Peace with Realism

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The Nazis had their "Final Solution," their comprehensive plan for the destruction of the Jewish people. Is this just a thing of the past?

Ever since Israel's creation the Arab states have tried to destroy it through violence, initiating the hostilities that resulted in the four major wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973. When they found they could not defeat Israel through direct confrontation, they called for a change in strategy. In 1974 the Palestine National Council, the legislative arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization, adopted the following resolution, which has become known as the "Phased Plan" (for Israel's destruction):(1)


Political Programme

Adopted at the 12th Session of the Palestinian National Council Cairo, June 9, 1974

Text of the Phased Plan resolution:

The Palestinian National Council:

On the basis of the Palestinian National Charter and the Political Programme drawn up at the eleventh session, held from January 6-12, 1973; and from its belief that it is impossible for a permanent and just peace to be established in the area unless our Palestinian people recover all their national rights and, first and foremost, their rights to return and to self-determination on the whole of the soil of their homeland; and in the light of a study of the new political circumstances that have come into existence in the period between the Council's last and present sessions, resolves the following:

  1. To reaffirm the Palestine Liberation Organization's previous attitude to Resolution 242, which obliterates the national right of our people and deals with the cause of our people as a problem of refugees. The Council therefore refuses to have anything to do with this resolution at any level, Arab or international, including the Geneva Conference.

  2. The Liberation Organization will employ all means, and first and foremost armed struggle, to liberate Palestinian territory and to establish the independent combatant national authority for the people over every part of Palestinian territory that is liberated. This will require further changes being effected in the balance of power in favour of our people and their struggle.

  3. The Liberation Organization will struggle against any proposal for a Palestinian entity the price of which is recognition, peace, secure frontiers, renunciation of national rights and the deprival of our people of their right to return and their right to self-determination on the soil of their homeland.

  4. Any step taken towards liberation is a step towards the realization of the Liberation Organization's strategy of establishing the democratic Palestinian state specified in the resolutions of previous Palestinian National Councils.

  5. Struggle along with the Jordanian national forces to establish a Jordanian-Palestinian national front whose aim will be to set up in Jordan a democratic national authority in close contact with the Palestinian entity that is established through the struggle.

  6. The Liberation Organization will struggle to establish unity in struggle between the two peoples and between all the forces of the Arab liberation movement that are in agreement on this programme.

  7. In the light of this programme, the Liberation Organization will struggle to strengthen national unity and to raise it to the level where it will be able to perform its national duties and tasks.

  8. Once it is established, the Palestinian national authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity.

  9. The Liberation Organization will strive to strengthen its solidarity with the socialist countries, and with forces of liberation and progress throughout the world, with the aim of frustration all the schemes of Zionism, reaction and imperialism.

  10. In light of this programme, the leadership of the revolution will determine the tactics which will serve and make possible the realization of these objectives.
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization will make every effort to implement this programme, and should a situation arise affecting the destiny and the future of the Palestinian people, the National Assembly will be convened in extraordinary session.

In brief, this is a plan for Israel's destruction according to the following principles and "phases":

  1. The explicit rejection of the traditional "land for peace" formula (Articles 1 and 3).

  2. The acquisition of as much territory as possible using "all means," and especially "armed struggle" (terrorism), to establish an "independent combatant national authority" in that territory (Article 2).

  3. The continuation of the struggle against Israel using this territory as a base of operations (Article 4).

  4. The formation of alliances with other terrorist groups in a united struggle against Israel (Article 6).

  5. The provocation of an all-out war between Israel and the Arab countries that would end with the complete incorporation of Israeli territory into the Palestinian State (Article 8).

Now it is fair to ask: This document is almost thirty years old. Does it really matter anymore? Hasn't the Palestinian leadership progressed past this point? Didn't it approve the peace agreement at Oslo in 1993?

