Lies mark celebration of Arafat

Leo Rennert
While the United States marked November 11 as Veterans Day, recalling the end of World War I, the Palestinians marked the day as the fifth anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death with parades and tributes, led by his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

In paying tribute to Arafat at the late leader's mausoleum in Ramallah, Abbas again demonstrated that, like his predecessor, he's not a serious partner to achieve a permanent peace with Israel.  Not only did he cling to his demand for one-sided Israeli concessions before negotiations even get under way -- a posture that even the Obama administration rejects -- but he laced his remarks with a couple of highly inflammatory lies to stoke anti-Israel passions among Palestinians.

Abbas's first lie was his familiar refrain that Israel is "Judaizing Jerusalem."  This is a complete falsehood.  The very opposite is true.  Since 1967, the Arab percentage of Jerusalem's population has increased from 27 percent to 32 percent -- with a corresponding drop in the ratio of the capital's Jewish population.  Furthermore, demographers predict that the Arab percentage will keep rising, reaching nearly 40 percent by 2020 and reaching a clear Arab majority by 2040, if not sooner.

So much for a Judaized Jerusalem.

Lie No. 2 was Abbas's claim that Israel is conducting Temple Mount excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque -- again an inciteful anti-Israel diatribe bound to inflame Palestinian passions.  And again, a demonstrable falsehood that easily can be ascertained by examining archeological digs in the general vicinity of Temple Mount.  All such digs are well outside the confines of Temple Mount and thus are definitely not located under Al-Aqsa.  But if you're determined to create and arouse false suspicions that can steer Palestinians toward violence and away from peace negotiations, such inflammatory propaganda is just the ticket.

Abbas's two lies belie the mainstream media's ad nauseam repetition that he is a "moderate" and a fitting partner to reach a peace deal.

They also ought to flash a cautionary signal to Team Obama against harboring similar illusions.  These official lies by the Palestinian leader are a clear violation of the U.S.-sponsored RoadMap, which requires Palestinians to end all anti-Israel incitement before the parties can tackle final-status issues like borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem.

The question now is whether President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton will speak out as strongly against such mendacious incitement by Abbas as they have in their vocal attacks on Israeli settlements?
While the United States marked November 11 as Veterans Day, recalling the end of World War I, the Palestinians marked the day as the fifth anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death with parades and tributes, led by his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

In paying tribute to Arafat at the late leader's mausoleum in Ramallah, Abbas again demonstrated that, like his predecessor, he's not a serious partner to achieve a permanent peace with Israel.  Not only did he cling to his demand for one-sided Israeli concessions before negotiations even get under way -- a posture that even the Obama administration rejects -- but he laced his remarks with a couple of highly inflammatory lies to stoke anti-Israel passions among Palestinians.

Abbas's first lie was his familiar refrain that Israel is "Judaizing Jerusalem."  This is a complete falsehood.  The very opposite is true.  Since 1967, the Arab percentage of Jerusalem's population has increased from 27 percent to 32 percent -- with a corresponding drop in the ratio of the capital's Jewish population.  Furthermore, demographers predict that the Arab percentage will keep rising, reaching nearly 40 percent by 2020 and reaching a clear Arab majority by 2040, if not sooner.

So much for a Judaized Jerusalem.

Lie No. 2 was Abbas's claim that Israel is conducting Temple Mount excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque -- again an inciteful anti-Israel diatribe bound to inflame Palestinian passions.  And again, a demonstrable falsehood that easily can be ascertained by examining archeological digs in the general vicinity of Temple Mount.  All such digs are well outside the confines of Temple Mount and thus are definitely not located under Al-Aqsa.  But if you're determined to create and arouse false suspicions that can steer Palestinians toward violence and away from peace negotiations, such inflammatory propaganda is just the ticket.

Abbas's two lies belie the mainstream media's ad nauseam repetition that he is a "moderate" and a fitting partner to reach a peace deal.

They also ought to flash a cautionary signal to Team Obama against harboring similar illusions.  These official lies by the Palestinian leader are a clear violation of the U.S.-sponsored RoadMap, which requires Palestinians to end all anti-Israel incitement before the parties can tackle final-status issues like borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem.

The question now is whether President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton will speak out as strongly against such mendacious incitement by Abbas as they have in their vocal attacks on Israeli settlements?