There are more than a few in the Palestinian Authority who are upset over the pending renewal of peace talks with Israel. Hamas in particular believes the move to be a detriment to the Palestinian cause.
But Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash reassured everyone last week that the political peace process is just a ruse, and part of a larger scheme to defeat their enemy.
In a sermon delivered in the presence of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and broadcast on official Palestinian Authority TV, Al-Habbash compared the US-driven peace negotiations to the Hudaybiyyah Peace Treaty concluded between Islam's prophet Mohammed and the Quraish tribe of Mecca.
Peace talks with Israel at this time are "the right path, which leads to achievement, exactly like the Prophet [Mohammed] did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah," Al-Habbash stated, noting that all of the Palestinians' achievements to date "never would have happened through Hamas' impulsive adventure."
Al-Habbash explained that, like Hamas, many of Mohammed's companions burned with anger that their leader was negotiating with the Quraish tribe rather than attacking Mecca. But Mohammed knew that only a more measured approach would lead to ultimate victory.
Two years after signing the treaty, Mohammed's forces had gained enough strength and he launched the brutal conquest of Mecca.
"This is the example and this is the model" that the Palestinian leadership is following, Al-Habbash acknowledged.
Amazingly, all of the doe-eyed Israeli commentators who believe that this round of negotiations is for some reason going to be different from all the previous fail to take the simple step of listening to what the Palestinians themselves are saying.
"Abbas is a real peace partner," they shout, while willfully ignoring what Abbas' own ministers are telling the public, in his name and in his presence, without any refutation by the "president."
[Translation of Al-Habbash's televised speech courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch]