Anxiety and anticipation swirled through the air in the days preceding Saturday's swearing-in ceremony for the new Hamas-Fatah terror government in the Palestinian Authority. Since Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah brokered the Fatah terror group's surrender to the Hamas terror group last month, everyone who was anyone whispered the same questions: How would the terrorists finesse the existence of Israel in a government platform that refuses to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state? What would the government of, by and for terrorists say about terrorism? How would it elide the issue of the four-to-five million so-called Palestinian Arab refugees they want to settle in Tel Aviv and Haifa?
Most importantly, everyone wanted to know how the Palestinian terrorist unity government would approach the so-called peace process, wherein Palestinian terrorists promise Israel peace but never deliver, while Israel gives them land, guns, money and international legitimacy. How would they treat the writ of faith that stipulates the world will be a safe and peaceful place if only the Jews hand Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem and a pile of cash over to Hamas-Fatah?
Would they meet the Quartet's lip-service requirements by denouncing violence, acknowledging Israel's existence and accepting the Israel-PLO agreements that have brought us the current paradise of peace to the Promised Land?
IN OPERATIVE terms, what was utmost on people's minds was whether the Palestinians would provide cover to the Israeli Left, the Europeans and the State Department to resume direct European and US financing, arming and championing of the Palestinian terror groups against Israel and pressure Israel to resume concessions to the Hamas-Fatah government.
Sadly for the peace processors, the answers to all the above questions was no. The Palestinians, under the Hamas-Fatah government, have turned their backs on their supporters on the Israeli Left, in Europe and the State Department. The platform of their government is antithetical to everything the Israeli Left, the EU and the State Department claim to stand for.
Instead of accepting the legitimacy of Israel, the new government platform rejects Israel's right to exist. And as PA chairman and Fatah terror chief Mahmoud Abbas explained, the so-called "right of return," or unlimited immigration of millions of foreign Arabs to the State of Israel – which would lead to the destruction of Israel – is the non-negotiable position of the entire Hamas-Fatah terror government.
Rather than renounce violence, Hamas terror boss and PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh stated clearly on Saturday that his Hamas-Fatah government supports "all forms of resistance." Abbas lackey, legislator, Palestinian negotiator and corrupt Fatah businessman Nabil Shaath echoed this point on behalf of Fatah. Defending the terror government's support for terrorism, Shaath said, "The right to resist the occupation is a legitimate right… This should not stop us from seeking a hudna [temporary truce], particularly if it's in the interest of the Palestinians. Meanwhile, we won't give up our right to resist."
Indeed, the government platform says that "resistance" can only be halted upon realization of the "right of return." As to peace, the unity deal between Fatah and Hamas gives no quarter to the peace-mongers. While the government's platform authorizes Abbas to negotiate with Israel, Haniyeh explained that any agreement recognizing a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza must not hinder the rights of the Palestinians to continue "liberating" the rest of Palestine, i.e., Israel.
FACED WITH complete rejection of their minimal conditions, the Israeli Left, the Europeans and the State Department took the only step they could possibly take: They ignored everything the Palestinians said and did. Confronted by the Palestinians' absolute commitment to terror and extortion, they have closed their eyes and moved to embrace the fantasy that there is a deal to be made with the Palestinians.
Menachem Klein is one of the propagators of the Geneva Initiative from 2003, where radical leftists, led by Meretz leader Yossi Beilin and funded by the Swiss government, signed a surrender agreement with the Palestinians, led by the PA's former propaganda minister Yasser Abed Rabbo. Acting with no authority from any quarter, Klein and his colleagues signed away the store to the PLO, and then insisted that the Israeli government was responsible for all the problems in the region because it hadn't signed such a deal itself.
Writing on Ynet, Klein explained this week that now is the time for the radical Left to repeat the exercise by breaking Israeli law, which bans contacts with terror groups like Hamas, and negotiating still another surrender agreement.
