Fatah Official: “Our Goal Has Never Been Peace”
July 14, 2009


Armed struggle still an option





Kifah Radaydeh, a senior official in Fatah, the party co-founded and led by Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, has stated on PA TV that peace has never been a goal for Fatah. Radaydeh, the deputy head of Fatah’s Jerusalem chapter, said: “It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; the goal is Palestine.” Radaydeh says that “armed struggle” has not been ruled out and will continue, depending on how “capable” the PA forces are.


Excerpts from Radaydeh’s PA TV interview:


·        “Fatah is facing a challenge, because [Fatah] says that we perceive peace as one of the strategies, but we say that all forms of the struggle exist, and we do not rule out the possibility of the armed struggle or any other struggle. The struggle exists in all its forms, on the basis of what we are capable of at a given time, and according to what seems right… What exactly do we want? It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; and the goal is Palestine. I do not negotiate in order to achieve peace. I negotiate for Palestine, in order to achieve a state.”  [PA TV July 7, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, ‘Fatah official: ‘Our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; the goal is Palestine,’ Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, July 12, 2009).


It is customary for Fatah and other Palestinian terrorist movements to refer to Israel as well as the Palestinian-controlled territories as ‘Palestine,’ indicating that statehood alongside Israel is, at best, but a temporary expedient on the road to a Palestinian state throughout the territory, part of a phased plan. Fatah’s Constitution, to this day calls for the “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence” (Article 12) and for terrorism as “a strategy and not a tactic … this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished” (Article 19). Fatah’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has murdered over 500 Israelis in eight years of suicide bombing, roadside attacks and shootings.


Other Fatah statements indicating non-acceptance of Israel’s existence, a phased strategy of seeking a Palestinian state alongside Israel as a first step towards eliminating it, and support for terrorism;


·        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 don’t 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,’ Ma’an News [Palestinian wire service], April 27, 2009); “I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.” A smiling Abbas held up a large framed map of ‘Palestine’ covering the entire area of Israel, which was featured on the front page of both PA daily newspaper, with ‘Palestine’ printed in English (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).


·        Abbas: “The Palestinians do not accept the formula that the state of Israel is a Jewish state.” (David Bedein, ‘Olmert reports to Israel Cabinet Meeting,’ Bulletin [Philadelphia], December 3, 2007).


·        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).


·        Abbas: “[W]ith the will and determination of its sons, Fatah has and will continue. We will not give up our principles and we have said that rifles should be directed against the occupation…. We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas: Aim guns against occupation,’ Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007).


·        Abbas Zaki, Fatah ambassador to Lebanon: “With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward” (Interview with ANB TV, May 7, 2009, translation courtesy of Middle East Media Research Institute).


·        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? … It’s not the political parties [that must recognize]; it’s required of the government and not of the parties. It’s required of the government but not of Hamas; it’s required of the government but not of the Fatah” (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, ‘Western funders misled: Fatah still refuses to recognize Israel, PA’s “recognition” only to receive international aid,’ Palestinian Media Watch, March 17, 2009).


·        Najat Abu-Bakr, Fatah MP in PA legislature: Confirmed that Fatah’s goal remains the destruction of Israel, but that their political plan is to focus on the West Bank and Gaza Strip:  “It doesn’t mean that we don’t want the 1948 borders [all of Israel] … but our current political program is to say that we want the 1967 borders.” (PA TV, Aug. 25 2008, ‘Najat Abu Bakr Ribat 1948,’ Palestinian Media Watch, July 12, 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” (David Bedein, ‘The American Sanitizing of a Terrorist Group,’ Israel National News, October 5, 2006).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The evidence of Palestinian Authority (PA)/Fatah duplicity and absence of peaceful intent which renders it unfit as a negotiating partner is overwhelming. As the examples we provide above – which could be lengthened – show, there is no current prospect of peace because the PA, Israel’s supposed negotiating partner is run by a terrorist movement, Fatah, which has never forfeited its extreme and hate filled ideology, aims and terrorist practices.


“It is high time to bring to an end the duplicitous policy charade of Fatah – engaging in negotiations and securing concessions from Israel, a country it has never recognized, whose existence it has never accepted, coupled with terrorism. This renders Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah unfit as peace partners.


“Both Israel and the United States should only be rewarding moderation and acceptance and fulfillment of the written agreements of Oslo, Wye and the Roadmap. Rewards, concessions, financial and diplomatic support should be a reward for moderation, not a down payment in some vague hope of obtaining it.


“By continuing with the flawed, old, failed policies of successive U.S. administrations to recognize and deal with Fatah, we simply send a tragically mistaken and counterproductive message to Palestinians that they need to do nothing but accept unilateral Israeli concessions, rather than extirpate their armed extremists and reform their society for peace with and acceptance of Israel.


“PA maps do not show a country called ‘Israel.’ Nor does Fatah’s 43rd anniversary emblem, which shows Israel labeled ‘Palestine’ and draped in a Palestinian headdress.


“Under prevailing conditions, there is no sound basis for working to create a Palestinian Arab state governed by Fatah, which would become simply another terror state. It’s the height of naiveté to think that sovereignty will resolve this conflict. It would not cause Palestinians to moderate or their leaders to act like good neighbors. On the contrary, it would give Palestinians enhanced capacity to wage war against Israel and further their rejectionist agenda. Remember, Iran, North Korea and Syria are sovereign states. Has that made them peace-loving and moderate?


“Since the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established in 1994, Palestinian Arab society has been educated for terrorism, war and the destruction of Israel. Remember, Palestinians turned down offers of statehood in 1937, 1947 and 2000. If they truly desire statehood, they could obtain it by stopping terrorism. They haven’t, because they prefer to pursue Israel’s elimination. We need to end terror states, not create new ones.


“The ZOA calls upon all American Jewish organizations and the Israeli government to denounce Fatah’s duplicity and educate the public about its unreconstructed vision of eliminating Israel in stages. We cannot expect the world to see Fatah differently if we as Jews do not make an all-out effort to expose its duplicity and reveal its true nature.”


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