If you ever wondered why many Muslims actually believe that Islam will conquer all and rule the world...
...ON TUESDAY, Fatah strongman and the West's favorite son of Palestine Muhammad Dahlan tried to explain the facts of life to Hamas.Center For Security Policy
In an interview on PA television, Dahlan became the first senior Fatah official to openly admit that Fatah has never accepted Israel's right to exist. Dahlan denied reports that in the negotiations toward a Hamas-Fatah government, Fatah representatives are pressuring Hamas to recognize Israel. In his words, "I want to say in my own name and in the name of all my fellow members of the Fatah movement, we are not asking Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Rather, we are asking Hamas not to do so because Fatah never recognized Israel's right to exist."
Dahlan went on to explain how the fiction worked. Arafat was the head of the PLO but also the head of Fatah. While as chairman of the PLO he recognized Israel and pledged to end terrorism and live at peace with the Jewish state, as head of Fatah he continued his war against Israel. Dahlan even bragged that to date, Fatah has killed 10 times more Palestinians suspected of cooperating with Israel's counterterror operations (the same operations the PLO committed to assisting) than Hamas has.
Dahlan explained that all Hamas needs to do is to follow in Fatah's footsteps. It should say that the PA government accepts the West's terms, but in the meantime, those terms will remain inapplicable to Hamas as a "resistance group." In that way, Dahlan explained, Hamas will be able to receive all the West's billions in financial assistance.
As he put it, "Do you imagine that Gaza's reconstruction is possible under the shadow of this bickering between us and the international community? [Gaza reconstruction] can only be dealt with by a government... that is acceptable to the international community so that we can... benefit from the international community."
Not surprisingly, Dahlan's statement went almost completely unnoted. Only The Jerusalem Post and one or two other Jewish publications and a few anti-jihadist blogs made note of it. The US, European and pro-peace process Hebrew media all ignored it. No government spokesman anywhere in the world commented on it.
Unfortunately, though, for the likes of Dahlan and his admirers in the West, Hamas isn't interested in joining Fatah's fiction. It refuses to say those magic words. So now the West looks for ways to lower its bar still further.
THE WEST'S nonresponse to Dahlan's statements, like its growing eagerness to treat with Hamas despite Hamas's unabashed refusal to even lie about its intentions, tells us something important about what the West is actually doing when it says that its paramount interest is to advance the so-called peace process. It tells us the same thing that the West's courtship of Damascus and Teheran tells us about what the West means when it speaks of peace processes.
Syrian President Bashar Assad this week told Italy's La Repubblica newspaper that he and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were just a stone's throw away from a peace deal last year. Last week Assad participated in what was supposed to be an anti-Iranian conference in Saudi Arabia.
Both of Assad's gestures were meant to make the Americans feel comfortable as they renew their diplomatic relations with Syria, cast aside their backing for the UN tribunal set up to investigate Syria's assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, begin pressuring Israel to surrender the Golan Heights, and recognize Hamas.
And just as Arafat understood that after he said the magic words the West would ignore his bad behavior, so Assad knew that Washington and Paris would pay no attention when upon returning from Riyadh he announced that Syria's relations with Iran will never be weakened. He knew they will never question his false account of his indirect negotiations with Israel. He and Olmert couldn't have been a stone's throw away from a peace accord, because Assad refused to have any direct contact with Israel.
If Damascus is the state equivalent of the PLO, then Teheran is the state equivalent of Hamas. Today, as the mullahs sprint toward the nuclear finish line, the Obama administration is pretending that the jury is still out on whether or not the Islamic republic wants a nuclear arsenal. As with Hamas, so with Teheran, the Americans have dropped even the pretense of requiring a change in Iran's rhetorical positions as a precondition for diplomatic recognition. The US now pursues its diplomatic reconciliation with Teheran with the sure knowledge that this peace process will lead to Iran's emergence as a nuclear power.
So the question is, if the American and European pursuits of peace with Fatah, Hamas, Syria and Iran have not caused them to change their behavior one iota, what are the Western powers talking about when they say that it is imperative to push the peace process or engage the Syrians and the Iranians? After all, Western leaders must know that these processes are complete farces.
Sadly, the answer is clear. Western leaders are not pursuing peace in these processes. They are pursuing appeasement. They call this appeasement process a peace process for two reasons. First, they know their countrymen don't like the sound of appeasement. And second, by claiming to be championing the noble goal of peace in our time, they feel free to attack anyone who points out the folly of their actions as a warmongering member of the Israel Lobby.