If Secretary Kerry is serious about jump starting negotiations, here is his necessary starting point.
This week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he will use his visit to the Middle East to implore the Palestinian Authority (PA) to return to peace talks with Israel.
Here is a suggested 10-step process for how the Hon. John Kerry could, indeed, conduct an inquiry about the readiness of the PA to assume a posture of peace.
Enter a PA classroom. Examine the new PA curriculum, whose focus revolves around preparation of a new generation to conquer all of Palestine. Most recently, the Center for Near East Policy Research dispatched a TV crew to follow the classrooms of PA schools located in UNRWA facilities, and witnessed teachings that did not focus on peace or reconciliation. Translations of the new PA school books yielded the conclusion that they focused on a curriculum of “suspended war.”
Peruse the news output of the PBC (Palestine Broadcasting Corporation) on radio and TV. Follow the messages of jihad conveyed by the PBC to the Palestinian Arab people, the PBC adulation of Palestinians who commit suicide attacks, and PBC news clips which laud attacks on Beersheba, Sderot, Ashkelon and Ashdod. The PBC calls these cities “illegal Jewish settlements,” since they are situated on lands "taken" from the Arabs in 1948 – not 1967.
Spend time in an UNRWA facility, where thousands of descendants of Arab refugees languish under the premise and promise of the “Right of Return.”
While nearby PA urban areas flourish, note how the new Palestinian city, Rawabi, built near teeming UNRWA refugee facilities, will not allow UNRWA camp residents to live there. Meanwhile, in August 2012, Hamas terror groups won their fourth consecutive election to take charge of the UNRWA trade union and the UNRWA teachers’ union in Gaza. Ask for a report on UNRWA-Hamas cooperation.
Peruse “right of return" (www.PalestineRemembered.com) computer program that operates throughout the PA, which helps UNRWA residents locate the villages of their grandparents from 1948, even though these towns no longer exist, to prepare them to realize their right of return.
Visit PA-controlled mosques on Friday. Follow the incendiary messages conveyed by the mosques that function with PA funding and are under PA control.
Review the new official maps published by the PA, which show all of Palestine as the location of any future Palestinian state, where Palestine actually replaces Israel.
Visit the PA security force. Following the expectation that the PA security force would be engaged to crush Hamas, review reports of Hamas-PA cooperation. While the PA security force has worked with Israel on matters of petty crime, the PA will not take on Hamas. Moreover, the PA has no laws against money laundering for terror groups – indeed, PA statutes do not define any group as a terrorist organization.
Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror (res.), former head of the IDF’s Research and Assessment Division and currently serving as national security adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, observed that: “There is a huge difference in the Palestinian view between law enforcement, which is seen as legitimate, and anti-terrorism, which is not seen as legitimate.”
Ask for an evaluation of the food distribution program in Gaza, which the Hamas regime in Gaza and UNRWA have been running. Funds are delivered in cash dollars at the Gaza crossing to UNRWA, once a month, to the tune of $13 million. How much of these funds are geared to the purchase of food? Does the Hamas regime siphon off some of the foreign aid cash for the purchase of munitions or for any other purpose? Why is there a demand for “cash delivery”? What follow-up reports have been submitted to US AID on funds delivered to the UNRWA food distribution program?
Review the published political program of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who has earned a reputation as a “moderate,” and note Fayyad’s endorsement of a Palestinian Jerusalem (no mention of east Jerusalem), the Palestinian “right of return” to villages from 1948 that no longer exist, and the demand to free all Palestinians in Israeli jails, ignoring the fact that this includes thousands of Palestinians who have been convicted of first-degree murder in a court of law. Fayyad’s paper titled “Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State: Program of the Thirteenth Government – August 2009” is available online.
Review recent speeches of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, where Abbas himself conveys consistent praise for Palestinians who have murdered civilians. Review the telecast New Year’s speech in which Abbas concludes his litany of praise for killers with a salute to the legacy of Hitler’s ally, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem.
Once Secretary Kerry takes these ten steps of inquiry, the US government can make a realistic assessment of the readiness of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to engage in a Middle East Peace Process.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.