- - Sunday, January 31, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Thank you for your editorial “The Obama legacy” (Web, Jan. 21), which notes the Palestinian terror campaign of stabbings, car rammings and shootings that has killed 25 Israelis, an Eritrean, an American and a Palestinian, and observes that although there is “no evidence of central direction from the Palestinian leadership … they are clearly the result of a vicious campaign of hatred and pleas to spill Jewish blood.”

That campaign began on Aug. 1, 2015, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared, without any basis in fact, that Israel planned to “get rid of the Al-Aqsa [mosque] and establish their so-called ‘Temple’ … the greatest crime and forgery in history.” Then, on Sept. 16, 2015, during the Jewish High Holy Days, Mr. Abbas denounced Jews even visiting the Temple Mount (Judaism’s holiest site) because “they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” He added, in a clear call to arms: “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem … Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah.” Two weeks later, on Sept. 30, Mr. Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly that the Palestinians were no longer bound by the Oslo accords. Collectively Mr. Abbas‘ speeches have incited hatred, dehumanized Jews, glorified terrorism and green-lighted deadly attacks.

Echoing Mr. Abbas‘ call for terror, on Oct. 9, 2015, Gaza-based cleric Muhammad Salah brandished a knife and urged followers: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab! … Attack [the Jews] in groups. Cut them into body parts.”

To pretend, as the White House continues to do, that Mr. Abbas can play a constructive role in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking is as divorced from reality as the White House’s insistence that Iran, the main force behind Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s slaughter of about 300,000 Syrians, can play a constructive role in bringing peace to Iraq and Syria.

STEPHEN A. SILVER

San Francisco

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