Thursday, February 16, 2017

16-Feb-17: When they talk to Arabic-speaking audiences, a different message about terror and a two-state solution

A Nov. 2012 Gaza City rally honoring an Arab military victory over Israel
Shaath, and to his left, Hamas chief Haniyeh, Islamic Jihad arch-terrorist
Mohammed Al-Hindi and Ahmed Bahar of the Palestinian Arab
parliament, Gaza City [Image Source: Reuters]
While impassioned speeches about a "two state solution" to the Arab/Israel conflict remain in the air, we think it's useful to publicize the views of one of the most central figures in the Palestinian Arab political firmament.

We're speaking about Nabil Ali Muhammad Shaath, also known as Abu Rashid, who has been the foreign minister of Palestinian Authority (between April 2003 and February 2005, the first person to occupy that office), a cabinet minister in the Palestinian Authority regime, the Acting Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and currently the Commissioner of the Fatah Department of International Relations (whose website, we see today, has been hacked, evidently by pro-Israel vandals).
Shaath has established himself as an important Palestinian leader with close ties to European and other governments. He maintains a strong relationship with President Abbas but is viewed by a large part of the Palestinian public as corrupt. Still, he has never having spent time in prison, unlike most Fatah Central Committee members. He has developed a substantial fortune and owns an excellent collection of Palestine stamps. [Fatah Central Committee Profiles, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2015
Shaath is a figure of top-level seniority. He's also well-educated, having gotten both a masters degree and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. The consulting firm he established in the mid-seventies, TEAM International, is well-known and successful. What he says has significance.

So we're indebted to the good people at Palestinian Media Watch for translating into English the hateful and dangerous Shaath bombast reproduced below. They were recorded when Shaath was interviewed on Awdah TV, which PMW calls a Fatah channel, on January 23, 2017.

Watch it (above) and you will see Shaath manage three times in the course of a very brief interview to justify a claimed Palestinian Arab right to use what he terms "armed struggle", a well-established euphemism for terror.

"Our cause is just. Our right to the armed struggle is an indisputable right. The Israelis didn't come here through negotiations. They did not come at our request. They are usurpers who came with weapons to murder and tried to expel [us]. They succeeded in expelling a large part of our people by force. Therefore, our right to the armed struggle is indisputable... We are humane people. We want to liberate our homeland. After we liberate our homeland, we will have no problem with living in a democratic state in which Jews, Muslims and Christians live - in a Palestinian Arab democratic state... [As a Palestinian] - your cause is just. You are occupied. Your land was stolen. Your rights were taken. Therefore, I've never seen any problem with carrying out the armed struggle while diplomatic and political activity supporting your cause is being carried out." [Awdah TV, January 23, 2017]
Reaching for lethal violence - stabbings, shootings, bombings, truck-rammings - is an "indisputable" right, he asserts. Resorting to it is justified because it enables Arabs to "liberate our homeland". And once that liberation process runs its course, in Shaath's way of looking at things, a "Palestinian Arab democratic state" will then exist within whose borders Muslims, Christians and Jews will party together or something similar.

This is the kind of blather that Arab political figures reserve for their Arabic-speaking audiences. It used to have little traction or credibility outside those circles. But that has changed.

It's worthy of note that Shaath's speech puts the lie to numerous public undertakings given by Fatah and the PLO to stop doing terror at various points in the past three decades. Those commitments were a quid pro quo for things the Palestinian Arabs wanted to achieve in their political campaigning.

PMW refers to several key Palestinian Arab commitments to stop terror:
  • "The PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators." [Source: Arafat to Rabin, Letters of Mutual Recognition, Sept. 9, 1993, attached to the Oslo Accords] 
  • "1. Both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other, against individuals falling under the other's authority and against their property and shall take legal measures against offenders." [Oslo Accords ARTICLE XV]  
  • "2. Both sides will, in accordance with this Agreement, act to ensure the immediate, efficient and effective handling of any incident involving a threat or act of terrorism, violence or incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis... Each side shall immediately and effectively respond to the occurrence or anticipated occurrence of an act of terrorism, violence or incitement and shall take all necessary measures to prevent such an occurrence." [Oslo Accords Annex I, ARTICLE II]
Just how solidly does Shaath support the idea of a two-state solution? You can judge for yourself from this subtly-titled video:
"We Will Never Accept the "Two-States for Two Peoples" Solution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict". [ANB TV, Lebanon/London via MEMRI, July 13, 2011
Shaath's exhortations to violence over the years have had little impact on the public relations people at University of Pennsylvania, Shaath's alma mater, who wrote of Shaath that he "has devoted decades his life working toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians" ["A Palestinian Voice for Peace", Wharton School, 2007].

We're guessing they don't speak Arabic.


Josh Korn said...

Not only do they not speak Arabic, they apparently don't read English either.

It's one of the consequences of wilful moral blindness.

This Ongoing War said...

Agreed. And it's contagious. The academic world is rife with it. So is the world of major league news reporting. What's especially troubling is that the only criticism of the phenomenon we have seen emanates from the ranks of advocates for Israel. That can't be a good thing.