Nor did I perceive the recent election of Abu Mazen to the head of the Palestinian Authority as sign that the Palestinian people want peace with Israel. Abu Mazen did not run on a Peace with Israel platform. If anything he made a deliberate point of reaching out to the various ‘rogue terrorists’ organizations in the Occupied Territories during the recent Palestinian election.
At no time has he ever condemned the use of terrorism for its own sake in achieving political ends; he has only condemned the recent failure of terrorism to achieve the PLO’s Phased Plan agenda. Before I revise my opinion that Abu Mazen is still operating on the old time table of the PLO’s Phased Plan; I will need to see him take definitive action e.g. rounding up and arresting Hamas and Islamic Jihad members and not sitting down to a meal with them to hash out a ceasefire agreement.
Nor can I see it as an opportunity to offer public praise when Abu Mazen announces a decree that all "unlicensed" weapons will be confiscated. Paying for a license for your assault rifle or your gernade launcher is not a step towards ending the conflict. Nor do I consider it an encouraging sign for peace when Abu Mazen fires three top officials in the Palestinian Authority. This is not a sign for the better but as a sign of a much larger on-going power struggle within the current fractious Palestinian Authority.
Even after Abu Mazen issued public instructions to Palestinian Authority Television that it must end the "public" incitement against Israel the following was translated by the Palestinian Media Watch organization of a February 4, 2005 sermon broadcasted on state run Palestinian Television. To date Abu Mazen has not denounced the current incitements. Reported by the Israel National News:
The sermon was delivered by senior Islamic Imam Ibrahim Mudyris. The Imam explained that the limitation of the diplomatic process is that it can only conquer up to Israel’s 1967 borders. He said that at a later stage the PA will achieve its goal of bringing about the complete destruction of Israel - the “return to the 1948 borders” and the towns of “Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramla, Natanyah [Al-Zuhour] and Tel Aviv [Tel Al-Rabia].”
The following is the text of the Friday sermon, broadcast on official PA television on February 4, 2005:
Imam Ibrahim Mudyris:
"We do not love any land more than the land of Palestine. Had the Jews not expelled us from it with their planes, their tanks, their weapons, their treachery around us, we would never leave you, O Palestine. (Quotes Muhammad, who promised he would return to Mecca as a conqueror).
“We tell you Palestine, we shall return to you, by Allah’s will. We shall return to every village, every town, and every grain of earth which was quenched by the blood of our grandparents and the sweat of our fathers and mothers. We shall return, we shall return. Our willingness to return to the 1967 borders does not mean that we have given up on the land of Palestine. No!
“We ask you: Do we have the right to the 1967 borders? We have the right. Therefore, we shall realize this right with any mean it takes. We might be able to use diplomacy in order to return to the 1967 borders, but we shall not be able to use diplomacy in order to return to the 1948 borders.
“No one on this earth recognizes [our right to] the 1948 borders [before Israel’s existence]. Therefore, we shall return to the 1967 borders, but it does not mean that we have given up on Jerusalem and Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramla, Natanyah [Al-Zuhour] and Tel Aviv [Tel Al-Rabia]. Never.
“We shall return to every village we had been expelled from, by Allah’s will. Why? All the international laws deny the Palestinians their real borders. We might agree, but in the name of Allah, our grandfathers’ blood demands that we return to them [the borders]. Your fathers' blood was shed there, at the villages, at Ashqelon, at Ashdod, at Hirbia [a village between Gaza and Ashqelon, where Kibbutz Zikim is located today] and at others places, hundreds of villages and towns. [Their blood] demands it from us, and it shall curse anyone who will concede a grain of earth of those villages.
“Our approval to return to the 1967 borders is not a concession for our other rights. No!. this generation might not achieve this stage, but generations will come, and the land of Palestine will demand that the Palestinians will return the way Muhammad returned there - as a conqueror.”
I do not doubt Palestinian aspirations and yearnings for statehood. Nor do I doubt that the Palestinians want peace but here’s the caveat; only on their terms after the complete destruction of the Jewish state. I truly hope that I am proved wrong on all counts.