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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Diana Buttu, "Why the Palestinian Authority Should Be Shuttered": A Call to Rehabilitate Hamas

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

- Winston Churchill

The New York Times today published an op-ed entitled "Why the Palestinian Authority Should Be Shuttered" by Diana Buttu, who asserted in a 2012 Harvard lecture that Qassam rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians "don't have explosive heads" (yeah, right). She also claimed at that same lecture that "between the period of 1997 until the year 2000, there wasn't a single Israeli who died of a suicide bombing inside Israel," yet, when confronted with the 1997 Café Apropo bombing, Butto resorted to another lie: "All of the people you are talking about were settlers." In fact, one of the women was from Tel Aviv, one from Herzliya, and one from Neve Monosson. (To learn more about Butto's prevarication at the Harvard lecture, have a gander at CAMERA's article "Diana Buttu is at it Again, Harvard Edition.") But back now to Butto's op-ed, which is no less "imaginative" than her Harvard talk. Butto begins by questioning "whether the Palestinian Authority plays any positive role or is simply a tool of control for Israel and the international community," and declares that "it’s time for the authority to go." Buttu continues:

"[Palestinian Authority] security forces do not provide a normal police service to Palestinians, but instead aid the Israeli Army in maintaining the occupation and Israel’s ever-expanding settlements.

. . . .

The raison d’être of the Palestinian Authority today is not to liberate Palestine; it is to keep Palestinians silent and quash dissent while Israel steals land, demolishes Palestinian homes, and builds and expands settlements."

Ah yes, the "ever-expanding" settlements. However, as observed in a December 29, 2016 Washington Post editorial entitled "On Israel, we’re right back where Obama started" (my emphasis in red):

"In fact, the two-state solution remains entirely viable, as even the settlement statistics cited by Mr. Kerry demonstrate. The administration asserts that the Jewish population in the West Bank has increased by 100,000 since 2009 — but by Mr. Kerry’s account, 80 percent of that growth was in areas Israel would likely annex in any settlement. In eight years, 20,000 people have been added to communities in territory likely to become part of Palestine — an area where 2.75 million Arabs now live. That growth of about 3 percent per annum, the product of a restraint for which Mr. Netanyahu received no White House credit, means that the Jewish population outside Israel’s West Bank fence may have decreased as a percentage of the overall population even as Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry have made it the focal point of U.S. policy."

Similarly, Rick Richman wrote in a December 28, 2016 Commentary article entitled "It’s Not the Settlements, Stupid":

"The figure of 100,000 sounds significant until you realize that 80 percent of it has been in the settlement blocs 'everyone knows' Israel will retain in any conceivable peace agreement. The 20,000 person increase east of the separation barrier, established to stop the wave of Palestinian mass murders against Israelis, translates into less than one percent of the population in the disputed territories, over a period of eight years."

Buttu also fails to take into account what was acknowledged by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat: Israeli settlements have been built on only some 1.1% of the West Bank. Additionally, she does not make mention of past Israeli evacuations of Sinai and Gaza, other than to assert that Israel maintains "overall control" of the Gaza Strip. Needless to say, Buttu avoids mention of Israel's evacuation of Gaza in 2005 and fails to observe that Gaza shares a border with Egypt.

And then there is the "small matter" of Hamas. Buttu writes:

"To remove this noose that has been choking Palestinians, the authority must be replaced with the sort of community-based decision making that predated the body’s establishment. And we must reform our main political body, the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Mr. Abbas also heads, to make it more representative of the Palestinian people and their political parties, including Hamas. Hamas has long indicated that it wants to be part of the P.L.O., and its revised charter, recently released in Doha, Qatar, affirms this aspiration."

Ah yes, the "new" Hamas, whose 2017 charter reads in relevant part:

14. The Zionist project is a racist, aggressive, colonial and expansionist project based on seizing the properties of others; it is hostile to the Palestinian people and to their aspiration for freedom, liberation, return and self-determination. The Israeli entity is the plaything of the Zionist project and its base of aggression.

15. The Zionist project does not target the Palestinian people alone; it is the enemy of the Arab and Islamic Ummah posing a grave threat to its security and interests. It is also hostile to the Ummah’s aspirations for unity, renaissance and liberation and has been the major source of its troubles. The Zionist project also poses a danger to international security and peace and to mankind and its interests and stability.

. . . .

19. There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. Whatever has befallen the land of Palestine in terms of occupation, settlement building, judaisation or changes to its features or falsification of facts is illegitimate. Rights never lapse.

20. Hamas believes that no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances and the pressures and no matter how long the occupation lasts. Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.

Rehabilitate Hamas, which earlier this week executed three men accused of killing one of its senior commanders - the executions were partially streamed live via Facebook? I don't think so.

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