The Oslo Accords signed on the White House lawn in September 1993 served Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) well. The Accords were the Trojan Horse that enabled Arafat to return to “Palestine” as a hero. Only a few years earlier, he had supported Saddam Hussein’s brutal occupation of Kuwait. But when the U.S.-led coalition pushed Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, Palestinians living in the region paid the price for Arafat and Saddam’s alliance – half–a-million Palestinians were expelled by the Kuwaitis. Arafat’s fortunes had nose-dived. He was in exile in Tunisia, and the dream of expelling the Jews from “Palestine” seemed remote. Then, lo and behold, he was saved by Israel and the U.S.
Arafat inaugurated a new strategy in the early 1970s with regard to dismantling Israel. The strategy was based on diplomacy, along with armed struggle. Some called it the “Destroying Israel in Phases” plan. The idea was to gain enough territory through diplomacy so that the Jewish State’s defensive capacity would be weakened. Then, they would finish it off in an armed struggle – using the pretext of “Palestinian Right of Return” to engage in terrorism. In September 2000, Arafat reached the conclusion that Israeli society was too weak to stomach terrorism (armed struggle) in Israeli cities. He believed the Israeli public would crack under pressure from terror and fear, and would then call on the Barak government to make further concessions to the Palestinians.
Mahmud Abbas, Arafat’s successor as chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA), adopted Arafat’s strategy of tough diplomacy – i.e., complete intransigence, while calling for Israeli concessions and continuing the terrorist attacks. Abbas, like Arafat, took a chapter from Adolf Hitler’s playbook on how to conduct diplomacy. Abbas is willing to engage Israel in diplomacy in the same way Hitler engaged Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain: with peace illusions. Meanwhile, Hitler extracted a huge concession – the dismantling of Czechoslovakia. Like Israel, the Czechs had a highly developed armaments industry and a large, well trained army. And like Czechoslovakia, Israel is about to be betrayed by its “partner,” the Obama administration, in the name of securing “peace.”
The similarity between Abbas and Hitler is further exhibited by their use of incitement. Hitler incited the Sudeten-Germans against their country, Czechoslovakia, while assuring the Western powers he wanted peace. Today, Abbas is inciting the Palestinian masses through the media, mosques, and schools against Jews and Israel, while professing to want peace. Hitler was able to take Czechoslovakia without firing a shot thanks to “useful idiots” who refused to question his motives and appeasers like Chamberlain. Abbas is counting on Obama and EU leaders to do his bidding, i.e., extract strategic concessions from Israel, which would render the country defenseless.
The question that looms largely is: has Israel learned anything from history? Will Israel premise future negotiations on the complete cessation of Palestinian incitement (and not fall for a repeat of Oslo’s seventeen year-old unfulfilled obligations)? Will the Palestinians be bound to sign an “end of conflict” document that unequivocally prohibits Palestinian refugees from returning to Israel? Finally, will the Palestinians state publicly – in all languages, including Arabic – that they recognize Israel as a Jewish State? Without the fulfillment of these conditions, it would be meaningless to continue the façade of “peace negotiations.” Do Israeli leaders have the fortitude to withstand pressure from its allies, especially the Obama administration, a hostile international media, and its own leftist press?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resolve seems to have cracked already, with his stated willingness to concede land to the Palestinians in order to bring Abbas to the negotiating table. Arutz Sheva reported on August 8, 2010 that “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu actually offered to cede control of certain land to the Palestinian Authority at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week in exchange for their agreeing to direct talks with Israel. He said that he would be willing to transfer to Area B status – i.e., under Israeli military control and PA administrative control – a strip of land north of Ramallah, in the Binyamin region, so that the new PA city of Rawabi could have easy access to Ramallah.” PA chairman Mahmud Abbas has said that even that is not enough. Abbas says he will refuse to sit down and talk with Israel until the latter agrees to stop all construction in Judea and Samaria, and in eastern Jerusalem.
In a August 9 Jerusalem Post article, Benny Begin, Israel’s Minister without portfolio and a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s forum of seven senior ministers, stated that “The Palestinians are after a ‘two-stage solution’ and not a two-state solution. There is no other rational explanation for the total, vehement rejection of the far-reaching proposals by two previous Israeli governments.” Begin, the son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin emphasized:
the Palestine Liberation Organization seeks the liberation of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, which is why its true aim is not a two-state solution but a two-stage solution. In stage one it tries to push Israel to the 1949 armistice lines. In stage two, it will push for the insertion of hundreds of thousands of refugees into the State of Israel, to liberate Palestine.
By designating Abbas as a “moderate,” Israel has basically undermined its own position. Israel’s unilateral concessions have only served to whet the Palestinian appetite for more cost-free Israeli concessions. Secular Israeli political leaders have adopted the reasoning of their secular Western friends in the U.S. and Europe, who fail to see that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about land or borders but about Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state; which Abbas and the PA are unwilling to recognize. The so-called “secular” Fatah leadership, that runs the Palestinian Authority, regards all of Israel as part of Arab-Muslim Palestine – land that falls within the domain of Islam. Consequently, a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians cannot be realized until Islam undergoes reform, and true secularism takes hold in Arab societies and among the Palestinians.
Western democracies helped Hitler devour democratic Czechoslovakia and they will do the same with democratic Israel in the name of “peace” (aided, in large, measure by Arab petro-dollars). To survive, Israel must get tough not only with its Palestinian enemies but even tougher with its friends. It must convey a strong message that Israel is no longer open for concessions and that if the U.S. and the West seek peace in the region, they must pressure the Arab states and the Palestinians to transform their authoritarian regimes into democracies that tolerate religious diversity and ensure human rights. Without accepting Israel as a legitimate Jewish state, we are left with the Arafat legacy of destroying Israel in stages.