In his words, "Not only should the Israeli government engage the Palestinian unity government, the Israeli Left should do so as well. The Israeli Left should not suffice with talks with Abbas… alone. If the Israeli government stands in its way, the Left should resume the tactics that characterized it in the 1980s, when the government legislated a bill that prohibited contact with PLO representatives. With the help of several European governments, this obstacle can also be overcome."
KLEIN'S CALL was echoed by Defense Minister and Labor Party chief Amir Peretz. Speaking at the cabinet meeting Sunday, Peretz called for Israel to come up with its own peace plan that would be based on the proposition that Israel must not insist that the Palestinians first give up terrorism before Israel can give them more land. Sticking to principles such as the right of Israeli citizens not to be murdered makes Israel look anti-peace, Peretz explained.
Like their Israeli clients, the Europeans have made no bones about their eagerness to embrace the terror government. Recalling their quisling predecessors, the Norwegians became the first European country to give it full recognition.
The neo-quislings were followed by the EU and by Italy, which both sent the Palestinians letters of congratulations on their new terror government. France has reportedly agreed to host the Hamas-Fatah terror government's foreign minister, and Britain has pledged to continue its "humanitarian aid" to the Palestinians.
FOR ITS part, the State Department, while stipulating that it won't speak to Hamas, is more than happy to speak with Fatah ministers who flack for Hamas. The Americans' favorite terror financier and recycled PA Finance Minister Salam Fayad will be visiting Washington later in the week. In one of his most recent exploits, Fayad oversaw the disappearance of $100 million in tax revenue that Israel transferred to Abbas's office.
The Palestinians could not be clearer about their demands. Having made no steps toward Israel or even their own devoted supporters, they want Israel to stop defending itself, and they want Israel and the rest of the world to give them lots of money. They want the former so that they can attack Israel without fear. They want the latter because, dedicated as they are to Israel's destruction, they are thoroughly uninterested in developing their own society and economy into anything remotely resembling a viable state. Indeed, they are incapable of even feeding their own people. And so they need us to do it for them, even as they wage war against us.
WHILE ALL of this is quite infuriating, there is nothing new in the actions of any of the concerned parties this week. Indeed, a reading of 60-year-old documents shows that little of substance has changed since Palestinian Arabs first resorted to terror to foil the emergence of a Jewish state.
The 1939 British White Paper reserved its "unqualified condemnation" for "methods emp
loyed by Arab terrorists against fellow Arabs and Jews alike," only to explain that "it cannot be denied" that the only proper response to Arab terror was to cut off Jewish immigration and thereby doom European Jewry to its fate. The only thing the British wanted Jews around for was to hold up "the whole of the financial and economic system of Palestine."
Needless to say, Palestinian Arabs pocketed the concession and continued attacks as the British plan was too "pro-Jewish." In September 1948, in the midst of the War of Independence, which came as the Arab world and the Palestinian Arabs launched a war of extermination against Israel rather than accept the UN's partition of the country, the UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte explained that without "economic union" between the Arabs and the Jews the plan was anyway doomed to failure because of the "justifiable doubts concerning the economic viability of the proposed Arab state."
The Palestinian Arabs failed to establish their own state at the time due to their "unwillingness to undertake any step which would suggest even tacit acceptance of partition, and by their insistence on a unitary State in Palestine."
Then as now, there was no viable Palestinian Arab state because the Palestinians were so dedicated to destroying Israel that they could not spare the time or interest to support themselves. Then, as now, the so-called international community insisted on ignoring or apologizing for the genocidal bellicosity of Palestinian Arab nationalism, while attempting to appease the Palestinians with money and the conferral of international support and legitimacy for the cause of Israel's disembowelment.
THE ONLY thing that can be done in the face of this historically consistent depravity is to finally declare that the jig is up. Those who support recognizing all or part of the Hamas-Fatah terror government are in breach of international law and of UN Security Council Resolution 1373, which bars member states from financing terrorists and those giving them safe harbor.
There is no peace process, only a war process. And if we do not recognize this fact and fight, we shall soon begin to bury more innocents whose lives will be sacrificed because we were too stubborn to acknowledge reality.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.