by David Bedein
On Tuesday, February 2, Palestinian Authority leader Salman Fayyad made an unprecedented appearance at the annual “Herzlia conference” of the leading lights of Israeli intelligence, and used the occasion to issue an ultimatum to Israel, in which Fayyad, appointed as the Prime Minister of the PA by Machmud Abbas, declared that he would a Palestinian state within two years.
Fayyad said: “We have shown that we are serious in our intention to establish a state. We will do everything possible to be ready for this within two years”.
Fayyad’s theme was that “a failure to establish a state within two years could create severe disappointment on the Palestinian street”. Fayyad clarified that the international community also expects to see a solution within this time span, and that the Palestinian demand is to create a situation in which the world applies pressure on Israel.
Fayyad laced his presentation with statements of recent PLO history that had nothing to do with reality. Fayyad declared that the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the patron of the Palestinian Authority, had recognized Israel at the PLO’s conference in 1988 and in the wake of the Oslo Accord in 1993.
What Fayyad failed to mention was that at the PLO conference in 1988, which convened in Algiers, he refused to recognize Israel, while the media and many wishful thinking diplomats quoted a memo from Palestinian sources BEFORE the Algiers conference which assessed that the PLO was “expected to cancel the PLO covenant and recognize Israel”, a decision which never occurred.
The 1993 myth of PLO recognition is even more interesting.
The Oslo “Declaration of Principles” mutual recognition peace accords were indeed signed by the PLO’s Machmud Abbas and Yassir Arafat together with Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993.
Yet the Israeli Knesset Parliament ratified the Oslo Accords on September 25, 1993 - while the PLO would not ratify the accords when the PLO executive convened in Tunis on October 6, 1993 and the PLO’s Palestinian National Council convened in Gaza on April 24, 1996 to cancel the PLO Covenant which calls for Israel’s destruction and simply refused to do so and has never cancelled the PLO Covenant.
Fayyad also addressed security issues, demanding that Israel stop military incursions in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, which have continued since Israel reestablished its presence in Palestinian cities and villages and refugee camps since April, 2002, greatly reducing terror attacks from Palestinian areas, after Palestinian terrorists had infiltrated Israel and murdered more than 1,000 people in Israel between 1993 and 2002.
During 2009, with Israeli military presence firmly entrenched in Palestinian areas, five Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorist infiltrators, as opposed the tens of Israelis per month who were murdered by terrorist infiltrators at the beginning of the decade.
However, Fayyad was firm in his demand that Israel must withdraw its military presence from all Palestinian areas: “The meaning of an end to the occupation is Palestinian presence, and not Israeli presence, in this area. We have proven ourselves from a security standpoint. Dealing with the security situation is not in Israel’s interests, it is also in the Palestinians’ interests”, including Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Fayyad went on to say that “ In all the agreements and understandings, nothing has ever been said to contradict the fact that East Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Palestinian state...You are building exactly in the places where the Palestinian state is supposed to be established”
Along with this, Fayyad issued a further demand, to remove the “siege from the Gaza Strip”, without any call for the Palestinian Hamas regime that rules Gaza to cease and desist from hostile activity against Israel, saying that “ Removing it will contribute to a positive dynamic in advance of achieving internal Palestinian unity”. Fayyad added that if the Palestinian Authority were given a chance, it could rehabilitate Gaza very quickly. Fayyad forgot to mention that there is no chance that the PA will ever rule Gaza, where Hamas’s Gaza government remains unchallenged.
In terms of Fayyad’s call to remove Israeli military presence from Palestinian areas, Fayyad conveniently forgot to mention to the rank and file of Israeli intelligence that armed Israeli military intelligence forces protect his home and family in the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and that Israeli security guards often accompany Fayyad during his travels.
How would Fayyad react to the removal of Israeli military protection from his home and family?