Palestinian Moderation

August 22nd, 2009

What Palestinian Moderation Looks Like by David Feith in The Wall Street Journal presents yet more evidence of the real nature and objectives of the Palestinians, even the so-called moderates:

…the message last week from the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, where the “moderate” Fatah party held its first general congress since 1989. Fatah — founded by Yasser Arafat in the 1960s and led since 2004 by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas — demonstrated that Palestinian national politics remain as mired as ever in conspiracy theories, duplicity and the glorification of terrorists.

In opening the congress, Fatah elder statesman and former chief Palestinian peace negotiator Ahmed Qurei announced “We have in our midst the hero Khaled Abu-Usbah.” Abu-Usbah’s “heroism” derives from a 1978 terrorist attack that killed 37 Israelis. Time magazine (back then able to distinguish terrorists from “militants”) described Abu-Usbah’s mission: “The terrorists hijacked two buses filled with tourists and sightseers, took them on a wild ride down the road toward Tel Aviv, shooting along the way at everyone in sight, and finally destroyed one bus in an orgy of fire and death.” …

If that didn’t make it clear that their goals and methods haven’t changed:

“We stress that we have endorsed the path of peace and negotiations,” said Mr. Abbas to the congress. But “we also reserve our authentic right to legitimate resistance.”

An “Internal Order,” published on Fatah’s website, is clearer: “The armed popular revolution is the only inevitable way to the liberation of Palestine…The struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity.”

Many in the U.S. who oppose Israel and favor the Palestinians, mostly Democrats and leftists in general, have a habit of drawing false moral equivalency arguments to show that both sides are equally at fault.  They go further, claiming that if Isreal would end its “occupation” of Palestinian land, a two-state solution could be achieved and everyone would live happily ever after.

They go out of their way to avoid the plain fact that the destruction of Israel is the plainly stated goal of the Palestinians, Arab states, and Iran.  Palestinian leaders say it, Arab and Iranian government leaders say it, Muslim religious leaders throughout the region and the world say it, and their populations for the most part believe them and support that goal.  Why, then, is it so hard for Americans of a certain stripe to believe it?  What part of The struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity do they not understand? 

Corrupt Palestinian leaders spoon-feed their people and their supporters in America and elsewhere blatant and self-evident lies, which are then repeated and used to justify condemnations of Israel.  More from the article:

Palestinian leaders have long made an art of doublespeak. As Mohammed Dahlan, elected last week to Fatah’s chief governing committee, explained recently: “I lived with Chairman Yasser Arafat for years…Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things.”

Fatah’s current leaders continue to walk in their founder’s footsteps. Responsible state-building would require of them a level of accountability they scorn. When pressed last week by delegate Hussam Khader to account for Fatah’s finances over the past 20 years, Mr. Abbas shouted him down. The congress offered no financial accounting — neither to Mr. Khader, nor to western taxpayers whose aid to the Palestinians has often vanished by the billions.

Instead, the delegates descended into conspiratorial fantasy, resolving unanimously to open a sham investigation into Arafat’s 2004 death in a Parisian military hospital. Arafat displayed symptoms of Parkinson’s and possibly other illnesses, but no autopsy was ever conducted. Now Fatah wants to investigate, even as it already concluded, reported the Jerusalem Post, that “Israel bears full responsibility for his death, that the issue continues to remain open, and that the investigation enlists international support.”

It’s long past time for Americans who support Palestinian goals and condemn Israel to remember that Israel is the only free, democratic country in the Middle East.  Israel and its people are culturally, historically, and philosophically aligned with our culture and values, and we must support them in their continued struggle for survival.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration does not seem to understand the realities that underlie the situation in the Middle East.  They have been quick to criticize and dictate to Israel, while largely ignoring the existential threat that Israel and its people face.  This is consistent with their ideology, and it may have disastrous consequences.

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6 Responses to “Palestinian Moderation”

  1. Clarissa |

    I agree with every word of your post, Tom, except this: “This is consistent with their ideology”. What kind of ideology wants a solution that would put Israel in peril? How can that possibly benefit any US administration? Nobody can be stupid enough to fail seeing that Israel is a beacon of light in the Middle East.

    What Obama’s administration is doing on this issue is exactly what it’s doing on many other issues: trying to sit on two chairs with one butt. The Democrats have this annoying tendency to try and please everyone which usually ends up pleasing no one and alienating all sides. Why they keep on this suicide course is a profound mystery to me. I thought Obama would be different, but we see the exact same attitude that was so annoying during the Clinton era.

  2. Brian Bagent |

    You are, of course, correct, Tom. There is no internal consistency to the arguments of the Palestinians. The politest thing I can say about them is that they are duplicitous. The Israelis aren’t without problems and faults of their own, but we share many of the same faults. Not so with the Muslims.

    To be impolite, they are quite clearly uncivil. They prevaricate at every opportunity, and their only tool of diplomacy seems to be the violence of the murder/suicide bomber.

    What is truly pathetic is that prior to 1948, there was almost nobody in that part of the world. Mark Twain wrote in the late 19th century that he didn’t think he’d ever seen such a desolate, unpeopled land. Israel has literally made the desert bloom. If it were to be given to the Palestinians and Arabs, it would be consumed by the Negev within a couple years.

  3. Steve Hayes |

    “Moderate” is one of the most meaningless words in politics.

  4. Tom |

    Obama’s approach to the Middle East is seriously flawed. His concept is to put pressure on the Israelis to make concessions, then hope that maybe the Palestinians and others in the region will take the steps necessary to make some kind of peace process work. That’s naive and best, cynical at worst. Either way, it’s very dangerous because the Palestinians and their supporters will never back away from their ultimate goal, which is the destruction of Israel.

    If they ever get close to achieving that goal, the Israelis are going to have to react strongly in order to survive. Where will America be when that happens — when we have to either support Israel as strongly as necessary or see them destroyed? Until the advent of the Obama Administration, I thought I knew the answer to that question. Now I’m not so sure.

  5. Brian |

    Tom, one potential problem is that we may not be in a position to offer very much in the way of aid if that situation arises some time down the road. The dollar isn’t what it once was, and despite “expert” opinions to the contrary, it is not going to get better. If we find ourselves in the financial quagmire of double-digit inflation (or worse), how are we going to be able to help Israel? If the Chinese find another home for the Yuan, we will be in deep trouble, and so will be Israel.

  6. Elizabeth |

    Thank you for this clear-sighted article. I have a friend who has made numerous trips to Israel as a volunteer, working with destitute Israelis, both Muslim and Jewish. She loves people on both sides, but cannot “buy into” any of the PLO’s arguments. One by one, and family by family, she shows them that the love of God is the way.

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