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June 29, 2006

The Palestinian's Ongoing War Against Reality

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives
The "prisoners' document" is a paper that is supposed to re-establish and solidify the "national unity" of the Palestinians. Inferring therein a recognition of Israel -- no matter how indirect or implicit it may be -- merely shows a tendency toward self-delusion.
Henryk M. Broder has it right at Spiegel Online, in which he says that while many are treating the recent "apparent recognition" of Israel by Hamas as a sign of hope, however it is nothing of the sort and the Palestinians have no such intention -- they have left Israel with only military options. The "prisoner' document" is as incoherent as it is explicit - everything is discussed, the only thing that doesn't appear is any mention whatsoever of a recognition of Israel - neither in pre nor in post 1967 borders. Only one conclusion can be drawn; even after 40 years of occupation, the Palestinians have still not accepted reality and still dream of a return to the way things used to be:
... if there is a clear message provided by the paper, it is this: The Palestinians do indeed want a two-state solution. One in those regions -- the Gaza Strip and the West Bank -- occupied in 1967. And one in that region that is today known as Israel. One shouldn't forget that the PLO was founded in 1964 with the goal of freeing Palestine from the Zionists -- three years prior to the Six Day War when Gaza was still under Egyptian control and the West Bank was a part of Jordan.

... the conflict has reached a new level. The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza last summer has more than anything motivated militant Palestinians to demonstrate to Israel that the conflict is not primarily about territory, the end of the occupation and the return to the 1967 borders. Rather, it's about all or nothing. It's about the control, not the division, of the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

... Back then, talking about the "Occupied Territories" meant Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beer-Sheva. And in this respect nothing has really changed to this day. The only difference between Hamas and Fatah -- which is overlooked by "the document" -- is the question of how Israel should be defeated: either militarily or through the implementation of a "right of return" policy. Israel therefore has the choice as to whether it is wiped from the map either in battle, or by peaceful means. Whoever hopes Israel will embrace these two alternatives is kidding themselves: there is no third possibility.

... Israel has no other choice but to stand tough because every climb down and withdrawal is interpreted as weakness. Furthermore the word "compromise" is a foreign word in the Arab world. You either prevail or go down in a blaze of glory.

... News about the new confrontation on the border between Gaza and Israel has largely displaced reports of the looming "humanitarian catastrophe" in Gaza. It's also important to find out how a government that can't even provide for its own people is getting the means to assemble, clothe and arm a new 3,000 man force. And who is arming and paying the salaries of these masked, hyper-agile young men who are storming the streets wielding bazookas? Is that what a "humanitarian catastrophe" looks like?
Broder goes on to make an all important point on a key issue I addressed in an earlier post today that were the Palestinians to invest only a tiny percentage of the energy they consume in internal conflict and resistance against Israelis into the reconstruction of the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank and Gaza would be much better off. Further, Hamas, though a problem for Israel, is a catastrophe for the Palestinians. It is truly a difference that no document can set aside - Hamas is intent on destroying Israel. Clearly, the Israelis have little choice than to deal with it now.

And just in case there may be some doubt in reader's minds as to the actual intentions of Hamas as they were expressed in the "prisoners' document," a Hamas spokesman emphasized after the text of the Prisoners' Document was released that his organization espouses principles similar to those described in the "phased plan":

The Hamas Movement's position is a clear one: We refuse to recognize the Israeli occupation, but we do not object to any gradual solutions that do not stem from recognition of the Israeli occupation's state. If we are speaking in the context of a transient and gradual solution, then yes, we do not object to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders without that leading to the recognition of the occupation's legitimacy. (Sami Abu Zuhri, May 11, 2006, translated by BBC Monitoring Middle East)
And later, as though to make sure their intentions were not misinterpreted, speaking specifically about the "Prisoners' Document," Abu Zuhri stated that "By saying '1967 land,' it was never meant to be recognizing Israel" (Christian Science Monitor, June 12, 2006).

HT - Israpundit

The full text of the National Conciliation Document of the Palestinian Prisoners (and Revision) - May 11, 2006 and June 28, 2006

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