Well, well, well…
I hate to say it as a supporter of the Oslo process, but the cat is out of the bag. The Palestinians were lying all the way and did not put forth efforts toward peace in good faith.
Fatah has been headed by Arafat since the 50s (it was founded in 1957) and has been responsible for probably as many terror attacks upon Israelis and international targets as all the other Palestinian terror groups combined. They have been committing attacks even after Oslo and after Camp David II.
Internationally, however, they’ve gotten a pass in the last decade because they are affiliated with the PLO, also headed by Arafat, which was the organization considered by the world to be the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people until it evolved into the Palestinian Authority, although the PLO and Fatah remain intact as organizations. Thank Arafat for the purposeful obfuscation.
So anyway, the world made a big deal of the fact that in 1988 the PLO agreed to accept Israel’s existence, and as part of the Oslo process, the Palestinians promised to change the parts of their Charter calling for the destruction of Israel. They went into closed door sessions in 1996 and voted 3 times behind those very closed doors to change the Charter. They never revealed to the world what changes were made specifically, but gave political, dimplomatic and informational assurances that they had abrogated the clauses calling for Israel’s destruction.
Farouk Kaddoumi has remained the “Foreign Minister” of Fatah and the PLO all these years, and actually never left Tunis to move into the Territories like so many of his colleagues in murder and lies. He has also been a staunch and vocal opponent of the Oslo process, and has said that he believes in the armed struggle to defeat Israel. He also admitted, a few months ago, that the Palestinians were scamming all along and the PLO charter was never really changed in those closed door meetings.
This is the man who Arafat, on his deathbed, has appointed as his successor at Fatah. Today, Kaddoumi has already stated publicly that “I`m open to peace talks, but ready to pursue armed struggle.” Uh huh.
So folks, what we’ve learned in the past 4 years is that the Palestinians lied to us and their intentions never changed. Their true face has now come out, and of all people to take over for Arafat, they’ve chosen one of their true hard-liners. Am I surprised? No. Am I disappointed? Yes. In them, but also in myself and people like me who hoped. Damn, those spots never change.