Did Biden Just Ban Mahmoud Abbas from Visiting the US?
By: Moshe Phillips
President Joe Biden has announced that he will issue “visa bans against extremists attacking civilians in the West Bank.” If he means what he says, the first person the president will have to ban is Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
In a November 18 Washington Post op-ed, President Biden called for creation of a Palestinian Arab state, and also announced his intention to ban “extremists attacking civilians.” He made it clear that he was referring to “violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.” (He meant the handful of recent disputes between Jewish Israeli and Palestinian Arab farmers.)
But you can’t target only those who carry out “extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank,” because many Jews live in that region, too. In order to be fair, the United States must have a policy that applies to any extremist who attacks anybody, Arab or Jew.
Hence the principle that Biden articulated: “The United States is prepared to take our own steps, including issuing visa bans against extremists attacking civilians in the West Bank.”
And that’s where Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PA, comes in.
If there is one person who is more responsible than any other for sponsoring “extremists attacking civilians in the West Bank,” it’s the chairman of the Palestinian Authority.
—The PA constantly exhorts the Arab masses to attack Jews.
For example, on October 21, the head of the Nablus branch of Fatah—which is the largest faction of the PA and happens to also be chaired by Abbas—announced, “We are united and aiming our bullets at the occupier and at the settlers.”
And on October 23, the Bethlehem and Tulkarm branches of Fatah issued a proclamation to “Sons of the West Bank,” urging, “Call out ‘Allahu Akbar,’ this is a call of mobilization to all those who have a weapon; shame and disgrace on everyone who abandons the struggle.”
(Thank you to Palestinian Media Watch for the translations.)
—The PA’s news media and schools glorify “extremists who attack Jewish civilians.” On October 10, official PA Television broadcast a declaration by the head of the Tulkarm branch of Fatah, calling the October 7 pogrom “a source of pride, heroism, and honor for the Palestinian people.
—The PA pays salaries to Palestinian Arab “extremists who attack Jewish civilians,” and pays monetary rewards to their families. It also pays bonuses that