David BedeinThe writer is director of Israel Resource News Agency and heads the Center for Near East Policy Research, author of Genesis of the Palestinian Authority and Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered.
In Israel, on the third day of his visit, US President Obama struck a cord of confusion with the people in Israel when he ascribed peaceful intentions to the Palestinian Authority, when he said that: “While I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I genuinely believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. I believe that they have a track record to prove it.”
Israelis wonder what “track record” the visiting US President was referring to.
Our news agency and research center have covered the nascent Palestinian Authority and its new media outlets and its schools since the inception of the PA in 1994. Over these 19 years, there has yet to be a single statement of peace and reconciliation in any of the PA Arabic language outlets - the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, the PBC TV and radio, nor in the three newspapers affiliated with the PA.
Indeed, on the very week that President Obama arrived in Israel , Abbas appeared on PBC and bestowed official honors on a Hamas mother of a young man who killed five Yeshiva students in cold blood ten years ago. She spent the last ten years giving public speeches in honor of her son’s act of murder.
There has yet to be a single statement of peace and reconciliation in any of the PA Arabic language outlets.
In Abbas’s new year’s message this year, delivered on January 4 on a wide screen to throngs of Palestinians in Gaza, Abbas praised a litany of late Palestinian terrorists, Abbas called every one of them a “venerable martyrs”; Abbas heaped praise on Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shikaki, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror leader George Habash and 15 other killers, and finished his new year’s message with praise of the Mufti of Jerusalem, the ally of Adolf Hitler who helped organize a Muslim SS division and was complicit in the mass murder of Jews during World War II:
In the words of Abbas, "We must remember the pioneers, the Grand Mufti of Palestine Hajj Muhammad Amin Al-Husseini as well as Ahmad Al-Shukeiri, the founder of the PLO."
On the operational level, the basis of the peace process rested on the idea that the Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas and Fayyad, would fight Hamas.
Hamas, responsible for the cold blooded murder of more than 1,000 Israeli citizens, and in complete control of Gaza, has launched more than 29,000 aerial attacks on southern Israel over the past 11 years
Yet ever since he ascended to power eight years ago, Abbas has been negotiating reconciliation accords with the Hamas, while helping the Palestinian Authority fund the Hamas regime in Gaza.
Abbas’s PA has no laws against money laundering for terror groups; PA statutes do not define any group as a terrorist organization. There has never been action against Hamas undertaken by PA security forces out of an anti-terrorist ideological conviction.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority of war advocacy maintains a seminal influence on the PA school system. Over the past two months, our agency engaged the services of a PBC crew to film PA schools in the UNRWA facilities, and we have produced a short film, THE UNRWA CLASSROOM where we filmed Palestinian students learning a new PA curriculum based on the “right of return” through the “armed struggle” to liberate all of Palestine. Our agency had bought and facilitated the new Palestinian Authority textbooks more than 12 years ago – but this was the first time that we saw how the PA students learned from them.
Perhaps the many middle east advisors who surround President Obama should note the consistent message that the Palestinian Authority delivers in the Arabic language, after which the policy makers can decide as to whether the PA is a “true partner” for peace.