When the media reports about today's UN recognition of Palestine they will talk about Palestinian President Abbas as a "moderate," But that description is as useful as the old Microsoft/Helicopter joke above.
A helicopter was flying around above Seattle yesterday when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communication equipment. Due to the clouds and haze the pilot could not determine his position or course to steer to the airport. The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign and held it in the helicopter's window. The sign said "WHERE AM I ?" in large letters.
People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign and held it in a building window. Their sign said, "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER." The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map and determine the course to steer to SEATAC (Seattle/Tacoma) airport and landed safely.
After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER" sign helped determine their position. The pilot responded, "I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because they gave me a technically correct but completely useless answer."
Abbas does indeed recognize Israel's right to exist, but he refuses to recognize Israel as the Jewish state—per UN Resolution 181(the original partition resolution passed by the UN in November 1947, UN Resolution 181 calls for dividing Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States). And that refusal is part of the Palestinians stated strategy to destroy Israel.
On the other hand EVERY single Israeli prime minster After Rabin recognized the right to a Palestinian Arab state (Rabin did not).
No Palestinian leader has ever recognized the right of Israel to exist as the Jewish Homeland. Charter of Abbas’ party FATAH does not recognize Israel’s right to exist in any form.
The Internal Charter of Abbas’ Fatah Party written in 2010 did not remove Fatah’s rejection of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state (or any other kind of state) nor did it remove its support of terrorism against Israel. It speaks of
“sacrific[ing] our souls, blood, time and effort. All these are the weapons of the revolutionaries … our tragedy continued throughout all those long years. You must know that our enemy is strong and the battle is ferocious and long. You must know that determination, patience, secrecy, confidentiality, adherence to the principles and goals of the revolution, keep us from stumbling and shorten the path to liberation. Go forward to revolution. Long live Palestine, free and Arab!”The Charter speaks of the “enemy” and does not mention accepting Israel as a Jewish state or even as a state.
Also, it does not mention any rescission of the Fatah Constitution, which calls for
“Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine” (Article 22) and insists that “Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated” (Article 19).Therefore even if Abbas means what he says about "recognizing" Israel the rest of his ruling party is committed to the destruction of Israel.
Even if he means what he says and can convince Fatah to go along, that recognition is useless without the rest of the sentence "...as a Jewish State."
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined the issue brilliantly in his speech before Congress in May 2011:
“You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about….The real issue is where the Palestinian refugees go. While the number of Palestinian refugees in 1949 was somewhere between 800,000-900,000, today the number is over 4 million. This group of refugees is the only example in history where the number has grown without a population shift (the UN counts the original refugees, their children, grandchildren, first cousin twice removed on their mother’s side, friends etc. as refugees-The Jewish refugees from Arab countries, 900,000+ were absorbed by Israel and other countries).
They were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.”
My friends, this must come to an end. President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said… “I will accept a Palestinian state.” It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say… “I will accept a Jewish state.”…
One of the stated goals of the Palestinians is to flood Israel (within the green lines) with Palestinian Muslims. Being a democracy, if Israel allows herself to be flooded with millions of those1948 refugees' descendants of those 1948 refugees, she will cease to be the Jewish State. Instead Israel will be just another Muslim country in the Middle East.
Palestinian President Abbas has always refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. In an interview with German newsmagazine Der Spiegel President Abbas said,
We recognized the State of Israel within the 1967 borders. Whether it defines itself as a Jewish state, a Hebrew state or a Zionist state is its business. As far as I’m concerned, it can call itself what it pleases. But he cannot force me to agree with this definition.In October 2010 negotiations were going on to convince Netanyahu to extend the Judea and Samaria building freeze. Netanyahu made a very simple offer to the PA. If you were to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, we will extend building freeze indefinitely. As reported by Al Jazeera the answer was a resounding no:
Netanyahu’s proposal met with swift rejection from senior Palestinian officials.The “I recognize Israel” quote is nothing but a ruse…time and time again the Palestinians have refused to recognize the JEWISH State of Israel. And without that recognition, none of the other issues will be resolved.
“The whole world holds Netanyahu responsible for what is happening in the region, after he chose to push ahead with the settlement project at the expense of an advance in the peace process. Settlement freeze is a commitment Netanyahu should respect,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, told Al Jazeera.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior official of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, described the settlement issue as “an aggression on Palestinian rights and land”.
“What Israel calls itself is an Israeli matter that does not concern us. The two issues are not related,” he told Al Jazeera in reference to Netanyahu’s condition that Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
Nabil Abu Rudainah, the spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said a return to peace talks required a freeze on settlement building by Israel.
“The issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter,” he told the Reuters news agency. According to Al Jazzeera Abbas replied almost imminently with a resounding no.