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Israel has had a hard time over the years explaining its political position and its need to focus on security. Often we are told to give land, make concessions and then there will be peace. What we have understood for many years, the world still fails to comprehend. The true character of the Palestinian leadership is expressed in its Arabic broadcasts to its people, rather than the polite, peaceful words they mouth in English.
Look how they want peace, claim the Europeans. Yasser Arafat is calling you his partners and begging you to make the "peace of the brave." Trust us, offer the Americans, follow the "roadmap" and it will get you to a final settlement. After more than 50 years, this time the Arabs will meet you at the negotiation table and end the conflict.
Words, we try to explain, just words. The truth is in the buses that are blown up, in the graves we dig each week. Even releasing real footage, taken in the minutes after a bomb explosion, does not seem to have impressed the world. They have yet to understand that the real Palestinian goal is in the mortars they launch every day, each day, almost without fail. It is in the rocks that they throw, in the bullets they shoot at us. It is in the teachings of their children, the sermons of their religious leaders, the hatred broadcast in their newspapers and television programs and the continued calls for more violence.
It isn't often the Palestinians trust the stupidity of the world enough to speak from their hearts. So, they speak in English of peace, of negotiations, of the poor Palestinians only wanting what is rightfully theirs, of the need for work, and the world believes. And, at the same time, in Arabic, they speak of jihad and shaheed, holy wars and martyrdom. They promise their youth glory at the end of the bomb. Eternal life achieved through the murder of the enemy.
The world is lulled into believing that you can equate the intentional murder of bus passengers with the targeting of a terrorist mastermind, or with the accidental deaths that sometimes occur during a military operation. True history is forgotten, as the world ignores the injustice of targeting civilians and as the Palestinians rewrite history with misinformation and lies.
They never refer to their refusal to accept the Partition Plan of 1947, which would have given them a state on more land than they say they will accept now. Nothing is said of Camp David, when Arafat walked away from an offer of 97% of the land and launched the bloodiest three years in our history, or of the vast sums of money donated to the Palestinian people and diverted to the pockets of the Palestinian leadership.
For years now, Israel's best efforts at publicizing its position regarding peace and security were lost behind a language problem. Israeli representatives spoke in poor English and failed to successfully use the single most important tool available: Arabic transmissions that praised death and violence even as the very same leaders were lying to the world in English.
For years now, Israelis have been asking themselves these simple questions: How do you make peace with a people willing to send a young mother to blow herself up, leaving behind her two young children? Can you possibly speak to a culture willing to stone two young boys to death? What hope is there when you have to talk to a people willing to focus their gun sights on the head of a ten-month-old baby and pull the trigger? Is it possible to understand the demented thinking of someone who enters a restaurant and takes the time to intentionally position himself between two families before exploding?
This is our message, an internal one that occupies our minds and disturbs our hearts. But this is not a message that the world can understand. They believe that if we offer the Palestinians a solution, these attacks will stop. They answer our concerns by avoiding them. Better not to think that there might not be answers, no real and true road to peace.
The world forgets the mother who murdered as quickly as they forget the mother who was murdered. The education of the boy who would be led to suicide is regretful, but does not hold lasting attention. The world loses interest in the children we have buried, the couple who died moments after finding out she was expecting twins, the father of two-month-old triplets, the man who had just celebrated his son's wedding the night before, and the doctor who was buried with his daughter on what would have been her wedding day.
The Palestinians have lost children too, the world insists. Yes, they have. But again, we point out, the circle is not truly a circle because they chose this road we travel. Our targets are the gunmen who hide among their own civilian population, while their targets are our citizens who have nowhere to hide. But again, we have lost the interest of the world. They are tired of this conflict, as if Israelis are not. Solve it, they urge. Or we will, they threaten.
And now, out of the mouths of terrorists, comes the truth in all languages. It is the truth as we have known it, said in a language the world might, perhaps, finally understand. Senior Hamas spokesman Abdel Aziz Rantisi has made an offer to Israel. He wants Israel to withdraw from parts of Jerusalem, all of Gaza and all of the West Bank. We are to give up the Golan Heights and release all prisoners. And, if Israel will meet all of the Palestinian demands, Hamas will grant us a cease-fire. An end to suicide bombings. A cessation of violence.
