PA president Mahmoud Abbas sends a letter to Ismail Haniyeh (
Prime Minister Hamas KINGPIN), and before the ink is barely dry, the members of the Quartet are already welcoming the accord. Hold on and back up a few meters. Let’s take a look at the letter and see what it calls for. Clause (c) should be scrutinized more closely, because it causes the greatest concern.
“c) I call upon you as the head of the upcoming Palestinian government to commit to the higher interests of the Palestinian people, to preserve its rights and to preserve its achievements and to develop them, and to work in order to achieve its national goals as was approved by the Palestine National Council, the clauses of the Basic Law and the National Reconciliation Document… Based on this, I call upon you to respect international resolutions and the agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (referring to peace accords with Israel).”
First of all, The National Reconciliation Document Abbas refers to, is none other than the “Palestinian Prisoners Document” drafted in an Israeli jail by Marwan Barghouti, presently serving five consecutive life terms + 40 yrs, for his role in the murder of five Israelis. Barghouti and his fellow cell mates (Hamas’s Abdel Khalek al-Natsheh, Deputy-head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abdel Rahim Malouh, Mustafa Badarneh of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Sheikh Bassam al-Sa’di of Islamic Jihad) had reached a consensus on eighteen points, that sought to unify the numerous factions not only within the Palestinian Authority, but also the Arab League and their international supporters as well.
While unity/unite is only mentioned three times, there are eight points that focus on consolidating the various Palestinian factions to work collectively, in achieving their stated aims (that really contain nothing new). The PPD’s focus is on unity and consolidation of existing forces, to work locally and internationally with the hopes of mounting renewed pressure on Israel in both arenas, in attempt to offset the gains made by Sharon’s disengagement policy.
After reading the PPD in its entirety, one can’t help but notice the familiar ambiguity that resides in any Palestinian document, the refugee issue is one such red flag:
“and to secure the right of return for the refugees and to liberate all prisoners and detainees based on the historical right of our people on the land of the fathers and grandfathers and based on the UN Charter and the international law and international legitimacy. “
Al Avai notes: Number 3 is really interesting — “resistance” by “various means” is code for terrorism.
“the right of the Palestinian people in resistance and clinging to the option of resistance with the various means and focusing the resistance in the occupied territories of 1967 alongside with the political action and negotiations and diplomatic action and continuation of popular and mass resistance against the occupation in its various forms and policies and making sure there is broad participation by all sectors and masses in the popular resistance.”
The PPD DOES NOT call for an end to terrorism, nor reject the flooding of Israel with not just the 200 000 remaining real refugees, but also millions of their decendents. It also speaks of fomenting incitement against Israel, “making sure htere is broad participation by all sectors” is nothing less than the teaching of its children to hate Jews, in schools, mosques public events ect.
Also troubling in the Abbas letter, is the insistance on using the word “respect” in place of the word recognize in conjunction with the recognizing of Israels right to exist. This is not an excercize at “nit picking”, the language used must be fully understood by all parties, the usage of the word respect cannot mean a limited time period. This also has to be coupled with the complete, full rejection of terrorism against Israel, no longer using violence in place of legitmate negotiations.
There is alot of worrisome language in all of these documents, and seeing that “appearance usually outweighs substance” for the international community, there is a serious danger for the ‘poo pooing’ over the troublesome parts in the rush to resume business as usual. *L* KGS
Hat tip: Daniel, to whom I am always in debt.
Update: The PLO’s phased plan should be read as well, it provides context in reading any subsequent Palestinian document.