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Mahmoud Abbas brands Jews as ‘common enemies’ of Christians and Muslims

Palestinian, Mahmoud Abbas, Christians, Muslims, Jewish

Opinion

Mahmoud Abbas brands Jews as ‘common enemies’ of Christians and Muslims

Mahmoud Abbas has decided to appeal to the world’s Christians to join forces with Muslims against “their common enemy” – the Jewish state. Writes Hugh Fitzgerald

Now entering the seventeenth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas has decided to appeal to the world’s Christians to join forces with Muslims against “their common enemy” – the Jewish state. Christine Douglass-Williams wrote about his call for such an implausible alliance, and here is a full report: “Abbas: Christians and Muslims Must Fight Their ‘Enemy’ — Israel,” by Itamar Marcus, Algemeiner, March 2, 2022:

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has stated that Christians and Muslims are united in “fighting” against their common “enemy” – i.e., Israel. He reiterated a common PA libel that Israel’s goal is to “empty the land” of Christians and Muslims, and therefore, they must join forces in getting rid of the Jews — because Christians and Muslims “have been the owners of this land since this land’s existence.”

Has Abbas forgotten that the Qur’an instructs Muslims “not to take Jews or Christians as friends, for they are friends only with each other”(5:51) ? Has he forgotten that while Muslims are “the best of peoples” (3:110), the Christians and the Jews, being non-Muslims, are “the most vile of created beings”? (98:6) In being willing to join forces with Christians, Abbas is not being a very good Muslim. Perhaps someone in Hamas or PIJ, Palestinian opponents of Abbas, will raise that issue. How dare Mahmoud Abbas ignore the instructions in Qur’an 5:51? How dare he call for Muslims to join forces with Christians who, just as much as Jews, are Infidels and therefore are “the most vile of created beings”?

Have the Jews been trying to “empty the land” of Christians and Muslims? In 1967, when Israel came into possession of Gaza and the West Bank, the population of Gaza – all Arabs — was 300,000, and of the West Bank 600,000. Today the Palestinian population of Gaza is 756.000. The Arab population of the West Bank in 2022 — including East Jerusalem — is 2.7 million. If the Israelis have been trying to “empty” the West Bank and Gaza of their Arabs, they are doing a terrible job of it. Even in east Jerusalem, a place where one would think the Israelis would have a special interest in driving out Arabs, the Arab population has jumped from 66,000 in 1967 to 340,000 in 2022. Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas would care to withdraw his charge that Israel is hellbent on “emptying the land” of Christians and Muslims?

There has certainly been an emptying out of Christians in Gaza and the West Bank. But it’s the pressure from Muslims, not Jews, that has been responsible There were 2,300 Christians in Gaza in 1967; that number actually increased slightly until 2005, when the Israelis pulled out; since then the Christians have had to endure rule by the Muslim terror group Hamas, and unsurprisingly, many Christians have emigrated from the Strip; now the Christian population of Gaza is less than 900. In the West Bank, Bethlehem was 86% Christian in 1949, but after 19 years of rule by Muslim Jordanians, the Christian population fell to 40% in 1967. Since then, with a majority Muslim population, the pressure on the town’s Christians has caused still more of them to emigrate, chiefly to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe. Now the Christian population of Bethlehem is below 10,000. This has nothing to do with some supposed Israeli attempt to “empty out” the West Bank of “Christians and Muslims.” It has everything to do, rather, with the hostile atmosphere for Christians that Bethlehem’s Muslims have created.

These population figures do not support Abbas’ claim that the Jewish state is responsible for the “emptying out” of the Christian population in Gaza and the West Bank.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “We know that the prime Zionist goal is emptying this land of its Christians and Muslims. They [the Jews] don’t want anyone here other than themselves. The Christians before the Muslims, because the Christians were here on this land before the Muslims … the Christian is the brother of the Muslim. They celebrate together, suffer together, live together, work together, and fight together against their enemy, because we have been the owners of this land since this land’s existence. … We will remain in this land forever, while the attackers [the Jews] have no place in Jerusalem and no place here.”

[Official PA TV News, Jan. 17, 2022 — emphasis added]

Abbas insists that the Jews “don’t want anyone here other than themselves”? Why then have they allowed the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to have skyrocketed In numbers from 900,000 in 1967 to more than 5 million today? Was there no way for the Israelis to encourage an out-migration of Palestinians? Why, if they want to push out the Palestinians, have Israeli officials, including the former head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen, been fundraising in Qatar for the Palestinian Authority, persuading the Emir to give the P.A. hundreds of millions of dollars in renewed aid? Why have the Israelis themselves just lent the P.A. $155 million to temporarily tide it over? Why does Israel give employment to tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, when it could just as easily hire foreign workers from such places as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, who pose no security risk? Why isn’t Israel instead trying to deepen the economic immiseration of the Palestinians, so that more of them feel compelled to emigrate? Abbas has no answer to such questions, that call into question his absurd claim that the Jewish state is engaged in “emptying out” the West Bank and Gaza of its Muslims and Christians.

