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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Fatah and Hamas are one and the same

Expounding on a theme I have repeated many times, Robert Spencer tells the truth for those who will listen: There is no difference between Fatah and Hamas.
For years, the Bush administration and then the Obama administration have worked from the premise that Fatah and its Palestinian Authority governments were the “moderates” that merited backing against the “extremists” of Hamas. It was a myopic, simplistic and naïve analysis from the beginning, and now it has been definitively exposed as such.

In reality, both groups share the same Islamic outlook towards Israel that makes peaceful coexistence with the Jewish State impossible. Both believe that no state ruled by non-Muslims on what they consider Muslim land has any legitimacy; there are no theological differences between them, but only relatively minor differences of strategy and of strictness in their observance of Islamic law that mainly arise from Fatah’s origins in Sixties-era socialism as opposed to Hamas’s birth as an explicitly Islamic movement. Fatah is also more inclined to be patient, while Hamas tends to be significantly less so. Fatah is willing to make deals with the Infidels as stepping stones to greater progress toward the ultimate goal; Hamas tends to see such deals as trimming, and prefers not to compromise even temporarily.

Thus the Hamas Charter, which was promulgated in 1988, quotes Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” The PLO’s Palestine National Charter is twenty years older. It doesn’t mention Islam at all, but it nonetheless enunciates the same goal in different language: “The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine.” This language was never revised even after the PLO recognized Israel in 1993.
Read it all.

There are a couple of points worth making here. First, the genesis of the idea that Fatah is 'moderate,' while Hamas is not, was not with the Bush administration or the Clinton administration (which adopted the same premise earlier). The genesis of that idea came from the government of Israel. The Rabin - Peres government that signed the disastrous Oslo accords, and every Israeli government since then, has promoted the fable that Fatah is 'moderate,' that an accommodation with Fatah can be reached, and that Fatah wants to live in peace with us as 'two states living side by side in peace.' It's all a lot of hogwash.

Of course, admitting that Fatah is essentially the same as Hamas, and differs only on tactics, leads to a second conclusion, which Israel's Left, let alone everyone else's, cannot accept. That conclusion is that there is no 'partner' for a 'two-state solution,' and that Israel must be prepared to live in a state of constant low-grade war and terror or that its Jews must move elsewhere. That is our unfortunate reality, and it's why half-measures that accommodate the 'Palestinians' inevitably lead to dead and wounded Jews.

The Rabin - Peres government (1992-96) took the view that 'we' want peace, and 'they' are normal and therefore must want peace, and so we can make peace with 'them.' Of course, there needed to be a 'them,' and that was Fatah and (at first) Yasser Arafat. When Peres lost power in 1996, he was still promoting the myth that Arafat was a 'peace partner' despite the suicide bombings carried out under Arafat's direction that led to Peres' electoral demise.

In his first term (1996-99), Binyamin Netanyahu made the mistake of not challenging that orthodoxy, and instead conditioned 'progress' with the 'Palestinians' on reciprocity. The result was that terror attacks dropped during Netanyahu's first term, and little 'progress' was made on the 'peace process.' But Netanyahu did not have the guts to challenge the basic model of the 'two-state solution,' which had gained widespread acceptance in Israel, and so the myth of the 'moderate' Fatah continued.

Ehud Barak (1999-2001) dropped Netanyahu's reciprocity so that 'progress' was made on the 'peace process.' Once the 'Palestinians' realized that Barak was not willing to go further than he went at Camp David, and would not lead the Jews into the Mediterranean, they began the violent 'second intifada' (also known as the Oslo War) in a bid to force Barak to go further. Barak did not respond forcefully to the Oslo War in the hope of maintaining the 'peace process,' but with Israelis dying in suicide bombings almost daily (if you weren't there, you cannot imagine what it was like living in Israel from 2000-04), Barak was quickly voted out of office and Ariel Sharon took over.

Sharon (2001-06) first acted tough with the 'Palestinians' and shut down their Oslo war. But he made few efforts to convince the Bush administration - which came to power around the same time - that the problem was the 'Palestinians' and not just Arafat himself, and accepted the formulation that 'changed leadership' was all that was required. When Arafat died, 'changed leadership' was allegedly in place, and that combined with Sharon's need to avoid prosecution for corruption led him to undertake the disastrous Gaza expulsion.

Ehud Olmert (2006-09) was a true believer in the 'peace process,' and did much to perpetuate the myth of a 'moderate' Fatah. Under the influence of his Leftist wife and children, he declared that he was 'tired of fighting,' and tried to convince Israelis that they were weary of fighting too. Had the 'Palestinians' of Gaza and Hezbullah in Lebanon not started wars in the summer of 2006, Olmert would have 'converged' many of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria and abandoned significant amounts of strategic land to the 'Palestinians.' Fortunately, the two military actions destroyed that plan.

Most Israelis decided they preferred fighting to swimming in the Mediterranean, and in 2009 Netanyahu came to power again.

Two years ago, Netanyahu felt he was elected to bring a 'peace deal,' but not at any price. He did not accept the need to abandon the 'two-state' model.

At the present time, I believe that most Israelis would accept it if Netanyahu got up and told the nation that we don't have a 'partner' for peace. But unfortunately, the West has bought into the 'Fatah is moderate' myth, and therefore will accept nothing but the 'two-state solution.' As to the United States, our sole ally, the Obama administration (like the Europeans) could care less whether Fatah is in fact moderate. But unfortunately pro-Israel Congressional Democrats (and probably Republicans too) are also closing their eyes to the fact that Fatah does not seek peace. I have it on good source that a senior Democrat in Congress (sorry - can't disclose who it was) was approached and asked what he thought of the notion that Israel should come right out and say that there is no 'partner' for peace, that Fatah does not seek peace, and that therefore we will need to remain with the status quo for a while. His response was "don't feed me Right wing, Republican talking points."

What could go wrong?

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At 8:02 PM, Blogger ProfessorPelotard said...

HT: A real friend of Israel:

Sarah Palin's Big Jewish Star on Jerusalem Day

Asked by reporters why she, a Christian woman, was wearing a Jewish star around her neck, Palin responded, “Today is the 44th anniversary of Jerusalem being reunited. We want to call attention to that.”

At 1:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Obama and the EU the Fatah as moderate vs. Hamas as no-partner-for-peace meme had its sell-by date expire just as soon as Fatah and Hamas made their deal--then, since Israeli concessions (unilateral) under false flag cover of supposed "negotiations" is the short-term goal, Hamas immediately became "moderate" or invisible. (Calls for immediate resumption of negotiations continue notwithstanding Hamas' rejection of Quartet requirements).

As I recall Sharon was ready to close in on Arafat's Ramallah compound and shut the PA down but Bush vetoed that.

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw--according to reports, Bibi himself is rejecting his own "right wing, Republican talking points"--considering the French suggestion to avoid UN General Assembly recognition of Palestine by having Israel cave up front and directly participate in a Paris replay of Munich with the "peace parlay" agenda starting from, yes, "the 1967 borders".



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