Israel Resource Review 12th Febuary, 2007


Tenacity of Terror: The Saudi Takeover of the Palestinian Authority
David Bedein

The "Mecca agreement" makes things difficult for Israel. Israel's battle to prevent world recognition of Hamas, an Islamic terror organization sworn to destroy the Jewish state, has ended in defeat, with the ratification of the Mecca Agreement.

An Israeli intelligence official briefed the Israeli cabinet on Sunday and declared that Hamas was the "tactical victor" of the Mecca Agreement, having achieved its goals without having had to concede even one of its principles or tenets.

The Mecca Agreement does not mention nor recognize Israel, and will not preserve any obligation or agreement that was signed by Yasser Arafat and guaranteed by the United States government. Territories were already handed over to Arafat and his protege, Mahmoud Abbas, in exchange for a promise of Palestinian recognition of Israel and a cessation of Palestinian terrorism, neither of which has taken place.

Hamas has achieved the backing of the greatest patron of the Arab world - Saudi Arabia, the kingpin of the Arab League. The Arab League's charter has not changed since its inception in 1945 - to destroy any semblance of Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East. The Arab League entered into an active state of war in 1948, and that state of war continues to this day.

The United States will be hard pressed to reject an internal Palestinian reconciliation agreement that was sponsored by the king of Saudi Arabia. After all, Saudi Arabia remains the third-largest supplier of oil to the United States (14%). Saudi Arabia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, which is subordinate to it, has one billion dollars in foreign currency reserves, most of which are invested in US bonds.

The Saudi Arabian government has announced that it intends to invest 650 billion dollars in the next few years in developing infrastructure in the kingdom: oil and gas drill sites, power stations, ports, airports, communication networks, underwater pipes, desalination installations, refineries, schools and universities. Each one of those enormous projects can either be open to American companies or closed to them.

And, finally, Saudi Arabia casts itself as the United States' main ally in the Middle East. It buys inordinate quantities of American weapons and is flooded with American advisers.

Now, with the support of the Hamas-Fatah agreement, and with the official sponsorship of the Saudi government, Hamas can celebrate its victory in Mecca. It has paved the way to having their terrorist organization recognized internationally as the elected, democratic representative of the Palestinian people. That achievement was delivered to Hamas by the Saudi leadership.

The new "Palestinian unity government" will serve as a type of camouflage netting for Hamas, with formal Saudi backing.

The Israeli government miscalculated when it based its approach towards Hamas on a blind faith in the economic and political boycott. Only two weeks ago, this reporter heard Israel's 83-year-old deputy prime minister, Shimon Peres, the architect of the 1993 Oslo Accords, declare that "only with economics can we make peace." Peres went on to say that if members of terrorist groups perceive economic incentives, they will cease to be terrorists.

Peres, not a religious man, has never understood the tenacity of a terrorist movement that is grounded in religion - not only in prosperity.

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