President Bush has uttered the magic word.
Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, he went further than any U.S. leader has in his support of Yasser Arafat as dictator-for-life of a new Arab police state.
He didn't just talk about his desire to see a Palestinian state. He said the U.S. is "working toward the day when two states – Israel and Palestine – live peacefully together within secure and recognized borders."
Now, they say, there's no turning back. The U.S. has crossed the point of no return in its Middle East meddling.
I guess I can understand why Bush has chosen this road. He has surrounded himself with conventional policy thinkers – Secretary of State Colin Powell and many leftovers from his father's failed administration. It was almost inevitable that he would repeat the mistakes of the Jim Baker years.
But, for the life of me, I don't understand the reaction of American Jews – who should know better.
A public opinion survey published last week suggests most U.S. Jews support a Palestinian state. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said the United States should become actively involved in the peace process even if this led to disagreements with Israel. And more than two-thirds are ready to commit U.S. troops to the Middle East to reduce violence.
The poll was sponsored by the Israel Policy Forum, the New York Jewish Week and the Wilstein Institute of Jewish Policy Studies.
Why is this hard to believe?
Because I didn't know so many American Jews lived in fantasyland.
That's what is required to believe that Yasser Arafat is ever going to live in peace with Israel.
I've said it before and I'll say it again – because no one else seems to be saying it: There will be no peace – not in the Middle East or anywhere else – until there is a recognition that freedom is the basis of peace.
The last time this truism was a part of American foreign policy was when President Reagan was in the White House and Jeanne Kirkpatrick was the ambassador to the United Nations. She explained that freedom-loving republics rarely go to war with each other. Authoritarian, totalitarian police states start wars.
And that is what we are about to create in the Middle East – one more Jew-hating, totalitarian police state headed by the father of modern-day terrorism, Yasser Arafat.
Worse yet are the timing and motivations behind this move.
The poll of U.S. Jewish opinion showed that most of the respondents believe that this action will help maintain global support for the U.S. war on terrorism.
In other words, following the worst terrorist attack in history, we're yielding to terrorists, compromising with them, giving them exactly what they say they want, so that we can maintain the illusion of global support for the war against terrorism.
It's the worst form of appeasement.
Let's remember who Yasser Arafat is:
- He's the cold-blooded killer of U.S. diplomats – a crime for which he has escaped justice for 28 years.
- He's the architect of the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon.
- He's the author of the Munich Olympics massacre.
- He's the brains behind the Achille Lauro hijacking at sea.
- He's the inspiration of the Lod Airport shootings.
- He's the mastermind of countless foreign assassinations and murders of dissidents among his own ranks.
- He's even the inventor of the politically motivated airline hijacking.
If he gets his own state it will only be due to his unrelenting campaign of violence directed at Israel and America. By that prescription, should Osama bin Laden survive the next 30 years, we'll need to create a state for him, too. Maybe it will be Afghanistan. Who knows?
The world does not need another Arab police state – one that will terrorize its own people every bit as much as it will terrorize its Jewish neighbor. That's the inevitable future of a Palestinian state under Arafat. It won't solve a thing. It will only make matters worse. It will be the worst sign we can give today's terrorists and tomorrow's terrorists.
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