Palestine: Where a Radical Society Produces Radical Leadership
‚Äú47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started.¬† Which revolution?¬† The modern revolution of the Palestinian people‚Äôs history.¬† In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem, 637 CE], and continuing today, and until the End of Days.¬† The reliable Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad), [found] in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says: “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.¬† The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.¬† Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
-PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein, PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2012
There is nothing particularly surprising about the above statement, made so recently by the Palestinian Authority (PA) funded Palestinian Mufti, who is the leading Sunni Muslim religious authority in the PA.¬† In fact, it is well representative of the state of current Palestinian society (which I described more fully in a previous column), with its government sponsorship of hate against Israelis and Jews, its promotion of terrorism, its production of murderous children‚Äôs television shows, and even its advocacy of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.¬† Unfortunately, beginning in 1994, with the removal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian areas, the governing Palestinian group Fatah received control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, (although the Hamas terror group seized control of Gaza in 2007).
Palestinian leaders could have taken advantage of their new power to develop the economy, produce jobs, provide support for its disadvantaged, and develop an agricultural base.¬† Instead the Palestinian leaders cancelled democratic elections,¬† cracked down on free speech and¬† religion, tortured and killed their own people, and funneled money into personal bank accounts or into support for terrorism against Israel.
A distinction can be made between Fatah and Hamas. Fatah, subsidized by the U.S., international organizations, Europe, the Gulf States, and even Israel,¬† is the more secular of the two even though it continues to fund Muslim religious events demonizing Jews, and paying the salary for the anti-Semitic Palestinian Authority Mufti. Fatah continues to glorify terrorism on television, including praising vicious murderer of an Israeli family, including two children and an infant.
This ought not come as a surprise, since for forty years Fatah was the personal fiefdom of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, the man who introduced the world to airline skyjackings.¬† (Unholy Alliance, David Horowitz, pg.145) Arafat spent much of his diplomatic career walking away from peace deals that would have given him a viable Palestinian state, the very thing he claimed to want, when speaking to a western audience. Under their current leader, Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah has continued to avoid any final settlement of the peace process. Just this month, the Abbas appointed terrorist Mahmoud Awad Damra to serve as a PA official, despite his recent release from jail for attacks which killed Israelis and Americans. Last month, Abbas pushed for a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the UN, in an effort to bypass bilateral peace negotiations and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
The other ruling Palestinian regime is the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas is the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which now dominates the Egyptian parliament. Hamas and the Brotherhood‚Äôs goal is to implement Sharia (Islamic law), with all of its mandated 7th century punishments including flogging, stoning and amputation. Hamas has a strong claim of legitimacy, having defeated Fatah in Palestinian elections in 2006, and because its genocidal covenant is strongly grounded in traditional Islamic anti-Semitism and contains the exact hadith uttered by the PA‚Äės Mufti. In fact, it is so identified with virulent anti-Semitism that the foreign travels of its leadership have led to mass demonstrations throughout the Arab world reminiscent of the demonstrations 1930‚Äôs Nazi Germany.¬† Hamas is led by a triumvirate of terrorists: Khaled Mashal, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar. Mashal has praised Osama Bin Laden and condemned Bin Laden‚Äôs killing. Al-Zahar has reiterated that Hamas will ‚Äúnever give up its armed struggle against the Zionist enemy.‚ÄĚ Nor is such talk likely to end, as each member of the leadership attempts to outdo the other in demonstrations of their terrorist credentials and Jew-hatred in an effort to emerge victorious in an internal Hamas power struggle.
Because of these factors, Hamas manages to be even more repressive and destructive to the hopes of a stable Palestinian society than Fatah. When the Israelis removed their settlements from the Gaza strip in 2005, it was Hamas which led the Gazans in riots to destroy the agricultural industry Israel left behind. Hamas has spent its three years cracking down on the rights of women in the Gaza Strip, harassing its tiny Christian community into exile, and suppressing free speech.¬† There has been some growing resentment of the authoritarian and fundamentalist Hamas among young Palestinian Muslims. As a result Hamas has resorted to conducting a ‚Äúcharm offensive‚ÄĚ in Gaza to win back public support.
Recently, ‚ÄúPresident‚ÄĚ Abbas and Khaled Meshaal met to discuss reconciliation between the two groups. They agreed to hold presidential and legislative elections by May of 2012, and to initiate some confidence-building measures. But so far negotiations have not resolved the issue of forming a unity government, nor who would lead it. Hamas remains adamant that the West Bank‚Äôs Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, popular in the West for his statements in favor of developing a more economically advanced and democratic Palestinian entity, be removed, while Abbas is pretending to support him to keep the foreign aid flowing.¬† If the two sides do eventually come together, it will be to produce a government which shares the values which unite the two parties, namely, terrorism against Jews, government corruption, and opposition to free speech.
Until there is a fundamental change in the nature of Palestinian society, negotiations will never succeed. All moderation will continue to be ‚ÄúEnglish-only‚ÄĚ meant to purchase western aid to facilitate corruption and terror.¬† Palestinian leaders will continue to compete with each other over the support of a Palestinian public, in order to show that they are the party that best represents the principle, ‚Äúthere is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.‚ÄĚ