A collection of the week's news from Israel
A service of the Bet El Twinning Committee of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto
A collection of the week's news from Israel
September 14, 2001
Issue number 344
Associated Press Protests PA Threats to Kill Their Cameraman
The Associated Press on Wednesday protested to the Palestinian Authority about threats against a freelance camerman who filmed Palestinians celebrating terror attacks in the United States. The videographer, on assignment for Associated Press Television News, was summoned to a Palestinian Authority security office and told that the material must not be aired. Calls in the name of the Tanzim militia, an armed group associated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah group, warned him he would be held responsible and made what he interpreted as threats on his life. Several Palestinian Authority officials spoke to AP in Jerusalem urging that the material not be broadcast. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat's Cabinet secretary, said the Palestinian Authority "cannot guarantee the life" of the cameraman if the footage was broadcast. An AP still photographer did not take pictures of a Nablus rally after being warned at the scene not to do so. (Associated Press Sep 12)
Powell Urges Renewed Mideast Peace Efforts
US Secretary of State Colin Powell urged Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in the strongest terms Wednesday to meet as soon as possible, as he faced questions about whether the massive terrorist strikes on the US Tuesday could be linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Jerusalem Post Sep 13)
PA's Systematic Incitement Against US Within hours after the horrific terrorist attacks in the United States, there were spontaneous outbreaks of rejoicing in the streets of the Palestinian Authority. According to Israel Radio, at least two news organizations decided not to broadcast footage of these celebrations after senior officials in the Palestinian Authority - including prominent PA ministers - threatened their lives. Arafat's denunciation of the attacks, which continues to be broadcast, is in direct contradiction to the atmosphere of hatred he has been promoting through his tightly controlled media. The following are but a few examples:
"The suicide bombers of today are the noble successors of their noble predecessors... the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the US Marines a tough lesson in [Lebanon]...and then, with no preconditions, they threw the last of the remaining enemy [Israeli] soldiers out of the [security] zone. These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of history...They are the most honorable [people] among us..." [Al Hayat Al Jadida - Official Palestinian Authority daily, Sept. 11, 2001]
Hafez Barghoutti, Editor-in-Chief of the official PA daily: ".The writers, Charles Krauthammer, William Safire and Michael Malley, try to portray us as if we are threatening New York and as if fighting us is an American need and that a good Palestinian is like a good Indian - dead. This is the culture of the Zionist Lobby that rules even over the bedrooms of the senior Members of Congress and the White House. It whips them in the morning and evening lest they awaken from their servitude. It castrates them and supplies them with 'Monica Viagra.' And the last to judge us in this area is the pathetic scoundrel Thomas Friedman who called upon NATO to conquer the [West] Bank and Gaza in order to protect his beloved Israel. These examples of beastly writings which surpass Nazism, require that their authors be tried in an international court, for they are considered inciters who have committed crimes against humanity...." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 29, 2001]
"Saher Habash, a member of the central committee of [Yasser Arafat's PLO faction] the Fatah... said that the body goes but the spirit of the martyrs lives on. Habash expressed his hope that the Arab and Islamic world will act against America and Israel....Habash demanded to strike and to threaten the American interests in the Arab world..." [Meeting with journalists in El Birah, Al-Quds, Aug. 30, 2001]
"[Maher Taher] a member of the political bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ... said, 'We say to the Arab nation: Hit American interests and threaten them. The United States is a fundamental enemy.' He asked the Arab countries to take a clear and strict position towards the US, which is the a fundamental enemy of the Palestinian people and the Arab Nation."[Al Hayat Al Jadida Aug. 28, 2001]
"We must. harm American interests in the Arab world, with all possible means, in all places, at all levels, because the United States does not understand the language of logic and wisdom, but only the language of interests and force." [Omar Helm Ghul, Al-Ayyam, Aug. 30, 2001] (PMW Palestinian Media Watch Sep 13)
PA Media Glorifies Suicide Bombing Attacks Against Israel
A caricature in the Palestinian Authority official daily shows a Palestinian with his mouth full of hand grenade making the victory sign with his hand and and Israeli soldier running away from him. Text: "The hero of the Naharia [suicide] attack is from the Abu Sinan village in Palestine '48" [Al Hayat Al Jadida, Sep t. 11, 2001] Note: Many Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel's existence and routinely refer to Israel as "Palestine 48" - a shortened version of "Palestine occupied in 1948." Also note: The suicide attack being praised was carried out Sunday. Three people were killed and nearly a hundred wounded. "The suicide bombers of today are the noble successors of their noble predecessors...the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the US Marines a tough lesson in [Lebanon]...and then, with no preconditions, they threw the last of the remaining enemy [Israeli] soldiers out of the [security] zone. These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of history...They are the most honorable [people] among us..." [Al Hayat Al Jadida - Official Palestinian Authority daily, Sept. 11, 2001] (PMW Sep 11)
"One of the most heinous acts in world history," was how Mayor Rudolph Giuliani described Tuesday's unprecedented attack upon his city and the US.
