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David Bedein

Part of poster Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen)that was up in Bethlehem
photo by Rhonda Spivak

David Bedein: Golda Meir's Doctrine After Munich: Death Sentence For PLO Leaders Responsible...Could this be applied today to Abbas for His Role in financing Munich Massacre?

by David Bedein, September 11, 2012

[Editor's note: Tom Gross in his Mideast Dispatches raised a very good question asking why with all the recent interest in the Munich Massacre this last couple of months, why has the media been silent on the role of Mahmoud Abbas (now the President of the PA) in the Munich Massacre? My answer: It's a whitewash to "cleanse" and "recycle" the image of Abbas, so the public in Israel, the US and the West doesn't begin to ask uncomfortable questions. The problem is that it enables all of us to forget true history--and it gives us the ability to naively hope that Abbas will be a man that will be able to take the necessary compromises that Arafat could not, in order to forge a real peace with Israel.  As Tom Gross rightly points out:

"Abu Daoud, who openly acknowledged his role in the Olympic massacre, both in his memoir, “Palestine: From Jerusalem to Munich,” and in an interview with al-Jazeera TV, is one of several senior PLO members who has said that Yasser Arafat’s then deputy, Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen), was responsible for financing the Munich attack.

When Abu Daoud died in 2010, the official Palestinian Authority daily paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported (July 4, 2010) that “President Mahmoud Abbas sent a telegram of condolences yesterday over the death of the great fighter Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, ‘Abu Daoud.’ What a wonderful brother, companion, tough and stubborn, relentless fighter.”

For more details, click on Tom Gross’s dispatch from 2003:* Abu Mazen and the Munich Olympics massacre
David Bedein in the following article goes a step further and looks as what Golda Meyer said at the time, which was that Israel had to target all those responsible for the Munich Massacre which arguable should have included Abbas. Bedin now asks whether that order technically still applies---as Abbas is the only one who is left. I have no doubt that the Israeli government is now not going to apply the Golda Meir doctrine and target Abbas, but in my view, that doesn't mean that we ought to forget about this history.]

Golda Meir's Doctrine After Munich: Death Sentence For PLO Leaders...Could this be applied today to Abbas for His Role in financing Munich Massacre?

by David Bedein 

There has been a surge of interest in Israel, to remember Munich murders which occurred 40 years ago at the Olympic Games.
At the time, I was a student in Jerusalem, following every horrific moment of the unfolding story on the radio, into the wee hours of the night.
It is hard to forget the young people in Israel with their heads held low at the sight of their sports heroes who returned home in flag draped caskets, having falling victim to PLO killers.
Yet there was pride in all walks of life in Israel when Prime Minister Gold Meir announced that the Israeli government had issued a death warrant, to kill all those responsible for the Munich killings,
Golda's doctrine received great adulation from all factions in the Israeli Knesset
Documents released by the Israeli government this week from the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense C Committee meeting after the Munich attacks focused on discussion about how to fight the PLO.

MK Ya’acov Hazan, leader of the left wing Mapam party, argued that this was a difficult war like all wars, and therefore: “We must not only defend ourselves, but also attack. We must search for the terrorists and kill them. We must change them from hunters to prey”.

Subsequent debates in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the subject of the war on terrorism, with the participation of Prime Minister Meir, on October 24th, 1972 . On November 3rd, 1972, the Knesset committee   resumed debate, after a Lufthansa hijacking, after which West Germany released the Munich terrorists
The meeting was held in a militant atmosphere, and it was agreed that the time had come, as suggested by Hazan, to change the role of the terrorists from "hunters to hunted," and to do so in cooperation with local security forces; and if this was not possible, "without them".
Likud leader Menachem Begin proposed creating a special unit for the war on terror, and recruiting the best people who had dealt in covert operations in the past, such as [future prime minister] Yitzhak Shamir, Isser Harel and others. “If, in fact, we do this, we can change the situation in a short  time. It doesn’t require many years until we eliminate them, to a great extent”, he said.
Israeli left wing Labor icon Lyova Eliav argued that Israel must hit not only just terrorists in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, as was done in retaliation for the Munich massacre, but also the leaders
And so the decision was taken, by the Israeli government, with the support of the Knesset, to hunt down and kill all leaders responsible for the Munich attacks.
And that is what Israel did, killing off one PLO leader after another who was responsible for the murder of eleven Israel athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich.
There is one PLO leader still at large, with blood on his hands from the Munich attack: Machmud Abbas, also known as  Abu Mazen
The late Abu Daoud, a key PLO terrorist who helped engineer  the Munich attack, revealed that "the Munich operation had  the endorsement of Arafat”, adding that “Mahmoud Abbas,  a.k.a. Abu Mazen, was responsible for the financing of the  Munich attack”.
Abbas never expressed regret for his actions of the PLO in Munich. 
Instead, Abbas makes it his policy to conduct daily activities in which he lauds those who have murdered Israelis in such heinous acts of terror and, as has now been  revealed, Abbas authorizes tremendous sums to remunerate  those who serve life terms for conducting cold blooded murders of Israelis.
Yet Abbas has reason for concern.
Since decisions of one Israeli government obligate future Israeli governments, Abbas should realize that, once again, he is a marked man.
No new Israeli government decision would be necessary for Israeli intelligence to dispatch a hit squad to execute Abbas, for his leadership in the murder of eleven Israeli  athletes.
When the people of Israel remember their victims from Munich, they also recall the perpetrators of these killings.

To reiterate the message of the Golda doctrine, as articulated by Mapam leader Yaakov Hazan: "We must search for the terrorists and kill them. We must change them from hunters to prey”.

By David Bedein, , September 9, 2012
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