JERUSALEM, Israel -- What did Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas really accomplish last week at the United Nations? Is this entity any closer to achieving an independent state living in peaceful coexistence with its Jewish neighbors? And what is the real goal of Palestinian Arab leaders?
It doesn't appear Abu Mazen (Abbas' nom de guerre) or his colleagues in Fatah have any intention of reconciling their differences with Israel.
The same is true of Hamas, Fatah's rival faction ruling the Gaza Strip. While the power struggle between the two Palestinian factions has undermined efforts to form a unity coalition, the one thing they have in common is a mutual desire to wipe Israel off the map, a goal supported by Iran and largely backed by Arab League member nations.
What is evident is neither the Fatah government from its seat of power in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) nor Hamas in Gaza envision peaceful co-existence with Israel.
If that were the case, Abbas' UN speech would have indicated that desire. Instead, it was the same hate-filled rhetoric many would expect from a disciple of former PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who spoke one way in English to Western leaders and the opposite in Arabic to his kinsmen.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly said Palestinian Arabs are determined to wipe Israel off the map.
"The Palestinians want to use the diplomatic process in order to bring about the end of the State of Israel. Going to the UN is part of this," Netanyahu said. "The Palestinian Authority is waging a struggle over the very existence of the State of Israel. While we are prepared to recognize them, they deny our existence. We would have long since reached a solution if they had wanted it."
Israel's willingness to live in peace with its Arab neighbors has been evident for decades. But that desire has never been reciprocated nor does it appear it will be anytime soon.
The curriculum in Palestinian schools, the content of children's television programs -- even summer camp programs designed to produce jihadist-minded youngsters -- provide ample evidence of the ideology of Israel's neighbors.
"As long as the Palestinian Authority educates the younger generation to hate, how is it at all possible to talk about peace?" Netanyahu asked.
"They are raising the younger generation to hate. They are educating for the destruction of Israel. I do not see here any discourse for peace; there is no discourse that prepares the way for coexistence. The discourse is one of hatred and the destruction of the State of Israel," he said.
The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us there's nothing new under the sun.
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
In less than a week, Israelis will celebrate Hanukkah, a festival commemorating the liberation of Jerusalem from the Syrian army. Over millennia, Israel's enemies -- and there have been many -- have attempted to annihilate the Jewish people. But it seems the God of Israel is just as determined to protect the people and nation He calls His own.