Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, branded a "moderate" by the international community, let his true colors show during a recent meeting with writers and journalists when he stated that he would favor a pan-Arab military offensive against the Jewish state.
The official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Tuesday wrote that when Abbas met recently with media figures at the home of the Palestinian ambassador to Jordan, he recounted that during an Arab League Summit in Libya in March he told his fellow leaders that he still preferred war against Israel, but could not do it alone.
"We are unable to confront Israel militarily, and this point was discussed at the Arab League Summit," said Abbas. "There I turned to the Arab States and I said: 'If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor. But the Palestinians will not fight alone because they don't have the ability to do it.'"
The Arab states of the Middle East have tried at least three times to militarily destroy Israel, but each time ended up losing territory to the Jewish state.
The "Palestinian crisis" that was birthed after Israel's liberation of Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") in 1967 is seen by many Israelis as nothing more than a more calculated and patient approach to ultimately removing Israel from the map.
Yasser Arafat admitted as much in 1993 when he told fellow Palestinians in a pre-recorded message played on Arab television as he signed the "Oslo Accords" that his PLO's guerilla tactics and eventual land-for-peace diplomacy was a phased strategy that would lead to the complete replacement of Israel with another Arab Muslim state:
"Do not forget that our Palestine National Council accepted the decision in 1974. It called for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian land that is liberated or from which the Israelis withdrew... This is the moment of return, the moment of gaining a foothold on the first liberated Palestinian land."
The 1974 decision referenced by Arafat was the PLO's official acceptance of a phased strategy for destroying Israel, as opposed to the more direct strategy of military conquest that had been employed up until the Yom Kippur War a year earlier.
Despite co-founding the PLO with Arafat, Abbas has long been whitewashed by an international community eager to impose its idea of peaceful conflict resolution on the region. That is why Abbas' remarks in Arabic, such as the one above, are regularly ignored by the world media and Western leaders. But Israelis warn that his views, and the influence they have an the Palestinian general public, ensure that a genuine and lasting peace is impossible to achieve.