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Israeli Ambassador: Abbas ‘no longer part of the solution—you are the problem’

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas used his speech before the UN Security Council Tuesday to fire more verbal missiles at Israel and President Trump.

"Abbas said nothing new," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement afterward. "He continues to run away from peace and continues to pay terrorists and their families $347 million."

Abbas called Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "illegal and dangerous," claiming that "Israel is acting as a state above the law."

The PA leader called for an international peace conference by mid-2018 that will accept the state of Palestine as a full UN member.

According to Abbas, President Trump's decision to cut funding to UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees) is a travesty.

"We continue to spread the word of peace," Abbas told Security Council members. "We refuse to engage in violence and are building schools and hospitals, industrial areas and agriculture…We fight against terror everywhere in the world."

Abbas reverted to one of his favorite revisions of history, calling the current Palestinian Arabs modern day Canaanites.

"We are the descendants of the Canaanites who lived in the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago and continuously remained there to this day," he said. "Our great people remains rooted in its land. The Palestinian people built their own cities and homeland and made contributions to humanity and civilization."

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted a response, translated below by his office.

"A nation inventing its past has no future. The Palestinian's ancestors may have existed 5,000 years ago, but further south, in the Arab peninsula. I suggest Abbas focus not on building an imaginary past, but rather on creating a practical future."

Upon concluding his remarks, Abbas and his entourage walked out of the meeting.

Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon responded.

"Mr. Secretary General, I expected Mr. Abbas to stay with us and have a dialogue," he said. "Mr. Abbas came in, he put his demands on the table and he is expecting you to deliver the results."

Danon said rather than taking a 12-minute drive from his headquarters in Ramallah to meet with Israelis in Jerusalem, Abbas chose a 12-hour flight to New York "to avoid the possibility of peace."

"Mr. Abbas, you have made it clear with your words and your actions that you are no longer part of the solution. You are the problem," he said.

Dannon then asked what Abbas has done "to better the life of a single person in Ramallah or Gaza."

While he talks about his commitment to peace in international forums, he conveys a very different message when he speaks in Arabic," Danon said. The late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, whom Abbas served under for three decades, used the same tactic. There are many examples, one being his remarks last September aired on Palestinian TV.

"Al-Aksa [i.e., the Temple Mount] is ours and also the Church of the Holy Sepulcher," Abbas said. "They [the Jews] have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet. We won't allow them to do so and we will do whatever we can to defend Jerusalem."

"Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it's for the sake of Allah," Abbas continued. "Every shahid [martyr] will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by the will of Allah."

Critics claim those remarks hardly sound like they came from a messenger of peace.

"Mr. Abbas, you inspire hate in Palestinian society," said Danon. "You encourage children to hate. Just this month your Fatah movement praised the terrorist who killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach.

Abbas continues to pay monthly stipends to convicted terrorists and their families, Danon said, money that could be used to build hospitals, schools and other projects to benefit the Arab population.

"One thing is clear," Danon said. "When we extend a hand, Abbas extends a fist."

US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said the PA leader can choose one of two paths.

He can continue with his "absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric and incitement to violence" or he can choose negotiations that will pave the way for peace.

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About The Author


From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow tries to provide a bird's eye view of events unfolding in her country. Tzippe's parents were born to Russian Jewish immigrants, who fled the czar's pogroms to make a new life in America. As a teenager, Tzippe wanted to spend a summer in Israel, but her parents, sensing the very real possibility that she might want to live there, sent her and her sister to Switzerland instead. Twenty years later, the Lord opened the door to visit the ancient homeland of her people.