Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Peace Talks Will Fail Because Palestinians Don’t Want Peace

October 28, 2013 9:55 am 5 comments

Tough peace talks begin today in Washington, D.C., where the proper format is still up for discussion. Photo: WikiCommons.

Tough peace talks are ongoing. Photo: WikiCommons.

JNS.org – Israel and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) are engaging in negotiations refused for years by the PA. Yet, only weeks ago, the PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, delivered a paean to Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, founder and leader of Hamas, the terrorist organization that has murdered hundreds of Israelis in scores of suicide bombings, calling him a Palestinian “icon.” How can peace talks and glorifying a terrorist chieftain coexist in the PA?

Al-Habbash gave us the answer this summer, when he justified this return to diplomacy by reference to something well-known to his mosque audience–the 628 Treaty of Hudabiyyah.

Hudabiyyah was an agreement between Muhammad and the Meccan Quraish tribe, in which Muhammad promised a decade of peace. But in less than two years, a Qureishi-allied tribe committed a breach by attacking a Muhammad-allied tribe. Muhammad, who had meanwhile organized a huge army, took this pretext to attack the Qureishis. Isolated and unprepared, the Qureishis surrendered.

This approach, says Al-Habbash, has “brought us to where we are today.”

“We have a [Palestinian] Authority and the world recognizes the [Palestinian] state. All this never would have happened … only through the wisdom of the leadership… exactly like the Prophet [Muhammad] did in the Treaty of Hudabiyyah… This is the example, this is the model,” he said.

In short, the Hudabiyyah strategy–working towards the weakening and eventual elimination of Israel through negotiations–has been the operative Palestinian strategy since the Oslo Accords were signed 20 years ago. Arafat said as much in a May 1994 speech in a Johannesburg mosque. (Israel demanded a retraction and an end to terrorism, got neither — but continued nonetheless negotiating and conceding).

When Arafat told a confidential meeting of Arab ambassadors in Stockholm in January 1996 that the aim of Oslo was “splitting Israel psychologically,” and “eliminat[ing] the State of Israel and establish[ing] a purely Palestinian State” that would “make life unbearable for Jews,” the revelation was ignored even by Israel, which chose to ignore Arafat’s words as well as their political ramifications.

Since Arafat’s death, his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has made it abundantly clear that not only has he not accepted Israel’s right to exist as Jewish state (“I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will”) but he also intends to set up a Jew-free state (“when a Palestinian state is established, it would have no Israeli presence in it”).

Questioned in an interview on the need for recognition of Israel, Abbas replied that, while official recognition was unavoidably necessary for the purpose of obtaining vital Israeli concessions, “It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel.” And, indeed, Abbas’s Fatah has never altered its Constitution calling for the destruction of Israel and the use of terrorism to achieve it. Former Fatah strongman in Gaza, Muhammad Dahlan, put it plainly when he said, “The Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today.”

Words and bombs are thus the Fatah/PA strategy, a strategy made possible only by duplicity. That’s why the late Palestinian leader Feisal Husseini once dubbed it the strategy of the “Trojan Horse,” in which the Palestinian regime installed via negotiations would serve “our final aim… the liberation of all of historical Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

That’s why senior PA figure Abbas Zaki tells an Arab audience, “If I say that I want to remove [Israel] from existence, this will be great, great, [but] it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy. You can’t say it to the world. You can say it to yourself.”

That’s why the PA claims to be interested in a negotiated peace, even while it tells its people repeatedly that the Jews have no historical connection of rights in Jerusalem or anywhere else.

In short, the PA has a long-established policy of duplicity about its anti-peace intentions. In these circumstances, not only are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations convened under American auspices foredoomed, but in pursuing them, the Obama Administration has embarked on a fool’s errand. Furthermore, by pressuring Israel to make further concessions–like the freeing of jailed Palestinian terrorists, merely to get the PA to the negotiating table–it is endangering an ally.

This is a moment for the Congress to act. It can produce a detailed list of Palestinian bad faith statements (of which we have provided here only a fraction) and call upon the PA to explicitly retract each statement to its own public. It can make further aid to the PA conditional on verifiable Palestinian reforms, like outlawing terrorist groups, arresting terrorists and ending the incitement to hatred and murder that feeds the conflict. And it can withhold aid until these prerequisites for a genuine peace are forthcoming.

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (London, 2004).

5 Comments

  • Kris Kristian

    Unfortunately, Obama is no friend of Israel.
    In his famour speech some years ago, to Cairo students, he praised Islam and admitted that “I am one of them”
    Obama lies to the world that USA will protect Israel.

    Unfortunately, Bibi should have told him that he will release terroris prisoners AFTER Abbas sits and talks peace, and creates peace.
    But Obama put pressure on Bibi to first release murderers before Abbas will sit and talk peace.

    And why did US Jews vote for this anti Semite back into the White House?
    Had they made sure thst Obama is OUT, the whole scene would have been different.

  • The Obama administration has repeatedly shown its ignorance, either deliberate or feigned, of the realities of the Middle East. Abbas walks the line between outright enmity and hollow hints at peace.

    It is, and has been crystal clear, that no negotiations between Israel and the PA can ever result in a peaceful resolution. Kerry will push and the Israelis will respond, but Abbas et. al. will dissemble, delay, and avoid anything resembling a setlement.

  • Titus Greenwood

    Muslims, whether Arab, Persian or Turk DO NOT want peace with Israel. Why? Because the HATE JEWS! Israelis more than any other people should appreciate how fruitless attempts to “negotiate” with Muslims are. The goal of Islam, is to destroy all Jews, everywhere they can find them, or humiliate and enslave them. The destruction of Israel is a high priority issue with the so-called Palestinians.

  • carpe diem 36

    of course the palestinians do not want peace, and Mahmud Abbas definitely does not wish it. if he wished it the palestinians would have had peace twenty years ago, they signed so many agreements like the Oslo One, but nothing happened because they do not want it. had they had a state they would have had to have a govenment, laws, roads, various gov’t departments, like education, welfare, they would have had to produce their own electricity etc.
    and Mahmud Abbas would not have been able to receive billions of dollars for his poor people who would not know how to have a regular job or to produce food.

  • Gosh, I have been saying that for over 30 years. I never thought they wanted peace. They just want to be in charge and not have any Jews living in Israel. End of.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →