New York – Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said yesterday on Army Radio, “A cease-fire is a ticking bomb which will blow up in our faces. A cease-fire as such is not a goal. Whoever thinks a halt is the right thing is mistaken.”
Shalom added, “Therefore, you cannot take a cease-fire as a long range goal [W]hile they are still preserving their infrastructure, the extremist organization can rebuild them and bring about a situation in which at a time they choose they can carry out one terrorist attack or a series of terror attacks, which will bring down this whole process and send it to hell.” (Ha’aretz, Jan. 27, 2005)
Israel colonel David Hacham, who advises the Israeli government on Palestinian issues, recently stated, “All these promises about what the Palestinian forces can do are like a check that can bounce at any moment.” (L.A. Times, Jan. 23, 2005)
It seems clear that the average Israeli also feels this cease-fire is not as positive as one might think. In a poll conducted by Prof. Y. Katz’s Maagar Mochot polling agency for Israel Radio, 70% of Israelis believed “that the Palestinian terror organizations will exploit the current cease-fire period to arm and organize against Israel.” Even the left-wing Labor voters agreed with that view by a margin of 59% – 18%.
A local spokesman for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, gave credence to these concerns by saying, “This is not a cease-fire. This is a Palestinian tactic to avoid giving the enemy any pretext to escalate the situation during the dialogue which would foil it.” (New York Times, Jan. 24, 2005)
As far as trusting Palestinian Authority (PA) leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas commitment to a long-term end to terrorism against Israelis, we only need to look at his comments in Saudi Arabia on December 15, 2004, when he said, I dont want my comment on the demilitarization of the uprising to be misunderstood . All I meant is that we are in a phase that does not necessitate arms because we want to negotiate. (UPI, Dec. 15, 2003)
Last year Abbas said, We did not say, however, that we are giving up the armed struggle. The Palestinian people have a right to oppose, using all means at their disposal to protect their existence. (Alsharak Alawast, March 3, 2003).
Some may be shocked by Abbas’ comments, but shouldn’t be if we remember that Abbas was Arafat’s top deputy for 40 years, co-founder of the terror group Fatah, financier of the Munich massacre, and a Holocaust denier, who also said that the ancient Jewish temples were built in Yemen, not Jerusalem. He also recently called Israel the “Zionist enemy” and praised terrorists as heroes and martyrs.
The Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is important that a prominent leader like Silvan Shalom speak out on the potentially ephemeral benefits and dangers of this so-called ‘cease-fire.’
“The ZOA has sent letters to leaders of Congress and the Bush administration, urging them to demand of Mahmoud Abbas that before any serious negotiations take place, and before 20 million dollars of US funds are sent to the PA, Abbas must:
(1) Dismantle and disarm the terror organizations;
(2) Arrest and imprison the terrorists;
(3) End all incitement promoting hatred and murder of Jewish Israelis in their Palestinian Arab schools, media, children’s camps, speeches, and mosques;
(4) Publicly recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State;
(5) End any demands about the so-called right of ‘refugees’ to move to Israel; and
(6) Place Israel on the maps used by the PA instead of simply showing ‘Palestine.’
“If the PA does not fulfill these obligations and enact these reforms, then this will enable terrorism against Israelis to be turned on and off like a spigot.
“The fundamental obligations were accepted by the PA under the Oslo Agreement 11 years ago, and under the Road Map two years ago. The US and Israel dare not make the same mistakes with Abbas as they made with Oslo and Arafat by ignoring the PA’s responsibilities and not holding them accountable. And this time, the consequences are even greater because the PA could end up with a sovereign terror state that would endanger Israel and harm US efforts in the international war against terror.”