At a gathering of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s central council on Sunday, Mahmoud Abbas delivered a two-hour speech assessing the current situation of the Palestinians, setting forth his ideas as to how they should proceed, and railing against the Trump administration. He also elaborated on Palestinians’ claims to the land of Israel and the illegitimacy of Jewish claims, and expounded a complex web of conspiracy theories—ranging from the anti-Semitic to the insane—that, to him, explain Palestinian suffering. But none of this made it into the New York Times’ coverage of the speech, as Noah Pollak reports:
Abbas, the Times reports, “stopped well short of embracing an alternative to a two-state solution.” “Abbas said nothing about abandoning it,” the reporter, David Halbfinger, adds editorially. Not only was Abbas promoting peace, “he also shied away from urging the kind of provocative acts,” like ending security cooperation with Israel, that would “shake officials in Jerusalem and Washington.” In fact, Abbas “reaffirmed his commitment to nonviolence.” . . . The Times did allow a discordant note into its report, quoting Abbas saying that Zionism “is a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness.”
But much to Abbas’s annoyance, one imagines, the Times left out all the good stuff, [such as his comment that] “Israel has imported frightening amounts of drugs in order to destroy our younger generation.” Much of the speech was consumed with a lengthy exposition of a multi-century global conspiracy among Europeans, British, Americans, and Jews to steal Palestinian land. “The issue did not start 100 years ago. It started much earlier in 1653 when Cromwell ruled Britain.” Centuries later, he said, Europe “asked the Dutch, who had the largest fleet on earth, to transport the Jews” to the Middle East. . . .
Abbas wrapped up the speech by honoring terrorists, . . . . [noting that] “today is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Abu Iyad Abu al-Houl.” Abu Iyad was the founder of the notorious Black September terrorist group, mastermind of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, and a year later, of the murder of two American diplomats in Khartoum. Abu Iyad, a true Palestinian hero.
That Abbas called out a terrorist for special recognition and honor is important in understanding his mentality and that of Palestinian politics. That the New York Times ignored this detail and so many others like it is important to understanding the mentality of contemporary Western liberalism. Mahmoud Abbas is tired of pretending and wants to tell the world what he really thinks. The New York Times won’t let him.