- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2000

As the war against Israel goes on and on, the undeniable futility of peacemaking seems apparent. War in the

Middle East of the old-fashioned kind is on its way. Yasser Arafat is winning the public opinion battle even among Israel's allies. Proof? Read on:

Supposing the wife of Prime Minister Ehud Barak made a speech accusing the Palestinians of polluting air and water with "toxic gases" so as to cause cancer among Jewish women and children. And suppose Mrs. Barak made that speech just at a moment when her husband and Israeli peacemakers were engaged in peace negotiations with Palestine Authority officials. There would have been hell to pay. President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would denounce the speech as an attempt to sabotage peace negotiations, and Mrs. Barak would be forced to recant. Mr. Barak would, of course, be blamed as having deliberately encouraged his wife to make such a horrible accusation.

Something like that actually happened but not in Israel. It happened in Palestine: Just such an inflammatory speech was made by the chic, Paris-educated First Lady Suha Arafat, wife of Mr. Arafat, some months ago in the presence of Sen.-elect Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Arafat accused Israel of polluting air and water with "toxic gases" so as to cause cancer among Palestinian women and children. Mrs. Arafat's husband and Palestine Authority officials were at that very moment engaged in "peace" negotiations with Israel.

Mrs. Arafat's falsehood didn't cause a ripple in Washington although Mrs. Clinton was criticized for just being there. Anyway, Mrs. Arafat's words were written off as woman talk. Blood libels are no doubt common table to picking in the Arafat White House. Now another event:

Supposing there were an "Israeli Government Prize for Culture" and that it was given to a biographer of Rabbi Meier Kahane who canonized the assassinated Kahane as a super-hero for his supposed homicidal hatred of Arabs. Of course this never happened in Israel. But in Palestine, the annual "Palestine Prize for Culture" was presented to Abu Daoud for his recent book in which he detailed how he masterminded the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.

So long as there are sophisticated terrorist syndicates like Hezbollah and Hamas, financed by Iran, Syria and other Arab states, to talk about peace in the Middle East is nonsense. We should not forget what happens to Arab peacemakers the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat after he signed an accord with Israel in 1979 and the two assassination attempts, in 1995 and a third last year, against Sadat's successor, President Hosni Mubarak.

Professor Bennie Morris, an over optimistic revisionist Israeli historian, recently wrote that even though Egypt, Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization have demonstrated "the gradual Arab acquiescence in [Israel's] existence" through peace accords, "the victory seems far from final." Professor Morris adds: "But there is no certainty that Israeli good will or ill-will, flexibility or inflexibility, will decisively temper or resolve this century-old conflict." In other words, whether the Israeli prime minister is Benjamin Netanyahu or Ehud Barak, Arab intransigence and faith in fantasy remain, sometimes on hold, but only for the moment.

France and Germany finally ended their blood feud because they emerged from two world wars as restored democracies and democracies don't make war on each other. The only democracies in the Middle East today are Turkey and Israel, and they get along just fine. (There was once another Middle East democracy, fragile Lebanon, but the PLO destroyed it.) Israel, one can properly say, is the only country in the world whose enemies, near like Syria and far like Iran, want not merely Israel's defeat in battle but its extinction forever.

While there is lip-service to the status quo in the Middle East, in actual fact Yasser Arafat and his allies, no matter what they say in public and no matter the handshakes across the negotiating table, regard the status quo ante 1948 as the only one with any legitimacy. An "end of ideology," in the Middle East is a pipe dream.

Iraq supposedly lost a war of aggression nine years ago. Yet the same democratic governments who vote against Israel in the U.N. Security Council effectively ignore Saddam Hussein's defiance of U.N. economic sanctions. Ignore? Hell, France and Russia cooperate in Saddam's defiance. To make sure he would not produce or develop nuclear and biological weapons, Saddam agreed to international inspections. For two years, there have been no inspections at all. By doing nothing about Saddam's preparations for war in the Middle East, the Clinton administration, abetted by the UN, has allowed what has been a festering mess to become a war crisis. But when Israel asked to buy 50 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, President Clinton rejected the request last March.

What should be clear by now is that the Palestinian assault on Israel is not a so-called communal riot, an intifada but a prelude to what the government sponsors of Hamas and Hezbollah are ready to undertake another war against Israel. How else can Mr. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority justify sending adolescents and lightly armed adults against Israeli soldiers who don't know where the next car bomb will be coming from? The young Arab men in shirt sleeves carrying corpses aloft in funeral parades, shouting hate-filled slogans over and over again are they being prepared to accept an armistice, a permanent peace settlement or are they being prepared for a new war against Israel? Schoolbooks in Arab schools are filled with more anti-Semitic propaganda than even in the heyday of the Third Reich's Josef Goebbels. Who can believe that graduates of these schools are prepared to accept peaceful coexistence with Israel? They are being taught that "peace" with Israel is betrayal of Allah.

What Israeli leaders like the self-deposed Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres seem unprepared to believe is that Israel's Arab enemies don't want partition, they want Israel's destruction. Mr. Arafat is leading the quasi-governmental terrorist organizations which, while pursuing what is called low-intensity warfare, are preparing the way for high-intensity warfare. At any moment Katyusha rockets could start flying, that is, unless the Big Powers led by the United States persuade a new and weakened Israeli government that death-by-appeasement is the best policy to follow.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide