Once again, Yasser Arafat has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. A suicide bomber packing an enormous explosive boarded a Jerusalem bus filled with schoolchildren and commuters before detonating his payload.
The resulting explosion literally ripped the bus to shreds, together with as many as 20 passengers. Another 40 or so were lucky enough to survive, although many of them will be permanently disfigured or disabled as a consequence of the attack.
Credit for the attack was claimed by Hamas. But anybody who looks past the Arab rhetoric to see the facts on the ground blames Yasser Arafat.
The Palestinians claim Arafat can do nothing about it. The Israelis agree. The problem is, the Palestinians blame Israel for weakening Arafat. Israel counters that the attacks were just as intense when he was strong. Besides, argues Israel, if Arafat can't stop the bombings, then send somebody who can.
And if there is nobody who can stop the bombing, then there can be no negotiated settlement. So what is to negotiate?
The Bush administration is considering rewarding 21 months of terror against Israeli women and children with the gift of Palestinian statehood. The administration invented a new term for it, calling it an "interim" – or a temporary – Palestinian state.
What in the world is a "temporary" state? If we don't like it, can we take it back?
What would be temporary about it, and what is the appeal of such an absurd plan?
Clearly the borders would be temporary but what will that accomplish? Once temporary borders are set for the Palestinians, there is no way Israel would ever be allowed to push them back.
Israel knows this, so agreeing to temporary borders means agreeing to a starting point for Palestinian expansion into Israel. From the Israeli side, the temporary nature of the proposal means Israel can temporarily possess land it now holds.
Until it is either taken by negotiation following the next intifada, or by military force when the next intifada fails and spawns a general Middle East war.
So why the whole facade about temporary borders? It isn't to mollify Israel. Neither is it likely to go over big with the Palestinians.
The terror attack that opened this column took place after Bush promised to announce his Middle East temporary Palestinian statehood vision thing.
In reality, the interim statehood thing is smoke and mirrors to cover up something else. It's designed to hide the fact the administration is succumbing to the pressure of the terror campaign.
The administration can't move forward with its own anti-terrorism efforts while being distracted by Palestinian terror. To shut them up, the administration is trying to appease the Palestinians without anybody realizing it is an appeasement effort.
What has Arafat – or anybody else in the Palestinian Authority – done to suggest the new Palestinian state will be any less a hotbed of terrorism than it is today as a Palestinian Authority?
What indications are there – of any kind – to suggest that, given their own state, they will stop attacking Israel? One of the major bones of contention has been the closure of the Jewish state to Palestinian workers. If they have their own state, will Israel still have to grant them access? Or will it be a border like any other?
Like America's. Mexicans can't come here to work unless the government lets them. Will Israel be allowed that much sovereignty over her borders?
Or will disillusioned Palestinian youth, trapped in the quagmire of poverty visited on them by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian state, sit around planning how to steal the wealth next door?
Despite efforts to blame Israel for Palestinian poverty, the truth is that Arafat systematically looted the Palestinian treasury, ensuring a life of poverty – and the inevitable anger – that follows. Having created the situation, it is simply a matter of redirecting that anger and hatred at Israel.
The administration knows this, but it can see no other option that holds out any hope of freeing it from the Middle East quagmire. But it doesn't want to be seen rewarding terror – what kind of message would that send? So, instead, the smoke and mirrors "interim" state idea.
But that doesn't change the facts. By proposing an interim Palestinian state, the United States is serving as the midwife to the birth of a terrorist state while simultaneously conducting a war against state-sponsored terror.
The smoke and mirrors is to keep anybody else from noticing. Except the Israelis. But nobody is listening to them.
©2002 - WorldNetDaily.com