When and if a final death count is ever completed, the numbers will no doubt back him up. As of late yesterday afternoon, giant plumes of smoke from the collapsed towers of the World Trade Center were still visible from dozens of miles away and the acrid stench of the cataclysmic explosions was still pungent as far away as midtown.
America is under assault as never before, and all this witness to the cataclysm can think about is a conversation I had in the elevator on the way up to 110th floor of the World Trade Center 18 hours before it was destroyed. Having just arrived from Jerusalem, I found myself with an hour between sales calls and decided to do what millions of others have donebefore me. I forked over $13.50 and was shuffled into the large elevator that shuttled tourists to the top of the symbol of New York.
Standing next to the door, I struck up a conversation with the man operating the elevator, a strikingly pleasant, hard-working fellow in his late 50s. When asked, this native of mainland China said he came to America in 1994 because he wanted his children to have a better life than he had. It was the same thing that brought my grandmother's family from Poland. The same thing that brought all of us.
Like thousands of others, that man was undoubtedly at work when the towers were destroyed. I wonder if he is still alive. I woke up yesterday morning worried about the safety of my family, left behind in Jerusalem.
Did my son make it home from school safely? Did my wife manage to get all the chores she had planned in town completed in safety? By breakfast time, they were the ones worried about me. I was fine I assured them. "Hurry home", said my wife. To Jerusalem? Hurry home?
Yes, it is true, Jerusalem, the capital of a besieged Israel suddenly seems safe. Certainly safer than New York. At least for now. At least until the US is able to implement and adjust to the measures necessary to survive and function in the face of a new enemy and a new kind of warfare. A kind of enemy and warfare Israel has faced for decades.
A warfare that knows no refuge and spares no one. A warfare where women and children are the desired targets, not collateral damage.
It has been said that in the war against terrorism, Israel is the world's miner's canary. Before subjecting themselves to potential threats of noxious fumes, miners used to lower canaries into their mines to see if the air below was breathable. The sad lesson of yesterday was that the fumes of terrorism are more toxic than anyone in America could bring himself to believe. While Israel was the first democracy to find itself fighting terror every day and on all fronts, it was destined not to be the last.
Just as the Jewish people throughout history have often been the first to suffer new kinds of discrimination, punishment, and genocide, we have never been the last. Those who have been wishing and working to destroy Israel for decades have now declared war on their ultimate and real target.
Israel's war is no longer its alone. It has now struck at the heart of the greatest power in the world. How that power responds to an attack against the very symbols of its economic and military might will almost surely shape the contours of the world our children are destined to inherit.
If still alive, perhaps the World Trade Center elevator operator I met could help us muster some of the strength free countries will need to fight back. Perhaps he would tell us that, in his native Chinese, the words for "crisis" and "opportunity" are one in the same. Perhaps Americans, now united in their grief, will soon emerge united in purpose, committed to what Abraham Lincoln called "a new birth of freedom" and resolved to take the steps necessary to protect its institutions and its people.
As Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Tuesday: "Tonight, all Israelis are Americans." Today, America can use all the help it can get from here on Earth and from heaven above. (Jerusalem Post Sep 13)
The writer is the publisher of The Jerusalem Post.
From Jerusalem, With Solidarity By Naomi Ragen
Just yesterday, a day after three suicide bombers blew themselves up all over Israel, killing five more innocent Israeli civilians, I sat writing how I longed for America. From my home in Jerusalem, it shone in the distance, a beacon of stability and safety, it’s shores so secure and inviting. Can it be that only twenty-four hours later my birthplace, the City of New York, the place that educated and nutured me with its thrilling diversity and endless promise; the place my brothers and their families still live, is now a graveyard of thousands of innocent people cut down by the same murderers that have been bloodying the streets of my spiritual birthplace, Jerusalem?
