WASHINGTON – As the Obama administration moves to work with and fund the new Palestinian unity government formed with the Fatah and Hamas factions, two members of Congress are pointing to an admission that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is lying to “trick the Americans.”
Not that they were surprised.
“The only thing new about Abbas’ lying when he speaks to the media or to American leaders about Israel is that (a) spokesman has actually admitted that he bragged about lying,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, in an interview with WND.
“One has to be either completely oblivious to Fatah’s actions or in the Obama administration to trust Abbas at all when it comes to his position on Israel,” the congressman said.
Palestinian Media Watch translated a Facebook posting by former Hamas government spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein saying that in private meetings with Hamas, Abbas admitted he was lying in his public statements.
“When I go out (publicly) and say that the (PA) government is my government, and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine – these words are meant to trick the Americans,” Abbas was quoted as saying.
Hamas remains designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist group.
Ghussein, who was a Hamas government spokesman until the advent of the new unity government with Fatah, put up a post about Abbas’ “duplicity,” PMW said.
PMW reported the posting said: “You know what Mahmoud Abbas says behind closed doors?? He says: ‘Guys, let me [continue] saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation (i.e., Israel), not for you (Hamas).'”
Abbas, according to Ghussein, said what’s important “is what we agree … among ourselves.”
“In other words, when I go out (publicly) and say that the government is my government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine – these words are meant to trick the Americans,” Abbas said, according to Ghussein. “But we agree that the government has nothing to do with politics (i.e., foreign relations). The same thing happened in 2006. Don’t harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media.”
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, echoed Gohmert.
“This appears to be a ploy by Hamas operatives to sucker the media,” he said.
“Obama is under fire for his illegal agreement to unlawfully bankroll their Hamas-partnered government and al-Ghussein is trying to put out the fire,” Stockman said. “If he means what he says, Hamas should recognize Israel’s right to exist, give up their arms and disband.”
Middle East experts also weren’t surprised by the admission by Abbas.
“The Palestinians have a long history of deception,” Sarah Stern, founder of the Endowment for Mideast Truth, told WND.
Stern said that in 1996, she obtained an audio tape of a closed-door meeting in which the Palestinian National Council discussed a tactic of deceiving the international community to make it appear they had voted to amend the Palestinian National Covenant.
Stern noted the covenant has 33 clauses, 30 of which are devoted to the annihilation of “the Zionist entity,” or Israel.
“They never amended the covenant. Instead they voted to appoint a committee to look into writing a new covenant. The committee has never convened, and members of the committee have never been named. Sadly, it appears that deception is very much a part of the modus operandi of the Palestinian people,” she said.
The Obama administration said just days ago that it would work with the new Palestinian “unity” government, claiming that it did not include Hamas leaders. That’s even though three Hamas-backed individuals were sworn in as officials with the unity government.
In addition, Israel National News reported Hamas maintains that it will control the unity government, and it remains committed to its aim of destroying Israel.
The peace talks the Obama administration has been trying to promote have run into snags over Hamas.
Some U.S. lawmakers have called for a suspension of the approximately $500 million in annual aid to the Palestinian Authority while assessing the new unity government.