Yes, Palestinians died. But there was no systematic plan to murder or destroy Palestinians or the Palestinian people.
The plan was to defend Israel by destroying the terror tunnels emanating from Gaza into Israel and to degrade the ability of Hamas to launch rockets into Israeli civilian population centers. And, by the way, a byproduct of the action taken by Israel was to bolster and secure the leadership of Abbas.
Calling Israeli defensive actions an act of genocide is perverse. It is diplomatically irresponsible. It is blatantly untrue. It is an affront, an insult and an abuse of the Holocaust.
To call what happened to Palestinians the greatest catastrophe in the modern era is simply wrong. Abbas knows what happened and he knows about the Holocaust. For those of you who don't know, Abbas wrote his PhD on Israel's use of Holocaust.
The statements made by Abbas at the GA were met with applause. The United States responded by calling them incitement and not productive.
But words mean something. It is hard to call the person you hope to establish a long term working relationship with a genocidal murderer. And it is hard to make peace with someone who labels you a genocidal murderer.
Abbas was interested in building a united world front against Israel. It all begins with lies and conspiracies - de rigueur in Arab Middle East politics and diplomacy. I hope that some world leaders and some nations can see the truth through the lies and deception.
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