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Sunday, September 30, 2007

A 'conversation' with a 'moderate' terrorist

Today's Washington Post features a 'conversation' with 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen. I want you to try to understand Abu Mazen's basic argument, because it's not something western minds are used to confronting. When we used to play football in the schoolyard and one team scored a touchdown, the ruled always was "suckers walk." The team that gave up the touchdown had to retreat to the other end of the schoolyard to receive the ensuing kickoff. In Abu Mazen's world, the winner has to give up all its gains in order to appease the loser.

Abu Mazen's argument is "We rejected partition in 1937 [forget for a minute who 'we' might have been since there were no 'Palestinians' until 1964], we rejected partition in 1947, we went to war to try to exterminate the Jews in 1948 and 1967, and therefore if the Jews want to make 'peace' with us, we will 'settle' for what we could have had if we had agreed to partition in 1948." Does anyone see the logic? I'm not making this up.

How do you envision the borders of the future state ?

'67 borders.

But '67 borders will include Gaza.

Yes, of course. Without Gaza, we cannot have a state. And we should have a safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank because Gaza is a part of Palestine. . . . All the Arabs support this vision. At the last meeting of the Arab League, they issued a statement saying that Hamas's deeds were illegal. And they recognized my authority as the legal authority.

Is Saudi Arabia coming to Washington in November?

Saudi Arabia had reservations in the beginning because the whole situation was very vague. Now everything is clear. Yesterday, I met with Prince Saud al-Faisal, and he was satisfied. So I believe they will attend the conference.

Are there any concessions that you're willing to make in order to reach a deal with the Israelis? Are there any concessions you demand?

We will be flexible, but before 1947, we had 95 percent of Palestine. In 1937, the partition plan gave the Israelis only part of Palestine. And they were very happy at that time. [David] Ben-Gurion was very happy with it. It didn't work. After that [came] the 1947 partition plan -- we rejected this, so we lost.

You should have taken it?

Yes, at that time, of course. But it gave us 46 percent of Palestine. . . . Now, we accept [the pre-'67 borders].

Q. But how does this differ from what President Clinton offered Arafat? Didn't he offer him almost 98 percent of the West Bank?

A. No, no. In Camp David, it was only 92. Ninety-two is unacceptable to us.

Even Olmert and Livni aren't willing (yet - I cannot vouch for this in three months) to give everything that was liberated in 1967 to the 'Palestinians.' Even Ramon has only proposed giving what are currently predominantly Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to the 'Palestinians' while keeping the Jewish neighborhoods that are over the 1967 lines (such as Neve Yaakov, Pisgat Zev, Ramot, Ramat Shlomo, French Hill and Ramat Eshkol), which have tens of thousands of Jewish inhabitants. Israel has not 'resettled' the 9000 Jews it expelled from Gush Katif two years ago. Does anyone really believe 400,000 more Jews can be 'resettled' even if this wasn't suicidal due to the security situation?

But there's more to this 'conversation.' Here's Abu Mazen on the 'right of return':

Israelis are firm that they cannot accept the right of return [for Palestinian refugees] to Israel. . . . Do you think Palestinians should be allowed to return? You were born in the Galilee. Do you want to go back there?

This is my right, but how I will use this right is up to me and to the refugees and to the agreement which will take place between us. We want to find a permanent solution. The Israelis want security, and we are in need of independence. How can we deal with these two pillars? There is a gap between the two sides. We want to bridge the gap during the negotiations.

Olmert keeps claiming that he and Abu Mazen have reached an 'understanding.' What does it say on this issue, which is anathema to nearly all Israelis?

And then you might ask, how does Abu Mazen propose to guarantee Israel's security if we withdraw to our Auschwitz borders, particularly given the sorry experience of the aftermath of the Gaza expulsion? Watch how he ducks that question:

The Israelis thought they were doing a good thing when they withdrew from Gaza [in July 2005], but now they have been forced to evacuate a town near Gaza [because it has been repeatedly shelled by rockets from Hamas].

They did it unilaterally. They didn't do it bilaterally with us. We asked them many times to make [the Gaza withdrawal] the result of an agreement between us. But [former Israeli prime minister Ariel] Sharon refused. He didn't want to talk to us. . . .

But will Israelis agree to go to final-status talks when they are constantly threatened with attacks on their cities?

Last night, [our security forces] seized two rockets. We handed [them] over to the Israelis. We are very worried about these deeds and I think we can put an end to all this. Our security apparatus is ready to stop all kinds of violence.

I told you all those 'rockets' were faked and they were manufactured to give the appearance that Abu Mazen's 'security forces' are actually fighting terror. They have never fought terror and they never will because they will never fight with their fellow 'Palestinians' if it means defending Jewish lives.

There's one party that should not show up at this 'conference': Israel. Let President Bush earn his legacy by taking out Iranian nukes and not by creating a 'Palestinian' state reichlet. As to Olmert, he must go.

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