But it is only a figment of their imagination, another attempt to fool the world. It is a temporary cease-fire they offer. One that will last up to 10 years, but, Rantisi assures us, "not more than 10 years."
So, in 10 years time or less, weakened by borders we cannot defend, our capital once again divided, with Syria once again towering over our northern cities, and a million Palestinians massing on the border of Gaza, we will be revisited with buses blowing up, cafes being bombed, and our cities again subjected to daily mortar attacks.
This is the truth behind the Palestinian goals. A temporary solution until their final solution is achieved.
Rantisi understands that the Palestinians are not strong enough to destroy Israel in battle… yet. If we give all that we have been asked to give, it will not be enough, and in less than 10 years, we will find ourselves where we are now, only weaker. Out of the mouths of terrorists, in a language the world can understand, comes the truth. If only the world will listen.
Are there good terrorists? Apparently the Bush administration thinks there are.
Deputy US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, the National Security Council's Middle East Affairs director Elliott Abrams and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns reportedly presented such a message during their visit to Jerusalem this week. The three came on a fact-finding mission to hear about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip.
According to Channel 2, they told Sharon's bureau chief Dov Weisglass Wednesday that the US would only back a unilateral Israeli pullout of Gaza if it could be ensured that former Gaza security chief Muhammad Dahlan would take charge of the area in order to avert a Hamas takeover of Gaza. Additionally, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom explained Wednesday that the US would not back the Gaza withdrawal if the Israelis now living in Gaza were to elect to move to communities in Judea and Samaria after being thrown out of their homes or if Israel were to annex areas of Judea and Samaria.
In short then, the US policy as presently constituted amounts to a view that Israeli actions in Gaza must under all circumstances accrue to the benefit of the PLO regime in the territories.
But is the PLO really better than Hamas? Does strengthening its hold on power actually bring us closer to a peaceful Palestinian society dedicated to democracy and peaceful coexistence with Israel? Our experience with the PLO since it formed the Palestinian Authority in 1994 shows that viewing it as a rational alternative to Hamas and other Islamist organizations is both unwarranted and counterproductive.
Since entering Gaza in 1994, the PLO leadership under Yassir Arafat set up working relationships with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Its agreement with Hamas, negotiated and concluded in Cairo in November 1994, set up a division of labor between Hamas and the PLO. Hamas agreed not to work to overthrow Arafat's regime and not to publicly embarrass Arafat or the PLO by carrying out terrorism in areas that Israel transferred to PLO control. The PLO agreed to enable Hamas to continue its terrorist attacks elsewhere and to maintain its military capabilities in personnel and weaponry.
The man that Arafat appointed to carry out the PLO's dialogue with Hamas was Muhammed Dahlan. In the 1980s Dahlan had developed a close relationship with senior Hamas operative Muhammed Deif, with whom he shared an Israeli prison cell. Senior IDF sources and international diplomatic sources said in March 1996 that Dahlan was personally responsible for sheltering Deif from Israeli security forces after Deif masterminded Hamas's eight-day suicide bombing campaign in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Ashkelon. Those attacks killed sixty Israelis and wounded 130 in late February and early March of that year.
Since the outbreak of the Palestinian terror war in September 2000, Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells operating on Dahlan's turf in Gaza have been overtly cooperating in launching attacks. Dahlan's own Preventive Security Service carried out the November 2000 attack on the school bus from Kfar Darom. Two adults were murdered and five children were seriously wounded. The same month, Dahlan's men infiltrated Kfar Darom and killed two IDF soldiers who were guarding the community's greenhouses. Dahlan's deputy, Rashid Abu Shbak, who replaced him as head of the militia, is wanted by Israel for his personal involvement in terrorist attacks that have led to the murder of Israelis.