The Palestinian leadership itself has given many clues regarding its true intentions. Yasser Arafat has had a long history of saying one thing in English, and something entirely different and contradictory to his own people in Arabic. On the day he signed the Oslo Accords he told Jordanian and Egyptian media that these accords are not to be taken seriously but are part of the "plan of phases." He also made the following statements:

"Only a Palestinian State can continue the struggle to remove the enemy from all Palestinian lands" (Jerusalem Post, November 18, 1994).

"This is the phased program which we all adopted in 1974 - why do you oppose it?" (Arafat responding to critics of the treaties with Israel, July 1995).

"The Oslo II Agreement is a delayed realization of a stage in the PLO's 1974 phased plan" (A-Datsur [Jordanian Newspaper], September 19, 1995).

In a closed meeting with Arab diplomats in Stockholm he made the following statement (which was leaked by one person present and reported by Cal Thomas in the Washington Times, also by the Middle East Digest, March 7, 1996):

"Within five years we will have 6 to 7 million Arabs living on the West Bank and in Jerusalem.... We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews will not want to live among Arabs. I have no use for Jews....We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem."

He also made reference to the 1974 Phased Plan in an interview on Egyptian Orbit TV on April 18, 1998:(2)

Question: Were you under pressure from the Arab states then?

Arafat: No. In 1974, at the Palestinian National Council meeting in Cairo, we passed the decision to establish national Palestinian rule over any part of the land of Palestine which is liberated.

Q: If a violent incident occurs, [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu will exploit it and say that it is for this reason that he is not hurrying to make an agreement with the Palestinians, since they are incapable of controlling the situation.

Arafat: I know his tricks. Everyone must know that all options are open before the Palestinian people, and not just the Palestinian people, but before the entire Arab nation.

...Q: How do you explain that you occasionally ask the Palestinian street not to explode?

Arafat: When the prophet Muhammad made the Khudaibiya agreement, he agreed to remove his title "messenger of Allah" from the agreement. Then, Omar bin Khatib and the others referred to this agreement as the "inferior peace agreement." Of course, I do not compare myself to the prophet, but I do say that we must learn from his steps and those of Salah a-Din. The peace agreement which we signed is an "inferior peace." The conditions [behind it] are the intifada, which lasted for seven years.

In this last response Arafat makes reference to the "Khudaibiya agreement." He has frequently made this comparison. The Khudaibiya agreement was a peace agreement that Muhammad made with the Arabian tribe of Quraish. It was the prototype of today's hudna (truce): not a sincere offer of peace but a tactic of battle, whose purpose is to lull the enemy until one can regain a position of strength. The agreement was to last ten years but Muhammad broke it within two, using the truce to strengthen himself so that he could attack and defeat the Quraish tribe. Similarly, Salah a-Din (or Saladin) used the tactic of a ceasefire to strengthen himself to attack the Christian Crusaders and throw them out of Jerusalem. In the Palestinian Arab newspaper Al Quds on May 10, 1998 Arafat was asked: "Do you feel sometimes that you made a mistake in agreeing to Oslo?" His reply: "No .... no. Allah's messenger Muhammad accepted the al-Khudaibiya peace treaty and Salah a-Din accepted the peace agreement with Richard the Lion-Hearted."

Indeed, less than a year after the signing of the Oslo accords, in a speech delivered in a Johannesburg, South Africa mosque on May 10, 1994, Arafat stated: "This agreement [Oslo], I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammad and Quraish, and you remember that the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and considered it a despicable truce...But the same way Muhammad had accepted it, we are now accepting this peace effort." (Ha'aretz, May 23, 1994)

Arafat thus reassures his people that the Oslo accords are a similar temporary measure meant only to hold until the Palestinians are ready to attack and defeat Israel.

