by Ari Lieberman
A sober look at words vs. deeds.
When Barack Obama or his shills at the State Department aren’t busy apologizing to the Muslim world for America’s imagined misdeeds or thanking the Iranians for kidnapping our sailors, they’re usually excoriating Israel for “creating obstacles to peace” while the other side – the so-called Palestinians – generally escape criticism. Palestinian Authority incitement and outright anti-Semitism are all but ignored by the Obama administration as is the fact that 6% of the PA’s budget is earmarked toward paying the salaries of convicted terrorists or their families. Since a substantial portion of that budget is subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer, it places the administration of being in the odd position of being an accessory to terror.
The incidents and examples of Palestinian Authority incitement are too voluminous to note in this piece but there are a few recurring themes. Jews (and sometimes Christians) are routinely referred to as apes, pigs or monkeys. Ancient blood libels accusing Jews of kidnapping Arab children for the purpose of using their blood in preparing Passover Matzah are regurgitated with regularity and lastly, those who engage in terrorism and murder are extolled as heroes or Shahids. They or their families are often rewarded with cash payments or lucrative job opportunities. Some have even had public places named after them.
Two watchdog groups, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) have done an outstanding job documenting and compiling the data relating to Palestinian incitement and anti-Semitism and their viewing should be mandatory for State Department staff. I doubt that will ever happen under an administration besotted by the concept of tearing Israel’s ancestral and historic heartland away from its people.
The Palestinian Authority is only half the problem. In the south, Israel must contend with the spawn of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas. In the summer of 2014, Israel fought a 50-day war with the terror group and during the course of that conflict, uncovered a vast network of tunnels constructed for the ghoulish purpose of carrying out mass terror attacks and kidnapping. Some of these tunnels actually targeted kindergartens as well as schools. Incidentally, much of the building material used to construct these tunnels were donated by the EU, the United States or NGOs financed by the West. Since Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and internal controls are virtually non-existent, it was relatively easy for the terror group to divert funds earmarked for civilian use.
The vast tunnel complex was painstaking destroyed by the IDF but Hamas has recently been busy reconstructing the tunnel network at a feverish pace for the next round of hostilities. While Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure lie in ruins and await reconstruction, Hamas has been diverting badly needed construction material for more nefarious purposes, something the EU and US should be cognizant of next time they sign a check earmarked for “Gaza humanitarian aid.”
But Israelis are forgiving and many if not most genuinely desire peaceful relations with the Arabs residing in the disputed territories and favor negotiations to further that lofty goal. A recent poll supports this contention but that same poll also suggests that Israelis remain deeply skeptical that an agreement can be reached and it is not hard to fathom why.
The West somewhat naively divides the Palestinians into two camps – the moderates and the militants – with the Palestinian Authority falling into the former category and Hamas the latter. This simplistic view however, is grossly inaccurate. There are certainly differences to be sure but they are strictly superficial.
Whereas the Palestinian Authority has adopted nuanced language tailor-made to the receiving audience, Hamas is brutally honest about its intentions and its charter leaves no room for doubt – the destruction of Israel and the murder of its Jewish inhabitants. The PLO charter also calls for the destruction of Israel but aspires to a “secular” state where Jew and Muslim can live side-by-side. The big caveat however, is that the privilege extends only those centenarian Jews who settled in Israel before 1917, rendering the difference between the PLO and Hamas charters purely academic.
Palestinian Authority representatives addressing Western audiences generally pay lip service to the Two-State paradigm but it’s an entirely different matter when they’re addressing a Muslim audience. Consider the following examples.
On January 19, 2016 during an interview with Ma’an News, senior Fatah Central Committee member Tawfik Tirawi noted that the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank was simply a “phase” in the eventual staged conquest of all of Israel. The borders of “Palestine” he explained, stretched “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.”
On April 30, 2013 PA political figure Jibril Rajoub stated that his government would use nuclear weapons against Israel if it had that capability. His precise words were, “I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.” The disturbing but revealing comment was made on Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV. Rajoub, who is President of the Palestine Olympic Committee and serves as Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, is often labeled a “moderate” by Western officials.
In an interview with the Al Jazeera network which aired on September 23, 2011 another ranking Fatah Central Committee member named Abbas Zaki made a rather revealing admission that brings the Palestinian strategy of staged conquest of Israel into sharper focus. He stated that “Everybody knows that the greater goal [of conquering Israel] cannot be accomplished in one go.” The greater goal he noted would be too difficult to accomplish, at least initially but asserted that Israel would eventually collapse once it was forced to cede all of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem. Demonstrating a certain level of nuanced sophistication and keen understanding of Western mentality, he cautioned the Arab masses and political leaders to keep silent about their true intentions implying that broadcasting it would be counter-productive and politically damaging. “If we say that we want to wipe Israel out… C’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world, keep it to yourself” he said.
These “moderate” PA leaders would never direct such comments to Western audiences but freely remove their muzzles when addressing their fellow kinsmen. Many in the West stubbornly cling to the notion that the Palestinian Authority, unlike its Hamas adversary in Gaza, has moderated its tone and has accepted the Two-State paradigm. Israelis, however, who are forced to bear the burden of Palestinian treachery and are thoroughly familiar with the duplicitous nature of their neighbors, are under no such illusions and will exercise extreme caution before making any future concessions, irrespective of the pressures brought to bear by Barack Obama.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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