Over the long and enjoyable weekend here in Israel, most Israelis were celebrating the holiday of Shavuot. Oh, and Abu Mazen, also known as Mahmoud Abbas, was rushed to the hospital. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis flocked to enjoy the vacation. Few Israelis really care what happens to a corrupt old man who has never really worked for peace.
Shavuot marks a decisive time in the history of the Jews. Passover, which we celebrated just over a month ago, is the holiday of freedom. Shavuot is when we celebrate the moment when God gave us the Torah. One holiday marks the people of Israel forming; the second marks our spiritual birth. Shavuot is a fun holiday. Summer vacation is fast approaching. The weather has returned to predictable – hot and hotter still.
On January 9, 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to serve as President of the Palestinian National Authority. He is now in his 14th year of his four year term. He is 83 years old. They say his aides rushed to the hospital with a high fever and chest pains.
What is known about Abbas is that he was born in Safed and his family fled to Syria during the War of Independence. No, Wikipedia doesn’t say he was chased out or exiled. Rather, his family chose to leave because, like many other Arabs living in British-mandated Palestine, they believed the incoming Arab armies would push the Jews into the sea.
According to an article by noted journalist Khaled Abu Toameh published by the Gatestone Institute, Abbas is worth over $100 million.
So what will happen when Abbas finally steps down (or dies)? That’s a question many are asking themselves in Israel and likely around the world. There may not be a consensus, but few people consider Abbas as a “moderate” anymore and so his death is unlikely to have any major impact. Overall, what did he accomplish? Well, from the Israeli point of view:
- In 1972, Mahmoud Abbas was the paymaster behind the Munich massacre of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes.
- Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly denied the Holocaust while more recently he contradicting his younger self by suggesting that the Jews were responsible for the Holocaust.
A New Low – Even for Abbas