Do the Palestinians Want Peace?
November 30, 2007
Irvine, CA---At the opening of the Middle East conference in Annapolis, President Bush stated that the time is ripe for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. "The Palestinian people," he stated, "are blessed with many gifts and talents. They want the opportunity to use those gifts to better their own lives and build a future for their children."
But do Palestinians really want peace with Israel?
According to Elan Journo, resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, "On the day the Annapolis conference opened, more than 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets to protest the peace conference." Gaza is the stronghold of Hamas, the Islamist group that denies Israel's right to exist. There were also demonstrations in the West Bank city of Hebron, organized by another militant Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, that regards Hamas as a sell-out for stooping to take part in elections. "The Palestinians who demonstrated," said Journo, "refuse to contemplate the possibility of peaceful co-existence with Israel; they're ideologically committed to replacing Israel with an Islamist regime."
"Yet despite the popular support for Islamists--Hamas won a landslide victory in the 2006 elections--Washington insists on regarding them and their many avid followers as fringe elements.
"The Bush administration and the Israeli government evasively claim they can marginalize such fringe groups by supporting the supposedly 'moderate' Palestinian faction Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas. Israel has removed 178 Fatah militants from its wanted lists and Washington has bolstered Abbas with money and arms so that his faction can maintain order in the Palestinian territories. But Fatah 'security forces' refuse to pursue militants wanted by Israel. Why? A recent story in the New York Times explains: as a governor of the West Bank town of Nablus put it, 'We don't want to look like collaborators with Israel.'
"That these 'security forces' policing towns fear being branded 'collaborators' with Israel tells us a lot about what the supposedly 'moderate' Palestinian public expects them to be doing. Not 'collaborating' can mean only one thing: abetting the militants in attacking Israel--as the Palestinian Authority has done for years. This is the goal that has inspired Palestinians across the political spectrum for decades, and the reason they idolized the arch terrorist Yasser Arafat (who led Fatah before Abbas), and continue to glorify and support the legions of suicide 'martyrs.' The so-called moderates of Fatah, who have pursued the phased destruction of Israel, share the same goal as so-called radicals like Hamas, who openly seek to liquidate Israel; they differ only in the means and timeline they choose for their common goal.
"The conference in Annapolis is based on a lie," said Journo. "What kind of accommodation is possible between the state of Israel and the Palestinians who want to destroy it?
"Washington is urging Israeli concessions of land for the 'promise' of Palestinian peace, but such appeasement can only harm U.S. interests. By fostering such a deal, Washington will encourage the Islamists and help establish a new terrorist regime in the Middle East."
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Elan Journo is available for interviews. To interview Mr. Journo or book him for your show, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For more articles by Elan Journo, and his bio, click here.
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