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November 26, 2010
Netanyahu warns of impact on peace talks of PA incitement
For far too long, Israeli leaders have turned the other cheek while Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority kept glorifying terrorist killers, denying Jewish links to the Holy Land, propagating anti-Semitic caricatures, delegitimizing the Jewish state, and teaching Palestinian schoolchildren that their ultimate aim is a Palestine that swalllows all of Israel.
But now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has struck back hard at an anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli incitement by Abbas and the PA that's finally gone too far -- an official PA claim that Jews have no historic ties to the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest shrine.
It all began with publication of a "study" paper by the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Information in Ramallah that the Western Wall really belongs to Muslims and is an integral part of Al-Aqsa Mosque -- with no Jewish connections whatsoever. This followed Palestinian assertions that Rachel's Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs also are Muslim shrines, with no Jewish provenance.
To pour more salt in Jewish wounds, the Abbas-ruled Palestinian Authority put its official stamp on the PA Ministry of Information's "study" denying Jewish ties to the Western Wall, in a dramatic ratcheting up of its global propaganda campaign to deny all Jewish links to the Holy Land.
Netanyahu, who has bent over backwards to accommodate U.S. efforts to restart negotiations, finally had enough of these vicious, Abbas-sanctioned, inciting attacks.
PA denial of Jewish links to the Western Wall, the prime minister declared, is "reprehensible and scandalous." And he demanded that Abbas "disavow and condemn' this most incitefull of all Palestinians smears of Jewish roots in the Holy Land. .
To leave Abbas in no doubt about this new crisis in relations with the Palestinians, Netanyahu ordered his office to release the following statement:
"The Western Wall has been the Jewish People's most sacred place for almost 2,000 years, since the destruction of the Second Temple. This is not the only instance in which Palestinians are trying to distort historical facts in order to deny the deep and historic links between the Jewish People and its homeland.
''When the Palestinian Authority denies the link between the Jewish People and the Western Wall, it calls into serious question its intentions of reaching a peace agreement, the foundations of which are co-existence and mutual recognition.
"The Government of Israel expects the Palestinian Authority leaders to disavow and condemn the aforesaid document, refrain from distorting historical facts and encourage the creation of a bridge to peace that will lead to an historic reconciliation between the two peoples."
Netanyah's uncharacteristically tough statement now poses some interesting challenges to all the players in the peace process:
--Will Abbas stick by his anti-Jewish propaganda guns and reject Netanyahu's demand to "disavow and condemn" Palestinian denial of Jewish ties to the Western Wall?
--Or, as is more likely, if Abbas refuses, what is Bibi's next step then?
--And what about President Obama, who has been quick to slam Israeli "settlements" in the West Bank and even in Jewish areas of East Jerusalem? Will Obama be equally outspoken against this outrage against Israel and the Jewish people? Will ha condemn it as a major new obstacle to the peace process? Will he join Bibi in demanding a retraction?
--Will Jewish leaders in Europe and North America join Netanyahu in demanding that Abbas and the PA knock off such vicious attacks as a Jewish pre-condition to any serious peace negotiations?
--Finally, what about our mainstream media? Will the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post even report this Palestinian affront to Jews in the midst of U.S.attempts to broker a peace deal? And, if so, will it get as much ink and play as their obsessive pursuit of stories about Jewish "settlements" as presumably the only obstacles to peace?