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Prof. Alexander Bligh
Peace victims coming back
Immunity gesture to terrorists, return of radical leaders will boost terror

In recent days, peace apparently broke out and Olmert's spinmeisters uncharacteristically forgot to tell us. Naif Hawatmeh and Farouk Kaddoumi are returning to the territories, and about 180 al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade terror activists signed a pledge to avoid terror activity (who did they sign before? Did attorney Olmert verify it was approved by a proper notary?)

 

Now Israel is erasing these criminals, most of whom are murderers of innocent civilians, from its wanted list and will not bring them to justice for their murders. Yet unfortunately, peace is a dream. The next wave of "peace victims" is on its way along with the danger of the establishment of a Hamastan five minutes from Kfar Saba.

 

The Christian Jordanian Bedouin, Naif Hawatmeh, never believed in a Palestinian state as an objective in and of itself. As a member of the nationalist Arab movement and a loyal Marxist to this day, he believed and apparently continues to believe that "liberating Palestine" is part of the liberation of the great Arab homeland from the burden of the West, headed by the United States, and regimes that collaborate with the West.

 

Hawatmeh is the enemy of the regimes in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, so there is no wonder his regular residence is Damascus, which he will be leaving in order to return to "Palestine." Syria, which provides Hamas with a warm home, constitutes a center of activity for radical Marxist movements such as the "Democratic Front" and their people.

 

Hawatmeh came up with Arafat's "plan of phases" when back in 1974 he articulated the view, which became the official PLO line, that there is no need to invest in a military effort to fight Israel as long as it is willing to forego strategic assets through a diplomatic process, and it would be appropriate to use Palestinian military force only after the diplomatic phase is over.

 

Terror manpower and ideological guidance

If the invitation of Hawatmeh, whose origins are in Jordan, constitutes a reward for a

terrorist responsible for hundreds of people killed in Israel and abroad, then the invitation of the Palestinian Kaddoumi constitutes a genuine regression by the official State of Israel from the Oslo policy and arrangements with the Palestinians. Kaddoumi, who in the past headed the Muslim Brothers  (Hamas' mythical mother,) is the last of the Fatah founders still alive.

 

Kaddoumi is considered among Palestinians as an exceptionally decent person, in light of other tendencies by many Palestinian leaders, and he has never changed his views: There should be no gesture, compromise, or agreement with Israel. Despite his views, he still represents the PLO in international forums and continues to serve as the PLO's political department head (as "foreign minister.") In the past, Israel already approved his arrival at Gaza, where he acted in the spirit of his views.

 

When one combines the immunity deal to Fatah's wanted members with the arrival of Hawatmeh and Kaddoumi, we get a mix that is greatly reminiscent of the results of the Jibril deal in 1985: both the manpower and the ideological and strategic guidance get a free hand now ahead of the next armed confrontation with Israel.

 

There is nothing left to do but regret the fact that Olmert's "gestures" to Mahmoud Abbas are a harbinger of a large terror wave that may also sweep up Mahmoud Abbas, his government, and his rule in the Palestinian Authority.

 

Professor Alexander Bligh heads the Department of Israeli and Mideastern Politics in the College of Judea and Samaria

 

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