- The Washington Times - Monday, November 29, 2004

A prerequisite for the emergence of a moderate Palestinian regime is the elimination of the rogue Palestinian regime. A precondition for the holding of a free Palestinian election, and for the attainment of a durable Israeli-Palestinian accord, is the uprooting of the regime, which has ruthlessly dominated the Palestinian scene since 1964. The “old Palestinian regime” has been the role model of international terrorism, inter-Arab treachery, serial non-compliance with agreements, hate-education, corruption and suppression of Palestinian human rights.

Just like Taliban and Ba’ath terrorism, Palestinian terrorism has not been a personalized problem (Yasser Arafat), but rather a regime problem (PLO/PA/Hamas). Japan and Germany were transformed into peaceful nations, upon the drastic dismantling of their rogue regimes. None of the old guard top officials was allowed to participate in the new regimes. The entire old guard was disenfranchised, in order to pave the road for moderate leaders, minimize intimidation and facilitate free election.

Abu Mazen has been the de facto No. 2 in the PLO since 1989, while he and Abu Ala’ have been Mr. Arafat’s top confidants at the helm of the Fatah, PLO and PA regimes since the late 1950s. They starred in the Palestinian cell of the Muslim Brotherhood — the mentor of Hamas terrorism — and were forced to flee Egypt for terrorism. In 1959, they joined Mr. Arafat in establishing the Fatah organization, and were accorded a safe haven in Damascus. However, in 1966 Fatah executed Syrian intelligence officers, and was chased out of Syria.

In 1968-70, the late King Hussein provided the Fatah-led PLO with logistic and operational platforms to terrorize Israel. But in 1970 the PLO attempted to topple the Hashemite regime through terrorism, triggering a bloody strife and PLO’s expulsion from Jordan to Lebanon. Abu Mazen and Abu Ala’ were there, consulting Mr. Arafat.

During 1970-82, the PLO perpetrated a series of civil wars in Lebanon, with Abu Mazen’s and Abu Ala’s active participation. The PLO’s subversive operations caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, leading to Syrian occupation of Lebanon and to the demise of its Christian population.

The latest chapter of PLO’s inter-Arab treachery occurred in 1990, when the organization spearheaded Iraq’s plunder of Kuwait — a country which hosted the Fatah since 1959, absorbed 400,000 Palestinians, enabled them to rise to top business and civic positions, and imposed a surcharge tax for the PLO. Subsequently, Kuwait has severed all contacts with the PLO/PA leadership, expelling most of its 400,000 Palestinians.

In 1972, Abu Mazen handled the financial aspects of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre of 11 Israeli athletes. He steered pre-1989 PLO ties with ruthless East European regimes and the Soviet Union, wrote a thesis on Holocaust Denial at Moscow University, co-managed PLO hijacking of Western planes during the early 1970s and the murder of U.S. ambassadors in 1972.

A few days following the signing of the 1993 Oslo accord, Abu Mazen, Abu Ala’ Dahlan and Rajoub engineered a series of PA-Hamas understandings.

In fact, Dahlan and Rajoub head PA ‘security’ units, which have exceeded Hamas’ terrorism. According to the understandings, PA/Hamas joint strategy (Israel’s elimination) would be advanced by tactical accords with Israel, by diplomacy and by terrorism. In addition, they stipulated that Palestinian unity would supersede any agreement with Israel, calling for an end to PLO-Hamas fighting, while urging escalation of anti-Israel ‘resistance.’

Palestinians nickname Abu Mazen, Abu Ala’, Dahlan and Rajoub ‘Mr. 20 Percent’ for the kickback, which they extort for doing business in the PA. The four senior PLO leaders led — under Mr. Arafat — the PA propaganda machine, which hailed the September11thterrorism, praising Saddam Hussein’s and Osama Bin Laden’s anti-U.S. operations. They have introduced, along with Mr. Arafat, the anti-United States and anti-Jewish hate-education to PA schools, mosques and media, which has constituted the engine of homicide bombing. They have assisted Mr. Arafat in masterminding unprecedented hate-education, terrorism, deception, systematic and violent abrogation of commitments, repression of Palestinians and corruption.

The Palestinian Authority is not the solution; it is the problem.

Legitimizing top leaders of the PA, such as Abu Mazen, Abu Ala’, Dahlan and Rajoub — in defiance of their horrific track records — constitutes a victory of wishful thinking over moral clarity. The suggestion that the four are moderate compared with Mr. Arafat, is to suggest that the Boston Strangler was moderate compared with Jack the Ripper. It sends a devastating message to terrorists: Not only can you get away with murder, but you shall be rewarded. It energizes global terrorism, deters moderation, precludes free Palestinian elections and undermines the cause of peace. In 1993, wishful thinking smothered Israeli and Western policy-makers. It provided Mr. Arafat with unprecedented legitimacy, triggering unprecedented terrorism. How many innocent lives will be sacrificed on the altar of Abu Mazen and Abu Ala’?

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is an editor and consultant who lives in Jerusalem.

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