Dahlan's main attraction is his diplomatic skill. He seduced Israeli negotiators during the Oslo years with his fluent if crass Hebrew, which he picked up in prison. His reputation as a tough security boss has impressed Americans and Israelis alike who have been willing for years to overlook not only his personal links to Hamas and to violent attacks against Israeli targets by his own men, but also his mafia-style rule in Gaza.
From 1994 until the start of the war, all Palestinian businessmen who wished to transport goods out of Gaza were forced to pay "license fees" to Dahlan as were all Palestinian laborers who wished to receive permits to work in Israel. Dahlan, together with Arafat's economic advisor Muhammed Rashid and wife Suha Arafat, were the owners of the petroleum and cement monopolies in Gaza and received kickbacks for every shipment of raw materials transported through the Karni cargo terminal, construction of which Dahlan and Rashid oversaw in 1995.
Yet so remarkable is Dahlan's diplomatic charm that he managed to impress US President George W. Bush when he met with him at the Taba summit last June. At the time, Bush singled out Dahlan, then PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas's security chief, as a man who could be counted on to fulfill the PA's commitment to destroy terrorist organizations. Of course, Dahlan did nothing.
In many ways, Dahlan is a Palestinian version of Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf, who touts himself as a pro-Western dictator with democratic affinities, has carved out a niche for himself in the US war against terrorism as the only force keeping Pakistan from deteriorating into a nuclear-armed Islamic theocracy.
During a strategic dialogue in Herzliya this week between current and former Indian, Israeli and American policymakers, retired Indian generals and intelligence chiefs railed against Washington's insistence on backing Musharraf in spite of his regime's protection of Al Qaida and other Islamic terror groups fighting against India in Kashmir.
"The Americans believe Musharraf's line that he is the only force that can stop the Islamists, but in fact he backs them. And it is not true that there is no one else who can lead Pakistan. There are secular politicians and parties who are already part of the political scene which Musharraf has worked to decimate with his military coup," says former Indian military intelligence chief, retired Gen. R.K. Sawhney.
The truth is that Pakistani nuclear proliferation to Iran, North Korea and Libya, like the Pakistani support for Al Qaida and the Taliban whose commanders fled to Pakistan during the US invasion of Afghanistan and continue to operate from its territory, would have taken place if Pakistan were under the leadership of Islamist forces. That is, none of the terrorism or weapons of mass destruction proliferation that the US is now fighting a global war against was prevented or necessarily mitigated by the fact that Musharraf rather than a Pakistani Khomeini is in power.
Men like Musharraf and Dahlan are not secular counter-forces to Islamic jihad. They are secular fig leafs which serve to cover a larger reality of Islamic terror. What differentiates the PLO from Hamas is not its ambitions or ties to global terror groups, which both movements have in abundance, but rather the mere fact that on the one hand Hamas is better at terrorism than the PLO and on the other the PLO is better at diplomacy than Hamas.
For his part, Musharraf buys US support by rounding up just enough high-profile terrorists to make the US believe he is worth supporting while placating and strengthening the Pakistani jihadists on whose support he relies. Like Dahlan, Musharraf makes public statements about the need to fight terrorism and then assists the terrorists themselves by providing them with diplomatic cover to continue military operations and jihad indoctrination networks of schools, mosques and media outlets.
If Hamas were to take over Gaza tomorrow, Israel's security situation would be little different than it is today. The same joint Fatah, Hamas, Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad terror cells would continue to operate. While international donor money would perhaps be curtailed, Hamas has shown that it does not lack for financial backers in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Lebanon as well as Europe and North America who would continue to finance its operations.
If Musharraf's regime were to fall, no doubt the US would not follow through on Bush's promised $3 billion military and civilian aid package. But money and assistance from Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea and Iran would no doubt continue to flow.
The US has its reasons for not taking action against the likes of Dahlan and Musharraf and the corrupt jihad backed regimes they represent. In the case of Pakistan, the US fears the Pakistani nuclear capabilities. In the case of the Palestinians, the US believes it has nothing to gain from a clash with the EU, which views the establishment of a Palestinian state as the main anchor of its foreign policy, or with the Arab world, which uses US support of Israel to justify its hatred of America.
