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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Olmert goes to the US to schnorr for Fatah

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert is on his way to the United States right now where he will try to convince President Bush to back 'moderate' 'Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's Fatah. I have already explained to you why that strategy is mistaken. Possibly deadly mistaken.

Olmert has been listening too much to leftists like the Boston Globe, which in an editorial on Thursday blamed Israel for the mayhem in Gaza:
The Hamas campaign to eradicate Fatah from Gaza is certainly not the sole cause of Gazans' misery. They long suffered from Israel's suffocating occupation, and then from Ariel Sharon's foolishly unilateral withdrawal in 2005, a move that allowed Hamas to bid for power with the misleading claim that its rockets and suicide bombings had driven Israeli soldiers and settlers out of Gaza. Gazans were victimized as well by the corruption and misrule of Yasser Arafat's Fatah cronies.

The bitterness of the civil war that has forced the United Nations relief agency to suspend all but emergency deliveries of food and medical supplies is clear in the epithets the two sides use for each other. Hamas calls the Fatah fighters "the Jew-American army" while Fatah, alluding to Iran's backing for Hamas, calls the Sunni Muslims of Hamas "the Shi'ites."
(Hat Tip: News Busters)

What should Israel's response to the 'Palestinians' be? And for that matter, what should the United States' response be? Jeff Jacoby, the Globe's token sane columnist, outlined what Israel's response ought to be several months ago when things were just starting to come apart:
The wonder is not that the Palestinian Authority seethes with violence and instability; there are other places too where bloodshed is the daily fare. The wonder is not that the Palestinians, who receive copious amounts of international aid — more than $1.2 billion last year from Western governments alone — channel so much of their resources and energy into weapons and warfare. The wonder is that so many voices still push for a Palestinian state.

But has any population ever been less suited for statehood than the Palestinians? From the terrorists they choose as leaders to the jihad promoted in their schools, their culture is drenched in violence and hatred. Each time the world has offered them sovereignty — an offer that the Kurds or the Chechens or the Tibetans would leap at — the Palestinians have opted instead for bloodshed and rejectionism.

"What do you want more," a frustrated Shimon Peres once asked Yasser Arafat, "a Palestinian state or a Palestinian struggle?" Over and over, Palestinians have chosen the "struggle." The very essence of Palestinian national identity is a hunger for Israel's destruction. Both the Fatah and Hamas charters call for the obliteration of the Jewish state through bloodshed. A two-state solution — Israel and Palestine living peacefully side-by-side — is emphatically not what the Palestinians seek. No amount of Israeli concessions or American wheedling or Quartet cajoling is likely to change that.
(Hat Tip: Marvin Belsky)

While Jeff went on to ask why the Bush administration continues to pretend otherwise, the question is even more pertinent when put to the Israeli government: Why does our government continue to pretend that the 'Palestinians' want to live side by side with us in a democratic state when everything they say and everything they do indicates otherwise?

As I noted in an earlier post, Olmert is on his way to the US because it's been five years since President Bush made one of the best speeches of his Presidency, in which he laid out his vision for a 'Palestinian' state:
"Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born.

"I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty.

"A Palestinian state will never be created by terror - it will be built through reform. And reform must be more than cosmetic change, or veiled attempts to preserve the status quo.

"The United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure."
Remember those words? George Bush ought to be held to them. If he were - and if Ehud K. Olmert had the courage to try to hold Bush to those words - perhaps the speech that the President plans to make next week would sound something like this:
Five years ago, I set out my vision for peace between the Arab world, and particularly the Palestinian people and Israel. I still believe in my vision of a new democratic, antiterrorist state of Palestine committed to the rule of law and human rights and living side by side in peace with the existing democratic, antiterrorist, human-rights respecting, law-abiding State of Israel.

Tragically, developments over the past five years demonstrate that today, it is impossible to realize this vision and, therefore, the time has come to set it aside.

Although the Palestinians have received more foreign aid per capital than the nations of Europe under the Marshall Plan, rather than use the international community's support to embrace liberty and build a working democracy, the Palestinians have built legions of terror.

With US support, the Palestinians held free elections in January 2006. Rather than choose leaders not compromised by terror, the Palestinians preferred to choose the Hamas and other terrorist organizations to lead them. By so choosing, the Palestinians showed the world that they reject peace and have chosen the path of terror and war.

While Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly condemned acts of terror and murder, in spite of the generous support he has received from the United States and Israel, to date he has opted not to effectively combat terror. Rather than educate his nation to embrace peace and tolerance, Abbas has overseen the Palestinian Authority school system, which teaches the children of Palestine to choose death over life and to seek Israel's destruction rather than the establishment of a free, democratic state that would live at peace with Israel.


Since none of the Palestinian leaders are engaging in a sustained fight against terrorists, the United States recognizes that today Israel has no partner for peace. I am left with no choice but to withdraw American support for Palestinian statehood at this time.

Since Israel has no peace partner, it is clear that the Israelis must take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Gaza's international border with Egypt has turned into a thoroughfare for global terror with arms and personnel coming in from Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and beyond. I am disappointed with the fact that to date, Egypt has taken no effective action to block the terror traffic from its territory into the Palestinian Authority.

The United States looks with worry on the emerging situation in Gaza. I view the transformation of Gaza into a base for global terror not simply as a threat to Israel, but as a threat to international security. As a result, the United States will understand and support an Israeli operation aimed at restoring Israeli control over the international border.

Furthermore, Israelis have the right to live free of fear of missile and rocket attacks on their towns and villages. Today's situation, where Israeli communities bordering Gaza are exposed to daily barrages of mortars and rockets launched by terrorists in Gaza, is unacceptable and intolerable.

Over the past two years since Israel withdrew from Gaza, I have come to recognize a flaw in the two-state model. Until now, one of the guiding assumptions of the two-state model is that the Israeli settlements located beyond the 1949 armistice lines constitute an obstacle to peace. But we see that the evacuation of the settlements in Gaza and the northern West Bank only caused a further radicalization of Palestinian society.

Aside from that, it is time to recognize that the Palestinian demand to establish a state on land emptied of all Jewish presence is an immoral demand. It is impossible to expect that the Palestinians will conduct internal reforms when the international community gives them the legitimacy to base their nationalism on ethnic cleansing and the rejection of the humanity and moral rights of the Jewish nation. As a result, and without prejudicing future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, today the United States recognizes the right of Israelis and Palestinians to build their communities in a manner that provides for the natural growth of their populations.
I wish I had written that speech for President Bush. But if I had, I would be a syndicated columnist and not a lawyer who writes a blog. Caroline Glick wrote those words and you should read the whole thing.


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