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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 30, 2003

The sting

Comment on the 'road map' by David P. Steinmann Chairman of the Advisory Board of JINSA, The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, an organization created after the Yom Kippur War addressing the security requirements of both the United States and the State of Israel, and strengthening the strategic cooperation relationship between these two democracies.

(If you won't listen to me maybe you will listen to him.)

I haven't written many comments recently, but this latest outrage literally screams for someone to explain what's happening, so here goes.

Last June the President said he'd back a Palestinian state but only after the Palestinians demonstrated that they'd changed their minds about destroying Israel and really quit killing Jews and inciting the next generations to aspire to do the same thing.

Then we went to war against Iraq and the President went along with a "Road Map" cooked up by three notorious enemies of Israel - Russia, the Europeans and the UN. This is clearly payback to Tony Blair for his sticking with us in the Iraq war. Blair, being European, would much rather give the Arabs what they say they want than take a principled stand, as long as the only dying which has to be done is by Jews.

The Road Map is unprecedented in that it is a plan to impose an outside "solution" on a western democracy without ever having consulted that democracy or apparently permitted it to have a say in its future. That's the kind of thing other democracies do to defeated totalitarian states, not fellow democracies.

The nasty, underlying, unspoken truth is that neither the Palestinians nor any of the other 22 Arab states have reconciled themselves to the existence of a Jewish state in their midst. That's what this is about, not some state for the Palestinians.

Anyway, one of the silly conditions placed on the Palestinians by the "Quartet" is that they put in place a new, independent of Arafat, government -- one capable of and dedicated to stopping terrorism against Israel. Once that government is in place, the until now unseen text of the "Road Map" is to be revealed and imposed on the two parties -- the democratic state of Israel and the Palestinian thuggocracy with an endless history of broken promises and rejection of offers to settle their supposed claims with just about everything they say they want. In theory Yasser Arafat is supposed to be sidelined, with the new government taking over, dedicated to doing the reversible conditions suggested to the Palestinians while the Israelis are supposed to start doing tangible things, like allowing Palestinians more freedom to travel into Israel (since when does any sovereign state have to allow in foreigners?), dismantling towns and villages in the disputed territories, giving the Palestinians more territory, and so on.

So, for the last couple of weeks we have been treated to the spectacle of a staged "battle" between the new Palestinian Prime Minister -- Abu Mazen -- and Yasser Arafat over who will be appointed to the new PM's cabinet and who will have power to effect the changes required by the Roadmap. It was a great spectacle, with Abu Mazen storming out of meetings, with the western press wringing its hands and speculating that, unless the Palestinians could get their act together, there might not be any Roadmap at all. The mainstream media have studiously avoided any serious examination of Abu Mazen's background, although the Internet is full of the stories the mainstream people won't carry -- Abu Mazen's background as one of Arafat's key people; his long history of Jew hatred; his having been the paymaster for the Munich massacre of Israeli athletes; his book denying the Holocaust; and his statements to the effect that terrorism/killing Jews isn't a good thing now because it is getting in the way of the ultimate goal -- Israel's eradication.

In short, Israel's enemies in Russia, Europe and the UN have cooked up a plan to give the Palestinians what they say they want; the President appears to be ready to go along with them as payback to Tony Blair; the Palestinians have provided the requisite show of struggling to empower a new Prime Minister and cabinet; and the terrorists are still busy killing Jews.

So what has really been happening?

Simple. It has all been a charade. The Palestinians -- and the rest of the Arab world -- have learned just how to sucker the west time and time again -- and they have devised yet another gambit to force Israel into tangible concessions with their own state at the end of the process, and with nothing they're required to do which the Euros won't overlook or which can't be reversed in the future.

In order for this to look legitimate, the Palestinians staged a "struggle" between Arafat and Abu Mazen for power and control. The western powers and media went for it hook, line and sinker. But there never was any chance of Abu Mazen having any real authority, nor does it matter in the calculations of the Palestinians because they have learned from other incarnations of the "Peace Process" that the western interlocutors will turn a blind eye to whatever they do, as long as they say it's the bad Palestinians who are doing it and they condemn it. So, when Yasser Arafat's Al Aksa Martyr's Brigade stages a homicide bombing, Arafat, who authorized it to begin with, ritually condemns it, the west nods and "understands," and everything is supposed to go forward.

Today, on the day the new Palestinian PM and his government is sworn in, another homicide bombing takes place at an American pub, just blocks from the American embassy (which bizarrely is in Tel Aviv instead of in Israel's capital city, Jerusalem), and the western media and all the spokesmen for the White House and the State Department, ritually condemn it and say -- as expected -- that killing Jews can't be allowed to stop this new "peace process" before it gets started. In other words, we're going to press ahead with our plan even if you keep on killing Jews. Just like before, the Palestinians appear to have calculated correctly: they needn't actually live up to their promises, as long as long as they say they will and as long as they maintain the fiction that it's the bad, incorrigible Palestinians who are doing the killing while they condemn it and say they'll do their best to stop it.

