- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2001

The smoldering question before the world is not just how to end the war which Iran, Syria and the Palestine Authority are prosecuting against Israel. It is whether Arabdom will ever willingly live together in peace with Israel.
Israeli reprisal in some form will follow inevitably for the suicide bombing tragedy at the Tel Aviv beach nightclub last Friday, especially now that Yasir Arafat has called for a cease-fire, something he could have done eight months ago when the intifada started. Mr. Arafats allies like Hamas and Hizbollah have openly repudiated surprise! his unenforceable cease-fire. The operations Israel launches to avenge the bombing massacre will only highlight the question that dare not speak its name.
Can five million Israelis and the one million Arabs who dwell in Israel itself live side-by-side in mutual trust? Or is the only long-term solution to expel all Arabs from Israel, including some 20 Arab members of the Knesset, in what could only be interpreted as an act of unacceptable racism?
Merely raising this question of Arab expulsion, which would be impossible to achieve, is a testimonial to the success of the Iran-Syria-PA strategy the death of a thousand cuts to undermine Israels survival by making daily existence a matter of luck. Yet such expulsions among Arab states have happened. When Iraqs Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 Mr. Arafat sided with Iraq against the victimized Kuwait. Fearing the 350,000 Palestinians working in Kuwait as a potential fifth column, the Kuwaiti government deported them to Jordan. Similarly Saudi Arabia deported some 300,000 Palestinians to Jordan at the outbreak of the war. And, of course, following Pearl Harbor the United States put Japanese settlers, whether American citizens or non-citizens, into concentration camps. And Germanys revived Christian Democratic party is making its number one platform plank a halt to immigration, particularly from Turkey, and perhaps eventual expulsion.
The supply of Arab suicide bombers is endless. Could one have predicted that an Arab bus driver in Israel would one day decide to turn his vehicle into an Arab murder weapon against Israeli pedestrians? Could one have predicted that a young Arab standing in line outside a Tel Aviv nightclub was really a bomb? No more than a U.S. Navy commander could predict Oct. 12, 2000, that a motorboat in the Persian Gulf driven by suicide bombers would blow up his ship, the USS Cole, and kill 17 members of his crew. Every Israeli parent whose children go off to school or a rock concert must now wonder anew whether theyll ever see them alive again? Every Israeli woman who goes shopping in a mall with her children must wonder whether theyll ever get home in one piece.
For years Egypt and Jordan managed to live in an uneasy coexistence with Israel. But no more; the streets now rule Arabdom. Perhaps Hosni Mubarak could possibly stop the war against Israel. But he knows better than to try. Anwar Sadat, his predecessor as president of Egypt, was assassinated on Oct. 6, 1981 because he made peace with Israel. And there have already been two assassination attempts at Mr. Mubarak and there will be more. A few months ago Egyptian Defense Minister Muhammad Tantawi told his General Staff, "We must be prepared for war with Israel." Egypts military doctrine is geared almost exclusively to offensive war against Israel. Of the $35 billion Egypt has received in U.S. aid since it signed a peace treaty with Israel, it has spent $25 billion on arms for use against whom?
And the new king of Jordan wouldnt dare repudiate Yasser Arafat and his PLO as his late father did in 1970 when the PLO tried a coup detat against King Hussein. In reprisal the Jordanian monarch expelled the Palestinians and sent them to Lebanon.
Arabdom now believes that Israel is on the run. So long as two sovereign states Iraq and Iran support and underwrite PLO terrorism, neither an end to Israeli settlement building nor a return of an appeasing Barak government nor cheerful Israeli acceptance of the Mitchell report nor Arafat "cease fires" will stop the war against Israel. And by the nature of things Israel will continue, as Midge Decter once wrote, "suing for peace with those committed to wiping it out."

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