Last week, The Blaze reported that in his bid to the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state based on the 1947 UN Partition Plan - an area much larger than that designated by the 1967 borders - stripping Israel of its only major international airport and its entire capital, Jerusalem. The 1967 borders had until now been the publicly stated demand of the Palestinians and their supporters in Europe and the United States, even as Israel has held 1967 lines leave the country nine miles wide and thus indefensible.
Slowly but surely, with the help of Arabic speakers monitoring what the Palestinians say to their people when the West isn’t watching, we are learning that the 1947 Partition Plan Abbas requested at the UN doesn’t provide as much land as they really want.
It’s one thing for a “man on the street” (what we in the news business like to call “MOS”) to blurt out his fantasy that Israel disappear. It’s quite another when the suggestion comes from the mouths of very senior Palestinian Authority officials, which has recently occurred at least twice.
First, Abbas Zaki, a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee told Al Jazeera television on September 23rd that any negotiated “settlement” should be based on 1967 borders. Indefensible for Israel, true, but not an outrageous thing to say in public discourse, right? (President Obama has said the same thing). But listen further. Zaki then goes on to say, “When we say that the settlement should be based upon these borders, President (Abbas) understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.” Code for: negotiate, get as much as you can, and then move the yardstick down the road saying that’s not enough.
“If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall [separating the West Bank from Israeli communities], what will become of Israel? It will come to an end,” he says.
Even more chilling evidence of the Palestinian Authority’s hidden intentions and desire to keep them out of Western ears, Zaki also tells his Al Jazeera interviewer:
“If we say that we want to wipe Israel out... C'mon, it's too difficult. It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.”
Watch the clip, monitored and translated by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, which also reports Zaki called President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “scumbags” and in 2008 called the U.S. "an enemy country."
In response, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says:
"here is further proof that the conflict is not about territory. The Palestinians have been offered a state repeatedly for several decades and have rejected each and every offer. This is less about the creation of a Palestinian state than it is about the destruction of the one Jewish State."
In its report, Israel National News writes the Palestinians “plan to destroy Israel in stages, while pretending to seek a peaceful compromise”:
The statement by Abbas Zaki, a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is one of the most damning statements ever made by an Arab official regarding Fatah's "stages plan." The interview was aired on Al Jazeera on September 23, at about the same time that Abbas was presenting the case for independent statehood in the United Nations. Possibly the hype around Abbas's speech gave Zaki confidence that his statement would go by unnoticed – as it largely has.
Zaki is not the only one. Another senior Palestinian official suggests two states for two peoples is not good enough. Nabil Shaath, Fatah’s head of Foreign Relations says Israel is not a Jewish state and Palestinian refugees presently living in other Arab countries must be allowed to resettle in the land where Israel sits. He also suggests that Arab citizens of Israel will be part of the Palestinian state. Forget 1967 or even 1947 borders, Shaath is talking all of Israel between the Jordan River on the East and Mediterranean Sea on the West.
On July 13th, MEMRI translated Shaath’s interview with Lebanon’s ANB TV:
“The story of 'two states for two peoples' means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this – not as part of the French initiative and not as part of the American initiative. We will not sacrifice the 1.5 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who live within the 1948 borders, and we will never agree to a clause preventing the Palestinian refugees from returning to their country. We will not accept this, whether the initiative is French, American, or Czechoslovakian [sic].”
Shaath is not just any Palestinian official. He was the Palestinians’ “chief negotiator” with Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s first ever foreign minister. To clarify the distinction between the Palestinian Authority and Fatah: Fatah and Hamas are the two main political parties dominating Palestinian politics. President Mahmoud Abbas heads both the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah party.
This wipe-Israel-off-the-map rhetoric doesn’t end with statements made by officials in TV interviews. It continues with actual maps. Specifically, the latest official one published by the Palestinian Authority (PA) tourism ministry which has no Israel on it at all.
If you examine this PDF file, you can see “Palestine” covers the territories including the entire West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the Gaza strip, Jerusalem and every inch of territory that is the State of Israel. Israeli cities are re-named to Arabic names, such as Tel Aviv – “Tel Ar Rabee” and the biblical town Be’er Sheba – “Bir Assaba.”
Director of the Israel Resource News Agency David Bedein who obtained a copy of the map tells The Blaze:
“The PA Ministry of Tourism map, designed for wide distribution among visitors to areas under control of the PA, represents the continued consistent vision of the PLO state in the making: A Palestine without Israel.
Since the genesis of the Oslo process, all new Israeli maps - by law - designate areas that have been ceded to the PA, while all new PA maps decimate Israel completely, as distributed in their schools, offices, media and magazines.”
Bedein whose organization studies the issue extensively explains that the Palestinians promised both the U.S. and Israel it would stop publishing maps like these but continue to do so both in school textbooks and official government publications.
These maps also reflect the position of Hamas, the terrorist group running Gaza, whose political leader Ismail Haniyeh told a Tehran audience this weekend that “occupied Palestinian land” can be liberated only through armed resistance. Speaking via video link to the fifth annual Palestinian resistance conference sponsored by Iran, Haniyeh said “the Palestinians will not give an inch of their land to Israel.”
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Haniyeh has been consistently critical of the PA’s efforts at the UN to gain state recognition, saying “liberation” of the land comes before the “state.”
One would expect Hamas, to make statements like the controversial ones above, but not Palestinian Authority officials tasked with negotiating honestly with Israel, the U.S. and the European Union. The Hamas leader called negotiations a “mirage.” Looking at the recent statements and publications from the Palestinian Authority, he might be onto something.