Abbas claims that “we [the Palestinians, both Muslims and Christians] have been the owners of this land since this land’s existence.” The Jews, however, “have no place in Jerusalem and no place here.” Utter nonsense. Islam itself didn’t exist until the 7th century, and the Muslim Arabs did not arrive in the Land of Israel until late In that 7th century, almost 700 years later than the Christians. The appearance of the Israelites, as told In the religious literature, goes back to 1500 B.C., that is, 1500 years before the Christians, and more than 2100 years before a single Muslim appeared in the area.

The idea and goal that Israel will come to an end is pronounced in PA ideology and PA teachings. Recently, Palestinian Media Watch exposed this in our report on Fatah’s Waed magazine for young children, ages 6-15. One of the central teachings in the magazine is that “Palestine” will inevitably replace all of Israel.

Waed teaches Palestinian children that they are descendants of a “Palestinian-Arab-Canaanite” people who existed “5,000 years ago,” or “perhaps 10,000 years ago.” (Waed, Issue 37, pp. 13 and 22). On the other hand, Jews — who have a rich and well-documented history in the land over thousands of years — are said to have never been in the land of Israel: “[Israelis are] foreigners who did not know Palestine and did not live in it — neither them nor their fathers and forefathers.” (Waed, Issue 36, p. 2)

The Palestinians claim to be the descendants of the Canaanites. Archeology tells a different story. Of the five tribes of the Canaanites, all but one – the Israelites – went extinct before any Arabs arrived from Arabia. There never was “a Palestinian-Arab-Canaanite people.”

Abbas’ statement above, made at a meeting in Ramallah with Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Jerusalem Theophilos III, joins his and other PA officials’ numerous previous statements denying Jewish history in “Palestine.” A similar recent statement was made by PA Shariah judge Abdallah Harb, who claimed Israelis/Jews are “liars” who invented a narrative and brought in archaeologists to prove a Jewish presence in the land but “didn’t succeed” because “they are the people of falsification and untruth”:

PA Shari’ah Judge Abdallah Harb: “This land, the adults among us know, they [the Jews] did not establish a stone, a plot of land, or a structure, as they brought all the archaeologists [here] to prove that this land is theirs, that it is ‘The Temple Mount,’ that it is ‘the promised land.’ They didn’t succeed in this. … They are oppressors, they are liars, and the right is ours. Ours is the true unblemished and undisputed historical narrative. They are the people of falsification and untruth.” [Friday prayers and sermon at a mosque in Ramallah, Official PA TV, Jan. 14, 2022]

Contrary to what the preacher claims, an abundance of archaeological evidence proves Jewish history in Israel. For example, the Kurkh Monolith inscription of Shalmaneser III, the king of Assyria (859–824 BCE) mentions the defeat of “10,000 soldiers of [King] Ahab the Israelite,” which is the story told in detail in the Bible (Kings 2, chap.19). Meanwhile, the Palestinians have no history prior to the modern period.

Long before the modern state of Israel was founded, Western archeologists, many of them non-Jews, were uncovering archeological sites that offered proof of the long Jewish presence In the land. After the Jewish state’s founding, the study of archaeology blossomed, and did so even more after 1967, when the West Bank became open to Western archaeologists. There are 35,000 distinct archeological sites in Israel. The Jewish state almost seems to be one vast archaeological dig, from Masada to Megiddo to Beit She’an, so many and so various are the sites that have been discovered and are being worked on. What have these archeologists – from all over the world – unearthed, catalogued, studied? Pottery shards, flint, tools, knives, swords, cutlery, jars for storing wine and olive oil, carved heads In stone, textiles, coins, the Dead Sea scrolls and other scrolls too, found in the caves of Qumran.  And where there are inscriptions – on the coins, for instance — they are always In Hebrew.  All of this evidence means nothing to Mahmoud Abbas, nor to Sharia’ Judge Abdallah Harb. They know the Jews have been falsifying history, first “seeding” these so-called archeological sites with forged artifacts from other times and other places, and other peoples, even inscribing some of them with words In ancient Hebrew, then bringing In archeologists to “discover” them. Harb knows that the “Jews are liars,” that they brought in all these so-called archaeologists to “prove that the land” belongs to them.

He knows “the Jews” have created a long history in the Land of Israel out of whole cloth. How many of us will accept this Palestinian nonsense and lies about Jewish history, and how many will look at those 35,000 archeological sites in Israel and draw the only conceivable conclusions about the Jewish presence in the land that make sense?

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