CHRISTMAS, 2002: NO PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND
By Alan Caruba
How many times have the Palestinians been offered peace by the Israelis and pulled back from it? Two years ago, Yassir Arafat the winner of the most discredited interna- tional award, the Nobel Peace Prize, unleashed more terror on Israel.
Arafat, the father of modern terrorism, junked the Camp David agreement, discarded the promise of the Oslo Accords, and sanctioned suicide bombing of women, children, teenagers, and other non-combatants. He used a weapon the entire civilized world condemns, suicide-bombers.
The Intifada has yielded the exact opposite of its purpose. Simply put, the Israelis have won the Intifada, just as they won the five previous Arab wars waged against them.
All that the bombings and the murders have achieved has been to stiffen the resolve of the Israelis. Today, their army is in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Nablus, and Bethlehem on a daily basis, rooting out the killers.
The land the Israelis, through the Oslo Accords, gave to the Palestinians has, for all intents and purposes, been reclaimed by Israel to protect its citizens. The Palestinian economy is in ruins and they are bereft of any real leadership. Except to complain that Osama bin Laden is hijacking the Palestinian struggle, Yassir Arafat has not been heard from since he was trapped in his Ramallah headquarters, while parts of the building were literally being torn down from the outside.
In late November, Mahmoud Abbas, regarded as a possible successor to the 73-year-old Arafat, confirmed that comments he made at a closed-door meeting with officials of Fatah in October were true. What he said was this: "What happened in these two years, as we see it now, is a complete destruction of everything we built."
Abbas noted that the events of the past two years have led to "the complete destruction of everything we built (under Oslo), and of what was built before. We are living below the poverty line in Gaza and the West Bank; our people are in a situation of loss, starvation, and suffering."
This is the unfortunate for the socalled "Palestinians", a people who, factually, do not have a nation of their own, nor ever did. They are not an Arab population separate and culturally distinct from other Arabs in the Middle East, but they are the oldest refugee population on earth, propped up since the late 1940s with massive United Nations fund- ing, funding from European Union nations, and assistance from Islamic nations that have used the Palestinian Arabs as the lightning rod of hatred for Israel.
Can Palestinians, i.e. Muslims, live in peace with the Israelis? It seems doubtful to all but the most optimistic. Until Arafat declared "Palestinians" to be a distinct group within the Arabs of the Middle East, that concept did not even exist. It is a fiction, like every- thing else Arafat has said.
Abbas asked Fatah, the Palestinian terrorist organization founded by Arafat, to end its reliance on guns and mortars. With an irony that could only exist in the Middle East, Abbas is supported by the views of Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.
Speaking of a deal for peace and an end to the violence, Sharon told an Israeli news- paper, "I don't believe there is a statesman who would oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state." There are two conditions, however. It would have to be completely demilitarized and Israel would retain control over borders. Sharon is joined in this by President Bush, who has called upon the Palestinians to "dismantle the terrorist infra- structure", "end the incitement", and "elect new leaders not compromised by terror."
The dilemma faced by Mahmoud Abbas and the self-proclaimed Palestinians is that the concept of making peace with the Israelis---Jews---is virtually inconceivable to Arabs. Only the Egyptian and Jordanian governments have abandoned formal hostilities and both have benefited from the decision, but Egypt remains a hotbed of anti-Semitic propaganda.
The dilemma is further aggravated by the fact that the Islam of the Middle East is not about peace. Fundamentalist Islam is about the endless holy war that must be waged until the entire world yields to it. Islam is about the bottomless, mindless hatred Muslims harbor toward Jews. Without the Jews to blame, Arabs will have only themselves as the cause of their miseries.
Arafat has known no other goal than the extinction of all Jewish life in Israel. Mahmoud Abbas has shown both courage and wisdom in trying to reason with Fatah, the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, Hezbollah, and all the other endless Islamic organizations for whom the Intifada has been their only reason to exist.
Reason, however, remains in short supply among the "Palestinians" and their Arab brothers. It died, in part, when the first "martyr" agreed to kill himself in order to kill Jews. Desperation is no substitute for reason, tolerance, and forgiveness.
The Israeli-Arab Conflict
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Radical Islam & Islamic Terrorism
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War & Peace in the Real World
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
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U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, Communications Director of the American Policy Center, and Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet website of the National Anxiety Center (www.anxietycenter.com). He is the author of A POCKET GUIDE TO MILITANT ISLAM and THE UNITED NATIONS VS. THE UNITED STATES, both available from the National Anxiety Center, 9 Brookside Road, Maple- wood, New Jersey, 07040.
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