US embassy cable - 91TELAVIV15380

ISLAMIC JIHAD: TOTAL REJECTION OF PEACE PROCESS BUT NO VIOLENCE

Identifier: 91TELAVIV15380
Wikileaks: View 91TELAVIV15380 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tel Aviv
Created: 1991-11-25 14:16:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL KPAL KISL IS
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 251416Z NOV 91
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7357
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 15380 
 
 
 
E.O. 12356:DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, KPAL, KISL, IS 
SUBJECT:  ISLAMIC JIHAD:  TOTAL REJECTION OF PEACE 
          PROCESS BUT NO VIOLENCE 
 
REF:  TEL AVIV 15327 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  SUMMARY  AN ISLAMIC JIHAD ACTIVIST LAID OUT AN 
UNCOMPROMISING VIEW OF HIS ORGANIZATION'S OPPOSITION TO 
THE PEACE PROCESS AND FUTURE AIMS.  WHILE CRITICAL OF 
PALESTINIANS ENGAGED IN THE CURRENT DIALOGUE, THE 
ACTIVIST ASSERTED THAT HIS GROUP WOULD NOT EMPLOY 
VIOLENCE TO STOP THE PROCESS.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3.  IN THE EMBASSY'S FIRST CONTACT WITH ISLAMIC JIHAD, 
POLOFF MET WITH ACTIVIST "MAHMOUD" DURING A NOVEMBER 21 
VISIT TO GAZA.  THE MEETING WAS ARRANGED THROUGH AN 
EMBASSY JOURNALIST CONTACT WHO HAS LINKS TO BOTH ISLAMIC 
JIHAD AND "HAMAS."  POLOFF'S JOURNALIST CONTACT TOLD 
POLOFF THAT HE HAD TRIED TO SET UP MEETINGS WITH ISLAMIC 
JIHAD REPRESENTATIVES BUT THAT THE ORGANIZATION HAD 
REFUSED TO MEET WITH AMERICANS.  UNBEKNOWNST TO POLOFF 
AND GAZA JOURNALIST CONTACT, THE ISLAMIC JIHAD ACTIVIST 
SHOWED UP AT THE JOURNALIST'S OFFICE AFTER POLOFF AND 
CONTACT HAD RETURNED FROM MEETING "HAMAS" LEADER MAHMOUD 
AL-ZAHAR.  POLOFF TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO 
PROBE ABOUT ISLAMIC JIHAD POLICY TOWARD THE PEACE 
PROCESS. 
 
4.  REFUSING TO DIVULGE HIS REAL NAME OR THE BRANCH OF 
ISLAMIC JIHAD HE BELONGED TO, "MAHMOUD" SAID HIS 
ORGANIZATION TRADITIONALLY SAW NO BENEFIT TO MEETING 
WITH USG REPRESENTATIVES GIVEN THE "CRIMINAL" APPROACH 
THE US HAS TAKEN TOWARD THE ARAB/ISRAELI DISPUTE AND THE 
ISLAMIC WORLD.  NONETHELESS, HE AGREED TO LAY OUT 
ISLAMIC JIHAD'S POSITION ON THE CURRENT PEACE PROCESS 
LEST THERE BE ANY MISUNDERSTANDING.  THROUGHOUT THE 
SESSION, "MAHMOUD" REMAINED CORDIAL AND CALM, ALLOWING 
POLOFF TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS. 
 
NO COMPROMISE 
------------- 
 
5.  IN A GIVE-AND-TAKE THAT LASTED ONE-HALFHOUR, 
"MAHMOUD" OFFERED A SCATHING INDICTMENT OF CURRENT US 
EFFORTS TO DIVIDE THE ISLAMIC WORLD AND OFFER NOTHING 
MORE THAN "CRUMBS" TO PALESTINIANS IN THE FORM OF 
AUTONOMY AND PERHAPS EVENTUAL CONFEDERATION WITH 
JORDAN.  ISLAMIC JIHAD, HE SAID, TOTALLY REJECTS ANY 
APPROACH THAT LEAVES ISRAEL IN CONTROL OF ANY 
"PALESTINIAN TERRITORY-"  ISLAMIC JIHAD'S GOAL IS AN 
ISLAMIC STATE ENCOMPASSING ALL OF THE WEST BANK, GAZA, 
AND ISRAEL IN WHICH ISRAELI JEWS WOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE 
AS "PROTECTED SUBJECTS" AS THEY HAD UNDER MUSLIM RULE 
FOR CENTURIES. 
 
6.  "MAHMOUD" ASSERTED THAT, IF NECESSARY, HIS CHILDREN 
AND GRANDCHILDREN COULD LIVE WITH THE STATUS QUO. 
ACCORDING TO ISLAMIC JIHAD, THE END OF ISRAEL AS A 
JEWISH STATE IS INEVITABLE.  HE SAID MUSLIMS HAVE ONLY 
TO LOOK TO THE END OF THE BRITISH, IRANIAN, AND SOVIET 
EMPIRES FOR RECENT EXAMPLES OF EVENTS THAT WERE ONCE 
THOUGHT "UNIMAGINABLE."  MUSLIMS RETAIN THE KORAN AS AN 
UNCHANGING LODESTONE AND CAN BE VERY PATIENT, HE SAID. 
 
NO VIOLENCE TO OPPOSE PEACE PROCESS 
----------------------------------- 
 
7. ASKED IF ISLAMIC JIHAD WOULD USE VIOLENCE AGAINST 
THOSE PALESTINIANS ENGAGED IN THE CURRENT DISCUSSIONS 
WITH ISRAEL, "MAHMOUD" SAID ISLAMIC JIHAD, WHILE 
CONTINUING TO CRITICIZE CURRENT EFFORTS, WOULD NOT 
ACTIVELY OPPOSE PALESTINIAN EFFORTS TO GET A SOLUTION. 
HE SAID THE ORGANIZATION, IN ANY CASE, WOULD NOT USE 
VIOLENCE AGAINST OTHER PALESTINIANS.  HOWEVER, IF 
PALESTINIAN REPRESENTATIVES DID ANYTHING THAT SMACKED OF 
A SELLOUT OF ANY ASPECT OF PALESTINIAN INTERESTS, 
ISLAMIC JIHAD WOULD BRING TO BEAR "ALL OTHER INFLUENCES 
IT HAD."  HE REPEATED THAT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NOT 
A COURSE ISLAMIC JIHAD WOULD PURSUE. 
 
8.  COMMENT:  THE COMMENTS BY THIS ISLAMIC JIHAD 
REPRESENTATIVE LEAVE NO ROOM FOR COMPROMISE, IN CONTRAST 
TO THE BIT OF DAYLIGHT SUGGESTED BY "HAMAS" LEADER 
AL-ZAHAR (REF).  DESPITE STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE 
CURRENT PEACE EFFORTS, BOTH ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS HAVE 
TOLD US THEY WILL NOT USE VIOLENCE TO STOP THE PROCESS. 
WHETHER THOSE DISAVOWALS HOLD UP IN THE FACE OF PROGRESS 
IN THE NEGOTIATIONS REMAINS TO BE SEEN. 
 
 
BROWN 

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