Mahmoud Abbas and the 'Angel of Peace'

The Daily Mail reported on Sunday, May 17, 2015 that "Pope Francis described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as an 'angel of peace' before he canonized two 19th century nuns in hopes of encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists."  According to a reporter for the Italian daily La Stampa, the Pope expressed it differently, saying: "May the angel of peace destroy the evil spirit of war."

Regardless of how the Pope addressed Mahmoud Abbas, just last week, the Vatican recognized the "State of Palestine," giving the Palestinian Authority (PA) another victory in its bid to seek unilateral recognition as a state, rather than through negotiations with Israel.  The Vatican's recognition of Palestinian statehood is certainly not a step in the direction of peace, nor is Mahmoud Abbas a peacemaker.

While the Pope and the Vatican rushed to recognize "Palestine" as a state, the Christians in this domain have been fleeing the birthplace of Jesus in droves.  Soon after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, Palestinian-Muslim leaders working within the Palestinian Authority took over Bethlehem, and since that time, the city's Christians began a massive exodus to areas in Israel and overseas locations.  The remaining Christians are essentially frightened dhimmis (second-class protected people who live by the grace of their Muslim overlords).  Sold out by their clergy and political leaders who have been co-opted by the PA regime, Christians are being intimidated and abused and live in constant fear.  They are subjected to extortion, and many have been squeezed out, especially in previously known Christian towns like Bethlehem.  About 35,000 Christians currently reside in the West Bank, with another 3,000 in Gaza, representing about 1.3% of the Palestinian population.  Conversely, Israel is the only place in the region where the Christian population is safe and has grown steadily.

In an interview this reporter had with the Mayor of Bethlehem, Elias Freij, back in the early 1990s, Freij revealed that most of Bethlehem's Christians could be found in Santiago de Chile!  He also admitted that Christians accounted for less than 12% of the city's population.  (In 1948, the city population was 85% Christian.)  In May 2002, Palestinian-Muslim terrorists invaded and desecrated the Church of the Nativity, one of the holiest churches in Christendom.  Further exodus has occurred as a result of this attack.

Former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Muhammad Daoud Oddeh mentioned in his 1999 autobiography (published in France) that Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) was involved in the hostage takeover of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, which resulted in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes.  Oddeh, also known as Abu Daoud, wrote that he was the mastermind of the Munich terror attack and the only people he dealt with on this planned attack against the Israeli Olympic delegation were Abu Iyad and Abu Mazen.  Abu Mazen/Mahmoud Abbas was responsible for securing the funds for the operation.

Many who are familiar with Mahmoud Abbas would say that he is "Arafat with a suit."  Tactically, Abbas is more flexible and outwardly more conciliatory in his approach.  For example, during the raging days of the Intifada, he argued that "the violence of intifada was leading Palestinians nowhere."  However, Abbas shares Arafat's strategic view regarding the elimination of the Jewish state by the dual means of clever diplomacy that effectively delegitimizes and isolates Israel and effective terror and intimidation.

At a press conference held at the Algerian Foreign Ministry on December 24, 2014, covered by the official Palestinian TV network, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated, "We will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  We recognize Israel, the state of Israel[.] … In Israel there are a million and a half Arabs and half a million Christian and Muslim Russians[.] … We ask, what right do Russians have to come to Palestine?  Naturally, Israel has its objectives with this Jewish state demand – that a million and half Israeli-Arabs will be scattered all over.  You are not Jew, what are you doing here? This is a Jewish state and you are not a Jew.  Likewise, they shut the doors on the right of return, but we will not give up the right of return, I am a refugee.  The President of the State of Palestine is merely a refugee from Safed."  Mahmoud Abbas is currently in the eleventh year of his four-year term in office as president, and he has not called for or allowed free elections to be held.

Abbas has openly encouraged terror against Israel.  Speaking on Wattan-TV, a Palestinian channel, on July 22, 2014, Abbas quoted the Quran, saying, "Permission to fight has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory."  To Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, it was a signal to come out to the streets and riot.  More recently, on April 20, 2015, the official Palestinian daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported on Mahmoud Abbas having recited a verse from the Quran for the soul of the Fatah leader and martyr Khalil Al-Wazir (whose nom de guerre is Abu Jihad), the arch-terrorist responsible for killing 125 Israelis.  Abbas habitually memorializes and honors terrorists who have the blood of Israeli men, women, and children on their hands.  Streets and schools are named after killers, with the blessings and guidance of Mahmoud Abbas.  All of which serves as encouragement for young Palestinians to engage in terror against Israelis.  The message Abbas is sending is, if you are a terrorist who killed Israelis, you will be considered a martyr and a hero, streets will be named after you, and your family will receive a nice pension and be honored.  

While Israel was mourning its terror victims this year on its Memorial Day (April 22), the PA and its leader Mahmoud Abbas were celebrating terror.  Fourteen Palestinian terrorist killers who murdered 160 Israelis were honored.  Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on April 17, 2015 that Abbas personally honored four Palestinian terrorists.  He cited the first terrorist martyr, first male terrorist now prisoner, and the first female fighter prisoner – all of whom he awarded with "decoration of military honor, in admiration of their pioneering role."

The man for whom Pope Francis allegedly invoked the "angel of peace" asserted in his 1982 doctoral dissertation, entitled "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism," that "the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust might be even less than a million."  Mahmoud Abbas doubted that the gas chambers were used for the extermination of Jews and, like many other Holocaust deniers, claimed that the Zionist movement had a stake in convincing world public opinion that the number of victims was high.  The central claim Abbas sought to "prove" was that the Zionist movement, with all its factions, conspired against the Jewish people and collaborated with the Nazis to annihilate it, because the Zionist movement considered Palestine the only appropriate destination for Jewish emigration.

Mahmoud Abbas's doctoral thesis was essentially a denial of the Holocaust, and it speaks volumes about his mindset.  One thing is certain: Pope John Paul II, who experienced the Holocaust, would have shunned such a Holocaust denier.

Pope Francis should carefully consider the character of such a person.  Abbas is a two-faced vicious liar, inciting hatred against Israel to his people in Arabic and presenting himself as a moderate to the West.  He is a Holocaust denier, a terrorist supporter, and a man whose strategic aim is the destruction of the Jewish state.