The Palestinian Authority has a long and tragic history of rejecting peace and proliferating terror, and the press would do well to record it.
(AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
“Those who don’t learn history,” the philosopher George Santayana famously intoned, “are doomed to repeat it.” The oft-quoted adage certainly applies to the Arab-Israeli conflict. But the history of that conflict can’t properly be understood, nor the likelihood of its resolution truly gauged, until the media stop ignoring and omitting the long history of Palestinians rejecting reasonable U.S. and Israeli peace offers.
On June 24, 2018, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser and son-in-law to President Trump, announced that the U.S. would soon be presenting a new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Kushner’s comments prompted both speculation and media frenzy. Less widely noted, however, was the immediate response by the Palestinian Authority, the entity that rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and is led by Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah movement.
Before the terms of the proposed peace plan were even announced, the PA, in their own words, launched a “national campaign to thwart the Deal of the Century.” The authority’s concerted opposition to the deal, sight unseen, has been ignored and obfuscated by many press outlets and policymakers.
As the Middle East Media Research Institute has documented, the PA and Fatah have in no uncertain terms voiced their disdain for a peace plan, irrespective of what it might contain. MEMRI, a nonprofit organization that monitors Arab, Iranian, and Russian media, noted that Fatah official Jamal Muhaisin has publicly denounced the unreleased plan as “the American crime of our era.” Muhaisin has even met with Fatah branches in the West Bank in order to plan “The March of Refusal of the Deal of the Century.”
Fatah has also published and distributed posters proclaiming, among other things, “Palestine is not for sale” and “The Deal of the Century will not thwart the will of Palestine.”
An announcement posted on Fatah’s official Facebook page said that the movement hopes “to clarify the dangers posed by this deal, which is known to be a bad deal, and explain how it can destroy our national cause [by] proposing alternative solutions that circumvent the Palestinian people’s eternal rights [in favor of] humanitarian gestures and economic enticements.”
Opposition to the yet-unseen peace plan has seemingly been approved at the highest levels of the PA government. Numerous top Fatah operatives have proclaimed a refusal to accept any proposal put forward by the U.S. — despite the fact that the U.S. is a chief benefactor of the PA and was, in large measure, responsible for its creation.
Some major Western news outlets, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and others, have quoted PA officials, such as peace negotiator Saeb Erekat, who oppose any U.S.-presented plan. However, many in the media have failed to note the full extent of Fatah’s preemptive and well-organized anti-peace campaign. Worse still, the press has frequently misled about the reasons behind Fatah’s opposition.
Several newspapers, including the Washington Post, have claimed that “by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” — that is, by belatedly implementing the bipartisan 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act — the U.S. effectively gave Fatah a reason to oppose future peace negotiations. This, however, forgets recent history.
In fact, the PA has repeatedly rejected U.S. and Israeli offers for peace and a Palestinian state — and they were doing so long before the December 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In 2000, at Camp David, in 2001 at Taba, and in 2008 after the Annapolis Conference, among other instances, the PA refused without even so much as a counteroffer U.S. and Israeli proposals for a Palestinian state in exchange for peace with and recognition of the Jewish state.
In a March 27, 2009 interview with Al-Jazeera, Fatah official Erekat — who has been widely and uncritically quoted in media accounts blaming the U.S. for failed peace efforts — hailed Abbas’ decision to reject the 2008 offer.
More recently, PA President Abbas spurned 2014 and 2016 U.S. attempts to restart negotiations. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting documented, news outlets like the Washington Post failed to cover the latter instance of the Authority once again snubbing Israeli and U.S. negotiators.
Instead of accepting a Palestinian state, the PA has refused U.S. and Israeli demands to quit paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families. Abbas has been unmoved by recent U.S. and Israeli legislation that makes aid contingent on the authority ceasing their so-called “pay-to-slay” policy. In July 23, 2018 remarks, Abbas called imprisoned terrorists “pioneers” and “stars.” He defiantly exhorted: “If we had only a single penny left, we would pay it to families of the martyrs and prisoners.”
Yet, many media accounts blaming the U.S. for Palestinian rejectionism present U.S. aid cuts as a legitimate Palestinian grievance — often failing to tell readers that the PA, the prospective peace partner, is choosing to pay terrorists instead of negotiating peace.
The PA and its leaders have a long and tragic history of rejecting peace and proliferating terror, irrespective of who sits in the White House. And the press, responsible in large measure for crafting the first draft of history, would do well to record it.
The writer is a Senior Research Analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration — is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.
One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.
The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.
Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.
The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.
New immigrants to Israel arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Aug. 17, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Baz Ratner.
A top Israeli minister called on the government on Sunday to craft a “comprehensive plan” to encourage the aliyah of French Jews.
In Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett’s view, there has been a “historic missed opportunity” in recent years to bring more French Jews to Israel as immigrants.
“There are 200,000 French Jews who want to come here, and the state bureaucracies simply aren’t prepared for it,” Bennett, who also serves as education minister and head of the right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi party, claimed at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. “These are ethical people, Zionists, lovers of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and it is our moral obligation to help them.”
Israel has started uncovering and destroying Hezbollah’s attack tunnels under the Lebanese border, but destroying the group’s ambitious precision missile project will be much more difficult.
The Israel Defense Forces placed a camera into Hezbollah’s secret cross-border attack tunnel before sunrise on Dec. 4. They pushed it into the Lebanese side, under the Blue Line that separates the two countries. At dawn, two Hezbollah operatives reached the spot on their morning rounds. In the video disseminated by the IDF on Tuesday evening, one of the operatives is seen approaching the camera with suspicion. He stuck his nose in its direction and started to sniff around until something exploded in his face and he ran back the way he’d comVisibilitye.
The timing of Operation Northern Shield, to destroy Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel, suggests that considerations other than security were behind the decision to launch it.
An Israeli commando from Yahalom, an engineering unit, takes part in a tunnel-hunting drill near Tel Aviv, March 7, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Likud activists on Dec. 2 that was both defensive and combative toward law enforcement authorities. He complained about the supposedly suspicious timing of the police announcement recommending his indictment for taking bribes in Case 4000, coming as it did one day before Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh concluded his term in office.
This week, for the first time, Israel made public its discovery of the tunnel constructed by Hezbollah and reaching into Israel’s sovereign territory. This brought to an end a long period during which a large number of Israelis living in communities adjacent to the Lebanese border reported hearing sounds of digging as well as feeling tremors in the walls of their homes.
Attack tunnels are intended to allow for significant numbers of armed infantry bearing weapons, artillery and supplies, to traverse them within a minimal time span, avoiding Israeli lookouts and thereby gaining the element of surprise.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
It was clear that with the onset of Operation Northern Shield—meant to neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border—some would call it a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who believe the timing of the police’s recommendations in Case 4000—announced on the last day of Roni Alsheikh’s tenure as the police commissioner—was reasonable, somehow complain about the timing of the operation.
On Sunday evening, December 2, the people of Sderot, Israel – a town located a mere kilometer from the Gaza border – gathered to light the first candle of the town’s menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah. Jews around the world celebrate this holiday, which marks the time some two millennia ago when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple.
What makes the candle lighting in Sderot worth mentioning is the fact that it is particularly symbolic of how the Jewish spirit looks for ways to turn tragedy into triumph.
This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)