On Thursday, Hamas, formally defined by the U.S. and almost all Western nations as an Islamist terrorist organization, formally assumed the reigns of the provisional government of the Palestinian Authority, without relinquishing its principles.

The expectation is that it will gain full international legitimacy. All this without recognizing Israel or giving up terror.

The question remains: How will that come about?

In the platform of this new Palestinian government, there is a clause which states that the new government, led by Hamas and not by the PLO which had been ruling the Palestinian Authority until now, will not recognize Israel, yet that it will honor all agreements which the PLO ratified with Israel. This recognition carries a double meaning.

Indeed, the Oslo “declaration of principles” denounced violence and was publicly signed by Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993.

However, what received very little press attention was that it was never ratified by the PLO. When the Oslo agreement was brought to a vote by the PLO executive on October 6, 1993, there was no quorum and no ratification, and it was subsequently never ratified by the PLO.

The other agreement that the PLO made with Israel as part of the Oslo Accord involved the absolute PLO obligation to cancel the PLO covenant which calls for the destruction of Israel.

Indeed, the PLO covenant was discussed in two special sessions of the Palestine National Council on April 24, 1996 and on December 14, 1998.

The latter session was in the presence of President Clinton. However, the PLO never canceled its covenant, which remains its charter – to obliterate the state of Israel.

So when the new Palestinian government declares that it will abide by agreements that were ratified by the PLO, that will not include recognition of Israel, denunciation of violence or cancellation of the PLO covenant which calls for Israel’s liquidation.

Since the nations of the world and the international press perceive that the PLO agreed to both the “declaration of principles” and the cancellation of the PLO covenant, the Hamas government’s recognition of the PLO’s previously signed agreements with Israel will be misunderstood as a gesture of reconciliation and progress toward Middle East peace.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.