Aug. 15, 2019
- Mahmoud Abbas’ Time-Machine – Jonathan S. Tobin
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ latest speech revealed that the new starting point for the Palestinian quest for “justice” is sometime in the 13th century BCE. That’s when the tribes of Israel began the conquest of the land of Canaan they had been promised when they left Egypt a generation beforehand.
Abbas declared that the Jewish interlopers in the country would eventually be expelled. “They will be in the dustbins of history, and they will remember that this land is for its people, its residents and the Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago. We are the Canaanites.”
The notion that the current population that calls itself Palestinian can link themselves to the vanished Canaanites is pure fiction. Some Arabs arrived in the early 20th century from surrounding Arab lands as the country began to experience rapid economic development as a result of the return of the Jews and Zionist settlement.
It really doesn’t matter when Palestinian Arabs arrived. What matters is that their leader is still doubling down on an effort to deny history and the right of the Jews to a Jewish state, no matter where its borders might be drawn. In his conversations this week with a delegation of visiting Democratic members of Congress, Abbas wasn’t willing to say he recognized Israel or to admit that the Jews were also entitled to a state.
Israelis and Palestinians don’t live in a theoretical world in which dividing adjacent land into states coexisting peacefully is the obvious answer to their problems. They live in the real world, where the only Palestinian leaders are the Islamists of Hamas, who still seek the death of Jews, and the “moderates” of Fatah led by Abbas, who is selling his people a fairy tale about Canaanites who will somehow use a historical time machine to expel the descendants of Joshua. (JNS)