Eighteen years have passed since the signing of the Oslo accords, and it seems justifiable to reach the conclusion that there will be no final-status agreement that will solve the Arab Israeli conflict in the foreseeable future.
The recent reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas – including the announcement that Hamas will join the PLO - is further evidence that Mahmoud Abbas was never sincere in pursuing a peace agreement with Israel.
Now that the chimera of a “peace process” has been exposed, the time has come to finally face the truth.
The Palestinian leadership has deceived Israel and the international community by speaking the language of “peace” to Western English-speaking audiences, while continually preaching hate and war to their own people in Arabic.
Duplicity and deceit have long concealed the true intentions of the Palestinian Authority, but its most recent actions and rhetoric have definitively revealed that it is not truly interested in peace and reconciliation with the Jewish state.
A recent example of Palestinian deception is the manner in which the PA officially explains its refusal to negotiate with Israel.
The decision not to negotiate has been presented as a result of the Israeli insistence on building in the settlements while, in reality, the deadlock is the result of a revised policy that the PA adopted more than two years ago.
This revised policy was discussed by the Palestine Strategy Group and formed the basis for the 13th program of the Palestinian Authority published in 2009.
The program calls for "intelligent resistance" – meaning law fare, boycott campaigns and propaganda – as a means of continuing the struggle against Israel.
While terror has always been the main Palestinian weapon against Israel, under Abbas’ leadership the strategy changed, and political warfare has proven to be more successful in winning over the international community to the Palestinian cause.
But there is more. Other factors, which were not openly discussed by the Palestinians, contributed significantly to the failure of the peace process.
The absence of truth in Palestinian politics and society is one of those factors. Jihad or Ribat (a religious war for Allah), and Islamic anti-Semitism (including incitement against Jews and Israel) are the others.
Confusing the world
Ever since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, deception has been a tactic to confuse Israel and the rest of the world.
Conflicting reports about the meaning of Hamas’ membership in the PLO issued recently by Fatah and Hamas leaders are the latest example of this tactic of deception, which is called al-Taqiyya and is primary based on the Koran.
According to the authoritative Arab text, Al-Taqiyya Fi Al-Islam, “Taqiyyah (deception) is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it…Taqiyyah is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.”
Muhammad first practiced Taqiyyah during the Battle of the Trench (627AD,) which pitted his army against several non-Muslim tribes known as “the Confederates.”
Arafat referred repeatedly to the use of Taqiyyah by Muhammad when he spoke about the Oslo accords to Islamic audiences.
'We will drive them out'
Fatah leader, Abbas Zaki, has repeatedly revealed the duplicity of the PA leaders.
On April 9th 2008 he told NBN TV the following: “The PLO has not changed its platform even one iota….The PLO proceeds through phases…..Allah willing we will drive them out of all of Palestine.
The same Zaki said the following this year on Lebanon TV: “When we say that the settlement should be based upon these (1967) borders, President (Abbas) understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end."
He then said: "It is not acceptable policy to say that we want to wipe Israel out. Don’t say these things to the world, keep it to yourself."
Mahmoud Abbas is less outspoken but is no less involved in deceiving the international community. Take for example an interview with European reporters about the unity agreement with Hamas two weeks ago, in which he said the following:
"We set the agreement's pillars, and Hamas agreed with us that resistance will be popular and adopt peaceful ways, rather than military resistance.” Peaceful resistance?
Well, when Hamas celebrated its 23th anniversary in Gaza the same week, Hamas PM Haniyeh called upon the Muslim Brotherhood to start a war to liberate Jerusalem He also said the following:
“We affirm that armed resistance is our strategic option and the only way to liberate our land, from the (Mediterranean) sea to the River (Jordan.) God willing, Hamas will lead the people… to the uprising until we liberate Palestine, all of Palestine”.
Deception and incitement have also been the hallmark of the way Palestinians inform the world about the day-to-day situation in the West Bank and in Gaza.
This summer our organization, Missing Peace, revealed that the PA continually lies about water issues in the West Bank in order to advance the narrative of Israeli repression and Palestinian victimhood.
Additionally, the PA has actually failed to implement approved water projects and ignored undeniable evidence of Palestinian water theft.
Reports by individual Palestinian citizens or Palestinian NGOs often contain similar false claims.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Media Watch just published a book titled Deception, which documents the hate, incitement and promotion of violence by PA officials and media.
The book also demonstrates how the Palestinian public, and especially children, are brainwashed into believing the most outrageous lies about Palestinian history, Israel and the Jews.
The book also recounts a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and president Obama in the White House on June 9, 2010. During that meeting Abbas said:
“And I say in front of you, Mr. President, that we have nothing to do with incitement against Israel, and we’re not doing that.”
Until now, large parts of the international community have ignored the evidence about the Palestinian deception and insist that the conflict is about territorial claims. Yet it is not. This conflict is about the existence of a Jewish state in the Dar al-Islam (territory of Islam).
The EU even raised its contribution to the PA by €100 million for 2012 and keeps admonishing Israel for building activities in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
If foreign interlocutors like the EU are serious about ending the conflict they should first insist that the PA end incitement and confront the clear pattern of deception by Palestinian leaders.
Yochanan Visser is the Director of Missing Peace Middle East News and writer of 'Israel indicted' a recently published book about the cognitive war against Israel (Dutch language) www.missingpeace.eu
Sharon Shaked, Arab affairs research at Missing Peace, holds a BA in Islam and Mideast studies from Hebrew University