Palestinian Authority (PA) president and Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas has reiterated past statements demonstrating that he does not accept Israel as a Jewish state. Yesterday, at a preliminary conference of the Palestinian Youth Parliament in Ramallah, Abbas said, I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will. At the end of the conference, Abbas was presented with a large framed map of Palestine, labeled in English, covering the entire area of Israel. The photo of the map being held aloft by a smiling Abbas was featured in a prominent front-page position in both PA daily newspapers. (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Mahmoud Abbas: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will, Palestinian Media Watch, April 28, 2009).
For many years, Abbas and Fatah have made statements to Western media and audiences indicating acceptance of Israel and agreements signed with it by the PA but, in fact, Fatah has not accepted Israel, its Constitution to this day calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an indispensable element in the struggle to achieve that aim (Article 19). Both during and since the 2007 Annapolis conference, Abbas and other senior PA officials explicitly repudiated accepting Israel as a Jewish state. Moreover, Abbas as well as other Fatah officials have freely admitted the fact that neither they nor Fatah itself have ever recognized Israel.
· Mahmoud Abbas, PA president and Fatah chairman: Alluding to the dispute over whether the Palestinian government should recognize Israel and abide by past Palestinian agreements, Abbas noted that forces dont need to accept what the government accepts, and we say that the government has to accept the international legitimacy. (Abbas calls for all-inclusive unity government, Maan News [Palestinian wire service], April 27, 2009).
· Abbas: Hamas is not required, Hamas is not required to recognize Israel… It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel, all right? The PLO, in 1993, recognized Israel … But the government which will be formed, and which will function opposite the Israelis on a daily basis … every hour and perhaps every second, there will be contact between Palestinian ministers and Israeli ministers … [Abbas then gives an example of 500 million dollars in taxes intended for the Palestinians, but put on hold by Israelis. The Palestinian finance minister has to come to an agreement with the Israeli finance minister regarding the transfer of that money.] So how can he make an agreement with him if he does not recognize him? So I do not demand of Hamas nor any other [organizations] to recognize Israel. But from the government that works with Israelis in day to day life, yes (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006, Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook, Abbas dupes US: Recognition is functional, not inherent, Palestinian Media Watch, October 5, 2006).
· Senior Fatah commander, Muhammad Dahlan, former commander of Fatah forces in Gaza: [Hamas says] that the Fatah movement wants Hamas to recognize Israel. This is a gross deception. And I want to say for the thousandth time, in my own name and in the name of all of my fellow members of the Fatah movement: We do not demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. On the contrary, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today
We of the Fatah do not recognize Israel; we recognized [corrects himself] recognize that which the PLO recognized, but that does not obligate us as a Palestinian resistance faction. It is not being demanded of Hamas that it recognize Israel … The entire Palestinian economy is dependent on Israel. The government’s role is to manage the day-to-day life of the Palestinian people. I cannot force my thinking and my position [non-recognition of Israel] on the government, and then [were I to do so] should the Palestinian people pay the price for this position?
Its not the political parties [that must recognize]; it’s required of the government and not of the parties. Its required of the government but not of Hamas; its required of the government but not of the Fatah (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Western funders misled: Fatah still refuses to recognize Israel, PAs recognition only to receive international aid, Palestinian Media Watch, March 17, 2009)
· Abu Ahmed, Fatah commander: The base of our Fatah movement keeps dreaming of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa and Acco. …There is no change in our official position. Fatah as a movement never recognized Israel, the terrorist, calling himself Abu Ahmed, explained. He went on to say that the Al-Aksa Brigades is one and the same with the Fatah party. (David Bedein, The American Sanitizing of a Terrorist Group, Israel National News, October 5, 2006).
ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, The ZOA has exposed numerous times the falsity of the claim made across international governments and the media that Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, the party he leads, have accepted Israels legitimacy and permanence. For years, we have been drawing attention to the duplicity of Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah. This week Mahmoud Abbas reiterated in the plainest words to a Palestinian audience that he does not accept Israel. How much more evidence is required before Western policy makers, including the Obama Administration, and the Western media, take notice?
Under these prevailing conditions, there is no legitimate reason to even suspect that Fatah accepts Israel, let alone that it means to conclude a serious and durable peace agreement that accepts the permanence of Israel as a Jewish state. All the diplomatic flurry for a peace settlement negotiated with Abbas PA is simply an illusion built on sand. Any sort of final peace with Israel would be in direct violation of both the Hamas Charter and the Fatah Constitution. Have we seen any effort or even a suggestion that these might change? The answer is, of course, No.
Any of the U.S. aid $900 million aid for the Palestinians slated for the PA, as well as negotiations with the PA, should be conditioned on Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, which run the PA, repudiating the Fatah Constitution, unequivocally accepting Israel as a Jewish state and renouncing terrorism in word and deed, including the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds it.