Somewhere in our archives, there is another post where I compare two stories from two papers because sometimes you can learn a great deal when you look at things side by side. Here are two short articles about the same story by two of Israel’s leading newspapers.

Jerusalem Post:

Abbas: Armed ‘resistance’ not ruled out


PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said that he does not rule out returning to the path of armed “resistance” against Israel and took pride in the fact that he had been the first to fire on Israel and that his organization had trained Hizbullah.

In an interview with the Jordanian daily al-Dustur, Abbas said that he was opposed to an armed struggle against Israel – for the time being.

“At this present juncture, I am opposed to the armed struggle because we can’t succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different,” he said.

The PA president also expressed pride both in himself and his organization, Fatah, for trailblazing the path of resistance.

Abbas: Peace in 2008 or never

“I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it’s like; when it is effective and when it isn’t effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is,” Abbas said.

“It is common knowledge when and how resistance is detrimental and when it is well timed,” he addad. “We (Fatah) had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps.”



Abbas: I oppose armed struggle, but won’t rule out option for future

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that while he opposes taking up armed struggle against Israel at the present time, he would not rule out the option for the future.

“I do not support a return to armed struggle at this point in time. But, at a later date, this could be an option for the Palestinian people,” Abbas said on Thursday during an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Duster.

Abbas added that the Israelis and Palestinians have reached a dangerous crossroads, as chances for a peace agreement by the end of the year sour.

Abbas said the current situation calls for continued efforts to achieve peace through negotiations, adding that he has a mandate from the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian legislature to pursue talks.

He said Hamas also supports continued negotiations.

Abbas said the Palestinians have the right to choose their leadership, but stated: If “the people choose Hamas, I will not hesitate to resign as president.”

Recent days have seen a marked change in the tone of statements made by the Palestinian president.

In a recent interview, Abbas hinted that if a peace agreement is not reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority this year he would resign from office

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it seems to me Ha’aretz is purposely covering up or minimizing the pertinent things Abbas said. In their version, there may be a future with renewed Palestinian armed attacks on Israel. The Jerusalem Post depicts a warrior who is biding his time because strategically this is a better time to lay low. The future, however, may well bring opportunity for renewed fighting along the lines of the previous decades of fighting Israel.

Israel has to negotiate and make peace with an Abbas government. However, in the Ha’aretz view of things, the potential for future struggle against Israel regardless of any peace deal is minimized while his attempt to secure a peace deal is presented seriously and as part of a challenge he is facing and tackling. According to the J Post, the attempt to make peace is not even mentioned. Rather, his basking in the glory of his warrior days is played up along with his claim that a future time may be more propitious for renewed war against Israel.

I know, all of you on the Left are sitting there shouting at me that this is just for public consumption because he has to appear warrior-like and uncompromising on any settlement with Israel; that it’s all just a front as he struggles to make peace.

And I know, all of you on the Right are sitting there shouting at me that his true face is showing and it is clear that even if he cuts a peace deal, it will be under false premises and his real goal will be the next stage of the struggle to eliminate Israel which will take place when the time is right for the Palestinians.

Well, yes, you are both right. But the folks on the Left are a little naive in this matter, as history continues to teach us. And the folks on the Right are a little too aggressive, since peace will have to be made with somebody on the Palestinian side and at least this guy is talking to Israel.

The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. 😉

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  • Who cares what Abbas says publicly? Who cares what his “real goal” is? What was Brezhnev’s “real goal” in signing the Helsinki Accords? Or Mao’s “real goal” in inviting Nixon to China?

    This sort of parsing– what goes on inside Abbas’s head– has zero to do with Israel’s national security.

  • Abbas is a dead man walking. It’s only a matter of when, not if, Hamas takes over in Yehuda and Shomron.

    The minute the IDF leaves, it’s Hamasistan North. Abbas will either be dead or carrying Haniyeh’s jock, one or the other. Then it’s Kassams in Jerusalem. Talking to Abbas is worse than useless. Even if he wanted peace, which he doesn’t, he couldn’t make it happen.

  • David Horovitz vs. David Landau?

    I don’t mean to be too superficial or tell you something you don’t already know about this, so please accept the following as my personal view of things these days. Mainly, the differences can be attributed to the leadership, the editorial positions of the two papers and their respective histories.

    It seems to me that the Post has come back from the Right side of the political spectrum to a centrist or center-right stance on most topics while Ha’aretz still shows occasional moments of center-leftism but has mostly migrated to a left stance that sometimes seems to carry it beyond Meretz.

    In terms of viewing the conflict with the Palestinians, it seems to me that the Post is much more realistic on the one hand with respect to what’s going on in the conflict, while refusing to relent on the issue of Israel’s morality and position in this conflict. In part, this article reflects cynicism about the Palestinians’ true intentions in the current “peace process” and the implication of negotiating with them under current circumstances.

    Ha’aretz has a differenct bias where they seem to believe that Israel is at best amoral and probably immoral – and this seems to apply to a number of areas but at the core it relates to the settlement movement and to settlements. As such, they seem convinced (and we can relate this to Landau’s request of Condi Rice that the US “rape” Israel’s government to force Israel to peace) that Israel’s position is in the wrong and everything Israel does is so tainted by this wrong that a peace deal – any peace deal – and certainly the attempt to get to one is more critical than doing little or nothing.

    In this vein, Ha’aretz seems to believe that Palestinian violence may be justified; and that their struggle in general is definitely justified. Moreover, they seem convinced that it’s better to talk than not to talk to any Palestinian who is willing to talk, regardless of what else the Palestinian may be thinking or doing. Their article here is simply one in a long line that seeks to put on a kindly face to the Palestinian leadership. I presume the intention is to either promote the peace process or at least not to undermine it or allow negative attention to undermine it because of the vilification of the Palestinians. Right or wrong is not as important according to this line of thought as pressing ahead with changes in the status quo.

    *A personal note* These days, I am fairly tired of the entire “progressive” enterprise and their attempts to not only find moral equivalence between Palestinian terror and Israeli defense, but of going beyond that to place the blame for the circumstances in this conflict upon Israel while whitewashing Palestinian crimes. This is the school of thought that explains away suicide bombings as “terrible but understandable.” Yesterday, Gideon Levy, who can fairly be described as one of the representative voices of Ha’aretz, essentially justified – or at least “explained” the justice in – the attack on the teenager civilians at Mercaz Harav because the institution has been a foundation of the settlement movement and the Orthodox streams that populate the movement. I suspect that David Landau would have been proud.