“Vicious, cowardly terrorists,” is how Mayor Guiliani described them, "attacking innocent men, women and children going about their lives..". “An attack on freedom and our way of life.”
And Tony Blair, who rose to the occasion, talked about this being an attack on the free world, on democracy. How we in Jerusalem who have been under attack by the same terrorists for months have thirsted to hear these words! In East Jerusalem, the Palestinian celebrations, the joy of the man-- and woman-- in the street at this savage act of barbarism, is now broadcast by CNN and the BBC which has been wallowing in sympathy for Palestinian suicide bombers for months, interviewing their parents; examining their delicate sensibilities, their noble motives….How, I wonder, do these networks feel now? Are they embarrassed? Are they enlightened? I’d really like to know.
Just the other day in reporting Sunday’s multiple suicide bombings in Israel, the BBC reported: "Eight died in Mideast violence.” And this is what they meant: Three suicide bombers and their five Israeli victims who were murdered in cold blood. I imagine they won’t be counting the suicide pilots in the the body count of the American victims, or say that they died in a continuing cycle of violence. Not now when Britain itself feels that the ground beneath its own feet is suddenly less solid then before. Why do we have to learn these lessons of history again and again: that tolerance for anti-Semitism and the murder of Jews inevitably leads to a hundredfold number of casualties among innocent people of all races and religions all over the world? That evil and immorality and racism always chooses the Jews as its first target, but never its last? If the attack is tolerated, it grows in strength and begins to devour the rest of the world. Appeasement, Churchill said, is feeding a crocodile in the hope that he will eat you last. It doesn’t work. And now, just days after the debacle in Durban which unleashed the most vicious racism of modern times, comes the physical attack on the leader of the free world and its people.
I feel no satisfaction that the world which has been so blind, so wrongheaded, in its abandonment of the Jews of Israel, feeding us to the crocodiles, must now experience the horrors we have been living with on a daily basis for months, even years. But it is my hope, as I wearily type these words, that a new light will come out of the billowing evil smoke of destruction and darkness that has claimed so many innocent lives, destroyed so many, many innocent families. A light of determination and clear-headed moral thinking that will allow all the good people of the world to gird their loins and join forces to defeat the embodiment of evil - fanacticism and disregard for human life dressed in religious clothing: Muslim fundamentalism. I am so sorry englightenment had to come at such a terrible price. Let it be the last we pay.
My prayers are with my fellow Americans. May God bless you and watch over you all. (www.NaomiRagen.com Sep 11)
Never Again By Michael Ledeen
They are killing us. And they are killing us because we are in their way, all over the world.
Throughout our history, the United States has generally been saved from self-destructive folly by our enemies. We are, after all, the first people in human history to believe that peace is the normal condition of mankind, and thus we have never been prepared for our enemies' attack. We were torpedoed into the First World War on the North Atlantic. We were providentially bombed into the Second World War in the Pacific. We were roused from our dreams of peace by Stalin and forced into the Cold War. And we were dragged, kicking and screaming, into the Gulf War by Saddam. All these enemies of freedom convinced themselves that we were too soft to fight, too self-indulgent, too comfortable, too isolationist, and too weak to be able to threaten them. We were seen as ready to be had, and so they sought to intimidate us, to confront us with a devastating fait accompli, knowing, even as far back as the second decade of the twentieth century, that America was their ultimate enemy, and they had to deal with us, or perish. The same thing has happened again, and we should not be dazzled by the scores of blithering heads with their efforts to cloud what is a very clear picture. We do not know precisely who did this vile thing, but we do know why they did it. They did it because their dreams of power and glory, or of revenge and havoc, cannot be fulfilled so long as we stand. They are not, as one journalist put it to me a few minutes ago, "sending a message." They are killing us. And they are killing us because we are in their way, all over the world. We are in their way in the Middle East, where we stubbornly stand with Israel. We are in their way in Africa, where we refuse to accept their racist attacks against the Jews. We are in their way in Asia, where we insist on defending the freedom of Taiwan, and we are in their way in Europe, where we insist that the free countries of the West be able to defend themselves against missile attack.