But there is a significant difference between not acting against rogue regimes for tactical reasons and backing them based on false strategic assumptions. The false yet prevailing view in Washington is that the PA and the Pakistani military dictatorship are not rogue regimes but rather imperfect allies.
The truth of course is quite the contrary. The Palestinian terrorist organizations sheltered and abetted by the PA like the Al Qaida-linked groups sheltered and abetted by Pakistan together comprise central planks of the global jihad nexus that the US is now leading a global war to defeat.
For Washington to maintain forward momentum in the war it needs to recognize both regimes as the enemies they are. The first step towards such recognition is adopting a policy of indifference regarding these regimes' longevity. At the end of the day, if the US and its allies are to win the war, it must be understood that there is no such thing as a good terrorist.
According to the Bible, in the last days, several events regarding Israel would occur in a particular order in a short time frame.
The first, of course, would be the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland of Israel. "Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land ..." (Ezekiel 37:21, New American Standard)
The second, the Jews would regain sovereign control over Jerusalem. The following verse necessitates that they would do this as the times of Gentiles drew to a close: "And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Luke 21:24, New King James)
The rebirth of the state of Israel and the recapture of Jerusalem signal that the times of gentile world dominance is coming to a close, according to the Bible.
Following on the heels of these events, the Bible says the Jews will rebuild their ancient Temple on the exact same place where it stood until destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. Several prophecies speak of the Temple and the reinstitution of Mosaic ceremonies. According to the Law of Moses, these can only be practiced in a Temple restored to its original foundation.
Paul writes to the Thessalonians concerning a very important event the Antichrist will perform in the Temple shortly before Christ's return. He writes, "Who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the TEMPLE OF GOD, displaying himself as being God." (2 Thessalonians 2:4 NAS) This also necessitates that there be a Temple rebuilt on its ancient site in Jerusalem.
While the Jews have returned to their homeland, and have been in possession of their holy city since 1967, the Temple Mount is dominated by the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosques. Muslims claim the entire Temple Mount as their third-holiest site.
The mosques have stood there for 1,400 years. But the Bible predicts that, in the last days, the spot will again be occupied by a Jewish Temple. Unthinkable?
Of course, the restoration of the Jews to the Land of Promise was unthinkable for centuries. Who could have dreamed in 1944 that four years later the Jews would have a state in their ancient homeland? Impossible! It certainly seemed so at the time. The world was just learning of the massacre of 6 million Jews in German concentration camps.
But against all odds, in 1948, the Jews, having existed for centuries without country, land or flag, declared the existence of the state of Israel. This was the most important single fulfillment of prophecy concerning the last days. It set in motion the whole scenario of predicted events.
The Jews brought to this new nation a culture unchanged by thousands of years of being scattered. Hebrew was resurrected as the official language of Israel – even though it had been a dead language for nearly 20 centuries.
They restored the land, changed the climate and created a garden spot out of an utterly desolate Middle Eastern desert.
Then, again against impossible odds, they won four wars aimed at their annihilation. In the process of winning the third one, they recaptured their holy city of Jerusalem.
But the Muslim Waqf retains religious authority over the Temple Mount. Still, the Bible says that eventually, somehow, during the generation that saw the first two fulfillments, Israel and Jerusalem, will also see the third fulfilled, a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.
Following a moderate earthquake and a weekend snowstorm, the walkway leading to the Temple Mount from the Old City collapsed.
This news follows the news of the bulge in the southern Wall of the Temple Mount, which forms one of the outside walls of the Old City.
Israeli archeologists have repeatedly warned that the retaining walls and understructure of the Temple Mount have been so weakened by unauthorized Muslim excavations that they are in danger of a catastrophic collapse.
The Israelis have offered to do the work, but have been rejected out of hand.
No matter what happens, Israel will get blamed. If the wall collapses completely, Israel will be blamed for not fixing it. If Israel tries to fix it, it will be accused of tampering with an Islamic holy site. Most religious authorities realize that a collapse could trigger apocalyptic events.
But despite all of these circumstances, the Bible predicts that Israel will soon rebuild its Temple on its ancient site. Again I ask: Impossible?
