Will the Palestinian leaders isolate extremists?

The successive Israeli political leaderships have appreciated the value of peace and harmony in the region and isolated the extremist elements in their otherwise heterogeneous civil society. Will the Palestinian leaders do their own part?

Funeral for the three kidnapped Israeli teens, July 1, 2014. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Funeral for the three kidnapped Israeli teens, July 1, 2014.
With the recent kidnapping and later cold-blooded killing of three Jewish youths and one Palestinian teenager by extremists in Israel and the West Bank, prospects of peace and harmony have dimmed further in the region. Israeli and Palestinian leaders must sideline the violent fanatic elements in their midst who are bent on spreading hatred and violence against each other’s communities. This could be followed up with working out such policies and programs that would foster peace and harmony in the region.
Fortunately , the approach of the successive Israeli political leaderships has been plausible in this regard. They have consistently appreciated the value of political peace and social harmony and mooted various practical packages aimed at accomplishing these desired objectives. As seen in the case of the recent arrest of four Jews allegedly behind the murder of a  Muslim teenager, the Israeli leaders have always seen to it that the extremists on its side are brought to book as early as possible and their mainstream society’s culture of co-existence and development remains intact.
History bears out that never in its history has the state of Israel shown any accommodation to its own extremist elements. It has subjected them all to the same rule of law whenever they have indulged in acts of hatred and violence against others. In the case of the murder of the Muslim teenager, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called it “reprehensible” and condemned it on prime-time national television. In order to express his outrage and condemnation the Israeli prime minister called the father of the murdered boy personally. Additionally, other Israeli political leaders have condemned the hate rhetoric that has found utterances on the margins of otherwise heterogeneous Israeli civil society.
One wishes the Palestinian political leaders would also join their Israeli counterparts in this enterprise to isolate the extremists on their side. Unfortunately, their pattern of behavior has been very discouraging in the matter. In the recent case of the three Israeli teenagers killed by the Palestinian terrorists, Palestinian President  Abbas came out just with a very mild condemnation of the crime.
Ironically, the Palestinian government has continued to encourage the incitement of hatred and violence against Israel even though the latter has provided it a lot aid , including security and intelligence , to make the idea of a Palestinian state a reality. Palestinian Authority leaders have also hailed some terrorists as heroes and named public squares after them. They have designed their school curriculum to make children emulate such terrorists. One could very well witness the daily dose of government-backed Palestinian incitement on the Palestinian Media Watch.
The approach of the Palestinian Authority government has been amply clear since its President Abbas forged a unity pact with Hamas. The whole world knows it is a terror organization. Its charter calls for the murder of all Jews. Its leadership celebrated the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens and called for more kidnappings. They have made the life of Israelis living in the south miserable.  So many Israelis have to run to bomb shelters on a regular basis today as Hamas fires rockets at them. The presence of such a terrorist group in the PA can hardly promote peace in the region.
In one of his recent papers Middle East expert Efraim Karsh seems to have correctly argued that the Palestinian leaders don't seem all to interested in the emergence of a sovereign state of Palestine. Karsh finds they have “rejected several opportunities to establish a Palestinian state and develop Palestinian civil society.”   They fear that “accepting reconciliation would transform the Palestinians … from the world's ultimate victim into an ordinary (and most likely failing) nation-state, thus terminating decades of unprecedented international indulgence.”  They fear it would “force” them  “into responsibility, accountability and the daunting task of state building.”
The author is a senior Indian journalist based in New Delhi