That is why they hate us, and that is why they are killing us. While we sort through the ashes and the debris, and mourn our friends (the wonderful Barbara Olson died on the airplane that was supposed to take her to Los Angeles, but instead was hijacked and blasted into the Pentagon), the first order of business is to show these animals that we are not intimidated.
Show them, not tell them.
The Middle East is the first place to start. Arafat's people were overjoyed at the news of our dead, so he is no longer acceptable in civilized society. Never again. Those dancing, jubilant Palestinians were carrying out the wishes of their leaders, and we don't welcome those who celebrate mass murder of Americans. Their disgusting revelry shows, once and for all, that they do not distinguish between us and the Israelis. They want us all dead. That being the case, we have to make it clear that no one can drive a wedge between us and the only free people in the Middle East. And we are not going to be satisfied with some defensive wall to protect Israel from these killers. We must take the battle to them, together. If they kill us together, they will have to fight us together. Again, moving our embassy to Jerusalem will further demonstrate our resolve.It does not seem possible that this well-planned, well-organized assault could be carried out by a small terrorist group. I cannot imagine that there is no government behind it. It is implausible to suggest, as so many have, that a single Sheikh, bin Laden, or whoever, could have done it all. It reeks of an official intelligence service.
Now that we have been attacked, our allies will suddenly grasp their own peril. They have lived in a fool's paradise ever since the fall of Communism, believing that they could denounce us when it served their domestic political ambitions, confident that we would defend them against any and all threats. Now they will fear that we may draw inward, and leave them to their own devices. I promise you that we are now receiving information from our allies, information that they kept to themselves before this morning, information that will help us identify the criminals who organized the massacre.
And I can also promise you that we have received offers of assistance, of every imaginable sort, from allies who in public have long been very sympathetic to our enemies' cause.
This is different. This is war against the lone bulwark of the free world, and none of them can risk our defeat.
They are ready to join the battle, if we will lead. Will we? (National Review Online Sep 11)
When the Unimaginable Happens, and It's Right Outside Your Window By Clyde Haberman
Do you get it now?
It is a question that many Israelis wanted to ask yesterday of America and the rest of the finger-pointing world. Not in a smart-alecky manner. Not to say, "We told you so." It was simply a question for those who, at a safe remove from the terrorism that Israelis face every day, have damned Israel for taking admittedly harsh measures to keep its citizens alive.
"Suppose I had intelligence reports telling me that someone was going to hijack a Boeing 757 and crash it into the World Trade Center," an Israeli official said yesterday. "And suppose I used an M-16 to kill him. According to the arguments being used against us, I'd be an assassin, illegally using American weapons."
This official was referring to the international condemnation Israel has endured for killing certain Palestinians, people accused of not only masterminding anti-Israel terrorist acts in the past but planning more in the near future. The American criticism of Israel has been sotto voce. But it is there. And in this Black September, after the worst act of terrorism in history, the question arises from Israelis like this official: "We are now going to see a very resolute, and possibly global, approach to dealing with terrorism," Joseph Alpher, an Israeli strategic analyst, said by phone from Tel Aviv. As for his own country, he said, "People will understand with how much reserve we have responded — and after this, criticism of the response will lower."
That question — do you get it? — came almost instantly to mind yesterday to me, too, after having just spent two months reporting from Israel. It was asked on more levels than merely how to deal with those who kill Americans for having committed the unforgivable sin of being Americans.
You can't avoid the question when, again, as on many occasions while working in Israel in the first half of the 1990's, you have seen the human wreckage caused by the suicide bombs that go off with sickening frequency. You ask it because Jerusalem offers a glimpse of what New York may become. Some likened the assault on the trade center and the Pentagon to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. If the point was that we Americans may never be the same, the analogy is apt. Jerusalem points the way.
JUST three days ago, I wrote about the fear that now grips Israelis, how they listen for the sirens, how as the ambulances keep coming, they reach for cell phones. Frantically, they call to make sure that loved ones are all right. Often, they cannot get through because so many people are phoning at the same time. They try to hold the panic at bay.
All of that happened in New York yesterday.
