I never thought I would say this, but those of us on the Israeli Right owe a debt
of gratitude to Mahmoud Abbas.
By forging a unity agreement with Hamas
earlier this month in Doha, Qatar, the Palestinian Authority president has
inadvertently corroborated one of the central tenets of our political
philosophy: the Palestinians cannot and must not be granted a state.
since the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993, we have warned against
the establishment of a Palestinian entity alongside Israel. Historical, military
and geopolitical arguments have been made, numerous articles and papers have
been written, and countless rallies and protests were organized, all with the
aim of demonstrating just how foolhardy such a step would be.
we have pleaded with the public to recognize the dangers inherent in dividing
the land of Israel and placing the heart of the country within our foes’
artillery range. Time after time, we have insisted that an independent Palestine
would be swept up by the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism and become an
outpost for Iranian-style extremism.
It has often been an uphill battle,
as much of the media and the international community has prodded and pressed to
give the Palestinians a state of their own, seemingly without regard for the
But earlier this month, Abbas delivered decisive and
irrefutable corroboration of everything the Right has been saying for nearly 20
When he sat down with Hamas thug Khaled Mashaal and Qatari Emir
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on February 6, smiled for the cameras and then
formally agreed to joint Fatah-Hamas rule, Abbas validated the worst fears of
He embraced a terrorist movement committed to Israel’s
destruction, legitimized them by welcoming Hamas into the Palestinian political
mainstream, and laid the groundwork for their possible takeover of the
Palestinian Authority. Under the terms of the deal, Abbas will head a unity
government that will oversee Palestinian presidential and parliamentary
elections in Judea, Samaria and Gaza later this year.
And so, in one fell
swoop, he has breathed new life into the Palestinian jihadist movement, raising
their hopes to eventually seize the reins of power in Ramallah, just as they did
in Gaza City. From a security point of view, this is a nightmare in the
Should Hamas prevail, it would mean that the same organization
that has been busy firing rockets into southern Israel would suddenly gain a
political and institutional foothold just 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem. And
Hamas’ Iranian backers would enjoy a clear and unmistakable boost by further
tightening their ring of encirclement around the Jewish state.
anyone doubt the significance that Hamas attaches to the deal, they should
consider what Mashaal declared its primary goal as being: “to resist the enemy
[Israel] and achieve our national goal.”
Qatar’s role in forging the
Palestinian unity deal should not be underestimated.
The tiny Gulf state
has played a significant part over the past year in helping to strengthen
various Islamist forces throughout the region, from the Muslim Brotherhood in
Egypt to the Islamist Party Ennahda which came to power in Tunisia. The Qataris
are now obviously trying to shepherd Hamas to power as well in order to further
their own interests, and they will surely make a concerted effort to see that
come to pass.
However dangerous this development might be on the ground,
it does present a significant opportunity in terms of Israel’s public diplomacy.
Simply put, Abbas’s embrace of Hamas should be used to make a strong case
against the prevailing notion that a “two-state solution” can bring about
After all, the mirage of moderation surrounding Fatah and the
Palestinian Authority is now unambiguously on display as little more than a
figment of the Left’s imagination.
We must make the case that this is the
end of Palestine, the death knell of the delusion that the Palestinian
leadership was interested in reconciliation, compromise and peace. For if Abbas
and his cohorts truly wished to see an end to the conflict, they would not have
joined hands with those who advocate endless confrontation. By affixing his
signature to the unity deal, Abbas has therefore settled the argument once and
Faced with a choice, he discarded the possibility of an
armistice with Israel, thereby closing the door on any chance of a resolution.
Abbas chose Hamas over harmony. Now we must make sure he pays a price for doing