Abbas delivers virulent propaganda address at U.N.
Not so much as a willingness to abide by past agreements with the Israelis or the rest of the world can now be said on the part of the Palestinian leadership. Mahmoud Abbas, the so-called president of Palestine, announced on Sept. 30, 2015, at the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 70) that the Palestinians are no longer bound by any standing international law, treaty, or norm. He explicitly stated that he and the Palestinians are no longer bound by the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, meaning, as Abbas explicitly noted, that Palestinian external relations now assumes the face, in practice, of the Palestinian Liberation Organization of Yasser Arafat.
The Oslo Accords are the foundation of the existence of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinians’ official acknowledgement of the State of Israel. Abbas announced, therefore, by implication that the Palestinians apparently no longer accord formal diplomatic recognition to the State of Israel. Abbas blamed his rejection of the Oslo Accords and all other standing agreements on the actions of the State of Israel, a statement that was not included in the official text of his address, but is clear in the audio. He also compared by implication the Israelis to Nazis, stating that Palestine is like a nation under occupation during World War II.
Abbas’s speech was transparently a piece of Palestinian propaganda because it was full of contradictions, double standards, and lies. He implied governmental responsibility on the part of Israel for the actions like the unsolved arson attack on a Palestinian family from late summer 2015, but he did not accept any sort of responsibility for terrorist actions by Palestinians. On Oct. 1, 2015, an Israeli Jewish couple was murdered in front of their children by Abbas’s group Fatah, directly in the wake of Abbas’s assertion that the Palestinians somehow bear no responsibility for their violent actions. If terrorists are allowed to go without taking responsibility for their actions, then their actions will increase in number because there are no consequences administered. Abbas’s speech strengthened terrorism through absolving the attackers of any responsibility.
Refusing to accept any responsibility for much of anything continued through Abbas’s address, as he demanded international military action against the Israelis as a supposed protection for the Palestinians. However, the principle of an intergovernmental responsibility to “protect other nations’ citizens” (the Responsibility to Protect) is far from a law, as Jennifer Welsh, special adviser on the Responsibility to Protect to the UN Secretary General, noted early in September 2015, and it is overall a very shaky premise to demand adherence to at the front of the United Nations as Abbas did, repeating “please, please, please,” employing emotional appeals devoid of careful reason. Abbas certainly had in mind to capitalize on the present current of support for the idea of the Responsibility to Protect with his speech.
Abbas’s contradictory and false statements went on and on. He claimed that the State of Israel accepts the existence of known terrorist organizations. He did not note that there is no international standard definition of terrorism, so his statement has no formal objective basis to it whatsoever. His statements also went back and forth on the issue of whether the Palestinian State even exists at all, saying on the one hand that it needs to be built and on the other hand that it exists, is under occupation, and is more legitimate than the early State of Israel. He claimed that the Palestinian State has more diplomatic recognitions around the world than the early state of Israel- that argument has no foundation, either, though, since every state starts at some point with only one diplomatic recognition.
Abbas’s address at UNGA 70 was a piece of illogical propaganda that hopped around the issues. The agenda behind his speech became clear when he apparently misspoke toward his conclusion, saying, “Today is the day when we will raise the flag of Palestine in East Jerusalem,” correcting himself to say “At the UN building” instead of “in East Jerusalem.” The basis for his statement was that “today,” Sept. 30, the Palestinian flag was due to be raised at the United Nations building in New York, where he was speaking. However, the “mistake” makes his flagrant agenda against the Israelis abundantly clear. Abbas concluded his speech to a loud round of applause throughout the entire hall of the General Assembly.
Caleb R. Newton is a Global Affairs analyst and pre-law student living in Central Florida. Find him at the Times of Israel, Dissecting Society, and Global News Breakdown. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.