Led on by gushing reports filed on June 27 by the Associated Press (AP) and Agence France-Presse (AFP), media outlets report that Hamas and Fatah have reached a new agreement "implicitly recognizing Israel." If true, this would be Nobel Prize material. But the news is not true, and its most interesting implication is the one we pose at the end of this essay.
This is a summary of what AP and AFP reported about the "agreement":
* They called it a "national understanding", but the agreement was termed a "prisoners' plan" by Raoui Fattouh, a supporter of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Indeed, it appears that this “new agreement” since it is essentially the "National Accord” document of May 25, drawn up in the Israeli prison at Hadarim by Palestinian prisoners from several movements — including Marwan Al-Barghouti (Fatah), 'Abd Al-Khaleq Al-Natshe (Hamas), Mustafa Badarna (PLF), 'Abd Al-Rahim Malluh (DFLP), and Bassam Al-Sa'di (Islamic Jihad). That accord "calls on militants to limit attacks to areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast War."
* The agreement calls for a “government of national unity,” which presumably will replace the current government, and which all sides agree in advance will be dominated by Hamas. (Interestingly, the text does not spell out how this government is to be formed: via special elections? a coup d'état?)
* The agreement recognizes that the current Palestinian state will encompass Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), but emphasizes that future initiatives must "serve the cause and the interests of the Palestinian people." The current boundaries, in other words, are temporary.
* This agreement is between two politicians. No constitutional convention, no Hamas or Fatah meeting or decision, no meeting of any other group has ratified this agreement. Even the two politicians have only initialed it (not signed it) as of this writing. It is legally inoperative. Tellingly, almost none of the reports filed mention the deadly groups which have refused to sign on to it, including Hamas’s own military arm (the Ezz e-Din Qassam), the Popular Resistance Committees, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Khaled Mashal, leader of Hamas' ruthless Syrian branch, rejects the agreement utterly.
What, in sum, do we have? We have a promise by two politicians that Qassam rockets will no longer be launched from Gaza, and that terrorist murders will in the future take place on "only" roughly 30% of Israeli territory. We have a refusal to recognize the borders of Israel, except as is tactically required by the Palestinian cause and interests. We have no mention of the "road map" to peace that had been internationally sanctioned.
We also still have the “Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement,” the never-repudiated 1988 PA governing party's charter, as well as the actual contents of the "National Accord Document" signed at Hadarim.
“Highlights” of Hamas' charter (have the AP/AFP stingers ever even read it?) include these:
* "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
* "The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: 'The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."
* "The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine [including all of Israel] is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgment Day."
As for the ballyhooed "National Accord Document," it declares:
* "The Palestinian people in the homeland and in the diaspora seeks to liberate its land, to realize its right to liberty, return, independence and self-determination, including its right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital on all [territories occupied] in 1967, to secure the right of return for all the refugees and to liberate all the prisoners - based on the historical rights of our people to the Land of the Fathers, on the U.N. charter, on international law and on U.N. resolutions...”[our emphasis]
* "The Palestinian people has the right to resist and to remain committed to the option of resistance by any means. The resistance should focus on the territories that were occupied in 1967." [our emphasis]
* "Liberating the prisoners by any means is a sacred national obligation..."
This, to a knowledgeable reader, is no recognition of Israel. These documents deny Israel's right to territorial integrity, to its capital, to self-defense, and to borders established in conformity with Security Council Resolution 242. These documents authorize terrorism, including the recent invasion of Israel and kidnapping of an Israel soldier, since it was accomplished in order to free Palestinian prisoners convicted of murders in Israel.
How can responsible Western reporters rush to characterize the non-event we just reviewed as "implicit recognition of Israel?" Are these reporters simple people who have done no background research? Are they helpless dupes of local informants who feed them misinformation? Or are they sympathizers with terrorists ("militants," as the journalists refer to them) who camouflage terrorist strategies to hoodwink their readers? Answering that question, we submit, would be of much more value than reading these AP/AFP feeds.
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