- The Washington Times - Friday, October 13, 2000

"War. That's what he wants."

And of course Binyamin Ben-Elizer, Israel's deputy prime minister, is exactly right, because war is exactly what Yasser Arafat wants. There is no profit in peace, not for a terrorist, and not for his criminal followers.

The American seamen who died aboard the USS Cole, docked in Aden, owe their deaths to barbarism that flows from the same source, the fanatical and mindless religious hatred of the West. The hopes and expectations of good men in the West are thus answered with a volley of innocent blood, Christian as well as Jewish.

The shame is not Arafat's, nor of his thugs, but in councils of state in Jerusalem and in the war rooms of his allies in the West, where men who are smart enough to know better puff on their pipes, look wise, and consign innocents to deaths that ransom no great cause because they are deaths spent on the folly of fools.

Why would anyone have believed that Arafat and the Palestinian lynch mob for that is exactly what it was wanted peace in the first place? The very idea of a "peace process" with Arafat is an obscene joke. The innocent blood spilled yesterday ought to be the final lesson, the graduation day, for Israel and its dovish friends in the West. We shall see.

Good men in the West, driven by Judeo-Christian moral tradition if not necessarily Judeo-Christian belief in an innate good in the hearts of all, have an appetite for fooling themselves at the expense of others.

Ehud Barak, who has no rival as the worst prime minister Israel has ever had, must bear much of the responsibility because he trusted Arafat long after it was clear to everyone else that Arafat is a liar and a deceiver who wants not peace with Jews but the tribute of Jewish blood.

Bill Clinton wants a legacy, and with his usual obliviousness to the suffering of others he feels their pain all right but only as something to be made useful to him he is willing to treat the Israelis and the Palestinians with the moral equivalence so dear to goofy liberals. The consequences will be horrendous, but that's just a risk that Mr. Clinton, who has never put his considerable arse on the line for God, country or anyone or anything else, is willing to take.

The cowardly American abstention this week on the United Nations resolution condemning Israel for trying, against all odds, to keep the peace in the precincts under its control looks like a gruesome mockery this morning, a catastrophe that Israel and the West invited as if an engraved invitation had been sent to the Palestinians.

The catastrophe flows from the Oslo accords, a blueprint for Israeli destruction, and the death warrant for those Israeli soldiers lynched by the mob at the Ramallah police station was written on the concessions forged at Camp David.

The particulars of the Palestinian barbarism are chilling in a spare dispatch from the scene, a dispatch that is an eloquent indictment of Barak and the doves in the West:

"At 9.30, three Israeli soldiers, reservists working as drivers, took a wrong turn and events went out of control. The men passed a Palestinian checkpoint on the outskirts of the Palestinian-ruled town of Ramallah.

"Some Palestinian men recognized them as Israelis and chased the car. The three soldiers sought refuge in a Palestinian police station.

"A crowd of 1,500 gathered outside the building as a rumor spread that they were Israeli undercover agents. There were calls for them to be killed. Within 15 minutes, news that the men were holed up reached Israel. But the army decided that a rescue operation was too dangerous because ferocious resistance was expected from Palestinian security forces well-trained in urban warfare.

"At 10.15, the mob broke into the police station. The Palestinians said 13 policemen were injured in an attempt to hold back the armed intruders. Two soldiers, held on the first floor, were beaten and stabbed to death.

"Television showed one of the attackers run to the second floor window and make a victory sign and then return to the fray. In the background, several men were seen pounding on something or someone on the floor. The crowd erupted into cheers. The attackers tossed one of the men out of the window, another out the door. One of the soldiers was seen dangling upside down, apparently attached to a rope. The crowd stood below, waving fists and cheering.

"The body was dropped into the compound, where the mob stamped on the corpse and beat it with the broken bars of a window grille. The Israelis said the third soldier was dead.

"At 10.30 the mob dragged the two bodies to Al-Manara Square, the town center, where an impromptu victory celebration began. Palestinian police then tried to remove film of the attack from reporters."

Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

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