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Abbas' deception at the UN: PA claims to recognize Israel, yet message to Palestinians is that all of Israel is "Palestine"

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

  • Abbas claims to UN: “We recognize Israel”
  • Yet on the same day, Abbas' deputy to Palestinians: All Israel is “Palestine”
  • Political strategy: “Stages Plan”
    Senior Fatah official says Fatah's goal is “Palestine” replacing Israel: “Palestine” on the 1967 borders is “an intermediate statement”
  • Media:
    Official PA daily crossword puzzle teaches the Galilee in northern Israel is in “Palestine”
  • Education:
    Activists to distribute the PA’s map of “Palestine” that erases all of Israel in Palestinian schools

Consistent with Palestinian Authority policy, there is one message for the Palestinian street and another for the world. Since US President Trump revealed his Middle East peace plan, Palestinian leaders have intensified their message to Palestinians that they will never accept a “Palestine” that does not replace all of the State of Israel. At the same time, PA and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas assured the UN Security council that the Palestinians “recognize Israel:”

Abbas: “In 1993 we signed the Oslo Accords, and we are committed to the Oslo Accords – with all of its details and all of its clauses. We have also recognized Israel and Israel has recognized us. We recognize Israel – in the Oslo [Accords].”

[Official PA TV, Feb. 11, 2020]

On the same day that Abbas reminded the UN Security Council and the world of the PLO’s recognition of Israel in 1993, his Fatah deputy, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, was busy talking to the Palestinian street. At a PA event protesting Trump’s Middle East peace plan and expressing support for Abbas and his mission at the UN, Al-Aloul held up the PA’s map of “Palestine” that replaces all of Israel and shouted:

“This is Palestine.”

The PA’s Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh was also present at the event, and in fact he is the one who uploaded the video of Al-Aloul denying Israel’s existence to his personal Facebook page: 

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul: "Its beginning is from the Galilee Panhandle (i.e., in northern Israel) to Umm Al-Rashrash (i.e., Eilat, Israel's southernmost city). This is Palestine!"

[Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, Feb. 11, 2020]

Emphasizing that the notorious “stages plan” to destroy Israel is still Fatah policy, senior Fatah official Tawfiq Tirawi announced that Fatah has never agreed to a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, and that such a state is only “an intermediate statement” – stressing that the goal of Abbas’ Fatah is a “Palestine” that replaces all of Israel. Tirawi explained that the PLO only agreed to a “Palestine” on the 1967 borders under the Oslo Accords because it was what the Palestinian leadership thought the world would agree to at the time: 

Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi: “Why, as PLO, did we say 1967? ... The Palestinian leadership wanted to make it easier for our people with the establishment of its state on the 1967 borders, because that is what would be acceptable to the world... [The PLO] said “a state on the 1967 borders,” however the [Palestinian] declaration of independence does not mention 1967… Put aside the [Palestinian] Authority – I am Fatah, and in the goals and principles of the Fatah Movement there is nothing that says 1967. Nothing... In everything related to me – one of the senior officials in Fatah - all my life I have never said “a 1967 state.” ... I will not forget my homeland, will not forget Palestine, and will not forget Palestine's history. These [1967 borders] can be an intermediate statement.”

[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi, Feb. 5, 2020]

Palestinian Media Watch already exposed that in a different speech a few days earlier, Tirawi said that "Palestine" stretches “from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” and is "waqf" - an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law – thus denying the legitimacy of Israel in any borders under Islamic law.

The PA uses all the information structures it controls to spread its ideology that all of Israel is “Palestine.” This recent crossword puzzle in the official PA daily presented the Galilee in northern Israel as being in “Palestine”:

Clue for 1 down: “A mountain in Palestine that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea”

Answer: “The Galilee (sic., the Galilee is a mountainous region in Israel)”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 10, 2020]

The recent crossword puzzle joins a tradition of PA crossword puzzles documented by PMW that erase Israel, referring to the entire area as “Palestine.”

Likewise, official PA TV reinforced the message that “Palestine” encompasses all of Israel in a filler broadcast between programs. Abbas is heard giving a speech, and a demonstrator is holding a sign with the PA map of “Palestine”, including all of Israel colored as the PA flag. At the bottom of the sign is the Dome of the Rock with Jerusalem in the background, and in the upper left is the logo of the Fatah Shabiba Youth Movement.

