Obama Says Abbas Renounced Violence, Abbas Says He's Just Like Hamas

"I have to commend President Abbas," Obama said.


Obama received terrorist leader Mahmoud Abbas, who refuses to stand for elections, at the White House.

"I have to commend President Abbas. He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security; a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors," Obama said.

"I also want to point out that the Palestinian Authority has continued to try to build strong institutions in preparation for a day in which the Palestinians have their own state..."

These strong institutions don't include an independent legislature, which no longer meets, or an independent anything. Actual decisions are being made by the PLO Council. Economic power is purely a matter of political access.

But let's skip back to Obama's first paragraph. When has Abbas "consistently renounced violence"?

Around the time that Obama visited him, Abbas gave an interview to Putin's RT in which he claimed that he was just like Hamas.

“As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas. So why are they labeled as terrorists? In my opinion, [the EU] can remove Hamas [from the list], why not?”

Abbas is a little more circumspect in his rhetoric most of the time, though a few years ago he threatened a "religious war" when Israel added Rachel's Tomb to its list of national heritage sites.

He repeatedly celebrates terrorism and he leaves it to his subordinates to make more direct threats of violence. The Palestinian Authority which he runs engages in violence and routinely advocates and celebrates it as well.

So in what possible sense of the word has Abbas renounced violence?

Obama claims that Abbas has "consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution". That must be why he refused to even discuss peace negotiations until Israel freed a large number of terrorists, many of whom had killed civilians.