Ehud Barak declared yesterday that the rhetoric and positions presented by Fatah “are grave and unacceptable to us.” What kind of rhetoric did Barak expect? That Fatah would declare that Jerusalem would forever remain the united capital of Israel, or that it would allow Abbas to acquiescence in the continued expansion of West Bank settlement outposts?
Barak could obtain “professional” support for his criticisms from the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, a well-known organization that relies on Military Intelligence’s research division. A situation assessment published by the center prior to the Fatah Congress predicted that the conference would be a platform for extremist positions on the conflict with Israel, reflecting a general radicalization of attitudes within Fatah. Such positions “reflect the basic Fatah ideology, which has its roots in the Arafat era and was not fundamentally revised by Mahmoud Abbas.”And what does Military Intelligence think of Fatah’s declaration that it is “sticking to the peace option?” That it is nothing but “lip service.” Apparently, the only truthful statements that pass Palestinian lips are violent ones.
Israel is returning to the era of the “White Paper,” which was written during the early days of the intifada to disseminate then-prime minister Barak’s “no partner” theory. The booklet’s author, Col. Eran Lerman, who was then a senior officer in Military Intelligence, was recently recruited by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau. There, he will serve to buttress the influential national security advisor, Uzi Arad. From Arad’s standpoint, Obama is also not a partner.Absent opposition from the left, the moral, political and security debate has been afflicted with a serious case of brain paralysis.