By Yoram Ettinger. From Ynet (www.ynet.col.il), Jan. 14, 2005.
The stronger the flow of Israeli and Western greetings to the office of Abu Mazen, the weaker is the prospect for the rise of a moderate Palestinian leadership, and the slimmer is the chance for peace.
The US did not embrace Ben Laden's and Saddam's confidants and deputies. The US demanded - and rightly so - the dismantling of the entire terror regimes in Kabul and Baghdad as a prerequisite for a new chapter in Afghanistan's and Iraq's international relations. The elimination of rogue regimes has also been a pre-condition for the willingness of moderate elements to stick their neck out and enter the political arena.
A condition qua-non for fresh start in the attitude toward the Palestinians, must be the uprooting of the "old regime", which has earned the notoriety of role-model of hijacking, international terrorism, inter-Arab treachery, systematic and brutal violation of commitments, corruption, human rights violations, hate-education and idolizing homicide bombers. The persistence of the old Palestinian regime precludes the possibility that moderate Palestinian elements would rise to power.
Abu Mazen was Arafat's effective #2 since the departure of Abu Jihad and Abu Iyaad. Abu Mazen has been recognized as Arafat's #2 since the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accord. Along with Abu Ala', Abu Mazen was an intimate of Arafat since the 1950s. Abu Mazen did not emerge in the 2005 election from his underground hiding or from exile overseas. Abu Mazen campaigned as the top loyalist of Arafat, who was at his side during the rough days at the Ramalla's Muqaata. During the 1950s Abu Mazen starred - with Arafat and Abu Ala' - in the Palestinian cell of Cairo's Muslim Brotherhood (the mentor of Hamas!). There he acquired the skills and connections, which have facilitated him engineering a series of understandings with Hamas since 1993. According to the understandings, the strategic common denominator between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (Israel's elimination via the "claim of return") supersedes their tactical disagreements. Therefore, Abu Mazen does not proceed to eliminate Hamas, but rather attempts to integrate it. Therefore, Abu Mazen disagreed sometimes with Arafat tactically, but never disputed the strategy of Arafat, the founding father of the step-by-step policy to destroy the Jewish State.
In 1959, Abu Mazen was a prominent member in the newly established Fatah terror organization in Kuwait, which was the safe haven for Arafat, Abu Mazen, Abu Ala' and their colleagues, who had to flee Egypt for subversive activities. In 1964 he joined Arafat in the Syrian safe have, but had to flee in 1966 along with his leader, following the murder - by Fatah - of Syrian intelligence officers. In 1970, Abu Mazen played a central role in the attempted PLO coup against King Hussein, and during the 1970s he was a member of the PLO leadership, which fueled a series of civil wars in Lebanon and tried to topple the Beirut regime.
In 1972, Abu Mazen was responsible for raising the funds, required for the Munich Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes. He acquired much of his subversive skills at the KGB headquarters in Moscow, where he received (at Moscow University) his Ph.D. on Holocaust Denial. No Western society would tolerate a holocaust denier holding a prominent position, but Abu Mazen has been accorded respect...
Since 1993, Abu Mazen has been the second most important Palestinian, forging the nature of the Palestinian society in general and its hate-education in particular (in PA schools and kindergartens, mosques and media), which has served as the manufacturing-line of Palestinian homicide bombers. Abu Mazen has been a master of double-talking and fork-tonguing. He has misled Israeli and Western policy-makers and public opinion-molders by leveraging his non-Arafat appearance: well shaved face, trendy ties, grandpa-like looks and a seemingly moderate rhetoric (when addressing Westerners).
Israeli and Western movers and shakers have been inclined to sacrifice a 50 year old track record on the altar of the wishful thinking, which has sanctified Oslo and its offshoots (Hebron and Wye Accords, Road Map and Disengagement). A US colloquialism states: "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." Abu Mazen and his colleagues have fooled Israel and the US since 1993. Are Israel and the US intent upon earning the dubious title of "Suckers of the globe"?!