This week’s meeting between Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal highlighted their common strategic goal, despite their bitter rivalry in recent years: The PLO’s “Phased Plan” aimed at the establishment of a Palestinian state in all of what was Palestine within the Ottoman/British Mandate borders.
Abbas (who is both the chairman of the PLO, established in 1964, and Fatah, established in 1959) told the U.N. General Assembly last year that the highest Palestinian authority was the PLO, and that the “occupation” began in 1948 and not in 1967.
On August 14, 2009, Abbas concluded the Sixth Convention of Fatah, which ratified its platform, calling for the continued struggle – through peaceful and armed means – to eradicate the Jewish state. Fatah’s policy is founded on the claim of return for the 1948 Arab refugees, self-determination, an independent state and the PLO’s 10-point Phased Plan (http://bit.ly/y2zkfZ ), formulated by the PLO’s Palestinian National Council in June 1974.
The second of the 10 points, for example, calls for the establishment of an independent national authority over “every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated.” The third point states that the PLO will not consider a temporary agreement which renounces the final goal - Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. The fourth point states that each step will be just a phase in the liberation of the whole of Palestine. The eighth point obligates the Palestinian Authority to fight for the liberation of the entire Palestinian territory.
In September 1993, on the eve of the Oslo Accords, then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat declared in a speech broadcast by Amman radio that Oslo would be “the basis for a Palestinian state in accordance with the [phased] policy of the Palestinian National Council from June 1974.”
Abbas makes the distinction between provisional goals, dictated by the current balance of power, and the permanent goals dictated by the “natural, historic, constitutional and permanent Palestinians rights” and by the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim “destiny.” The provisional goals (Judea and Samaria and Gaza) are a means to achieving the permanent goals (Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Haifa), but certainly not a substitute. Therefore, he does not view U.N. resolutions, peace talks with Israel or the “liberation of the 1967 occupation” as a compromise, but rather as pragmatism, or a springboard.
Abbas differentiates between phase-based temporary peace with Israel and a final peace, which can only be achieved by completing the permanent goal: the eradication of Israel. In his view, relinquishing parts of the homeland could lead to the loss of it entirely. That is why Abbas is entrenching the “claim of return” to Safed, the Galilee, Haifa, Jaffa, Ashkelon and the Negev – and the denial of any Jewish rights in “Palestine” – in the Palestinian Authority’s kindergartens, schools, mosques and media. That is why he claims to represent all Israeli Arabs, and why he views the Palestinian Authority as a reincarnation of Palestinian liberty and the end of the “crusader-like” Jewish state.
Abbas is a practicing Muslim. His worldview is shaped by the Muslim principle that the right to all of “Palestine” is a religiously endowed, inalienable right (Waqf) that must not be relinquished, even when requiring the sacrifice of one’s life. He wages his internal, as well as his external struggles, in accordance with the principles of Islam, including the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah (a pivotal treaty between Muhammad, representing the state of Medina, and the Quraish tribe of Mecca in 628 C.E.), which directly shapes contemporary intra-Arab conflicts.
According to Professor Majid Khadduri, the leading authority on Islamic law (“War and Peace in the Law of Islam,” Johns Hopkins Press, 1955), Allah promised his followers a permanent victory; those who relinquish the struggle are considered apostates; the Hudaybiyyah precedent (the breach of a peace treaty that led to the conquest of Mecca) permits Muslims to agree to temporary peace in order to regroup and resume waging holy war. Moreover, the natural relationship between the “Abode of Islam” - the only legitimate religion - and the “Abode of the Infidel” is war; a peace agreement is not a goal, and not a means to advance coexistence, but rather a means to force submission on its adversaries.
The hate-education system that Abbas instituted in 1994, Abbas’ glorification of terrorists and their families, and the brainwashing tactics employed by mosques and media outlets controlled by Abbas all aim to promote the Phased Plan, which guides Abbas and the so-called moderate Palestinian camp. This plan is the common thread connecting PLO’s Abbas to Hamas’ Mashaal and his “radical” camp.