Can Abu Mazen Be a Trusted Peace Partner?
question does not hit the mark: The problem was not Arafat; nor
is his successor Abu Mazen the problem. Both of them must be
seen as exponents,
or symbol figures, of the Arabs’ war against Israel. What would Arafat,
or now Abu Mazen, count for without the massive support from the Arab/Muslim
Arafat or Abu Mazen as key figures is as misleading as speaking
of an Israel/Palestine conflict. The conflict has been an Arab-Israel
war from its start approximately 85 years ago. The Arab-Israeli
War began with Amin Husseini’s reaction against the Balfour Declaration
(1). And it continues.
Battle Cry – Kill The Jews
in the second intifada, Arafat on television stated, "Terrorism
is a symptom, not a disease." That is to say, he defended terrorism as
a means of curing the disease. In the ideology and propaganda of the Jihad
fanatics, Israel and the Jewish people are depicted as the disease, even as
an embodiment of the "Cosmic Evil" of which the earth should be purged.
in 1943, Mufti Amin el-Husseini, ally and friend of Nazi Germany,
said in a broadcast from Radio Berlin: "Kill the Jews wherever
you find them – this is pleasing to Allah"; and called upon
the Muslim world to wage a Jihad against the Jews. (2)
issued this call several years before the establishment of the
State of Israel. The establishment of Israel in 1948 and the
refugee problem resulting from the Arabs’ war against Israel
are the result of Arab enmity, not the cause.
statement that "terrorism is a symptom, not a disease",
describes precisely the situation: The Jihadists’ anti-Jewish,
anti-Israel, anti-Zionist stance is an awful disease, sheer madness,
a sickness of soul, that goads them into actions perceived in
the civilized world as terror.
present this insanity of theirs as pleasing to Allah, as the
crowning glory of Islam; they promise their suicide bombers (with
their minced bodies!) unlimited sex with 70 (or 72) virgins in
Paradise, ill-using their victims’ death (of Jews; and also of
others) as a kind of entrance ticket to this paradise.
– and now abu Mazen – served as the figurehead for that Jihad:
not change the wolf into a lamb – on the contrary. As Feisal
el-Husseini, a close relative of the Mufti, said shortly before
he passed away:
Oslo we did not get everything we wanted, but at least we succeeded
in getting Arafat into Israel’s house as Trojan horse … First
we accept what they [Israel] give us, and the rest we will take." (3)
was not merely the private opinion of that Israel-hater; from
the very first day of "implementing" the Oslo
Agreements, Arafat transgressed and violated them by:
acquiring far more weapons than conceded by the Agreement
b) building up an armed force much bigger than conceded
introducing into the PA territories a malicious anti-Jewish and
anti-Israel curriculum and propaganda unparalleled so far
d) "de-Judaizing" the
dubbing the armed uproar as "El-Aqsa intifada", a term
which exposes more clearly than anything else the Jihad-against-Israel
core of this struggle, in which the Palestinian Arabs and their
sufferings are simply exploited to that end.
Newest Face of the Continuing War
war against Israel (or "Zionism")
is double-faced: For home-consumption it is depicted as a religious
duty for every Moslem to remove the "Zionist
State" from the realm of the Dar-es-Salaam – the territory ruled by,
and belonging to, the Islam – but for PR reasons it is handed out as a national
struggle to liberate the homeland of the Palestinians.
the two names for Arafat’s – and now Abu Mazen’s – group: One,
the term El-Fatah, derived from the name of the first Sura of
the Koran, meaning "The Opening", shows the religious
component of their effort to open the way for regaining the land
now "occupied" by Israel. The other term, PLO – Palestine
Liberation Organization – depicts the national aspect, and suits
better the taste of the "enlightened" western world.
the PLO as well as all the other groups (Hamas, Islamic Jihad,
etc.) do not stand on their own: they are tools in the hands
of the Arab nations, similar to a pawn on the chessboard.
