TEL AVIV – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is being taunted on social media for presenting Saudi King Salmon with a framed copy of the 1930s-era Palestine Post – a pre-state Zionist newspaper.
David Brinn, the managing editor of The Jerusalem Post – The Palestine Post’s the present-day incarnation – posted a photograph of Abbas handing over the gift on his Twitter account, musing, “I wonder if he’s a subscriber.”
— David Brinn (@davidbjpost) June 20, 2016
Pro-Israel advocates were quick to rip apart Abbas for the apparent blunder.
Ofir Gendelman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arab media spokesman, tweeted the following:
Abbas gave the Saudi king a copy of the “Palestine Post” as a present. Didn’t he know that it was a Zionist paper? pic.twitter.com/vCmxTrRbTJ
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) June 22, 2016
Blogger IsraelShield commented on the expression of Saudi king as he receives the gift: “There is a reason he is looking so uneasy. He is probably embarrassed by the utter stupidity of Abbas. See, The Palestine Post was a Jewish Zionist newspaper.”
Israellycool.com dubbed it a “humungus fail.” Its contributor, Brian of London, lamented that international audiences would not be able to grasp the significance of the gesture:
“What always strikes me as strange is that the international media have no way to explain this to their audience,” he told Breitbart Jerusalem. “Almost any reference to Palestinians pre-1948 refers to Jews not Arabs. Arab Palestinian identity didn’t express itself until the mid-60’s. But the mainstream has completely buried this.”
In the photograph, Abbas is seen pointing at something on the framed front page. The Jerusalem Post’s Brinn quipped, “Wonder if they’re pointing to a 1930’s typo.” As it turns out, Abbas is in all likelihood pointing to a front-page story about the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Emir Saud’s visit to the Holy Land published in the August 13, 1935 edition. Alongside the article is another one about a delegation of Zionists visiting Switzerland.
The likelihood is that the PA chief is aware of the Jewish national nature of the paper. Still, the irony that Holocaust-denying Abbas, who also expends considerable efforts denying the Jewish people’s historical connection to Jerusalem, would tout a Zionist rag to a Saudi king is not lost.