Those who believe the land-for-peace process will bring an end to the bloodshed between Arabs and Israelis are deluding themselves, explained a leading member of the ruling Palestinian faction in a televised interview last week.
It seems some Palestinians were becoming worried that increasingly active American involvement would bring the war against Israel to an end before they had a chance to destroy the Jewish state.
Speaking on Palestinian Authority TV, Kifah Radaydeh, deputy head of the Jerusalem chapter of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, sought to reassure them:
"It has been said that we are negotiating for peace, but our goal has never been peace. Peace is a means; the goal is Palestine."
Radaydeh made clear that by "Palestine" she meant all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea by admitting that when the time is right, Fatah will fully rejoin the campaign of violence against Israel.
Radaydeh's is by no means an isolated sentiment. In March, Mohammed Dahlan, a top advisor to Abbas and the former Fatah strongman in charge of Gaza, said on Palestinian Authority TV:
"I want to say for the thousandth time, in my own name and in the name of all of my fellow members of the Fatah movement: We do not demand that the Hamas movement recognize Israel. On the contrary, we demand of the Hamas movement not to recognize Israel, because the Fatah movement does not recognize Israel, even today."
Dahlan went on to explain that the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority only pays lip service to recognizing Israel in order to obtain assistance from the international community, both in the form of financial aid and political pressure on Israel.
Despite these very public acknowledgements that Fatah, like Hamas, still seeks Israel's ultimate destruction, the international community continues to insist on painting Abbas and his party as "moderates" and the antithesis of the Islamic radicals that fill Hamas' ranks.
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