BILINGUALISM AS A POLITICAL STRATEGY
Shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords, Yassir Arafat, of not-blessed memory, began making speeches in Arabic to Palestinian and other Arabic audiences, in which he explained that the Oslo Accords were part of the PLO's strategy to destroy Israel in phases. When critics of the Oslo Accords obtained tapes and transcripts of such speeches, translated them into Hebrew and English, and publicized their contents, they were vilified by Prime Minister Rabin's Government, the Israeli Left, and the Israeli and American media elites as "enemies of the peace process." Arafat became a master of engaging in "peace talk" to his English-speaking audiences, especially the American Mainstream Media, while preaching terror and war to his Arabic base. Eventually, however, it became obvious even to the Left that Arafat had never forsworn terrorism and the objective of Israel's destruction. By that time, even Tom Friedman of the New York Times wrote that he would only believe an Arafat speech given in Arabic.
Now Hamas has adopted the same strategy, as exposed here by Palestinian Media Watch. "In the latest example, Hamas Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyah told CBS on March 16 that he hoped to some day sign a peace agreement with Israel. A Hamas member of Parliament immediately told the Palestinian Authority media that the CBS report was "unfounded," and part of a "crazy campaign which aims at embarrassing and confusing the Palestinians and undermining the trust of the masses in Hamas." [Al Hayat Al Jadida, March 19, 2006]
As the Who sang, "Let's hope we don't get fooled again!"