Text on sign: “We have the right and all of the land is ours

The Fatah Shabiba Youth Movement”

[Official PA TV, Feb. 15, 2020]

The PA likewise presents this message to its youth throughout the PA schools:

[PA 7th Grade Social Studies Textbook, Part A, published August 2017]

In addition to this map appearing in all the school books, activists in Nablus plan to distribute the PA map of “Palestine” to all schools:

Official PA TV reporter, Nablus: “The popular responses to the American-Israeli deal of the century are continuing… One of which is the distribution of the historical map of Palestine in response to the map the American president published… This is the map that our Palestinian people want… and not the distorted map that the American president published.”

Text next to map: “This is how we want Palestine”

Activist Mazen Al-Dunbuk: “We want to instill this map in the minds of all of the children, the children of Palestine, the flowers of Palestine. Our next step is to distribute it in the schools in order to hang it in all the classrooms so that the children will know that Palestine is like this.”

[Official PA TV, Reporters in the Field, Feb. 2, 2020]

But these messages are of course nothing new. PMW has documented for more than two decades that the PA constantly emphasizes the ideology that all of Israel is “Palestine,” and that the ideology is being embraced and even reinforced by the people, as did this Palestinian journalist, when he stressed that several Israeli cities are “Palestine”:

Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate member Muhammad Al-Laham: "The journalists are here in Hebron, Jerusalem, Gaza, Haifa, Jaffa, Nazareth, Tiberias (i.e., Israeli cities), Nablus, Jenin – everywhere, because Palestine is Palestine in every grain of its soil… We have a historical right. Neither the American administration’s position nor the position of this crazy man Trump can change the truth that Palestine is Arab and Jerusalem is Arab. And if [Trump] wants to say that the settlements are legal, we say to him: Haifa is Palestinian, Jaffa is Palestinian, Acre, Safed, and Tiberias (i.e., Israeli cities)… There is a clear understanding that our struggle with the occupation is an existential struggle and not a struggle over borders."

[Official PA TV, Reporters in the Field, Nov. 25, 2019]

The journalist made these comments after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US administration’s new position on Israeli towns in the West Bank on Nov. 18, 2019, stating: “After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate... the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

The following are additional texts posted with the above statements and longer excerpts:

Posted text on Tirawi’s Facebook page: “A speech condemning the deal of the century given by [Fatah Central Committee member] brother Tawfiq Tirawi during a meeting with the [Fatah] Movement associations and bureaus, Jan. 30, 2020”

[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi, Feb. 5, 2020]

Tawfiq Tirawi also holds the position of Fatah Commissioner of Popular Organizations

Posted text on PA PM Shtayyeh’s Facebook page: "Today the West Bank unites with Gaza, and in the Al-Badawi and Nahr Al-Bared refugee camps and in all of the camps in the diaspora we are standing today [Feb. 11, 2020] in a position of unparalleled unity – all of the Fatah factions and Islamic factions united behind [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas. We say no to [Trump’s] deal of the century and yes to a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem, and to the return of the refugees.

[Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, Feb. 11, 2020]

The Trump peace plan – US President Donald Trump announced his Israel–Palestinian peace plan "Peace to Prosperity" – commonly known as “the deal of the century” - on Jan. 28, 2020.

Main points of the plan:

  1. Israeli sovereignty would be applied to the Jordan Valley and all Israeli towns and cities in the West Bank.
  2. Jerusalem, including all its holy sites, would remain under Israeli sovereignty with accommodations made to enable access for Palestinians.
  3. The remainder of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and part of what is currently Israeli land in the Negev, the Galilee, and Jerusalem - creating a territory almost equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza Strip - would form the Palestinian state, with its capital in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are outside of Israel's security wall.
  4. The Palestinian state would be demilitarized, with Israel responsible for external security and controlling all airspace.
  5. All Palestinian prisoners except murderers, and those who attempted or conspired to murder would be released.
  6. Palestinians in refugee camps would be absorbed into their host countries and, subject to certain limitations, into the Palestinian state.
  7. Before becoming a state, the Palestinians would have to carry out extensive reform of their laws and institutions, including implementing a new governing system; granting its people due process and basic human rights and freedoms; end all incitement to and incentivizing of terror; end all glorification of terror and martyrdom; disarm Hamas; and adopt a culture promoting peace.

The goal of the plan is to create a Palestinian state beside Israel, living in peace and security.

The implementation would be facilitated through extensive international investment.

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