Despite the smiling images from Sharm el-Sheikh, the fact is that Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has taken no demonstrable steps to dismantle and disarm the vast Palestinian terror networks, end the incitement or arrest terrorists. And although his rhetoric even after his election has been troublesome (calling for a "big jihad," referring to Israel as the "Zionist enemy," making it clear he will not use force against terrorists, and endorsing the policies of Yasser Arafat), the administration and Congress are falling over themselves to throw vast sums of money his way. President Bush has promised $350 million to Abbas, more than four times that given to Arafat by the Clinton administration.
When the Oslo accords collapsed three years ago with the Palestinian Arabs' launching of mass violence against Israel, numerous American Jewish leaders publicly admitted that they had been wrong all along about Oslo -- wrong to believe the Palestinian Arabs wanted peace, wrong to ignore Palestinian Arab violations of the accords, such as anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incitement, and wrong to sit by silently as the U.S. pressured Israel to make more one-sided concessions.
Arab spokesmen regularly complain about what they call "the Israeli occupation" of the Judea-Samaria-Gaza territories. But the truth is that there is no such "Israeli occupation." To begin with, nearly all Palestinian Arabs currently live under Yasser Arafat's rule, not Israel's. Following the signing of the Oslo accords, the Israelis withdrew from nearly half of the territories, including the cities where 98.5 percent of Palestinian Arabs reside. The notion that the Palestinian Arabs are living under Israeli occupation is false. The areas from which Israel has not withdrawn are virtually uninhabited, except for the two percent where Israelis reside.