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

May 02, 2003

Getting off the Map

Caroline Glick is a brave woman, who accompanied the soldiers throughout the Iraq campaign, and is a great journalist and analyst as well. Even Though most of us read quite a quantity of "roadmap" commentary, hers in the JPOST of today's is still a must read. Here is a paragraph coming after acknowledging the great acheivement in Iraq:

"Sadly, the Bush administration is not showing the same leadership in its management of the Palestinians' terrorist war against Israel. Rather, here the situation is comparable to the manner in which the first Bush administration mismanaged its military victory in the Gulf War.(all emphases added)

In 1991, Washington allowed Saddam to retain power and even sided with the dictator when, at the recommendation of then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell, the administration enabled Saddam to brutally quell Kurdish and Shi'ite rebellions against his rule in the aftermath of that war.

Limiting its operations to enforcing the "no-fly" zones, the US for a decade allowed Saddam to continue destabilizing the region, amassing prohibited weaponry, terrorizing his citizenry, forging alliances with groups like al-Qaida, and funding Palestinian terrorists.

Here, the US is following a similarly strategically ambivalent and morally questionable policy with regard to its handling of the Palestinian Authority. In orchestrating its policy with the UN, EU, and Russia the other members of the so-called Quartet the administration is subordinating its decision-making power to forces that share none of President George W. Bush's convictions on the necessity of fighting terror and encouraging the spread of democracy in the Arab world.

Lest we have forgotten, it was just last year that the UN's special middle east coordinator, Terje Larsen, ignominiously stood before television cameras in Jenin and insinuated that Israel was guilty of war crimes in the IDF's combat operations against terrorists in the UN-managed Jenin refugee camp.

His remarks came at the same time as the UN Security Council debated its resolution to investigate charges not of Palestinian war crimes after terrorists from the PA murdered 130 Israelis in a single month but rather Israel for moving in to destroy terror cells threatening its citizens.Then too, bringing in the EU ignores the fact that it has been a chief financier of the PA's terrorist war against Israel.

Under the leadership of foreign relations czar Chris Patten and Middle East envoy Miguel Moratinos, the EU has transferred $10 million a month to the PA's coffers. This has gone on continuously in spite of the irrefutable evidence that Israel has presented showing the money is being transferred to Fatah terror cells. When faced with a demand by European parliamentarians to investigate the charges of terror funding, Patten undiplomatically responded that he needed an investigation "like a hole in the head."

In embracing the newly inaugurated regime of Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat's deputy of some 40 years, the Bush administration is accepting a myth of a reformed Palestinian Authority. In so doing, it is expending political capital backing a Palestinian leader who shares none of the president's hopes for a reformed PA that can eventually lead to the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state.

Because of the support he enjoys from the Bush administration, Palestinians see Abbas as a US puppet they derisively compare to Hamid Karzai, the US-anointed president of Afghanistan. And yet, in stark contrast to Karzai, Abbas has not committed himself to waging war against terrorism by actively working to destroy terrorist infrastructure in the PA. Rather, like Arafat, he suffices with trite condemnations of terrorism, while continuing to define Israel's actions to destroy these infrastructures as morally indistinguishable from acts of mass murder and mayhem launched against Israeli civilians.

Working with the other members of its discordant Quartet, the Bush administration has now adopted the "Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" as official US Middle East policy. In so doing, the US is undermining its credibility as a nation that fights terrorism by giving a reward to the PA for its almost three-year-old terrorist war against Israel."