Even without knowing who was behind this monstrous act, you could not shake off the televised images of crowds of Palestinians — not a handful of bloodthirsty extremists — chanting "God is great" and joyously handing out candy in celebration on the streets of Nablus in the West Bank. Same as when a bomb went off in Jerusalem and killed children and their mothers in a restaurant. The funerals for yesterday's victims will, you may be certain, become national events and, for many, occasions for political statements. Same as in Jerusalem. In Israel, there is no such thing as six degrees of separation. In a country that small, two degrees is more like it. If you don't know a bombing victim personally, you almost surely know someone who does. You may safely bet that an extraordinary number of New Yorkers will have the same relationship to someone whose life was cruelly extinguished yesterday in Lower Manhattan. "It's all very personal there, and now it's all very personal here," said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee.
More clearly than ever, Americans now understand that they may not assume any public place is safe. Same as in Jerusalem.
Remember the suicide bomber who killed 15 innocent people at a Sbarro's pizza outlet in downtown Jerusalem last month? As timing would have it, that restaurant is supposed to reopen today. No doubt an armed guard will be posted at the entrance, as one is these days at almost every restaurant and outdoor cafe in central Jerusalem.
We certainly have no shortage of Sbarro outlets in New York. Do you get it now? (New York Times September 12)
America, Israel Share Terror's Burden by Don Feder
On Dec. 7, 1941, Winston Churchill called President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. ``What's all this about Pearl Harbor?'' the prime minister asked. ``It's quite true, they bombed us,'' FDR replied. ``We're all in the same boat now.'' Today, it's America and Israel that occupy the same small craft in a storm-tossed sea.
Sept. 11, 2001, was another day that shall live in infamy - New York's World Trade Center demolished by two hijacked planes, while another crashed into the Pentagon - with thousands dead or injured.
Now, the American people have seen writ large what Israel has endured for the past year - cars exploding in residential neighborhoods, mortar rounds lobbed at apartment buildings, a sniper shooting a baby in its father's arms, a suicide bomber detonating a device packed with nails in a restaurant crowded with young families.
Since Yasser Arafat's make-believe peace at Oslo in 1993, 632 Israelis have died. Based on Israel's population, that's the equivalent of 34,600 dead Americans. Israel is on the front lines, as England was in 1940. But the Jewish state is far from the only target.
Islamic militants hate America and everything it represents - democracy, freedom of conscience and religious tolerance. The Palestinian Authority regularly calls on the Arab world to avenge itself on the Great Satan. ``Attack U.S. interests,'' urged Farouk Kaddoumi, chief of the PLO's political department. The Palestinian Authority's official newspaper declared, ``Conflict with the U.S. is the only way to achieve our goals.'' In a sermon at the Al Aqsa Mosque, the P.A.-appointed mufti of Jerusalem intoned: ``Oh Allah, destroy America, her agents and her allies! Cast them into their own traps, and cover the White House with black.'' As news of New York and Washington filtered to the Middle East, Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus celebrated in the streets, chanting and throwing candy.
The festivities weren't confined to the West Bank. Reuters reported, ``Ordinary Egyptians said Tuesday the United States deserved the wave of deadly attacks toward its cities, saying justice was being served for Washington's `bias' toward Israel and against the Arabs.'' Analogies have limits. Unlike Pearl Harbor, this time we were on notice. In 1993, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman's crew bombed the same World Trade Center, killing seven and wounding 500.
Americans were outraged. Americans were up in arms. And when the smoke had cleared, Americans went back to sleep. We were the last remaining superpower, secure in our invincibility.
Terrorism was something that happened elsewhere and to others. Why couldn't Israel just negotiate with those people? End the occupation. Give them land. Because human life means nothing to those people. Because their malice, their demonic hatred of all who aren't like them, is limitless. Because they recognize no differences between soldiers and civilians, combatants and office workers.
After Tuesday's dead are buried and the mourners comforted, what then? Alan Cohen, an Israeli psychologist who specializes in the emotional impact of terrorism, told me: ``It's not just you (Americans) who are being attacked. It's an attack on the beliefs and values of America.'' After the crippling blow they dealt to U.S. Seventh Fleet, the Japanese expected us to go into shock, allowing them to run rampant over the Pacific. Major miscalculation. That's the impact the Osama bin Ladens, Yasser Arafats, and leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are hoping yesterday's atrocities will have. They are looking for a white flag. They think that if they kill enough of us and strike fear in the hearts of the rest, we'll walk away from the Middle East, allow them to finish off Israel and our other allies in the region, and then come after America in their own good time.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese naval chief of staff who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor, could have set them straight. After the raid, Yamamoto observed that Tokyo had ``awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.''
