Guardian: Mahmoud Abbas gives up claims on “historic Palestinian city” of Haifa

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is clearly a moderate.

How do I know?

Well, per Harriet Sherwood’s latest Guardian report (Aug. 23), for starters, he recently said the following about the concessions he’s willing to make in order to advance the peace process:

In remarks possibly aimed at reassuring Israelis who believe a peace deal with the Palestinians will be followed by further claims, Abbas said: “You have a commitment from the Palestinian people, and also from the leadership, that if we are offered a just agreement, we will sign a peace deal that will put an end to the conflict and to future demands from the Palestinian side.”

Referring to historic Palestinian cities in what is now Israel, he added: “People say that after signing a peace agreement we will still demand Haifa, Acre and Safed. That is not true.”

For those attempting to figure out how cities which are within Israel’s 1949 boundaries can be characterized by Sherwood as “historically Palestinian”, you have to understand that Palestinian propaganda frequently refers to their people’s longing to “reclaim” such cities, part of a broader narrative which rejects Israel’s right to exist within any borders.

As Palestinian Media Watch documents, official PA TV constantly presents to Palestinians viewers a world without Israel in which all of Israel is defined as “Palestine.” In regular news programs, Israeli places and cities like Ashkelon, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Jaffa, Ramle, Lod, Safed, Mt Carmel, and the Sea of Galilee are described as “Palestinian,” “ours” or as part of “my country Palestine.”

The following documentary has been shown many times on Palestinian TV:

By referring to even those cities which have always been Israeli as “historically Palestinian”, Sherwood is not only parroting Palestinian anti-Zionist propaganda, but in effect imputing ‘moderation’ to Abbas for the mere act of relinquishing territorial claims for which there is absolutely no moral or legal basis. 

22 replies »

  1. Disappointing article. The last one was very good compared to this .It uses sarcasm at the start . Why do people think sarcasm is acceptable in adult conversation? It is famously the lowest form of wit.

    I was jubilant at first . I really thought CIFwatch was saying something positive about a Palestinian.What did I know?

  2. The key statement which emerged from Abbas’ meeting with Meretz M.K’s was his declaration that any agreement will be final. I think that this is the first time any Palestinian leader has uttered such words in public. Of course, we need to wait and see if he stands by the declaration.

      • As I said, depends on whether he endorses or retracts the declaration and also on his signing an agreement which includes the crucial clause ending the conflict and abandoning all further claims. Then Palestinians, whatever they have been taught in school, can visit Haifa as tourists. There is nothing like a sharp dose of reality for sobering up even the most dedicated of fanatics.

  3. The problem with the article has nothing to do with sarcasm and a lot to do with analysis. The Guardian and Sherwood do not want to paint Abbas as “moderate”, but rather want to portray him as a patsy selling out Palestine to the “zionist imperialist™” entity. Recall how the Grauniad dissed and sought to discredit Abbas as a patsy tool of the “imperialists” over the so-called Palestine Papers. Nothing has changed at the Guardian. They are firmly pro-Ikhwani and see the PA and Abbas as weak, corrupt (true) and beholden to Zionist and US imperialist machinations. The point of the article was to shame Abbas to their English speaking antizionist audience, not to laud him as a moderate.

  4. I’m surprised that they haven’t tried to claim yet that the Technion was an ancient Palestinian and Islamic center of learning. And the Bahai Gardens were a bunch of productive olive groves owned by peaceful bunnies until the big bad Zionists came in. Or something.

  5. Sadly the illegitimate claims made by Abbas, and his ilk, are repeated without any attempt to check the veracity of those claims by far too many.

    When checked for accuracy it is clear that their claims, and those of the ‘useful idiots’ who spew the same bilge on this website under various names, have more to do with hysteria than history.

  6. It would indeed be intersting to know whatt exactly Sherwood means when using the label “historic Palestinian city” to describe e.g. Acre – which is so old that it predates the bible!

    • “Acre – which is so old that it predates the bible!”

      Forgive me for being picky pretzelberg, but how can anything, including cities, predate the Bible?
      “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
      “In the beginning God created Wimpey’s and they built Acre.”

      • Perhaps it should have been worded “which predates THE WRITING OF the Bible” (rather than “which predates THE EVENTS RECORDED IN the Bible”).

        I think we could all accept that, couldn’t we?

      • You mean you’re not an adherent of Creationist theory? It’s common knowledge that wealthy Acreans had their post delivered by pterodactyls in the 19th C BCE.

        • No I’m not an adherent of the ‘Creationist’ theory.

          If I was I’d have to accept that God created everything, including Birmingham and that stretches my faith too far!

          • Either god or the devil created the holy abomination that was the old Bull Ring shopping centre (RIP).

    • If I may suggest Sherwood meant here that Acre is in “historic Palestine” – the PC term currently in vogue for the area encompassing modern day Israel, West Bank, Gaza (and more contoversially but no less factually) Jordan.

      Abbas etc have twisted the term to their advantage by implying that “historically Palestinian” cities mean they were somehow the rightful property of present-day Palestinians (which of course has a completely different meaning than the term “Palestininan” had in the first half of the 20th Century).

  7. Peterthehunarian we know from history that even 2000 years is not enough to give up the right of return despite what Abbas may say or you may expect – Next year in Jerusalem –