By Caroline Glick
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s legal term in office expired nearly four years ago. But his supporters don’t care. In Israel, Washington and throughout the world, Abbas’s supporters extol the authoritarian leader as a great moderate. In 2002, desperately searching for a face for the Palestinians that wasn’t Yasser Arafat’s face, the Left pushed Abbas out from behind Arafat’s shadow. Abbas, who served as Arafat’s deputy for 39 years, was upheld as a great moderate and placed in the invented position of Palestinian prime minister.
Advertisement - story continues below
The fact that Abbas was an inveterate Jew-hater who spent four decades in the senior leadership of a terrorist organization and whose doctoral dissertation was a long denial of the Holocaust, was brushed aside.
His leftist supporters don’t care that he says Israel has no right to exist. They are untroubled by his 2008 rejection of then-prime minister Ehud Olmert’s unprecedentedly generous offer of peace and Palestinian statehood. They don’t mind that Abbas has refused to negotiate peace with Israel for the past four years. They don’t care that he has signed two unity government deals with Hamas or that he seeks to gain sovereignty for a Palestinian state through the UN and so establish a Palestinian state in a formal state of war with Israel.
They don’t care. But most Israelis do. Due to their recognition of his hatred for Israel and due to the terrorism Abbas has condoned and financed for decades, the vast majority of Israelis do not consider him a potential partner for peace. They do not believe that either Abbas or the Palestinians as a whole are remotely interested in being appeased by Israel.