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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fatah and Peace Now: It must be love

Barry Rubin hears from Peace Now's Ori Nir about his analysis of apparent Abbas successor Muhammad Ghaneim's hardline views. Nir disputes Rubin's characterization of Ghaneim, saying that Ghaneim "implicitly committed to Fatah's pragmatic platform of peace..."

Rubin finds this interesting:
Talk about wishful thinking! and this is the kind of things we are supposed to risk our lives on?

Here's what's wrong with this:

1. Ori has no evidence for this assertion. He is speculating because he assumes it is impossible for Fatah or the Palestinian movement to reject peace or be more radical. So you have to, in effect, search through the manure until you find the pony.

2. Most important of all, it's one thing to have Ghaneim come back but why should Abbas make him his successor!

3. Nothing will make the locals angrier than importing another guy from Tunis and passing over all those from the West Bank--or at least living there!--including ones who support Abbas. He had a dozen choices at least who are no great doves but at least are status quo types who accept the peace process.

3. Did you catch the word "implicit" By this definition, anyone who joins Fatah on the West Bank or Gaza is by that very fact a supporter of peace! What's wrong with his explicitly saying: I have changed my views and I think Arafat was right in signing the Oslo agreement. Remember, Ghaneim's not being asked to endorse Benjamin Netanyahu's policy but rather Arafat's and can't even do that.

If he cannot do even that, how the heck is he ever going to negotiate a comprehensive peace with Israel ending the conflict and making some concessions?

4. And finally, what "pragmatic platform of peace"? I have no problem in principle for their demanding the 1967 borders as their opening position. The first problem is that this is also going to be their closing position. The real tip-off is that if they had a pragmatic platform of peace it wouldn't include the demand that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants had to be able to go live in Israel if they wished.

But notice how groups like Peace Now make the leap from being dovish Israelis to being the advocates of groups like Fatah....They have become the pro-Palestinian Authority lobby.
This is exactly why the Fatah conference platform explicitly calls for closer ties to the Israeli peace camp:
The restoration of our relationship with the direct and powerful Israeli peace camp, and re-activate it to work for a just peace without mixing with the unacceptable policy of normalization under occupation.
Does no one find it ironic that the Fatah platform, filled with references to the legality of "armed struggle," turns around and says that it embraces the Israeli "peace camp"?

Fatah defines "peace" in this way:
The definition of the concept of peace for the Palestinian people is based on justice and the right to freely exercise self-determination like other peoples of the world, and based on the principles of international law and international legitimacy...
And it interprets "international law" as supporting Palestinian Arab terrorism:
The right of resistance: The Fatah movement and the Palestinian people have the right to resist occupation by all legitimate means, including the exercise of their rights to armed struggle, which is guaranteed by international law, as long as there remains occupation and settlements and dispossession of the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights [to move to Israel and destroy it demographically - EoZ]
So we see that the Fatah movement defines "peace" as "armed struggle."

Peace Now defines "Fatah" as "peaceful."

So, naturally, Fatah wants to strengthen its ties with "Peace Now" to give legitimacy to its "armed struggle."

Newspeak lives!