politics, history and the war on terror
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Outing Fatah 

The Palestinian Authority is now officially a state sponsor of terrorist activity. While it is common knowledge that Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the armed wing of Fatah, it is never admitted publicly. Currently there is a rift between Fatah (Yassir Arafat's political party) and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (a terrorist organization responsible for the murder of many Israeli citizens). Al Aqsa has threatened to break off from Fatah, so Fatah has formed a high level committee in an attempt to placate them.

The Fatah Central Council has decided to form a special committee to study the demands of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades militia. The committee will consist of senior Fatah officials and cabinet ministers. It is the first time that the Palestinian leadership has acknowledged its responsibility for the armed group. The decision to form the committee follows complaints by the leaders of the militia that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Fatah leadership have abandoned them and were no longer paying them their salaries.

Earlier this week, several members of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank and Gaza Strip embarrassed the Palestinian leadership by threatening to break away from Fatah. The gunmen also accused the Palestinian leadership of corruption.

On Sunday night, Arafat chaired an emergency meeting of the Fatah Central Committee in his office in Ramallah to discuss ways of containing the mutiny by the Fatah militia. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who announced that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades were receiving the full attention of the Palestinian leadership. He said the most important mission now was to guarantee the safety of the gunmen who are wanted by Israel for carrying out terrorist attacks.

Like any compassionate terror sponsoring government, the PA is concerned for the safety of their terrorists. This is in complete disagreement with the Road Map, which requires the Palestinian Authority to capture terrorists, not coddle them.

It's the economy, stupid. Al Aqsa members are upset they are not getting paid (sidenote: why is no one lamenting the failure of the Arafat economy, with its official unemployment rate of 26%, 57% below the poverty line and Annual growth of -35%?). And the reason Al Asqa terrorists are not getting paid is to put on a good show for the international community.

Hani Uwaidah, the commander of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Tulkarm, told The Jerusalem Post that the PA stopped paying his salary a few months ago. He said that was the main reason why he and his friends had halted their attacks against Israel. "The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah told us that we must now sit quiet and that because of pressure from the international community they would not be able to continue paying us our salaries," he added.

Foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority should immediately cease as there is no way to determine if it is used to finance terrorist operations and salaries. The European Union specifically has coddled the PA for far too long, and refuses to accept the fact that the PA finances or supports terror. Even if the EU cannot determine its aid is used to finance terror specifically, giving money to the PA frees up resources from other areas to enable it to fund terrorism. The aid only serves to prop up Arafat's corrupt regime. And the diplomatic kabuki dance with the PA should cease as well.

As I have stated in the past, "the obstacles to peace (the PA, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups) must be removed before a moderate Palestinian voice can step forward. The Palestinians should be given their own state, but not until they renounce terror as a tool of negotiation, arrest and prosecute Palestinian terrorists, and demonstrate a commitment to live peacefully side by side with their Israeli neighbor." The withdraw of support for the PA is crucial to moving forward towards peace, as a government that sponsors terrorism cannot be negotiated with. The short term effects may be chaotic as the Palestinians fight amongst themselves, but attempts to negotiate with the corrupt and terror sponsoring PA is not a solution.

Posted by bill roggio @ 6:18 AM