The Western media has been eager to proclaim that Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, and Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator of the PLO, can be regarded as Palestinian moderates and believe in genuine peace with Israel. Indeed, Erekat did write recently that a two-state solution is the best for all concerned, though he added that the Israeli government does not admit it.More at that top link.
Yet, it is right to be wary of this characterization of moderation. Are there indeed Palestinian leaders whose position is more moderate than that of the acknowledged extremists? One must also ask the question about those Arab leaders who, according to mainstream media, may be pursuing policies of political moderation, given the revelations in recent days of the horrific extreme bigoted comments made by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi about Jews and Zionists, "bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs."
The stance of Hamas, and its leader Khaled Meshal, is clear to all except the majority bloc in the United Nations General Assembly which consistently proposes and votes for anti-Israeli resolutions. Not surprisingly, Meshal expressed delight when shells fired from the Gaza Strip reached Tel Aviv. He remains committed to violence as the way to victory and liberation. No one can misconstrue his words, "The West Bank is inseparable from Gaza, and they are both inseparable from Haifa, Jaffa, Beersheva, and Safed... Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, is our land, our right, and our homeland."
Does President Abbas agree with this view? In an interview on December 9, 2012 he spoke of the desirability of reconciliation of his Fatah group with Hamas, and the "unity of our people...when we are talking about a Palestinian state." The two Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, are supposed to be seeking such reconciliation under Egyptian auspices. But it is difficult to envisage a compromise between the two groups and their positions if that of Fatah is considered a sincere one of moderation and of "peaceful popular resistance."
It is equally difficult to accept Fatah's behavior as responsible when President Abbas sought by taking unilateral action to have the United Nations agree to the existence of a Palestinian state.
Monday, January 21, 2013
From Professor Michael Curtis, at American Thinker: