.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The extremism and bigotry of PA "moderates"

One never hears the word "extremist" associated with the Fatah-led PA West Bank government. That word is relegated to Israeli settlers and groups like Islamic Jihad. In the Western media, the PA is uniformly considered "moderate."

There has been a lot of press lately about (possibly illegal) PA "prime minister" Fayyad taking the word "resistance" out of the PA cabinet platform:
Radical groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad Sunday accused moderate Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of abandoning Palestinian "resistance" by omitting mention of it from his cabinet program.

The Fayyad government "has abandoned the mother of all principles of the Palestinian people, accepted and recognized by everybody," the groups said in a statement.

Fayyad, a respected economist and former employee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, was appointed to head the Palestinian cabinet after the Islamist Hamas overran the Gaza Strip in a bloody takeover June 15.

The cabinet program, which was published over the weekend, does not contain the term "resistance," used by the Palestinians to describe armed struggle against Israeli occupation.

The term was included in the program of the previous Palestinian cabinet headed by Hamas premier Ismail Haniya.

The text says that among the top priorities of the government will be "working to put an end to the occupation, and to create an independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital, on all lands occupied in 1967."

The two groups railed against the omission of the term.

"This condemnable position shows the true face of this government and of its members, who have abandoned the resistance, the blood and the suffering of the wounded and prisoners."

The statement said the cabinet took such action "with the aim of satisfying the Zionist enemy and the biggest devil in the world, America, and to receive dollars."
Certainly, compared to what Islamic Jihad is saying, the PA position is more moderate. But is it truly moderate?

Fayyad is unquestionably the most reasonable Palestinian Arab ever to gain a position of power, even if large numbers of PalArabs do not accept his unelected position. Even so, his platform is the non-starter of evicting some 475,000 Jews from Israel and the West Bank (this number includes Jews in the Jerusalem area that Israel never counts in its census of "settlers.") For some reason, the forced transfer of nearly a half-million Jews is not considered an "extremist" position by the international community.

The equally "moderate" Mustafa Barghouti, who has fought passionately against Fatah corruption, has this to say:
Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghuothi the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative faction confirmed today that the Israeli allegations of the peace initiative are simply deceiving. Adding, it is just another way of by passing the final status of peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian official said that no Palestinian will accept the creation of a Palestinian state, without sovereignty over Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. He also reiterated the hazards of creating a Palestinian temporary state, without the dismantling of all illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank in addition to the Israeli withdrawal of all the lands it occupied in 1967. The new Israeli peace plan according to Al-Barghuothi is meant to disrupt the idea of an independent Palestinian state turning it to cantons, following example of the South African apartheid regime.

Al-Barghuothi pointed out that Bush was convening an international meeting and not an international peace conference, highlighting the most serious campaign statements made by Bush and Olmert in an attempt to separate the Palestinian state on the final issue. This will mean converting a fully sovereign Palestinian state into a state within temporary boarders.[sic]
Fayyad's statement is a platform, but Barghouti's statement is far stronger - he self-righteously declares that "no Palestinian" would accept a state without these maximal demands being fulfilled. This does not leave any room for compromise, and it is the exact opposite of moderate. (I would love to see a poll of real PalArabs that asks them this question.)

The gap between the most liberal PalArabs and the real world is huge, and the most moderate of them explicitly advocate a racist state that they do not want to set up until the area is ethnically cleansed of all vestiges of Jews - exactly how Jordan treated the area in 1948-49. Except in 1948, there were some 17,000 Jews expelled from Arab areas, and today's "moderates" want to see 475,000 of them forcibly evicted - a number not too much lower than the entire number of Palestinian Arab refugees in 1948.

Why does the free world choose to ignore the explicit and admitted racism and bigotry of these so-called "moderates"? Why does Israel itself choose to prop up people who will tell anyone willing to listen that their red-line demands are not "only" the settlers, but also most of the Jews living in the Jerusalem area?

UPDATE:
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has said Palestinians have a legitimate right to resist Israeli occupation, even if the phrase does not appear in his new government program.

"We are certainly an occupied people and resistance is a legitimate right for the Palestinian people as an occupied people," Fayyad told reporters in Cairo, where he is leading the Palestinian delegation to an Arab League meeting on Monday.