Sarah N. Stern is founder and president of the Endowment of Middle East Truth, EMET, an unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy shop in Washington, DC.
The End of the Era of Palestinian Deception
JNS.org – For a quarter of a century, the Palestinian Authority has cynically wrapped itself inside a fig leaf dubbed as the “Peace Process.” The naked truth, however, is that it has been using every means available to incite for, incentivize and reward terrorism. With last Friday’s passage of the Taylor Force Act, which aims to deduct payments to Palestinian prisoners and martyrs, fissures are finally emerging in its iron wall of deception.
The phrase “Peace Process” served as an ingenious linguistic sedative, lulling the international community into the dream of a peaceful PA. The harsh reality is that the objective of the PA has never been peace, but the gradual, staged elimination of the State of Israel. The PA has been consistently teaching their children that Jews and Israelis are odious, detestable creatures, and their final elimination would be of huge benefit to the Palestinian people, the Arab world and all of humanity.
The Palestinian National Covenant was adopted on May 28, 1963, in which most of the 33 articles invoke an “armed struggle” until “the Zionist entity is totally wiped out and Palestine is liberated.”
Note that this happened four years before the 1967 Six-Day War, so it had nothing to do with the disputed territories that followed that war, and everything to do with the 1948 War of Independence and the sheer existence of Israel.
In April 1996, amid the euphoria of the signing of the Oslo Accords and under much political pressure from the Clinton administration, the Palestinian National Council had a well-publicized vote to discuss whether to “revoke the covenant.” Despite the fanfare, they voted simply to extend the period of time to decide on what to do.
PA spokesperson Marwan Kanfani emerged from the meeting, saying: “This is not an amendment. It is a license to start a new, to found a new resolution, a new charter. This is really a vote to form a committee to look into it.”
The committee never was formed; the members never appointed; no meetings were subsequently announced.
Yet the international media was ablaze with headlines of how the PA had renounced the charter. Peter Jennings, the anchor of “World News Tonight” began his broadcast with: “They said it couldn’t be done. The PA has revoked its charter calling for the destruction of Israel.”
The PNC didn’t convene until 2009, in which Fatah spokesman Nabil Shaath said that “the covenant cannot be changed.” Azaam al Ahmed, another PA spokesman said “it [the covenant] will remain as is. It won’t be subject to change. We have the right to practice all forms of national struggle.”
Nevertheless, for decades the world convinced themselves that the PA was actually a peaceful entity, the moderate alternative to Hamas.
The PA has been playing a dubious game. It had used all means available to systematically indoctrinate their people to despise and murder Israelis and Jews, using textbooks, children’s television shows, sporting and cultural events to demonize Jews, to praise the shahid, (“martyr”) and to encourage their youth to follow in this “glorious path.”
As Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch writes, “PA libels claim that Israel conspires to infect Palestinians with AIDS, spread drug addiction, conspired and successfully murdered Arafat, and more. The PA’s goal has been to inculcate hatred to the degree that fighting and murdering Jews and Israelis will be glorified as heroic self-defense.”
After so many years of this systematic indoctrination, it’s no wonder that murdering Jews and Israelis is seen as a heroic act in the eyes of many Palestinians, and a regnant value of the PA. In 2015, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said: “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood.”
In defiance of the United States, the PA just announced that it will now directly pay the prisoners and the families of “martyrs” to the tune of $355 million a year.
Does this not constitute material support for terrorism?
At least, however, so far as the US Congress is concerned, the gig is finally up.