one make peace with a pawn?
we give up in such a "peace process" is nothing else
but a partial and encouraging victory for those Jihadists on
their way to achieve their final goal. In fact, they are putting
into practice Gromyko’s advice to the Arabs at the Geneve Conference
of 1974: "Try by all means to regain the territories you
lost in 1967 – the rest will be easy."
that vein, they try – so far quite successfully – to reverse
Clausewitz’ dictum in which he described "war as the continuation
of politics by other means." We are now in a situation in
which "peace" becomes the continuation of war by other
means. Schemes like "Oslo"; Road Map; Beilin’s "Geneve
Accord", and the pressuring of Israel in the latest resurrected
peace process come under that category (known as Hutnah) (4)
Mazen has made that abundantly clear, by setting three conditions
Israel refrain from all military actions
* Jerusalem be made the capital of Palestine
* the Arab refugees’ right of return
and the rest of the Arabs know very well that these three conditions,
if accepted, would be the death blow for
addition, Abu Mazen has reached an agreement with Hamas and Islamic
Jihad, and these two organizations have put conditions very hard
for Israel to accept. In case Israel accepts them – with whatever
modification – the real danger and test will come a few weeks
later. The PLO/El-Fatah – with or without Hamas and Islamic Jihad
– can and most likely will build up a para-military infrastructure
in Gaza which will become a threat more lethal to Israel than
the partisan one of the past with its primitive Kasam rockets,
etc. All that will be done under the cover of "peace" and
of Arab and European support for the poor "State of Palestine".
Mazen is not the key figure in that scheme. He and his PLO simply
serve as spearhead.
We Must Do
have to make the picture very clear to ourselves as well as to
the rest of the world in order to avoid as much
to be blamed for the failure
of the "peace process" – and it is too structurally distorted to
last long. The first condition is never to speak of an Israeli/Palestine
conflict but to call it what it is: an Arab/Israel war – a war the Arabs
the founding of Israel and again and again after Israel became a state.
raises the question: is Islam as such anti-Jewish, anti-Israel,
anti-Zion? In other words: are we, and the rest of the world,
engaged in a basically religious confrontation in which only
one side can be right before the Almighty? A confrontation in
which, consequently, one of the two opponents would have to vanish?
the Jihadists claim just that, it is not so, at least not according
to Koran and Torah (5). The Jihadists’ hatred and hostility are
a willful mis-interpretation of these Scriptures, forged for
their ends. Their armed struggle against Israel is a crime against
Islam and – from the legal point of view – a crime by all standards
against international law. From the psychological point of view,
it is a terrible disease, terrorism being its symptom. Arafat,
however inadvertently, described the situation correctly.
See Asher Eder, "Naqba: The Self-Inflicted Catastrophe,"
(http://www.think-israel.org/eder.naqba.html). For more about
Mufti el-Husseini and his later affiliation with the Nazis,
see, for example, Elliott A. Green, "Arabs
and Nazis – Can It be True?" and David Storobin, "Nazi Roots of Palestinian
Nationalism" in the January-February issue of Think-Israel. Use the Search
Box on the Think-Israel Home page to click on articles on the Balfour Declaration
by Meir Abelson, Alex Rose, Lewis Lipkin, etc.
Radio Broadcast from Berlin, March 1, 1944.
His last interview, given to Egypt’s Al-Arabi newspaper, before
his heart attack, May 2001. He was the PA Minister of Jerusalem.
Any agreement falling short of full and irrevocable recognition
of Israel based upon Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and Koran would at
best be a Hutnah, a temporary agreement or armistice to be done
away with when the situation for doing so seems to be favorable.
is possible between Ishmael and Israel according to Koran and
Torah" is available from http://www.rb.org.il or by email
from [email protected]
Asher Eder is Jewish Co-Chairman, Islam-Israel Fellowship,
a Division of the Root&Branch Association, Ltd., Yerushalayim.