Despite their international claims to the contrary, the Palestinians - both those who lead the Palestinian Authority, as well as the terrorists in Hamas - have no intention of making peace with Israel. Gatestone Institute's always courageous and insightful Khaled Abu Toameh explains that the Palestinians' ultimate goal is to bring Israel to its knees, destroy the Jewish state, and replace it with an Islamist one instead:
The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, which is currently celebrating the 29th anniversary of its founding, misses no opportunity to broadcast its stated reason for being: to wage jihad (holy war) in order to achieve its goal of destroying Israel. Those who allege that Hamas is moving toward pragmatism and moderation might take note.
Last week, tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to participate in rallies marking the anniversary of the founding of Hamas. As in previous years, the rallies were held under the motto of jihad and "armed resistance" until the liberation of all Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Another message that emerged loud and clear from the rallies: Hamas will never recognize Israel's right to exist.
This year's rallies once again also served as a reminder of the enormous popularity that Hamas continues to enjoy among Palestinians -- not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in the West Bank, where supporters of the Islamist movement celebrated the occasion, but on a smaller scale and with a lower profile, out of fear of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli security forces...
Hamas's rhetoric and actions leave no room for doubt as to its intentions. Twenty-nine years after its establishment, a defiant Hamas continues to believe that Israel can, and should, be destroyed. The dream to eliminate Israel remains alive and well among many Palestinians, as evidenced at Hamas rallies by the massive turnouts.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, however, are kissing cousins when it comes to Israel. Hamas's talk of jihad against Israel is right in line with Abbas's speech before the 7th Congress of Fatah, which convened in Ramallah two weeks ago. "What has been achieved so far is a small jihad, and the big jihad is still awaiting us," Abbas declared...
Yet even if Abbas manages to achieve reconciliation with Hamas, this move should not be seen as a sign of pragmatism on the part of the Islamist movement. Under no circumstances will Hamas relinquish its policy of the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist state. The movement's own words on its anniversary provide the best proof of this intention. To their credit, Hamas leaders are nothing if not honest about their commitment to Israel's destruction. Abbas certainly will not attempt to convince Hamas to abandon this fundamental goal. So, as far as Hamas is concerned, reconciliation means that Abbas will move closer to the Islamist movement and not vice versa.
In fact, Mahmoud Abbas seems to believe that Hamas's and his jihads complement each other. Thus, Hamas will continue its deadly jihad, while Abbas will pursue his "diplomatic jihad" against Israel. From his point of view, Hamas's terrorism will only increase the pressure on Israel to capitulate. Here Abbas has an ally in Hamas: to multiply jihads to force Israel to its knees.