Can Abu Mazen be a trusted partner for peace?
Depicting Arafat or Abu Mazen as key figures is as misleading as speaking of an Israel/Palestine conflict. The conflict is an Arab/Israel war, from its inception approx. 85 years ago (i.e. Haj Amin el-Husseini's reaction against the Balfour Declaration. For more on this Grand Mufti’s agitations and their aftermath, see my article, “Symptom or Disease.”)
The Arab/Moslem war against Israel (or Zionism) is two-faced: For home- consumption it is depicted as a religious duty for every Moslem to remove the Zionist State from the realm of “Dar-es-Salaam” − the territory ruled by, and belonging to Islam. But for PR reasons, it is palmed off as a national struggle to liberate the homeland of the Palestinians. Thence the two names for Arafat's (and now Abu Mazen's) group:
The first, “El-Fatah,” derived from the name of the first Sura of the Koran (“The Opening”) shows the religious component of their efforts 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. But, as stated above, 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, like pawns on a chessboard. Can one make peace with a pawn? The only fruit of such a peace process is a partial and encouraging victory for Jihadists on their way to achieve their final goal. In fact, it is supporting Gromyko's advice to the Arabs at the Geneva Conference of 1974: Try by all means to regain the territories you lost in 1967; the rest will be easy.
In this vein, the Jihadists are trying − so far quite successfully − to reverse the Clausewitz dictum, where Gromyko described war as the continuation of politics by other means. We are now in a situation in where peace becomes the continuation of war by other means. Schemes like Oslo, the Road Map, and Beilin's Geneva Accord, come under that category (known in Arabic as “Hutnah” − a temporary agreement or armistice to be done away with when the situation for doing so seems to be favorable ).
Abu Mazen has made that abundantly clear, by setting three conditions for peace: that Israel refrain from all military actions; that Jerusalem be made the capital of Palestine; and that Arab refugees' have the right of return. He and the rest of the Arabs know very well that these three conditions, if accepted, would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Any agreement that falls short of full and irrevocable recognition of Israel based upon the Tanakh [the Hebrew Bible] and the Koran, would at best be a Hutnah.
We have be very clear about the above picture, as well as making it clear to the rest of the world, if we do not want to be responsible for the failure of the peace process. The first condition is never to speak of an “Israeli/Palestine” conflict, but to call it what it is: an Arab/Israel war waged on the basis of a terrible distortion of the teachings of the Koran. (See the leaflet, “Summary.”)
Dr. Asher Eder, Jewish Co-Chairman,
Islam-Israel Fellowship A Division of the Root & Branch Assoc., Ltd,
x) How can one evaluate the agreement Abu Mazen has reached with Hamas and Islamic Jihad a few days after the above was written? First of all, these two organizations presented conditions that are very hard for Israel to accept. Should Israel accept them in whatever modification, the real danger and test would 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 Qassam rockets etc. All the above will be done in the guise of peace, and of Arab and European support for the poor State of Palestine.