By Morton A. Klein
The Annapolis peace summit, attended by Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and various Arab states, took place only days ago, yet events that have occurred in the short since, is already exposing the fantasy that such a conference could help achieve peace and that Mahmoud Abbas Fatah-controlled PA is a genuine peace partner.
Indeed, the behavior of the Arab parties at Annapolis underscored their rejection of Israel – at Arab insistence, Arabs and Israelis used different entrances to the conference and many also refused to shake hands or privately meet with their Israeli counterparts. Abbas himself also trumpeted extreme Arab positions, including demanding all the Golan Heights for Syria and backed Hizballahs manufactured territorial claims against Israel by referring to Lebanese occupied territories – although Israel withdrew completely from Lebanese territory in 2000, something even the UN then acknowledged.
Remarkably, immediately after Abbas signed a document at Annapolis promising to end incitement to hatred and murder, Abbas-controlled PA radio, the Voice of Palestine, broadcast a segment on Adolf Hitler, profusely praising him and his accomplishments, while not even mentioning the Holocaust. His victories in 1940 were described as his golden year, his defeat and death his bitter end. In addition, an information clip produced by the PAs Central Bureau of Statistics was broadcast showing a map in which Israel was painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag, symbolizing Israel turned into a Palestinian state.
Also since Annapolis, Abbas Fatah declared that Fatah would fight alongside the terrorist group Hamas if and when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launches a military operation in the Gaza Strip to combat the incessant rocket fire against Israel by terrorists operating in the Hamas-controlled territory. A Fatah official was quoted as saying that Fatah wont remain idle in the face of an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip We will definitely fight together with Hamas against the Israeli army.
Consider: The PA is supposed to be fighting terrorism. It claims, at least in English, to be opposed to terror and meeting its obligations under the Roadmap. If Abbas was genuinely committed to a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel and fighting terrorism, he would be supporting Israel combating the anti-peace Hamas and destroying the terrorists, which is a precondition for a successful peace agreement. He would welcome the elimination of terrorists and the Hamas forces that seized control of Gaza.
Also, about the last thing a genuine peace maker would want is thousands of released terrorists walking the streets of the PA – yet that is precisely the perennial demand of Abbas PA and Abbas himself often condemns Israeli action to prevent terrorism, as when he described Israels killing of seven terrorists in October 2006 as a heinous massacre.
Worse: After Annapolis, Abbas has asked Saudi Arabia and Egypt to intercede with Hamas with a view to having Fatah reach a new alliance with it. Hamas does not even pretend to accept Israel and its Charter calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7).
It should therefore be no surprise that since Annapolis, Abbas and Fatah have been reiterating their refusal to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state – something without which no true peace can occur. Yet Abbas has been touring Arab capitals, stating openly, The Palestinians do not accept the formula that the State of Israel is a Jewish state.
It has also been revealed that Fatahs own forces carried out the murder of an Israeli, Ido Zoldan, only days before Annapolis. Fatahs Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for Zoldans murder the same day but the fact was only revealed after the summit. This blatant case of PA involvement in terror has led Israeli Defense Department officials actually urge the government to rethink its policy of strengthening Abbas while his policemen remain involved in terrorism.
We should not be surprised at all this – look at Fatahs Constitution, which is little different from Hamas Charter: it calls for destroying Israel (Article 12), the use of terrorism as an essential element in the strategy to achieve this goal (Article 19), and rejects any negotiated solution as a matter of principle (Article 22). No wonder peace has proved impossible.
All this simply confirms the folly of treating Abbas Fatah as genuine peace-partners and rewarding them with diplomatic support, funds and promises of Israeli concessions. Israel the U.S. must drastically and immediately rethink the failed and foolish strategy of building a peace settlement on the basis of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah terror-sponsoring regime.
There should be no discussions or major Israeli concessions and statehood to Abbas PA until and unless it fulfills its 14 year-old written commitments to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end incitement to hatred and murder of Israel in their schools, media and speeches over a sustained period of time.
(Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America.)