Israel has been facing a problem for some years now because of a fiction. The invention of the “moderate Palestinian leadership” began upon Arafat’s death when it was announced by the media that Abu Mazen was a “moderate leader” who would help bring peace. Abu Mazen is the nom de guerre of Mahmoud Abbas, a former terrorist, right hand to Arafat, and author of a doctoral dissertation containing fictional material about the Holocaust.
Abbas was in the Palestinian Authority’s hierarchy when they rejected Ehud Barak’s Camp David and Taba offers. He was the leader when the PA rejected the Ehud Olmert peace offer. He was a member of the leadership when the Palestinians launched their war of 2000, which involved masses of suicide bomb and sniper attacks on Israeli civilians. He was leader or member of the leadership over the past decade in which the PA has led an international effort to de-legitimize Israel, make it a scapegoat in the UN, damage its standing in the world, and encourage a boycott movement which has included attacks on Israel’s Jewish heritage.
Locally, the Palestinian Authority under Abbas permitted shelling from Gaza, even after Israel evacuated all of its civilians and soldiers from there. Under Abbas, not a single Jewish resident of the Israeli Gaza settlements – even those born there – was permitted to remain to live as a resident of the Palestinian entity. Under Abbas, Fatah in its Sixth Congress and its Revolutionary Council have voted to continue their struggle against Israel with the possibility of violent struggle, voted to deny any Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, voted to reject any meaningful compromise that would permit a Jewish state to be recognized by the Palestinians and voted to reject any compromise that would not tend toward turning Israel into an Arab, Muslim state.
On the other hand, while serving as leader of the very Palestinians maintaining this hard-line position, Abbas has enjoyed being depicted as a “moderate.” Alongside him is another supposed “moderate,” Salaam Fayyad, the PA’s prime minister. There is hardly a newspaper or TV report that does not describe these two as “moderate,” often contrasting them with “hard-line” Israeli leaders such as Netanyahu.
Of course, Netanyahu has announced that he’s willing to come to a “two-states for two-nations” solution. Abbas has not. Fayyad has not.
In fact, the only tangible differences between the “moderate” PA -which receives American funds, American military training, American and Israeli weapons, American diplomatic support, European diplomatic and financial support and the benefit of the doubt of most Western media – and Hamas in Gaza are that the latter speaks straightforwardly about wanting to destroy Israel while the former are sly about playing the international diplomatic game often saying things in Arabic for Arab audiences that are different than what they say in English for international audiences. Also, Hamas’s raison d’etre originates in a religious approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict while Fatah, parent body of the PA, approaches the Palestinian war against Israel from a nationalist perspective, even if that nationalism has a heavy religious tint to it.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that the PA proved their bad faith conclusively. No, I am not referring to their continued refusal to negotiate peace with Israel, but rather to their public announcement that the Western Wall (also known as the Kotel and the Wailing Wall) had no connection to the Jewish people.
Today, to show the success of standing firm on a platform of no peace, no compromise, reticence to negotiate, occasional violence and outright anti-Semitism, the Palestinian “moderate” leadership has been rewarded by Brazil and Argentina, two important countries, with recognition of a Palestinian state over all the territory that Jordan occupied in 1948, ethnically cleansed of all Jewish residents and subsequently lost to Israel in 1967 after attacking the Jewish state.
Most important regarding this recognition is that it gives the Palestinians the area with the sites holiest to all three faiths which have been open and safe to members of all three faiths under Israeli rule. The Palestinians are the same people who built a new mosque at the Haram al Sharif (the Al Aqsa Mosque compound) by bulldozing a huge area containing both Islamic and Jewish historical artifacts, who have rewritten the history of Jewish sites like Rachel’s Tomb, who have declared the Dead Sea Scrolls written mostly in Hebrew as Palestinian artifacts and who (against all known history and study of the subject) deny all Jewish links to the holiest site in Judaism.
This recognition of “Palestine” without any quid pro quo has been sought recently by the PA from certain nations including the current Obama-led USA as a means to achieve a painless stage in seeking to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. This move, however, contravenes the Oslo Accords which the Palestinians signed, as well as subsequent agreements to which they are obligated. Furthermore, it does a run-around on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 which form the foundation to any agreement between the Palestinians and Israel – as agreed to by the Palestinians.
Israel has helped the Palestinians get to this point in numerous ways. They have provided economic, diplomatic, military and even personal support to the PA leadership. They have downplayed Palestinian infringements on agreements and Palestinian bad faith, while playing up Abbas and Fayyad. Israel has even supported the PA government’s claim to be the leadership of the Palestinian people even though the PA decided not to run new elections as is required by Palestinian law.
Most of all, Israel has protected the PA from its arch enemy, Hamas. By searching for and imprisoning Hamas men, Israel has ensured that the PA has no enemy in Judea and Samaria – no natural predator, so to speak.
It is time that the charade end. It is time for Israel to take steps to ensure that its enemies and the enemies of peace will stop interfering with attempts to forge a compromise under the guise of being “moderates.”
1. Israel should immediately lift all protective measures it provides for the PA in Judea and Samaria.
2. Its soldiers should not provide any service to the PA in arresting Hamas activists, and
3. Its intelligence services should not participate in any anti-Hamas activities that aren’t directed at Israel.
4. Israel’s leaders should address PA leaders at home and in all diplomatic circles as what they are: anti-Semites who would deny Jewish historical links to a land where Jewish historical links long precede Palestinian historical links.
5. Israel should negotiate a deal with Hamas to release the 1000 prisoners (many of whom are terrorists with Israeli blood on their hands) it seeks freed for Gilad Shalit.
6. Israel should direct all PA men from the release into Gaza, and all the Hamas men into Judea and Samaria.
I believe within 3-6 months, Hamas will have taken over the Palestinian Authority and “moderate” leaders like Abbas and Fayyad will either be sitting in Palestinian prisons or under house arrest. From that point on, Israel will have to deal with an implacable enemy just as tough as the PA (and backed by Iran, not the US), but at least it will be one that is recognized as “hard-line” by the world.
Peace might not come this way, but it should now be clear to everybody who seeks peace that it was not going to happen under the current PA leadership who have been offered a state 3 times in the past decade. In fact, the opposite is happening and Israel is damaged by the fiction it has helped to create and protect.
Let the truth out because it is Israel’s best defense.
Oh yes, I almost forgot. I do have a plan for the day after the religious terrorists of Hamas take over. Israel should offer the new Palestinian leadership a hudna where they get full autonomy in the area surrounded by the Security Barrier on one side and the Rabin “Jordan Valley Lines” on the other side in exchange for 100 years of peace. The IDF will move back to those lines to facilitate the long-term cease-fire. Israel will continue to control all borders as they do currently with Gaza. The hudna will include three key elements:
1. An understanding that severe attacks by Israel will follow any hudna violations by the Palestinians;
2. The Palestinians may not build up a military infrastructure beyond what they inherit from the Fatah PA, and,
3. Explicit permission for any Jews who wish to remain in the newly-created Palestinian autonomous area to live there peacefully and unmolested but under Palestinian law.
Another possibility occurred to me. A possible Plan B would be to allow Hamas to do what it wants to do to the current PA but then deny them taking over the government and instead establishing a new PA with explicit restrictions preventing former PLO members from serving in its ranks.