Latest update: February 14th, 2013
Intentionally or unwittingly, by allowing the Palestinian Authority’s recent end-run around authoritative international law, the U.N. General Assembly set the stage for Israel’s incremental dismemberment.
The same must be said about the world organization’s now ritualistic condemnations of Jewish settlements in Jerusalem. What must Israel’s leaders be thinking?
For a start, they should be thinking about doctrinal continuity in all of the seemingly discrete Palestinian factions. From Arafat to Abbas to Mashaal, nothing fundamental has changed concerning goals within the Palestinian Authority, or in any of its sister terrorist organizations. In the still-prevailing Palestinian view, both formal and informal, Israel remains the unquestionably necessary focus of eradication. Literally. At the same time, among the Palestinians, there have been some very real transformations in the relative power of theology and politics.
Today, there is a vastly more influential religious core to such goals than was true in the old days, when even Marxists were permitted a prominent place in the pantheon of Palestinian terror infrastructures. Now, too, the fiery language of terror is usually more finessed and intermittent, and the operational tactics more subtle and cleverly disguised. Not even the always-unreciprocated policy of Israeli territorial surrenders is new. Several years back, when Prime Minister Sharon’s “disengagement” first created the intersecting conditions that subsequently led to Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense, the Israeli hope was for some sort of enemy largesse. Instead, it became just another delusionary expression of a recurrently self-destructive national history.
Speaking of history, Mahmoud Abbas was originally part of a small fanatical group that first founded Fatah in 1959. He was always a loyal follower of Yaser Arafat, pretended to study in Moscow, and even penned a so-called doctoral thesis that celebrated Holocaust denial as a proper academic genre. Now generally called a “moderate” by the Israeli and the Jewish Left, and also by President Obama, his unhidden life goal remains the total destruction of Israel.
When Abbas agrees, periodically, to halt the “armed struggle,” it is always for a strictly limited period, and always as a patently tactical expedient. For the “moderate” Abbas, the mass murder of Jewish women and children does need to be controlled, not because it is wrong, but because it slows down the obligatory and utterly sanctified metamorphosis of Israel into “Palestine.”
For Abbas, incessant genocide against Jews is not morally objectionable; it is merely inconvenient.
Abbas has listened approvingly to endless Friday sermons in the mosques that recall the following Koranic verse: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet, and strive to make mischief in the land, is only this – that they should be murdered or crucified, or their hands and feet should be cut off on opposing sides, or they should be imprisoned.” As to those Muslims who allegedly collaborate with America or Israel, they are murtaddun (apostates), whose lives are “free prey.” In this respect, according to recent verdicts issued by The Shari’ah Court of the United Kingdom, “There is no difference between a man and a woman…. It is permissible to shed the blood of a woman who is a heretic (“harbiyya”) even if her fighting is limited to singing….”
This is just a “snapshot” of the Palestinian movement, now endowed by the U.N. with a legitimizing architecture of statehood. With such endowment, the Palestinians under both Abbas and Mashaal will continue to enhance their particular version of national self-determination, a version that is intrinsically linked to mass murder of “infidels.” In principle, perhaps, the purely political objective could conceivably have had some identifiable merit under international law, but not, however, when it is consciously constructed on a rising mountain of Jewish corpses.
By their intentional targeting of Jewish infants and children, by the placement of rocket launchers next to their own infants and children, all Palestinian terror groups are identifiably unique in their wantonness. Refusing to consider any Jew, anywhere, as worthy of protection from indiscriminate violence, these groups currently hold back from the next planned wave of suicide bombers only for narrowly tactical reasons.
Once it becomes clear that Israel itself is being transformed into “Palestine,” and that any further U.S.-mandated deportations of Jews from Jewish lands has cleared a usable path for Arab rockets and perhaps even radioactivity, a choreographed paroxysm of synchronized explosions will tear across Israel.Louis Rene Beres
About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.
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