July 30, 2019
Palestinians Threaten to Void All Agreements with Israel: No Big Deal
Dear Friend of FLAME:
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority threatened last week that his government would withdraw from all treaties and agreements signed with the State of Israel. This would include the 1993 Oslo Accords and all subsequent agreements regarding day-to-day security in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”). This is the emptiest of the PA’s numerous threats: They have never honored their pacts with Israel.
They even failed to revise their basic constitutional document—the Palestinian National Covenant. They accepted a treaty obligation years ago in Oslo to repeal sections of this viciously anti-Semitic, terror-supporting document which calls for the total destruction of Israel.
Abbas has made pact-nullification pledges many times before and always failed to keep his word—largely because the PA desperately depends on Israel’s support to stay in power.
Nonetheless, some in the global diplomatic community—and punditry—reacted with horror at this prospect. (Of course, this segment invariably blamed the “outrageous behavior” of President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu for the tragic turn of events.)
Another part of the diplomatic corps shrugged it off as more bluster from the PA leadership.
Finally, many wondered how the PA’s real-world actions would change in any way after its withdrawal from the agreements it has signed—whose provisions it has never honored or observed anyway.
The PA has seemed, since Oslo, to view all agreements with Israel as fundamentally optional—except when Israel’s obligations are in question. The most glaring examples: Yassir Arafat’s orchestration of the deadly Second Intifada in 2000, and the continuance of the hateful classroom indoctrination of their youth in blatant violation of the Oslo Accords, which Arafat signed.
But the Palestinian disdain for the entire “peace process” is even more foundational than these egregious behaviors that violate the letter and spirit of the agreements.
In 1964—three years before the Six-Day War and Israel’s retaking control of Judea and Samaria—the founders of the Palestine Liberation Organization ratified the Palestinian National Covenant as a constitution. Note that this original document disavowed any interest at all in “liberating” the West Bank, seized by Jordan in 1949, or the Gaza Strip, which was occupied by Egypt.
It thus made it explicit that the only so-called Palestine to be liberated was the State of Israel.
In 1968, though, after the Six-Day War, the PLO utterly redefined its goals in a formal revision of its national covenant. Now, it wanted to liberate all territory that had been part of the British Mandate which would include all of Israel, Gaza, and Judea and Samaria.
With the Oslo negotiations a quarter-century later, Israeli PM Yitzchak Rabin noted that the Palestinian National Covenant still contained blood-curdling objectives and plans of the PLO, and was set to become the governing charter of the proposed Palestinian Authority government.
In August, 1993 Rabin insisted that a commitment be made by Arafat in the Oslo Treaty to convene shortly a meeting of the Palestine National Council to revoke or rewrite the numerous offending sections of the national covenant—a prerogative exclusively in the hands of that council as spelled out in the covenant itself.
This amending has never been done, and the full force and content of the 1968 Palestinian National Covenant remains the fundamental law of the PA. Arafat periodically claimed the clauses were null and void, but this is analogous to a U. S. President saying the same thing about our Constitution: It is an utterly empty statement of no legal validity whatever.
How bad is the 1968 Palestine National Covenant? Here are a few samples that make any peace process impossible. (Underlines are added.)
The marching orders for Palestinian textbook writers are clear:
Article 7: . . . It is a national duty to bring up individual Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner. All means of information and education must be adopted in order to acquaint the Palestinian with his country in the most profound manner, both spiritual and material, that is possible. He must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland and bring about its liberation.
The basic strategy of the Palestinian Authority is “armed struggle”:
Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it.
Terrorism is justified as “defensive action”:
Article 18: The liberation of Palestine, from an international point of view, is a defensive action necessitated by the demands of self-defense . . .
The State of Israel has no right to existence:
Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947, and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time . . .
Proven history is false, and Jewish nationality does not even exist:
Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate, and everything that has been based on them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of their own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.
Zionism is about as evil as it can get:
Article 22: Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism . . . It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods . . .
It is clear from all this—and the PA’s conduct over the years—that it is conforming fully to its national covenant, and that any subordinate treaties and agreements have no validity. So, Abbas formally withdrawing from those pacts changes nothing in the Middle East—except perhaps to add a note of realism.
As you discuss Israel’s prospects for peace in the Middle East, I urge you to make clear that the Palestinian Authority’s formal voiding of its obligations under signed agreements simply matches its everyday-activities for the last fifty years as well as its unamended national covenant—and really changes nothing.
I hope you’ll also take a minute, while you have this material front and center, to visit FLAME’s lively new Facebook page and review the P.S. immediately below. It describes FLAME’s new hasbarah campaign—a refutation of the myth of “Palestinian territories.”
Editor, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
|P.S.||Critics of Israel, from The New York Times to BDS and the United Nations, usually base their condemnation of Israel on accusations that Israel’s settlements (or its “occupation of Palestinian territory”) are illegal. These accusations are false and deserve to be exposed once and for all. That’s why FLAME has created a new hasbarah message called “What Is ‘Palestinian Territory’?.” I hope you’ll review this hard-hitting paid editorial, which will begin running in national media this month. It provides a plain-English explanation of the legal issues surrounding Israel’s historical and entirely legal presence in its Biblical homeland. This piece will also be sent to all members of Congress, Vice President Pence and President Trump. If you agree that this kind of public relations effort on Israel’s behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME’s powerful ability to influence public opinion—and U.S. support of Israel—comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you’ll consider giving a donation now, as you’re able—with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to donate now. Now, more than ever, we need your support to ensure that the American people, the U.S. Congress and President Trump stay focused on Israel’s critical role in protecting U.S. interests in the region—as well as protecting itself.
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