The clear-eyed Palestinian journalist Khaled abu Toameh points out that, if the Palestinian Authority wants the world to take it seriously as a ‘partner for peace’ with Israel, it is going a mighty strange way about showing it.
In separate incidents in the past few days two Israeli soldiers were murdered in the West Bank – one of them having beenlured there from Tel Aviv to his death – with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claiming responsibility.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is the armed wing of Fatah. Fatah is the party of Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, who does not distance himself from such atrocities committed by his own armed wing.
The PA has also been involved in ‘a massive campaign of incitement’ against Israel, with some officials calling for an escalation of ‘popular resistance’ and with others disseminating inflammatory lies about Israeli behaviour – creating the kind of toxic atmosphere which fuels attacks such as the killing of the two Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian Authority is deemed by Britain, the US and the EU to be a ‘moderate’ body with which Israel must negotiate an agreement for a Palestinian state.
The answer, of course, as I have been saying here for years, is that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA are not ‘moderate’ by any reasonable definition of that word; nor are they interested in peaceful co-existence with Israel at all.
More tellingly, they do not feel they have to convince the world that they are. And that is because they know that, whatever atrocities are carried out by their own people, whatever incitement they promulgate and whatever bad faith they show in a myriad different ways, they can rely on Britain, the US and EU to ignore it all and pretend that Abbas and co are indeed seriously interested in a settlement – and then blame Israel for the inevitable breakdown in the peace process.
So how can Britain, the US and the EU possibly subscribe to such a wicked travesty?
Because they have convinced themselves that, when terrorist godfathers in suits and ties tell them what they want to hear, that is because those terrorist godfathers really want nothing more than to become statesmen, turn their swords into ploughshares and build a peaceful and unthreatening society with those they have sworn to wipe out.
How can Britain, the US and the EU possibly be so deluded? Because they think there is no alternative if there is ever to be peace between Israel and the Arabs.
Why do they subscribe to such a muddled non-sequitur? Because they don’t want to face two demonstrable facts.
What are those facts?
The first is that the Arab-Israel nine decade-plus war is not a boundary dispute about the division of land. It is a war of extermination by Arab aggressors against the internationally-agreed right of the Jews to govern themselves in their own historic homeland.
The second fact is far more devastating. The single most important reason why this Arab-Israel war continues apparently without end is that, from the very start, first the British and then the Americans and the EU have rewarded Palestinian Arab aggression and punished its Jewish victims or pushed them to surrender. Not surprisingly, the Palestinians have therefore been encouraged to continue to attack Israelis with impunity, to this very day.
And so the devastating fact that Britain, the US and the EU refuse to acknowledge is that the main reason the Arab-Israel war continues is not the intransigence of Benjamin Netanyahu, nor the behaviour of the Israeli ‘settlers’, nor the absence of a Palestinian state. It is nothing other than the behaviour of Britain, the US and the EU themselves.