Will the April, 2014 accord between Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas and Islamic Jihad transition these two Islamic terrorist organizations to moderation, or does it shed light on Mahmoud Abbas' core ideology?
Unlike Western policy-makers and public opinion molders, Arab leaders never doubted Mahmoud Abbas' core ideology. Therefore, they deny him adequate financial support, while the Arab oil-producing countries provide Egypt multi-billion dollar assistance. Similarly, during the 1980s, Saudi Arabia provided Afghanistan's Muslim rebels a billion dollars in annual aid, while extending Arafat a mere $100 million annually, which was cut off following Arafat's and Mahmoud Abbas' betrayal of Kuwait in August 1990, when they collaborated with Saddam Hussein's invasion of the Sheikhdom. Moreover, Arab countries did not support the PLO and Hamas during their grand confrontations with Israel: the 1st and 2nd Intifadahs, the Lebanon War and the series of wars in Gaza.
The Arab attitude towards Abbas is driven by Abbas' track record of intra-Arab subversion and terrorism. For example, during the late 1950s, Abbas and Arafat fled Egypt because of their subversive and terrorist activities, carried out as key Muslim Brotherhood operatives. In 1966, they fled Syria to Jordan, following their murders of a number of Syrian intelligence officers. In 1970, they were expelled from Jordan to Lebanon, following their attempt to topple Jordan's Hashemite regime, which ignited a brutal civil war. By 1975, they had plundered large parts of Southern Lebanon, attempting to overthrow the central regime in Beirut, which triggered the Syrian invasion of Lebanon, a series of civil wars and the destruction of Lebanon. In 1990, Palestinian intelligence cells in Kuwait and Palestinian battalions in Iraq facilitated Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, which since 1960 had been the preferred safe haven for 300,000 Palestinian relatives and allies of Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. As a result of that egregious betrayal, Kuwait expelled over 200,000 Palestinians. No Arab leader protested that expulsion!
While Egypt is cracking down on Hamas and its affiliates, Abbas -- an ally of Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela - provides Hamas with a vital tailwind.
On March 15, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas, the Russian-speaking graduate of KGB courses and the Moscow University, the former steward of PLO ties with the ruthless East European Communist regimes, and (since 1993) the lead PLO negotiator with Hamas, told the Russian Today TV: "As far as I'm concerned there is no difference between the policies of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas." The frequent attempts to form the PLO-Hamas axis are based on their common strategic goal, while maintaining their tactical differences. Abbas' strategic goal (the eradication of the Jewish state) and tactics (gradually, via diplomacy and terrorism) are specified in the 2009 Fatah platform, the PLO's 1974 Phased, Step-by-Step Plan and the 1964 PLO Covenant (two thirds of its articles are dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state). Both terror organizations are chaired by Abbas, who -- according to the 1993 Oslo Accord - derives his power as the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority from the PLO, which is the highest Palestinian authority! Fatah was established in 1959 and the PLO in 1964, before Israel reasserted itself in Judea and Samaria and before the establishment of the first modern-day Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. Thus, the strategic goal of Abbas has been directed at pre-1967 Israel. On November 29, 2012, Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly that "occupation" and "injustice" began in 1948, not in 1967!
Abbas highlights the claim of return to the "1948 occupied areas," which explains his insistence to represent and release Israeli Arab terrorists. Being a devout Muslim, and a former top Muslim Brotherhood activist, Abbas adheres to cardinal principles of Islam. For example, Waqf, the supposedly divinely-ordained Muslim right over any area previously controlled by Muslims, including the Land of Israel. Also, the Hudaybiyyah Treaty, which considers agreements concluded with "infidels" a pragmatic, provisional agreement to be breached whenever possible to bring the infidel" to submission, and not to peaceful co-existence.
In order to achieve the strategic goal, Mahmoud Abbas has spoken softly, while carrying a horrendous stick of hate-education in schools, mosques and media, brainwashing Palestinian society: the most effective production-line of terrorists. One's education is the most authentic reflection of one's values, ideology and strategic goal. Hence, the popularity of the anti-Semitic Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on the Palestinian Street. Thus, the Mahmoud Abbas-driven Palestinian conventional wisdom: It's not the size - but the existence - of the Jewish state, which is the crux of the conflict with Israel.
The central role played by terrorism in shaping Abbas' worldview is highlighted by his demand to release Palestinian terrorists, who deliberately and systematically murdered, maimed and intimidated Israeli civilians; by providing monthly allowances to families of terrorists; and by naming streets, squares and soccer tournaments after terrorists; and by featuring terrorists as role-model to Palestinians.
Germany and Japan were transformed from hateful -- to peaceful -- countries by uprooting hate-education and terror regimes, not by engaging and funding them.
Should the US taxpayer continue funding the hate-education system of Mahmoud Abbas, who caused the flight of Christians from the Bethlehem area, and is known as "Mr. 20%" for his corruption?
Should Israel accept Mahmoud Abbas in view of the ferocity of Hamas' terrorism? Only if Jack the Ripper's vicious style made the Boston Strangler an acceptable member of society!
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
The Ettinger Report
"Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative"
First published in "Israel Hayom" May 2, 2014