With apologies to Mark Twain, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and the utterances of Mahmoud Abbas. Unless you’re a part of the Peace Process Cartel – the frustrated clique of former policymakers, Davos sophisticates, and international journo-tourists who remain committed to perpetuating the mistakes of the last quarter century – it’s pretty tough to take the Palestinian Authority president seriously.
Last month, Abbas went before a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to deliver a rambling, historically incoherent, extravagantly bitter broadside against those he believes are responsible for his people’s suffering – a group that does not include him or his corrupt, violent, incompetent government. This man who praises and financially incentivizes terrorists made demonstrably untrue statements such as, “We have thus been committed to fostering a culture of peace, rejection of violence.” In the midst of his tantrum, he managed to vomit out a precondition-laden proposal for renewed negotiations with the Jewish state. Carefully crafted to be a non-starter, his statement covered no new ground beyond efforts he has previously rejected. He then stomped out of the room so he wouldn’t have to listen to Israel’s ambassador respond. Some commitment to dialogue.
But for the Peace Process Cartel, all Abbas has to do is wink in their direction.
One such cartel member, Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, an organization highly critical of Israel, tweeted: “In an important speech to the #UNSC, Palestinian President Abbas laid out explicit support for the 2-state solution and a serious proposal for getting there .” Ben-Ami also wrote a piece in the Forward in which, after acknowledging Abbas’ penchant for incendiary rhetoric, he says: “The standard for judging Abbas and Palestinian leadership today isn’t whether they love Israel but whether the positions laid out explicitly this week at the UN Security … can and should form the basis for ending the conflict.”