Moments ago, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough gave a speech to a gathering of J-Street, an organization the AP describes as “an Israel advocacy group strongly critical of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.” (In reality, Israel has been waiting since the founding of J-Street for the organization to do some “Israel advocacy.”) Reported the AP:
Top Obama aide: US can’t ignore Netanyahu’s comments
President Barack Obama’s chief of staff says the United States can’t simply pretend that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo) didn’t reject the possibility of a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu made the comment just before Israel’s elections last week, but later backpedaled. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says Netanyahu’s contradictory answers call into question his commitment to a two-state solution.
What exactly was it about Netanyahu’s comments about the two-state solution that President Obama is unable to ignore? The White House has had no difficulty pretending that Mahmoud Abbas never uttered any of the following comments or took the following actions:
— “[Abbas’] book, published in Arabic in 1983, translates as “The Other Side: The Secret Relations Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement.” … The book repeatedly attempts to cast doubt on the fact that the Nazis slaughtered 6 million Jews. … Abbas denies that the gas chambers were used to murder Jews, quoting a “scientific study” to that effect by French Holocaust-denier Robert Faurisson.”
— “In the wake of Palestinian Authority President Abbas’ recent condolence letter to a terrorist’s family, Ambassador Ron Prosor submitted a letter of complaint to the UN Secretary General and the President of the Security Council about the most recent example of the troubling rise in the Palestinian Authority’s use of incitement … ”
— “[Abbas] hosts the poet whose famous work describes Israelis as “Our enemy: A Zionist, Satan with a tail“, while the PA Minister of Culture awards him a plaque of honor at a ceremony in Ramallah … ”
— [Abbas] and PA representatives accuse Israel of poisoning Palestinian security prisoners and intentionally spreading disease among them. Abbas: “Human lives, of course, are of no importance to them.”
— “I am not one to surrender. When Fatah launched the armed struggle, we were nine members. Four of us supported the armed struggle, and four opposed it. My vote tipped the scales in favor of the armed struggle. But everything in its time.” — Mahmoud Abbas.
“(Note: Abbas’ phrase “everything in its time” alludes to the PA policy of alternating between the use of terror and diplomacy, whichever the PA deems the most beneficial at any given time.) Fatah posted this to its “Main Page” on Facebook on Jan. 16 and 22, 2015.”
— “This week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ended a speech about the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza with a quote from the Quran justifying war. His Fatah party interpreted Abbas’ statement to mean that fighting against Israel is justified on religious Islamic grounds.”
— New York Times, April 27, 2009: “Abbas Rejects Calling Israel a Jewish State”
— Times of Israel, November 29, 2014: Abbas: Palestinians will never recognize Israel as Jewish state
Of course, this is a scant reflection of the decade of terror, anti-Semitic incitement, and yes, rejection of the two state solution that President Obama has chosen to ignore, displaying cognitive dissonance regarding his comprehension of the Middle East.
In his eyes, Israel’s behavior is unacceptable no matter the context, while Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority can do no wrong, up to and including the murder of innocents, the celebration of the murderers, and incitement to genocide.