Judge the Arabs by what they do.

By Ted Belman

Ami Isseroff, in his article, Palestinian Unity Agreement: Significance for Israel and Peace, writes,

    If the agreement succeeds in bringing unity, it is a big victory for Saudi Arabia, and may make the Saudis the prime godfathers of the Palestinian Authority. That would certainly be a positive step, as it would wean the Palestinian Authority from Iranian influence. Ending Hamas-Fatah rivalry is, in the long run, good for Israel and good for peace. Those who think Israel gains anything from the chaos in the West Bank and Gaza are sorely mistaken. The rivalry is also expressed in persistent contests between the groups to see who can be the most anti-Israel. It ensures that no Palestinian leader can make any concessions, because he (and not she in this case – PC has not come to Muslim society) will be branded a traitor. The illogic of anti-Zionist propaganda inevitably blames Israel for the situation at well, and reports that the “occupation” is responsible for Palestinian deaths and Palestinian misery.

It requires a giant step to conclude that this agreement “would wean the Palestinian Authority from Iranian influence.” How so? The Iranians and Syrians are still in the picture and probably were involved in working out the agreement. If Ami is right, the agreement would never have been reached.

As for his take that chaos is bad for Israel and peace I have to disagree. Ami believes that peace is possible. Even if we agree to the Saudi Plan we won’t have peace but we will be much weaker to fight the next battle. Why does he assume that the unity government will make concessions. The anti-Zionist propaganda will continue and probably increase.

The longer there is chaos in the territories, the less likely Palestine will be created and the more likely Israel will decide to annex tJudea and Samaria.

But he correctly concludes,

It is almost certain that various Fatah groups as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad will still have their own arms, and the Hamas Charter will still call for eradication of Israel. The renewed eruption of internecine fighting, as well as renewal of extensive terror attacks, is therefore not precluded, and it is unlikely that Hamas will agree to any peace deal with Israel.

As long as each group has its own armed capability, there is no way for the Palestinian authority to live up to any agreement it makes to stop terror.

[..] The agreement is designed as an enabler, to eliminate the Western sanctions against the Palestinians, without really changing any policies. It is a masterful implementation of the disastrous concept, “creative ambiguity,” which is another name for saying nothing. Therefore, it “allows Saudis to say” that the Palestinians support the Arab peace initiative. Conversely, it also “allows Hamas to say” that they do not agree to peace with Israel and will never agree to it. It allows the Palestinians to say that they “respect agreements” including the quartet roadmap, and it is supposed to allow the Quartet to say that the Palestinians are now in compliance. However, it will also allow the Palestinians to continue armed resistance. Everyone can say what they like. It is only what they do that matters.

The problem arises because from the beginning, Israel and the Quartet had incorrect criteria for the new government. It doesn’t matter what they say, it matters what they do. Even if Hamas agrees to “commit” to past agreements, it is not necessarily meaningful. PLO signed the same agreements and is “commited” to them, but doesn’t fullfil its obligations under those agreements. Despite repeated pledges of Fatah leaders to end violence, the Fatah Al-Aqsa brigade sent people to blow themselves up in Israel. Despite repeated agreements to unify security commands, they were never unified – not under Arafat, not under Abbas, and certainly not under the Hamas government. Despite repeated pledges to recognize the existence of Israel, PLO and Mr. Abbas still insist on full right of return for Palestinian refugees, which would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

Support for the Palestinian Authority and the peace process should be based on actions, and not on words.

February 9, 2007 | Comments Off on Judge the Arabs by what they do.

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