Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, many Israeli political leaders have doggedly held to the position that the Palestinian Authority (PA)/PLO and its leading faction Fatah – all headed by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) - remain Israel’s best and perhaps only partner for reaching a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians. They excuse contrary evidence – including the launching and condoning of deadly waves of terrorism, the continuous diplomatic offensive and the promotion of violence and rejectionism in the Palestinian media and school system – as mere symptoms of the lack of agreement between the parties and argue that these irredentist actions would end as soon as a final status agreement is signed and the “Occupation” ended. An opposing view contends that continued Palestinian rejectionism, incitement and delegitimization poison any chance for reconciliation between the two peoples for generations into the future and insist these come to an end before any further concessions are made towards further Palestinian independence and statehood.
A recent report entitled “The Palestinian Authority and Hamas: Promoting Terror in Tandem” lends support to the second approach and points to a growing trend: incitement led by Hamas to terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria – alongside the PA and Fatah’s institutional embrace of terrorism.
Here are some examples:
Any renewed effort to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians – whether directly or with the assistance of foreign bridging efforts – will have to tackle the effects of 25 years of intense incitement and embrace of terrorism since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and its various components as a first requisite step to reconciliation. The launch of the administration’s peace plan might have been postponed due to the recently-announced early Israeli elections, but when it is picked up again, identification with murderers and terrorists will have to be the first things dropped by the PA if it is to stand any chance of success.
Alan Schneider is the director of B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, which serves as the hub of B'nai B'rith International activities in Israel. The World Center is the key link between Israel and B'nai B'rith members and supporters around the world. To view some of his additional content, click here.
On Feb. 3, a few minutes after three Palestinians who lived in Jenin murdered a young Israeli police officer who was19-yearsold, and also seriously injured two more, the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas hosted in his office, in Ramallah, a delegation of families of those who in the last four months have killed 34 Israelis—mostly civilians—and have left hundreds of wounded people from babies to seniors, in tens of terrorist attacks.
Abbas had no shame to deliver to world media a short video showing how he hosted the families of the terrorists. Very close to Abbas it was possible to watch Jabel Mukaber, father of Baha Alyan, who murdered three Israeli civilians inside a bus in Armon Hanatziv, Jerusalem, four months ago.
During the meeting, Abbas underlined that the sons of those who were visiting him are “martyrs.”
Not far from there, in Gaza, Husam Badran, speaker of the terrorist organization Hamas, said publicly that the attack on Feb. 3, “Has been a blessing action in the ‘holy intifada’, and that the terrorists have had a lot of ‘courage’.” He also added that “the attack with knives and guns made by our ‘rebels’ show that our people want the intifada to move on.”
But the rest of Latin America, or runs behind the hate speech of the Venezuelan government (followed with strength by Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador) or stay in ambiguity (Caribbean) or stay “neutral” (Chile and Peru).
Brazil, the largest power in the region is confronting Israel in several fields. The controversy of the nomination of the Israeli ambassador in Brazil has frozen political relations but not the economic ones. But the political relations influence fully in Brazilian speeches, which follow the Palestinian stand and are not clear with the Quartet demand of both sides sitting at the peace table and starting a dialogue.
With Latin America divided in its opinions; with Europe close to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Abbas and Hamas feel encouraged. Terrorists are “martyrs,” their families receive money as compensation; and murderers are glorified in streets and squares.
There is no possible or viable dialogue when both sides are so far from one another. But if the Security Council would be serious with its obligations, and the Quartet would be real and executive, Abbas could not be praising terrorism.
But if a member of the Quartet believes that terrorism can be justified due to “frustrations,” the only step in the path of peace is the step backwards. Nothing on earth can justify terrorism. There is no “good” or “bad” terrorism. There is terrorism. Period. And the U.N. must be serious in this regard, because with such statements, not only are terrorists encouraged to go on, but countries, like many Latin Ameican ones, fall in deep confusion and finally endorse what they should never endorse: terror.
Is there any member of the Security Council who really believe that in a democracy like Israel, people and government can stay still forever, while terrorists kill its citizens in the streets every day? No country in the world would accept it.
Why Israel? What is the U.N. waiting for? To wake up one morning and accuse Israel of “disproportionate use of force,” as it has happened each time Israel has defended its citizens?
When the government and people of Israel will say enough of terror, Israel will pay again the price of permanent international hostility. But those who are going to suffer much more, will be the Palestinians, which are victims of their own so called leaders and of the most used exchange coin of today´s world: international indifference.
B'nai B'rith International has widely respected experts in the fields of: