It’s 2022 and there are those on Israel’s Right who still object to speaking with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – he’s a terrorist, they say. It’s 2022 and there are still people voicing this groundless and ridiculous claim with utter seriousness. There’s no point correcting them.

In any event, the meeting last week between Abbas and Defense Minister Benny Gantz was only meant to facilitate the maintenance of the occupation. And yet one can't ignore the unbelievable chutzpah of critics in their stated reasons for condemning every meeting with Abbas.

The hands of the Israeli with whom Abbas had discussions are covered with infinitely more blood than the hands of this elderly politico from Ramallah. No talking with terrorists and murderers? In that case, no talking with Gantz. Any Palestinian leader meeting Gantz or those like him is putting aside his pride much more than his Israeli interlocutor is. Gantz is much more of a “terrorist” than Abbas is.

Not only does Gantz not try to hide it. He takes pride in it. And Yitzhak Rabin was also more of a “terrorist” than Yasser Arafat was. He had more blood on his hands, from 1948 onwards. And who agonized over shaking hands with the two of them, seeing to it to give it public expression? The suffering Rabin. His pure hands were repulsed by the thought of shaking hands with the person with whom he was engaged in talks.

The world forgives some acts of murder but not others, even if their lack of legitimacy is equal in every respect. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s world nearly collapsed around him after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That killing was indeed brutal – as if there are murders that aren’t – and included the dismemberment of his body at Istanbul’s Saudi consulate and a proven link to Crown Prince Mohammed. The Saudi crown prince dispatched the journalist’s killers, and he and his country have been penalized with sanctions.

And who dispatched the killers of another journalist? On July 8, 1972, the car of Acre-born journalist, author and intellectual Ghassan Kanafani was blown up. Kanafani and his 17-year-old niece were killed. Granted his body wasn’t dismembered, and rather than being killed at a consulate, it was done near his home. Was his killing any more legitimate than Khashoggi’s? How so? Both were opponents of a regime. For Khashoggi, it was his country’s, and in Kanafani’s case, the country that he lost. One supported the Muslim Brotherhood and the other was a political activist in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Kanafani’s killing was one of the most criminal assassinations committed by the State of Israel, one of many. Someone gave the order and someone else carried it out. The killing prompted accolades, a wink or a shrug.

Did it occur to anyone in the world to impose sanctions on Israel following Kanafani’s death? It’s laughable to even suggest it. Kanafani was eliminated and that’s permissible, Khashoggi was murdered and that isn’t.

Over the past year, Israel killed 319 Palestinians. It was a rather quiet year, with no real war and with relatively few terrorist attacks. Some 319 Palestinians were killed, almost all of them for no reason, almost all of their deaths unwarranted, and nearly all of them were unarmed. Few of them endangered anyone. They were for the most part protesters and farmers, and few of them actually tried to perpetrate terrorist attacks. Yet despite that, Abbas agreed to meet the person who oversaw the killings, the person who gave the order, backed it and even praised it.

Over the course of the same year, 11 Israelis were also killed, 29 times fewer. A ratio of 319:11. The small number of Israeli fatalities certainly pleases many Israelis, but in addition to the joy, there is no sign of what should be a disturbing question.

What sort of proportion is this? Does it attest simply to the balance of power between the two sides? Are the killers of the 319 the good ones, really protecting their lives, while the killers of the 11 are terrorists and murderers whose leaders must not be met with?

And above all, how much more Palestinian blood needs to be spilled before people in Israel dare to bravely and honestly, for the first time in this country’s history, answer the question of who here is a terrorist and who is fighting for his rights – before making inciting statements that meeting with Abbas is not permissible because, after all, he’s a terrorist.