I opened this morning’s paper and rubbed my eyes. Was I still dreaming? That is to say – having a nightmare? As it turns out, I wasn’t dreaming. That isn’t to say I wasn’t having a nightmare. This is what the headline screamed at me:
Israel Grants Asylum to 200 Fatah Members.
Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. Isn’t Fatah a gang of terrorists no better than Hamas? Didn’t Israel in fact, stupidly nurture Hamas years ago, long before Oslo, in the hopes of weakening Fatah? Hasn’t the Fatah leadership, even after the Oslo Accords, continued to foster hatred of Israel in schools, youth movements and among the general so-called Palestinian public?
Now Hamas and Fatah "activists" are killing each other in Gaza. Isn’t that a good thing? Every Fatah member killed by Hamas and every Hamas member killed by Fatah is one less terrorist for Israel to deal with.
So why the hell are we letting them into Israel? Why are we granting them asylum? Does someone actually think our "humanitarian gesture" is going to win us Brownie points with the Americans, or with the European Community? Or maybe even with the Palestinians themselves?
OK, according to the newspaper, one of the Fatah activists told their reporter that "Israel is our last refuge". According to this same "activist" (whose level of influence on the rest of the population is uncertain and in my opinion, probably negligible), "If we thought the Zionist Occupation is killing the Palestinian People, today we received official confirmation that we were wrong. It is Hamas and not Israel that is bringing destruction on the people of Palestine. They (Hamas) have no God. They are dark and primitive people who are slaughtering their own brethren."
Brave words – and true. And, let’s face it, these are the words we’ve been longing to hear. The recognition, by the so-called "moderate" Palestinians, that it is not we who are their enemies, but the extremists within their midst. Except that, as I said, these are a few rank-and-file Fatah members, whose ability to change the mindset of an entire population which has been educated from birth to hate us, is probably minimal. How many humanitarian gestures have we made in the past, the only effect of which was to make our enemies think us weak?
I know, in the past, I have written that peace needs to be built, brick by brick, stone by stone, by the common people. I still believe that. I still want to believe that there is hope. We all do. But is this the way to foster that hope?