Sunday, October 17, 2004

The mullah nullah continues to grow wider with each act of terrorism in the Middle East. No sooner had the Sinai bombings in Taba killed 35 Israeli tourists and injured 124 than Arab voices began accusing Israel of murdering its own.

The Middle East Media Research Institute reminds us the price of America’s benign neglect of the peace process is a grotesque caricature of the U.S. and its Israeli protege. Israel bombed Sinai, said Egypt’s Al Ahram Research Center expert Dhia Rashwan, “to convince the world Egypt is not a stable country, thus opening the door for external involvement, specifically Israel and America, for the so-called preservation of security and eradication of terrorism in the region [which gives] Sharon a green light to strike Palestinians in the occupied territories under the pretext of fighting terrorism.”

It takes roughly one news cycle for preposterous theories to become received ideas before they become incontrovertible facts in the Middle East corridors of power. Palestinian Security Chief Jibril Rajoub said matter-of-factly, “Bush is facing elections and I believe he needs operations like this to justify his aggression in Iraq and to justify his defense of the Israeli aggression in Palestine.” Next, an Egyptian spokesman took up the refrain on national TV.

The only reference to the Middle East by either John Kerry or President Bush in the presidential debates was to mention Israel — and the imperative need to protect and enhance its security.

John Edwards piled on with a new justification for the Iraq war. Stretching credulity, he said removing Saddam Hussein from power had reduced terror attacks against Israel. This played right into the hands of those who argue the U.S. is incapable of being an honest broker between Palestinians and Israelis.

Growing anger in Arab American and Muslim American ranks — several million votes — appears not to bother the candidates. The possible loss of Jewish votes haunts both political parties.

Those mullahs and imams who had not yet caught up with the new conventional wisdom that Israel killed its own said it was payback time. “What happened in Taba was 0.0001 of what Israel deserves,” said a Lebanese imam in his Friday sermon. “What happened there is a result of American and Israeli actions and a partial and very small result of what Israel and the U.S. are doing in the region.”

In the West Bank, Ma’ariv reported, Israeli settlers are not worried about the Arab demographic threat as they nurture the vision of a “mega-occupation,” or expanding the Kingdom of Israel to the borders promised in the covenant with Arbaham.

The Committee of Rabbis in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, writes, “Everyone who has faith in his heart … will not countenance betrayal of the divine promise of the Jewish people.”

Professor Hillel Weiss, said Ma’ariv, spelled out what this meant: “The purpose of the armed struggle is to establish a Jewish state in all the territory that will be captured, from the River Euphrates [in Iraq] to the Egyptian River [Nile].”

For good measure, Rabbi Haim Steinitz, writing on behalf of the rabbis of the Beit El settlement, explained, “In general, the Euphrates and the Nile are the main points of reference, as well as the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.” That takes care of the western border. There is some dispute about the eastern border. Most West Bank rabbis say the Kingdom of Israel “should rest on the upper Syrian stretch of the Euphrates. Others, wrote Ma’ariv, “take a broader view with a border that runs down to the mouth of the Persian Gulf.”

One rabbi calls for the military conquest of all Arab countries. Even this was not enough for Rabbi Zelman Melamed, who wrote: “It is not impossible that the Jewish people will have the ability to threaten and put pressure on the entire world to accept our way. But even if we acquire the power to seize control of the world, that is not the way to realize the vision of complete redemption.”

Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg says he knows in the near future the Land of Israel is about to expand. “It is our duty to force all mankind to accept the seven Noahide laws, and if not — they will be killed.”

Imams do not have exclusive rights on loony tunes. Palestinian state anyone?

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

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