A month before Pearl Harbor, when Britannia stood alone, Churchill told the boys at Harrow: ``This is the great lesson: Never give in. . . . Never yield to force . . . Do not let us speak of darker days; let us rather speak of sterner days.'' Mettle is burnished in the fires of conflict. (Boston Herald Sep 12)
This Is War: Don't treat it as a law-enforcement problem By Seth Lipsky
The most important thing President Bush has said so far is that as America goes after the perpetrators of these attacks, it will draw no distinction between those who committed the deeds and those who harbor them. Many of us will see in that remark the hope for a change in American strategy--one that will finally enable America to move away from a law-enforcement approach to terrorism and onto a war footing that will enable us to take this struggle to our enemies. This is not a law enforcement problem but a war. The enemy is not "terrorism," which is but the tactic. This war is being fought against America and the West by Islamic extremists and by the governments that they control or intimidate. By using the law-enforcement agencies and the courts, America has had to focus on the terrorist perpetrators and failed to address the problem of governments.
Thus, the attack on a U.S. airline--Pan American World Airways-- precipitated no military action. Rather, there began a long campaign to bring the bombers of Pan Am flight 103 "to justice." At one point, Americans saw the spectacle of the Clinton administration in a U.S. federal court defending Libya against an attempt by families of the victims of the bombing to pierce Libya's sovereign immunity. Eventually a Scottish court, sitting in The Hague, convicted one of two Libyan agents thrown into the dock in the case. Now a Harvard professor, Alan Dershowitz, has joined in preparing his appeal.
Another case is that of the killing of Alisa Flatow, the New Jersey coed who was slain in Israel in an attack funded by the Iranians. In 1996, Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. It was designed to strip terrorist regimes of sovereign immunity so that they could be sued by victims of terrorism. Alisa Flatow's family won the first big judgment under the law, an award of some $250 million. When it came time to collect, however, the Clinton administration argued against the Flatow family in court, arguing that the Iranians should be allowed to hang onto their diplomatic properties and frozen assets. The Flatow family is still arguing with the case.
Another example has been the long campaign by the Zionist Organization of America to get the American government to go after Palestinian Arab terrorists who murder Americans. Until the latest attacks, the ZOA estimates that there had been 20 such killing of Americans since the Oslo peace negotiations began. It has long striven to get the State Department to do what it does in the cases of other Americans murdered overseas, which is offer and post rewards for information leading to the capture of the murders. The only instance in which it hasn't taken such steps is in the case of the Palestinian Arab terrorists who have killed Americans. The situation has gotten so bad that the Congress is now considering legislation to empower the Justice Department to deal with these cases.
These kinds of absurdities led some of us to argue against the very concept of a great power--or any power, for that matter--using the courts as a venue for carrying out antiterrorist warfare. It's not that there's no constitutional precedent. Seth Gitell, a former colleague of mine at the Jewish Forward, wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal about the power the American Founders delegated to Congress to issue letters of marque and reprisal--licenses to private parties to carry out military actions overseas. To put it another way, one could argue that at some theoretical level, there is a framework for putting the burden on private parties.
In practice, though, all forms of litigation and the enforcement of criminal laws have been a recipe for defeat. Not only because they are unwieldy and lead to ridiculous situations but also because they target named individuals. It would be as if America launched the Normandy invasion in an effort to arrest Hitler and Goering. What caught my attention in the president's remarks Tuesday evening was language that suggested he was going to try to avoid falling into this trap. By stating at the outset that he was going to draw no distinction between the perpetrators and those that might be harboring them, he has opened the door to warfare against the nations that tolerate terrorists on their soil.
Here there will be no shortage of targets, from Afghanistan to Iran to Iraq to Syria to the Palestinian Authority. Or even, for that matter, Saudi Arabia, which proved so recalcitrant in cooperating in our investigation of the bombing of an American barracks. There will always be those who will talk of the "root cause" of terrorism, the way an earlier generation of isolationists talked of Versailles and other "root causes" of German anti-Semitism and the rise of Hitler. The important point now is to move away from viewing this as a law-enforcement problem, on which President Bush has made an encouraging start. (The Wall Street Journal Sep 13)
The writer is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal.
De Profundis By Daniel Doron The United States, the great shield of the free world, has been dealt a terrible blow. But it will prevail. Out of its excruciating pain it will forge, we hope, a resolve to pursue and vanquish the forces of darkness that threaten our civilization.
