Washington Post swallows Abbas lie hook, line, and sinker
On April 27, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas released a statement denouncing the Holocaust and expressing sympathy with victims killed by the Nazis. The statement was timed with the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day. For Abbas, this was quite a change of heart from the days back in the 1980s when he referred to the Holocaust as a “Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed.” Now he was calling the Holocaust “the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era.”
One can speculate about the sincerity and purpose of Abbas’s belated rejection of Holocaust denial. Maybe his conversion to historical reality is genuine. Or maybe it’s a political gambit to offset his unity deal with the terror group Hamas, which advocates a second Holocaust. But why not take his words as perhaps signaling a change and find out, as Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, suggested, whether Abbas’s words now will also appear on Palestinian Authority websites, curricula and discourse.
Still, there’s one part of Abbas’s statement that requires no speculative parsing at all. It happens to be a straightforward lie. Demonstrably so.
Here’s what Abbas also declared in his April 27 statement: “The Holocaust is a reflection of the concept of ethnic discrimination and racism, which the Palestinians strongly reject and act against.”
If the Palestinians – with Abbas at their helm – really espouse tolerance and reject ethnic discrimination and racism, how does that square with the following Abbas statement as recently as last July at the start of another round of peace talks:
“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.”
Here we have Abbas declaring that a Palestinian state would be Judenrein – cleansed of Jews -- just as peace talks got under way nine months ago. And now he’s telling the world that Palestinians “strongly reject” any form of racism and ethnic discrimination. Will the real Abbas step forward?
Yet, sad to say, there’s been no exposing or challenging this outright Abbas lie in our mainstream media.
Just one example: The Washington Post, in its April 28 edition, runs the Abbas statement in a dispatch from Jerusalem correspondent Ruth Eglash. (“Palestinian leader denounces Holocaust – Statement appears timed for Israel’s annual commemoration” page A7, by Ruth Eglash) Nowhere in her article does Eglash question how Abbas can square his April 27 statement vouching for Palestinian abhorrence of ethnic discrimination with his July 29, 2013 statement that not a single Israeli will be allowed in a Palestinian state. How can he untangle this Abbas-versus-Abbas riddle?
Instead, Eglash just swallows Abbas’s bald lie hook, line and sinker.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers