Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which controls Gaza, have formally signed a unity agreement. This means that Fatah, which calls in its constitution for the destruction of Israel and the use of terrorism as an indispensible element in the struggle to achieve its goals, will be united with Hamas, which calls in its charter for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.
When these two terrorist movements see fit to unite, it should be crystal-clear, now more than ever, that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should make no concessions whatever to this new Palestinian terrorist regime.
With such an agreement, the P.A. need make no concessions to Israel in return for any U.N. declaration. As Mideast expert professor Barry Rubin has observed, “In other words, there will be a widely, or internationally, accepted Palestine without the need to make peace with Israel. No concessions need be made. The Palestinians will get everything and give up nothing. They will not be bound in any way by border changes or security guarantees. The struggle to wipe Israel off the map can continue. It’s Hamas’s dream come true.”
We know from recent, bitter experience that the P.A. is unlikely to accept even the most generous Israeli peace proposals, even ones that would endanger Israel, such as Ehud Barak’s 2000 peace offer or Ehud Olmert’s 2008 offer, both of which offered more than 90 percent of Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem to the P.A.
But even if the P.A. were willing to accept a concessionary Israeli proposal, such a proposal should not be made, because Abbas’ P.A has done nothing to suggest that its war against Israel will abate. To the contrary, by naming schools, streets and sports teams after Jew-killers, neither arresting terrorists nor outlawing terrorist groups and now initialing an agreement with the terrorist group Hamas, the P.A. has shown conclusively that it is not only not a peace partner, but is an avowed enemy of Jews and the Jewish state.
Why then is Israel being urged to make concessions? These urgings are based on the fallacy that creating a Palestinian state will bring peace. This will remain a delusion until and unless the P.A. genuinely reforms itself to cleanse itself of terrorism and extremism, fights and jails terrorists and terminates the culture of hatred and rejection that fuels Palestinian violent rejection of the Jewish state of Israel. Does any reasonable person sincerely believe these things can even begin to occur when Fatah/P.A. allies itself to Hamas?
Any withdrawal of Israeli forces from Judea and Samaria would be a strategic and dangerous mistake, one that would endanger Israel’s major population centers. In this context, it is irrelevant that P.A. forces are being trained by the U.S. The P.A. lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007 and may yet lose Judea and Samaria, despite any agreement signed between the two now.
The prospect of U.S.-trained P.A. forces occupying strategic positions in Judea and Samaria should fill one with dread, not reassurance. We have seen in recent weeks Arab regimes murdering their own citizens by the hundreds and a journalist, Lara Logan, sexually assaulted in Egypt, with crowds egging on the attackers with cries of “Jew, Jew.” What might we expect from a Fatah/Hamas state if it had the chance?
In these circumstances, the Netanyahu government should not accede to whatever pressure might be placed upon it to produce yet another dangerous concession. This would send the world a message of Israeli weakness, a message that this is really Arab land to which Jews have no claim. Instead of seeking to buy time or breathing space with a new concessionary proposal, Israel must speak the truth loudly and clearly – Abbas’ P.A. is an unreconstructed, terrorism-sponsoring regime that refuses to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state and is undeserving of any international support, rewards or concessions until, at the very least, it fulfills its 17-year-old commitments to end terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder. By initialing an agreement with Hamas, it has done the very opposite. This is time for Israeli firmness and steadfastness, not one-sided concessions.