We pray, America that "Thy hand shall be equal to all thine enemies... " that "(it) shall overtake those that hate thee... (that) Thou shall make them as a fiery furnace in the time of thine anger... "
All that came before the catastrophe now seems remote history diminished in significance. Yet, if we are to comprehend what caused this sudden crushing fall, what made the hijacking of the free world so easy and "surprising," we must look back at the long sliding of democracies, including America, down a moral and strategic slippery slope of complacency and dangerous naivete.
The recent orgy of rage in Durban by representatives of the most oppressive dictatorships was an eye-opening demonstration of how prevalent is the hatred for the great Satan America and the smaller, Israel. Such hatred could not have been provoked merely by a conflict over rights or territory. It expressed a deadly rage against democracy and modernity, against liberalism, tolerance and individual dignity. Anti-Semitism was the spearhead in Durban for a jihad against Western virtues that threaten the oppressive dictatorial regimes of the Arab world, and of Asia and Africa. It is not coincidental that murderous African and Asian dictators - perpetuating the ignoble tradition of past African rulers, whose brutal intertribal wars supplied millions of black slaves - made common cause with Arab racists and oppressors, until recently major promoters of an international slave trade (that still exists in spots). Should they manage to extort reparations from the West for slavery, the funds, like the huge foreign aid they have already received, will end in private Swiss bank accounts; just as aid for resettlement of Arab refugees ended in the pockets of the Palestinian Authority's chieftains.
Durban furthermore revealed that "moderate" Egypt was leading the assault against Western influence, especially against America and Israel. President Hosni Mubarak's point man, his former foreign minister Amr Mussa, now chairman of the Arab League, a fanatical Nasserite, believes, as his dead patron did, that Egypt is destined to be the dominant power in the Middle East and Africa, and therefore must do away with vestiges of Western "imperialism." He considers an America supporting a strong Israel a great impediment to Egyptian ambitions. Under his guidance, Egypt, after Israel the second largest beneficiary of US largesse, has always taken a radically anti-Western stance in international forums. Durban was just a recent and uninhibited example. Egypt has also been a great spoiler in the putative peace process. Since it realized that it could not vanquish Israel for the foreseeable future, it wages against it a war of attrition through its Palestinian proxies. Arafat routinely hardens his positions after meeting Mubarak. Egypt facilitates the smuggling of arms to the PA, and it exerts Arab and international pressure to render Israel defenseless.
With no enemies, a dirt poor Egypt has spent fortunes (much in US aid) to build a huge attack force. Its controlled press incites against Israel and Jews in the vilest terms. Predictably, the Egyptians Lawyers Association, one of the regime's front organizations distributed a rabid anti-Semitic tract in Durban (Mubarak's claim that these bodies are independent is laughable considering how he has recently incarcerated - on trumped up espionage charges - the chairman and staff of the independent liberal Ibn Khaldun Center).
Like his colleague, Assad junior of Syria, like all failing dictators, Mubarak desperately needs an enemy to distract his people's attention from their misery. Like Arafat, he skillfully directs their rage against Israel, which he fears may hamper Egypt's ambitions to eventually control the region's oil wealth.
Durban also demonstrated the kind of total war the Tunisian Mafioso, which we helped impose on the Palestinians, is constantly waging against Israel. The calumnies and the global campaign of dehumanizing hatred they instigated were part of an effort to totally delegitimize Israel and justify its "elimination."
The fact must be faced that Arab anti-Semitism has found many willing accomplices among Western NGOs. This raises questions of who these NGOs are, what is their true agenda and how did the Arabs recruit them. Apparently, various UN and European Union agencies, as well as Western governments and charitable foundations, have been supporting many radical fringe groups in the mistaken belief (promoted by "Third Way" advocates) that they are helping create a civil society. Instead, they have spawned communist-like front organizations dominated by nihilist hooligans who battle anything Western, whether Israel or economic liberalization. The war declared against the West by these terror groups, and the states sponsoring them, must make democracies realize the danger posed by this hate group international. Facing such tough realities can be very painful. But it is less dangerous, we now learn, than wallowing in delusion and complacency, the kind that permitted the horrible assault on America to be so successful. (Jerusalem Post Sep 13)
The writer is director of the Israel Center for Social Economic Progress.