Oh yes. Meantime, would you please start forcing the Israelis to make actual, tangible territorial concessions, giving us a better platform from which to pursue our real plan -- the ultimate eradication of the state of Israel and the death or departure of all of its Jews. And, if we're lucky they calculate, those idiot westerners will actually force the Israelis into sufficient concessions so that in a couple/three years we'll get our own country, internationally recognized, so that we can then use that as the staging ground for continuing terrorism and war against Israel, except that then the Israelis won't be able to "invade" us and stop our terrorists before they get started because we'll be a sovereign state and the whole world will howl bloody murder at the outrageous behavior of those Jews, invading an Arab country like that.

In sum? This has all been a huge sting operation by the Palestinians, staged to perfection and bought into by the incredibly gullible west, once again. When they make the movie, they can get Redford and Newman to play Yasser Arafat and Abu Mazen. The only question is whether Ariel Sharon will be willing to play the role originated by Robert Shaw. My own guess is that he will politely refuse, playing his own game of appearing to be ready to make hard sacrifices while actually giving nothing. The real danger to Israel comes when Ariel Sharon is no longer Prime Minister and whomever succeeds him hasn't the strength or the insight to resist whatever solution the Arabs have sold to the west then.

The Palestinians calculate that they have nothing to lose now because the west is likely to try very hard to force the Israelis to make tangible concessions, the Palestinian population, as demonstrated by poll after poll, overwhelmingly approves of a continuation of "the armed struggle," and eventually, those damn Jews will get tired of being killed while no one else appears to care, anyway, and, just as they did in Lebanon, they'll cut and run and we'll have the whole country to our own Arab selves. Meantime, we've sold the west on the fiction that what we want is just our own little country and then we'll all become nice and pleasant -- sort of like the Swiss (ugh!) -- and stop decades of killing Jews and teaching our children and grandchildren that they should aspire to do the same.

Nothing has really changed. The Palestinians backed Saddam Hussein. They are virulently anti-American and anti-Semitic. They are armed to the teeth and everything they do (as opposed to some things they say) tells you, that their real goal is Israel's ultimate destruction. Nothing they have done (as opposed to what they say), suggests otherwise.

This latest homicide bombing isn't a "challenge" to Abu Mazen the way the media is reporting it. Nor is it a "challenge" to America and the Road Map. Because the Palestinians have figured that they can go right on killing Jews and the west, especially the Euros, who are being pressured by the Arab states with whom they want to curry favor (that's spelled, "o-i-l," among other things), will press ahead regardless with their plan to impose a Palestinian state on Israel. They can't stop the terror and the war against Israel because that's their raison d'etre -- the ultimate destruction of Israel. Fortunately, they don't have to because they have successfully sold the west the fiction that what they want is their own country when what they really want and are still aiming for is Israel's destruction. It's incredible that the west keeps buying this same shabby carpet again and again. But if the only price is Israeli lives, then who really cares, right?

I hate to tell you to be cynical. But I don't mind suggesting a little reality testing. Look at what's happening and then tell me that this isn't a massive Palestinian sting. If you still think that some Palestinians -- Abu Mazen to start with -- are serious about peace with Israel, then I've got several bridges here in New York I can let you have at some really good prices. But remember, all you can lose is some money. In Israel they're fighting not to lose lives every day and some days they lose that battle. Today was one of those days. That's bad enough. What makes it nearly unbearable is to listen to more Palestinian lies about how they condemn this latest bombing and promise to do everything they can to prevent any more in the future. The same promises they've been making forever, this time with a new charade in the form of a supposed new government, with a big investment in it by the west, which insisted on it so it will have lots of leeway -- and lots of dead Jews -- before it, too, will prove to have been more Palestinian lies.

Your job is first to resist the natural western, liberal, peace-loving instinct to give the Palestinians the benefit of the doubt and hope that this time they're really going to make peace. And second, tell everyone you know -- including your elected representatives in Washington -- that this is a sting operation and, if the President for whatever reason feels so beholden to Tony Blair that he has to go along with something he must know in his heart is wrong, then Israel's friends on Capitol Hill will have to tell him that he's wrong and make it impossible for him to do that. Sometimes those of us in the west who know right from wrong, need to stand up for what's right. This is one of those crucial times when we can make a difference

Do it.

PS: You want a solution to this seemingly endless Arab war against Israel? You don't want to be told what won't work but rather what will? You feel sorry for the poor Palestinian people who must be just like us and want what we want?

OK. Here's the answer. First Israel defeats the Palestinians. (This isn't a political problem. It's a military one. That's a choice the Palestinians made a long time ago and have stuck with ever since). Really defeats them so they and all the Arabs know they're beaten. Then either Israel or the west -- not the Russians or the Euros and for sure not the UN -- imposes a new government on them, with a stringent program of denazification so that future generations are taught to stop wanting to murder Jews. Then, after a long time, perhaps the Palestinians will have learned to live peacefully with the Israelis. Until then, the western conceit that there must be a shorter term solution to this conflict will just have to be resisted. That's one western conceit which the Israelis can't afford any longer.