A central pillar of the
Obama administration's Middle East policy paradigm was shattered at the Fatah
conference in Bethlehem — but don't expect the White House to notice.
At the conference, Fatah's
supposedly feuding old guard and young guard were united in their refusal to
reach an accommodation with Israel. Both old and young endorsed the use of
terrorism against Israel. Both embraced the Aksa Martyrs Brigade terror group as
a full-fledged Fatah organization.
Both demanded that all Jews
be expelled from Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem ahead of the establishment of a
Jew-free Palestinian state.
Both claimed that any
settlement with Israel be preceded by an Israeli withdrawal to the indefensible
1949 armistice lines and by Israel's destruction as a Jewish state through its
acceptance of millions of foreign-born hostile Arabs as immigrants within its
Both demanded that all
terrorists be released from Israeli prisons as a precondition for "peace" talks
Both accused Israel of
murdering Yassir Arafat.
Both approved building a
strategic alliance with Iran.
In staking out these
extremist positions, both Fatah's old guard and its younger generation of
leaders demonstrated that Fatah's goal today is the same as it has been since
the its founding in 1959: Liberating Palestine (from the river to the sea) by
wiping Israel off the map.
Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas's
decision to remove both his own mask and that of his organization should cause
the Netanyahu government to reassess its current policies towards the group. For
the past four months, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government have
quietly barred all Jewish construction in eastern, northern and southern
Jerusalem neighborhoods as well as in Judea and Samaria. The government's
unofficial policy has been implemented in the hopes of pleasing the Obama
administration which argues that by barring Jewish building, Israel will
encourage the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority to moderate its policies
and so engender an atmosphere conducive to a peaceful settlement of the
Palestinian conflict with Israel. The Fatah conference put paid that fiction.
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