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.
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