In the light of all the prophecies that have been fulfilled in this land in the last 50 years – all of which were considered equally impossible – I believe the Temple will soon be built.
Hal Lindsey is the best-selling author of 20 books, including "Late Great Planet Earth." He writes this weekly column exclusively for WorldNetDaily. Be sure to visit his website where he provides up-to-the-minute analysis of today's world events in the light of ancient prophecies.
The European Union has finally started doing the right thing by cutting its funding of the hopelessly corrupt Palestinian Authority—but for all the wrong reasons.
Denying that any of its financial support has been diverted to terrorist activity, the EU is reducing its $120 million annual aid by one-third because of the continued lack of transparency of PA finances.
Not because PA Chairman Yasser Arafat has eschewed any prospect for peace and instead orchestrated a three and a half year terrorist campaign designed to kill as many Israeli citizens as possible, mind you, but because he didn’t do so with “transparent” finances.
To the EU—dominated by governments like France and Germany who were content to continue allowing Saddam a free hand in torturing and slaughtering his own people—terrorism is just another form of political expression.
The EU is not reducing its funding because of the over 900 Israelis—most of them civilians—murdered since the start of the intifada in 2000. The EU is also not acting in response to the continued incitement drummed up the Palestinian media, almost all of which operates, to some degree, under the thumb of Arafat.
If a peaceful two-state solution were the true goal of the bureaucrats in Brussels, the EU could have cut the PA’s funding for its refusal to recognize the right of a Jewish state of Israel to exist, either in its official maps—which show one Palestinian state and no Israel—or in Arafat’s Arabic-language speeches, where he is far less conciliatory than when he speaks for international consumption in English.
But the unwillingness to agree on a basic tenet of any peace agreement apparently doesn’t faze the EU.
The EU likewise is not cutting PA funding in response to a particularly ugly recent terrorist attack, carried out by someone on the PA’s payroll. Last month, a 24-year-old Palestinian policeman from Bethlehem stepped on a public bus in Jerusalem and blew himself up, killing eleven and wounding 40.
Claiming responsibility for the attack was the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is part of Arafat’s Fatah organization. If the EU has any doubt that its taxpayers’ money is supporting terrorism, the January 29 attack is but the latest example.
Even when it is one of the other terrorist groups murdering Israeli innocents, Arafat—and thus the PA, which exists largely for propagating his tyranny—is responsible. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, among others, terrorize without fear of reprisal from the PA, which has repeatedly made clear that it will not crack down on terrorism.
Arafat is also responsible for the indoctrination of young Palestinians into the culture of death, one that molds young minds to not just hate Jews, but to kill them. Recalling the most repugnant propaganda from Nazi Germany, every Palestinian child is brainwashed to believe that no Jew is innocent and that “martyrdom” in the name of Jihad is the ultimate achievement.
By any account, this assembly line converting impressionable Palestinian youths into mass murderers is funded by international aid. But that has nothing to do with the EU lowering its financial support of the PA.
Children duped into violating the Quran’s prohibition on suicide, though, are not the only Palestinian victims of Arafat’s intifada. Each time Palestinian civilians die when Israel is forced to defend itself by taking out the terrorists that the PA protects, Arafat has blood on his hands.
Apparently, though, even that isn’t a problem for the EU.
Arafat continues his murderous ways because that is what works. He was receiving from the EU $10 million monthly (or $120 million per year) in 2001 and 2002, which is just after he walked away from a peace agreement that gave him almost everything he ever claimed to want—and he instead launched the intifada. In other words, terrorism pays.
At least the EU is withholding some of its support of the EU. The U.S. isn’t. According to the State Department, the U.S. has funneled $175 million in direct and indirect aid to the PA, including $20 million in cash last summer.
To get back in the EU’s good graces—and its cash—Arafat does not need to ditch terrorism; he just needs better accounting. Terrorism doesn’t pay, after all, if you can’t keep clean books while you’re murdering innocent civilians.
"If we do our part - bringing together the people of Israel - God will do his part."- Former chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu to demonstrators opposing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to rid Gaza of its Jewish presence.
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