Next to blowing bubbles, I think the most favorite thing I did as a child was going to Nathans as a kid and seeing the magician they would present every few weeks in their eating area. The tricks were the same every time, and to be honest I don’t remember if they were successfully executed, but they were good enough for us little guys. Forty-plus years later, I have given up on the bubbles but I still think that there is nothing as cool as a good magic show.
Since he became Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert has been trying to become a professional magician. His trick, trying to change a frog into a Prince has not really worked. As much as he kisses the “frog” PA President Abbas he has not changed into a princely moderate. If he kissed the other end of the frog he would be able to look him in the eye.
The other big problem with Olmert’s magic act is that he “buys it.” Magic is slight of hand—>Illusion. The audience is supposed to believe it true but the magician knows its not. Olmert really believes that that Abbas has become a moderate…but for the rest of us we know its an illusion.
The “moderate partner,” together with his colleagues in the PA leadership, is still a signatory to a treaty of understandings with Hamas, which states that “the right of the refugees to return to their homes and their property must be guaranteed.”
The Cairo Declaration, which was signed together with Hamas, and which Abu Mazen has never abandoned, even states that the Palestinians have a right to use violence against Israel until that same right of return is realized. Not symbolic, as claimed by those who sell illusions, but practical: not to the Palestinian state in Gaza and in Nablus, but to Safed, Acre, Lod and Jaffa.
“It’s all talk,” the deceivers will say, but the rifles that Israel transferred in the past to the “good guys” spoke with fire and wounded and killed. Palestinian policemen, activists in Tanzim, members of the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and members of the presidential guard, Force 17, fought against Israel Defense Forces soldiers and carried out or helped carry out terror attacks.
The territories that were transferred to the control of the “moderates” have become incubators for terror, and some of the economic assistance has also found its way to terror organizations. The same will happen this time. It’s only a matter of time. Anyone who tells other stories is deceiving not only his listeners but also himself.
Hamas and its victory are convenient for us at least in one respect: Hamas members tell the truth about the future they desire for Israel. They do not hide behind masks and do not scatter illusions.
Fatah, on the other hand, pretends to be a partner. It will make promises and sign agreements, but exactly as in the past, that is not the essence but only the tactics.
The essence is realization of the right of return, or in other words an end to the Jewish state and to the issue of Jerusalem, whose division is neither an ethical nor a practical possibility, as any intelligent person understands.
Yasser Arafat once compared the agreements and the understandings with us to the Hudaybiya treaty between Mohammed and the members of the Quraishi tribe, which afterward was abrogated by him. “Hudaybiya” has become etched in Islamic awareness as a model of legitimate tactics.
In a moment of weakness even Shimon Peres once admitted that the Palestinians treat agreements with them as “ornamentation.” They use them and throw them away. The only reason Fatah is now persecuting Hamas members in Judea and Samaria is the threat to Fatah’s status there. This is not some new awareness, which has suddenly burst forth, that terror is unacceptable and must be ruled out.
Even the result – the temporary success of Abu Mazen in pushing Hamas into a corner in Judea and Samaria – is not to be credited to his ability, but to the fact that the Shin Bet security services and the IDF can be found in every corner there. Abu Mazen is a fiction. And Ramallah, where Hamas won a smashing victory in the last elections, is the capital of that fiction.
Without Israeli military control on the ground, not only would the terror attacks not be prevented, but Hamas would also reprise a substantial portion of its Gaza success there as well.
Since the Oslo process, Israeli governments have been captives of the concept that others will do the work for them, that the “moderates” will fight the extremists with the weapons they receive. Time after time they have become addicted to this bittersweet illusion.
But Abu Mazen, like Arafat, will not fight against his brothers. At the end of the day he will prefer his brother to his enemy. Temporarily he may present a different facade to survive, but he’ll get over it faster than people think.
Terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who committed murder while wearing a Fatah uniform, will not save us. After all, only a few months ago he wrote the compromise documents with the murderous Hamas, from prison.
Abu Mazen, complained Ehud Olmert only recently, deceived him three times. At the Sharm el-Sheikh summit this week Olmert allowed him to do it for the fourth time, but mainly Olmert deceived himself.