What a week for Israel. Here’s a brief rundown:
On Sunday, Haaretz and Times of Israel published reports that when it comes to the Palestinians, the Saudi crown prince has had enough.
“For the past 40 years, the Palestinian leadership has missed opportunities again and again, and rejected all the offers it was given. It’s about time that the Palestinians accept the offers, and agree to come to the negotiating table — or they should shut up and stop complaining,” Mohammed bin Salman said according to a report from Israel’s Channel 10.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference/power point presentation in both English and Hebrew revealing a massive intelligence coup by the Mossad. Turns out, Israel has a cache of documents proving that Iran was actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program prior to signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015.
Comment: Was it smart of Netanyahu to publicly announce Mossad’s capabilities? Will this impeded their efforts in the future? While it’s incredible to know what Mossad can do, should that remain classified information not shared with the general public?
Also on Monday, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas delivered one of his ranting speeches to the Palestinian National Council in which not only did he deny Israel’s Jewish roots, but claimed that the Holocaust was caused by the Jews.
Let’s break down his anti-Semitism:
1. Jewish people brought anti-Semitism upon themselves because of their “social behavior” regarding “usury and banks”
Comment: This is a classic anti-Semitic trope. First, Jews were forced to be money-lenders, they did not choose this role. Second, this role did not afford Jews as much power as anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists would like to believe. It was more of a “while they’re useful” approach. Most Jewish money-lenders were expendable, many were mistreated by their employers and treated by the society as outcasts.
2. Jews have been persecuted because of this “social behaviour”
Comment: This is a classic blame the victim mentality. Interestingly, Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t accept this approach when it comes to holding the Palestinians accountable for their own behavior.
3. Ashkenazi Jews are all descendants of Khazars, a Turkic ethnic group, therefore Jews have no connection nor right to Israel
Comment: This is an Abbas classic. It’s a theory spouted by many anti-Semites and has been disproven by myriad studies, among them one conducted by a geneticist at NYU, which show that Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews share genetic markers.
4. The state of Israel was a colonial project
Comment: This one never ceases to confound. If Israel was a colonial project, why did the British cede power within 30 years of taking control? If Israel was a colonial project, why did the “colonists” turn on the colonial rulers so quickly? And finally, if Israel was a colonial project, why did the British overlord choose to populate it with poor non-influential Eastern Europeans?
Conclusion: With speeches — or rants, to be more accurate — like Abbas’ that are totally deluded and unwilling to engage in reality, is it any surprise that Arab leadership in the region is starting to lose patience? On Monday, all Abbas did was likely further cement Mohammed bin Salman’s point of view that it’s long past time for Palestinian leadership to “shut up.”