Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

26 Adar 5761 - March 21, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Bad Palestinians and Good Palestinians

It has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between the political leadership of the Palestinian people and the wild terrorists. All of the senior leaders -- Bargouti, Dahlan, Rajoub and the others -- are deeply involved in the daily terror. Even Yasser Arafat himself, the immediate commander of Force 17, is apparently sending out murder squads to shoot and bomb indiscriminately. Everyone wants peace, but the attempt of some politicians to distinguish between a political leadership of the Palestinians that desires peace (good Palestinians) and with whom we can build a new Middle East, and the commanders and operators of terror cells (bad Palestinians) who must be stopped, seems increasingly lame.

An interesting case in point is that of Dr. Tabeth Tabeth of Tul Karm, the head of the local Tanzim organization. The distinguished doctor was on his way to work one day several months ago when he was felled by the bullet of an Israeli sharpshooter. The anger and dismay at the news of his death was felt by both the Palestinians and the Israeli Left.

According to the reports that filled the Israeli media afterwards, Dr. Tabeth had extensive contacts in the Israeli peace movement. He was a tireless worker for peace among the peoples. A reporter who interviewed the widow came back impressed, amazed and sorrowed after hearing from her about her late husband's deep love for peace and his abiding faith in a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In short, it seemed like the IDF made a serious mistake. They apparently killed the wrong man. It happens but there is now precious little that can be done to rectify it.

Then, a few days ago, the GSS published at least part of its side of the story in the form of partial transcripts of the interrogation of Aval Karim Abu Rabiya, a Fatah activist in Tul Karm and part of the special security services of the Palestinian Authority. Abu Rabiya knew Dr. Tabeth professionally very well and gave a very clear picture of Dr. Tabeth's role in terror. According to Abu Rabiya, Dr. Tabeth funded, equipped and commanded several terror cells that were active against Israeli targets, that is soldiers and innocent civilians. Interestingly enough, several months ago the IDF commander in the area sent a message to Dr. Tabeth asking him not to shoot at the IDF from within built- up areas, to avoid civilian Palestinian casualties. Dr. Tabeth completely rejected the request.

The Palestinian man of peace, the darling of the Israeli peace movement, was also an integral part of the murder and terror apparatus of the Palestinian Authority.

Sometimes the meetings that take place between the heads of the Israeli security services and their Palestinian counterparts seem to have an air of the absurd. The talks are always said to be about renewing the cooperation on security matters, attempts to reach an agreement to resume the relationship that used to exist whereby there were regular meetings, exchanges of information and common efforts to stop and capture terrorists. These days, there is no need to resume coordination between the Israeli and Palestinian security services in order to stop the terror -- all it would take is an order from the commanders to stop shooting.

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