And he is not alone. Abu Iyad (Salah Khalaf), Arafat's deputy, explained the meaning of the Phased Plan to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba (Dec. 18, 1988): "At first a small state, and with the help of Allah, it will be made large, and expand to the east, west, north and south. I am interested in the liberation of Palestine, step by step.... According to the Phased Plan, we will establish a Palestinian state on any part of Palestine that the enemy will retreat from. The Palestinian state will be a stage in our prolonged struggle for the liberation of Palestine on all of its territories."

And in an interview carried by the Egyptian daily Al-Arabi (June 24, 2001) Feisal Husseini, a senior Palestinian minister and key player at the Madrid and Oslo conferences, explicitly stated that the Oslo agreement must be understood as one step in the "Phased Plan," and that the Palestinian strategy is to defeat Israel by means of a "Trojan Horse":

"The people of Troy climbed on top of the walls of their city and could not find any traces of the Greek army, except for a giant wooden horse. They cheered and celebrated thinking that the Greek troops were routed, and while retreating, they left a harmless wooden horse as the spoils of war. So Troy opened the gates of the city and brought in the wooden horse. This allowed the Greeks to overwhelm the city. This is precisely the strategy of the Palestinian Authority. Had the U.S. and Israel not realized, before Oslo, that all that was left of the Palestinian National movement and the Pan-Arab movement was a wooden horse called Yasser Arafat or the PLO, they would never have opened their fortified gates and let it inside of their walls! Now, We are Inside of Israel! Now, the time has come for us to say: 'Come out of the horse and start fighting.' So, it is thanks to this horse (Oslo) that we were able to get into the walled-in city (Jerusalem ). In my opinion, the Intifada represents in and of itself the emergence out of the horse. Praise Allah, by now we have all come out of the horse, those who were with Arafat and those from the opposition (Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists)....

"The strategic goal is the liberation of Palestine from the Jordanian River to the Mediterranean Sea, even if this means that the conflict will last for another thousand years or for many generations."

Ironically, Feisal Husseini has often been praised as a man of peace - further testimony to the success of the Palestinian deception campaign.

Another top PLO official, Abdul Aziz Shaheen, Minister of Supplies for Arafat's Palestinian Authority, has also stated that Oslo is just one part of the Phased Plan strategy for Israel's destruction. He told the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Jan. 4, 1998): "The Oslo accord was a preface for the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Authority will be a preface for the Palestinian state which, in its turn, will be a preface for the liberation of the entire Palestinian land."

And in case more evidence is needed, here are more quotations from Palestinian sources, even after Oslo, revealing their true intentions:

"The struggle against the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders but relates to the mere existence of the Zionist entity." (PLO spokesman Bassam-abu-Sharif, Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1996).

"After the establishment of a Palestinian State in all of the West Bank and Gaza, the struggle against Israel will continue" (Knesset Member Azmi Bishara, Ha'aretz weekly supplement, 22 May 1998).

"We may lose or win, but our eyes will continue to aspire to the strategic goal; namely, Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the sea." (West Bank Fatah chief Marwan Barghouti, New Yorker, July 2, 2001).

These statements from Palestinian leaders should be more than enough evidence to demonstrate that they do not now, nor have they ever, had any intention of making peace with Israel.(3)

And I have not even mentioned the Palestinians' insistence, as one of their conditions for "peace," on the "right of return" of up to four million Palestinian refugees to land inside Israel proper. This would effectively annul the 1948 partition and would before long turn what is now Israel into another Arab state. The proponents of the Palestinian "right of return" are of course fully aware of this.

A realistic peace must begin with taking seriously what the parties involved are really saying, instead of hearing only what we wish they would say.


1. "The PLO's 'Phased Plan'." June 9, 1974.

2. "Arafat Invokes 1974 Phased Plan Calling for Israel's Destruction." Egyptian Orbit TV, April 18, 1998.

3. Many similar quotations, with full citations, may be found in Emmanuel Navon, "The PLO Anthology," Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland Middle East Briefing vol. 4 no. 9, December 12, 2001.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
Peace with Realism