Hardline v. Moderate


Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah may be more inclined toward using diplomacy tactics in its confrontation with Israel than is Hamas, but any such difference within the Palestinian Arab side does not make Abbas “moderate” and Netanyahu and his Likud party “hard-line” when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict itself. Indeed, despite Western media misportrayal of Abbas as “moderate” and Netanyahu as “hard-line,” the facts are the opposite.

[1] Media Misportrayal of Fatah’s General Assembly Resolutions

The AP’s 8/12/09 news article on Fatah’s General Assembly in Bethlehem led off that “according to unofficial results released yesterday,” Fatah had elected a “rejuvenated” leadership “that will likely bring the mainstream Palestinian movement more in line with President Obama’s vision for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement” (all in par. 1) in pointed contradistinction to “a reluctant Israel” and Hamas, which “pose formidable obstacles to a peace pact” (par. 2).

Without referencing a single resolution adopted by that Fatah General Assembly, the Very Business of that General Assembly, the AP and Inq did find space to call Fatah “mainstream” again (par. 6), and to tell readers that “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes a hard line toward the Palestinians,” and that Obama had “wrung from Netanyahu a reluctant endorsement of creation of a Palestinian state” (par. 8).

Here, from other media sources, are some of those Resolutions:

*** One, per TomGrossMedia.com, extracted in the Conf of Presidents’ 8/14/09 Daily Alert: “Another resolution decreed that placing both east and west Jerusalem under Palestinian control is a ‘red line’ that is non-negotiable.”

*** A second, per TomGrossMedia.com, extracted in Conf of Presidents’ Daily Alert, 8/14/09: “A resolution approved by the assembly stated that Fatah will not give up the armed struggle until all the descendants of those claiming to be of Palestinian Arab origin can live inside Israel.”

*** A third, from TomGrossMedia.com, 8/11/09, “As Fatah Radicalizes, Peace Prospects Dim”:
“A further resolution explicitly said Fatah would oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
[2] This Week In The Inq; “Hard-Liner” Elected Israel’s President

Washington Post, 6/11/14, A7, WP, “Hard-Liner Reuven Rivlin Will Be Israel’s President,” used the expressions “hard-liner” and “hard-line,” which the Inq itself put in its headline, for Israel’s new president. The basis for this characterization is that Rivlin is an Israeli who “is opposed to the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state and who envisions a ‘Greater Israel,’ a Jewish homeland stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.” An Israeli think-tank is quoted that “he supports a Greater Israel, but he also supports giving Palestinians not a state but full and equal rights.”

“Greater Israel” is in the eye of the beholder. Starting in just the 20th century, the Jewish homeland has shrunk from both sides of the Jordan to just west of the Jordan; to post-’67 war 242, which did not demand Israeli retreat to the “green line” and did not refer to Jerusalem, to now every inch beyond the old 1949 ceasefire lines and heart of the capital city that’s had a Jewish majority since the 1800’s, no part of which Palestinian Arabs have ruled for one day in history. Belief in “Lesser Israel” seems a more appropriate tag to apply to those who would drive Israel back to the 1949 ceasefire lines, even with “mutually agreed swaps” starting from that.

[3] Refusal to Recognize Jewish State

*** 1/11/14’s Jerusalem Post had a Khaled Abu Toameh article, “Abbas Reaffirms Refusal To Recognize Israel as a Jewish State,” that shows he whom the media calls the “moderate” P.A. President Abbas not sounding “moderate” on every issue on which the article touched. The Jerusalem Post directly quoted Abbas:

“We won’t accept the Jewishness of Israel,” and “This is a story that we have heard only in the last two years. We won’t recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel.”

“We are asking for the 1967 borders.”

“He also stressed that the Palestinians would not accept any solution that did not include east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.”

“He said that Arab League foreign ministers who are scheduled to meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry this week would tell him that Jerusalem is the occupied capital of the State of Palestine.”

Abbas also said that the current talks will continue only for the agreed nine months, ending in April, and that “after that, we are free to do what we want.”

*** On the very day, September 23, 2011, that Abbas addressed the United Nations, seeking U.N. recognition of a western Palestine Arab state, YNetNews.com quoted Abbas:
“They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state,” Abbas said in a meeting with some 200 senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the US, shortly before taking the podium and delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
*** Caroline Glick’s Jerusalem Post column (Townhall.com, 8/5/11) quoted a senior P.A. negotiator’s statement showing clearly that Palestinian Arabs understand exactly what the U.S. and Israel mean by “two states for two peoples,” and that they expressly reject it.

Israel has no one to negotiate with because the Palestinians reject Israel’s right to exist. This much was made clear yet again last month when senior PA “negotiator” Nabil Sha’ath said in an interview with Arabic News Broadcast, “The story of ‘two states for two peoples’ means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this.”

Both the U.S. and Israel define the “two-state solution” as two states for two peoples. The “moderate” Abbas-and-Fatah-led Palestinian Arabs flatly reject this.