- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 29, 2002

Muslim terrorists recently fired shoulder-launched missiles at an Israeli civilian aircraft, in an attempt to murder its 260 passengers, as it took off from an airport in Kenya. If a Palestinian Arab state is created, its western border will be just a few miles from Israel's central airport and terrorists carrying shoulder-launched missiles will be able to take aim at every plane taking off or landing at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Despite such grave dangers, President Bush, who has said we must end terrorist states, is now laying the groundwork for creation of what will be a Palestinian Arab terrorist state. The Middle East "Road Map" that the Bush administration is promoting proposes to create a "provisional" Palestinian Arab state next year. This plan sends a wrong and dangerous message to the terrorists who are murdering innocent Israelis in buses and cafes. It tells them their massacres will reap political dividends that the more Jews they kill, the more the United States will seek to meet their demands.
Can the administration really believe that giving a sovereign state to the Palestinian Arabs will create a civilized democracy, rather than a new terrorist state? Sovereignty does not necessarily put an end to terrorism. In fact, it only strengthens the existing pro-terrorist culture to wreak even more havoc. Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria are sovereign states; yet sovereignty has not transformed them into civilized democracies.
No wonder the Israeli public strongly opposes creating a Palestinian Arab state. A recent poll commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America and carried out by the respected Hanoch Smith Institute found 68 percent of Israeli Jews believe that "regardless of the size or strength of a Palestinian state, if one is established it will constitute a threat to the State of Israel"; and only 9 percent of Israeli Jews believe creating a Palestinian Arab state would reduce the Arab states' threat to Israel.
Let's look at the Palestinian Arabs' record. During the past 25 months, they have carried out thousands of terrorist attacks against Israel, murdering nearly 700 Israelis and maiming many more. Most of the attacks including many of the recent suicide bombings are being carried out by forces under Yasser Arafat's control: Fatah, Force 17 and the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s own police and security officers. Israel has made public numerous documents proving that the PA pays for and orders the murder of Jews.
Furthermore, the PA has not disarmed or outlawed terrorist groups; it has not seized their tens of thousands of illegal weapons or shut down their bomb factories; nor has it honored any of Israel's 45 requests for the extradition of terrorists. It has not closed down the terrorists' training camps. It has rewarded terrorists with jobs in the PA police force. In short, the PA has actively collaborated with and sheltered the terrorists. It has also created an entire culture of anti-Jewish hatred in its official media, schools, summer camps, sermons by PA-appointed clergy, and speeches by PA representatives.
A Palestinian Arab state would be a mini-Iraq, sharing a long border with Israel, flanking the areas that contain 70 percent of Israel's population, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa plenty of tempting targets for cross-border attacks. The attackers could then slip back into "Palestine," where they would find refuge behind the protective border of a sovereign state.
A Palestinian Arab state would have its own airports and seaports, as well as borders with Egypt and Jordan, making it relatively easy to import heavy weapons. The PA already has the nucleus of an army; statehood would give it the freedom to establish a full-fledged military force. The same kind of Iranian "volunteers" who have been sent to aid the Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon would no doubt be dispatched to "Palestine."
The creation of a Palestinian Arab state would force Israel back virtually to the pre-1967 borders, stripping it of the protective Judea-Samaria mountain ranges and leaving the Jewish state just 9 miles wide at its midsection. U.S. Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf war, said this would leave Israel indefensible: "I look out from those heights and look onto the West Bank and say to myself, 'If I'm the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, I cannot defend this land without that terrain.' "
Advocates of Palestinian statehood claim such a state would be demilitarized; but there is no way to ensure that it would be. The Versailles agreement after World War I required Germany to be demilitarized, yet Germany built the most powerful army in Europe.
Creation of a Palestinian Arab state would also endanger Jewish religious rights. The PA has already destroyed one key Jewish religious site, the Tomb of Joseph, turning it into a mosque and barring Jews from the area. PA officials have called for banning Jewish prayer from Jerusalem's Western Wall and Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs, and PA police officers regularly carry out shooting attacks on the Tomb of Rachel, near Bethlehem.
A Palestinian Arab state will also endanger Israel's water sources. A significant portion of Israel's water originates in Judea-Samaria. If the PA had sovereignty, it could shut off the flow of that water. There would also be the danger of Palestinian Arab terrorists sabotaging the Israeli water supply.
The last thing the world needs now is yet another totalitarian, anti-American terrorist state. Yet that is exactly what a Palestinian state would be, to judge by the behavior of the PA during the eight years since it was created. The PA is a brutal Muslim dictatorship that tortures dissidents, silences newspapers that deviate from Yasser Arafat's line, and persecutes Christians. The official PA media actively incite hatred against America, and the PA maintains warm relations with the most anti-American regimes in the world, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan,Libya, North Korea and Cuba.
The only way to advance the chances for peace is, first, by defeating the terrorist regime. The training camps must be shut down; the weapons must be seized; the terrorists must be apprehended and brought to trial; and the PA-controlled areas must be completely demilitarized. These actions must be followed by a lengthy period in which the PA's culture of hatred is stamped out, comparable to the de-Nazification process that the Allies imposed on Germany after World War II and the de-Saddamization plan that has been proposed for Iraq after Saddam Hussein's regime is ousted.
The only long-term hope for Middle East peace lies in permanently weaning the Palestinian Arabs off their diet of hatred.
Terrorists, whether led by Osama bin Laden or Yasser Arafat, should be fought and defeated, not appeased with offers of their own state. To offer the Palestinian Arabs a state after two years in which they have murdered nearly 700 Jews, sends a message that terrorism pays. And that is the worst possible message to send at a time when terrorists are threatening America, Israel and the entire Free World.

Gary Bauer is president of American Values and Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.

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