Earlier this week, we mentioned the hypocritical appearance of Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas at Sunday’s rally in Paris. But Abbas’ invitation to join in a show against terrorism shouldn’t be surprising, Bassam Tawil writes at the Gatestone Institute, as Abbas’ Fatah party and Hamas are both fooling Europe, as they always have:
The two Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, are once again proving that when it comes to terrorism, they are masters of double-talk, saying one thing for the international community, which has so recently been good to them, while at home practicing the opposite. Mahmoud Abbas’s denunciation of the Paris terror attacks and his decision to participate in the anti-terrorism rally in the French capital is also a sign of the ongoing hypocrisy and double standards of both Fatah and Hamas.
Hamas should be the last to denounce assaults on journalists and free speech. Its security forces in the Gaza Strip continue to arrest and intimidate Palestinian journalists on a regular basis.
Both groups have a long history of simultaneously denouncing terrorist attacks abroad while at home doing their utmost to suppress and punish any freedom of expression. Palestinian journalists have been frequently targeted by Palestinian Authority security forces for posting critical remarks on Facebook or for writing stories that reflect negatively on Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials …
In the past year alone, in fact, as the opportunity to be accepted by the European Union came nearer, both Hamas and Fatah have actually stepped up intimidating, arresting and torturing journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Their intimidation and suppression of free speech at home, however, did not stop either Hamas or Fatah from condemning the brutal killing of the French journalists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Hamas, ironically, which has carried out hundreds, if not thousands, of terror attacks against civilians over the past 27 years, was quick to issue a statement condemning the killing of the French journalists. In its statement, published in French, Hamas said it “condemns the attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine and insists on the fact that differences of opinion and thought cannot justify murder.”
Hamas, however, was extremely careful not to condemn the terror attack on the kosher Jewish supermarket in Paris — because Hamas believes that attacks against Jews are legitimate. Condemning the killing of Jews would have meant that Hamas would also have to denounce its own terror attacks against Jews in Israel.
In another twist of irony, just hours before the Hamas statement was delivered to the offices of foreign media outlets in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas-affiliated website, Al-Resalah, tweeted a photo of the three slain French terrorists and described them as “martyrs…”
Abbas is prepared to condemn terror attacks only when such a move serves his interests. After the terror attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem last November, only after heavy pressure was applied by Secretary of State John Kerry was Abbas forced to issue a statement of condemnation.
Members of Abbas’s Fatah later admitted that his condemnation was not at all sincere and had come solely as the result of international pressure.
In reality, Abbas’s media and senior officials still regularly glorify Palestinians who commit terror attacks like the ones perpetrated by the French terrorists. They still never fail to describe the men who perpetrate them as “martyrs” and “heroes.” In spite of his condemnation of terror attacks against Israel, Abbas has spared no effort to praise Palestinians who target Israelis …
Hamas and Fatah are once again trying to fool the Europeans and the rest of the world by pretending to be on the side of those who oppose violence and terrorism. This is happening at a time when both groups continue to condone terrorism and glorify terrorists.