Friday, March 16, 2007

The Palestinian "Unity" Government

Khaled Abu Taomeh has another excellent analysis of the Palestinain unity government deal.
The political program of the new Palestinian Authority unity government, which constitutes a compromise between the relatively pragmatist policies of Fatah and the radical ideology of Hamas, contains many contradictions and ambiguities.

The wording of the program has been drafted in such a way so as to allow both Hamas and Fatah to argue that neither party had totally abandoned its traditional position. [...] [T]he program leaves the door wide open for different interpretations.
Because Hamas wants to be Hamas and receive international handouts to fund their terror, they deliberately state their aims in a way that is unclear as to have multiple meanings, depending who the audience is.

So what is Hamas' "traditional position"? The destruction of Israel. Sounds like an overstatement? One should consider the three simple requirements of the Quartet (US, EU, UN, Russia) for the Palestinain government:
...renouncing terrorism, recognizing Israel and abiding by previous agreements with Israel...
If Palestinains wanted statehood so badly, these demands are hardly difficult and easy for any supposedly self-determined people.

First, do they renounce terror? Sadly, it is affirmed.
On the issue of terrorism, the program states, on the one hand, that the new government "stresses that resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people... and our people have the right to defend themselves against any Israeli aggression."
This means that they can continue terror because it is their "right". If Israel responds, then that will be considered "agression" and will justify further terror.
On the other hand, the program says that the new government will "work toward consolidating the tahdiya [period of calm] and extending it [to the West Bank] so that it becomes a comprehensive and mutual truce."
Tahdiya (declared calm) involves the Hudna, which is a limited truce (10 years maximum) during an Islamic war. The idea is that the clam period is a regrouping phase in a war fought to be won outright.

How about recognizing Israel? Let me guess.
Regarding recognition of Israel's right to exist, the program does not mention the name Israel. Instead, it refers to Israel as "The Occupation."
What about abiding by previous signed agreements with Israel?
It also makes no mention of the two-state solution. Rather, it reiterates the Palestinians' opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders.


Hamas leaders have already explained that there is a huge difference between "respecting" an agreement and making a pledge to fulfill it.
In other words, Hamas is saying that while it accepts the agreements with Israel as an established fact, it will not carry them out. Notice also that there is no mention of the two-state solution (purposely).

Could it be that they simply want the Palestinian state to have permanent borders?
Although the document declares that the "key to peace and stability is contingent on ending the occupation of Palestinian lands and recognizing the Palestinian people's right to self-determination," it does not specify which "lands" - those captured by Israel in 1967 or 1948.
1948 borders = ALL of Israel. Is that reading into what they are saying?
Hamas, on the other hand, will be able to argue that the phrase "Palestinian lands" applies also to all of Mandatory Palestine.
Which is their stated and affirmed position that has never changed.There's more ambiguity.
Elsewhere in the program, the new government says that it will abide by unspecified United Nations and Arab summit resolutions...
Fatah has one thing in mind:
...leaving the door open for Fatah to claim that this is tantamount to recognizing the two-state solution and all the agreements with Israel. Fatah will cite the 2002 Arab peace plan that implicitly recognizes Israel.
That's implicit, not explicit. What about Hamas' interpretation?
Hamas, on the other hand, can always claim that among the Arab summit resolutions that it intends to abide by is the one taken in Khartoum, Sudan, in September 1967. The resolution contains what became known as "the three no[']s" of Arab-Israel relations at that time: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.
That's the exact opposite of the Quartet's demands. So what is Hamas' plans for ending the fighting?
The program sets a number of conditions for halting the "resistance," ending the "occupation" and achieving independence and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as well as an end to Israeli security measures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including the construction of the security fence. In other words, Fatah and Hamas are saying that the violence will continue as long as Israel does not meet these demands.
The "right of return" for Palestinian "refugees" is not to the West Bank and Gaza, in case you were wondering.
The program, moreover, closes the door to any potential concessions on the problem of the refugees by emphasizing their "right of return to their lands and property inside Israel."
And the return of the now-millions of Palestinains inside Israel would be the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Just exactly as Hamas intends to do, one way or another.

So, in other words, this unity government is exactly what Hamas wanted. And they got everything without having to give up anything. in fact, they didn't even compromise a single item of their hard-line position. Pretty good result for them.


Michael said...

So, basically, this "unity" gov't is just a straight Hamas terrorist program.

Who'd've though?

Abu Yossi said...

not france and norway, for starters. i'd like to imagine that they would think differently if they lived where i do and had to listen to qassams rattle the windows regularly.