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PA's Dahlan: Arafat deceived the world

Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook  |
Dahlan: "Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day
while at night he would do honorable things"

Dahlan: "Resistance [terror] is our right, a legal right"
for Palestinians "in the proper place and at the proper time"

PA (Fatah) Member of Parliament Muhammad Dahlan has publicly stated that Yasser Arafat was deceiving the world when he condemned Palestinian terror. Dahlan made these comments after defending the Palestinian Authority's "right" to use terror, and citing Arafat's behavior as an example:

"Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day
while at night he would do honorable things."
Dahlan said this in the context of defending the use of Palestinian terror, which he called a "legal right." He advocated that this "legal right" be implemented carefully "in the proper place and at the proper time," and only by the "leadership" of the PA.

It is interesting to note that the forces that will be available to fight Israel, if and when the PA leadership decides the timing is right, are the soldiers being trained by US Lt. Gen. Dayton.

The strategy of engaging in a diplomatic process while continuing to embrace violence or planning to use it in the future is a common theme expressed by PA leaders.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself told the Jordanian newspaper Al-Dustur last year that the PA was not involved in terror operations because it was "unable," but added that "in the future stages, things may be different."

"Now we are against armed conflict because we are unable. In the future stages, things may be different. I was honored to be the one to shoot the first bullet in 1965 [Fatah terror against Israel began in 1965], and having taught resistance to many in this area and around the world, defining it and when it is beneficial and when it is not... we had the honor of leading the resistance. We taught everyone what resistance is, including the Hezbollah, who were trained in our camps [i.e. PLO camps in the 60s]."
[Al-Dustur, Jordan, Feb. 28, 2008]
Neither Arafat nor Abbas ever condemned terror because it is wrong, but only because it is ineffective or because it damages Palestinian interests.

Following is the transcript of the interview with Dahlan:

Muhammad Dahlan, senior Fatah MP: "Regarding negotiations with Israel, we have to set a logical time limit of two years, in my opinion. The political plan guarantees the continuation of our national struggle in all its forms, in a way that will fulfill our national aspirations within this period of time."
PA TV Host: "If so, the [violent] resistance and struggle continue."
Muhammad Dahlan: "This is our right, a legal right. The international community affirms it for us. But it is the responsibility of the leadership to use it when it wants, in the proper place and at the proper time. We cannot leave it in the hands of youth who use their own judgment. This is the difference between [PA] using this right and just anyone using it. I lived with Chairman Yasser Arafat for years. Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things. I don't want to say any more about this."
[PA TV (Fatah), July 22, 2009]