Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has signed his own death warrant as the preferred Arab partner to negotiate the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank between Arabs and Jews.
His demise follows his failure - after being re-elected as Chairman of Fatah in Bethlehem this week - to propose or procure any changes to the constitution of that terrorist organization at its first convention held in the last 20 years.
The constitution of Fatah presently calls for the destruction of Israel and contains the following unambiguous clauses that make this objective clear and unequivocal.
Article 12: Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
Article 13: Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem as its capital city ...
Article 22: Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine …
The constitution has remained unchanged since 1964 - at a time when the West Bank was occupied by Jordan and Gaza was occupied by Egypt.
Any suggestion, therefore, that Fatah’s constitution is restricted and directed in its application only to the liberation of the West Bank and Gaza from Israel is disingenuous.
Abbas reportedly succeeded in achieving consensus over a political strategy at the convention to continue pursuing negotiations with Israel to achieve the Palestinian Authority’s demand for independence and freedom in a sovereign state in all of the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as the right for millions of Arabs to emigrate to Israel. The right of resistance was reserved as a legitimate option in case such negotiations fail.
Since intensive negotiations to achieve such a result have abysmally failed over the last six years under the auspices of the Quartet - America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations- the expectation of such an outcome ever eventuating is totally unrealistic.
Fatah ideology - as expressed in the constitution - is incompatible with - and is the very antithesis of - the creation of a new Arab state in only the West Bank and Gaza.
Fatah’s stated aim is the total destruction of Israel and nothing less.
Fatah is :
“an independent national revolutionary movement representing the revolutionary vanguard of the Palestinian people” (Article 11).
Clearly it is thus empowered to act independently of any decisions made by the Palestinian Authority or anyone else with whom it cares to disagree.
Abbas has placed himself in a position of total conflict negotiating for the “two state solution” as President of the Palestinian Authority whilst simultaneously chairing Fatah which still unconditionally calls for a “one state solution” under its clearly worded constitution..
On 9 September 1993 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - which also happens to now be headed by Abbas - was required to give the following commitment to Israel before the Oslo Accords were signed:
“In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, he PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently,the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant”
Whilst there is considerable doubt as to whether the clauses mentioned were subsequently changed in the PLO Covenant, nevertheless Israel declared that it was satisfied such changes had been effected and proceeded to negotiate with the newly constituted Palestinian Authority on the basis of the above commitment.
No such commitment however was sought from Fatah nor was any commitment given by Fatah to similarly delete the offending clauses from its own separate constitution either in 1993 or in 2009 when the opportunity arose to do so at this week‘s convention.
Israel accordingly needs to view the past week’s events in Bethlehem with grave apprehension.
It is clear that any negotiations with the Palestinian Authority will not in any way be binding - either on Hamas or Fatah.
Both Hamas and Fatah remain independent terrorist groups that will be free to thumb their noses at any concluded agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and resort to any form of action they consider necessary to bring about the destruction of Israel.
Doubtless Abbas hopes that this continuation of the common hatred of the common enemy will help to repair the relationship between Hamas and Fatah, facilitate ending the power struggle between them, reunify the West Bank and Gaza into one territorial unit enabling them to reconcile their differences and establish a government of national unity.
Israel should now make it abundantly clear that Abbas cannot be regarded as a bona fide negotiating partner unless Fatah makes the same commitment to Israel that the PLO did in 1993 and takes immediate action to omit the offending articles from its constitution that call for the destruction of Israel.
Not only Israel should be making such a demand.
President Obama needs to make it clear to Abbas that America is not prepared to deal with him whilst Israel’s demand goes unanswered - or at the least whilst he continues to act as both President of the Palestinian Authority and as Chairman and a member of Fatah.