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   MAY 2002 -  Issue #145    


The Long Arm of Terror

Ruth King

There is an Arab saying: "When the cow stumbles, the long knives come out." America and Israel have clearly stumbled in the war against terrorism.

While Colin Powell was conducting a shameless diplomatic dance with Arafat, thugs throughout the Arab world were rioting, burning American flags, inciting anti-American hatred, and extolling the suicide bombers who have devastated Israel. Even as Israelis were still identifying victims, following the attack on the Jerusalem market (which merely led Powell to postpone his meeting with Arafat by a day), the Saudis were holding a telethon to raise funds for the families of the terrorists and extolling the young suicide bomber as a "bride of loftiness." Throughout the countries belonging to the Arab League, the government-owned and operated dailies published paeans to the "martyrs."

Our government's equivocation and hypocrisy has left our foreign policy without a moral compass. We cannot conduct our own war against international terrorism while protesting Israel's legitimate acts of self-defense. This sign of our weakness in the face of terror only elicits contempt from its perpetrators.

It is ridiculous to argue that Israel should renew the "best offer" made by Barak over a year ago. The Arabs turned down an offer in 1922 when 80% of the land of Palestine was carved out and deeded to Jordan. Their response to the Jews of what remained of Palestine was terror and harassment. In 1947, the Arabs rejected a UN partition plan which would have left the map of Israel resembling detached sausage links. In 1967, the Israeli Knesset offered a return of all lands liberated in the war, including Jerusalem. Arab response was more hatred, more terrorism, and more rejection. Enough is really enough.

What appears to intimidate our administration is the same fear of the "Arab street" which frightened Yitzhak Rabin into the folly of Oslo. In fact, capitulating to the Arab "street" only invites terrorists into our own back yards. Arabs, supposedly "peaceful" citizens of their host nations, have taken to the streets, clothing themselves in the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah. In France, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Turkey, they are menacing and harassing Jews, but they have alarmed presidents and ministers and ordinary citizens with the scope of their hatred. Although the present alibi for mob mentality is the Arab-Israel war, the subliminal message is anti-Western. Uncurbed, the violence will spread to non-Jewish citizens and Western institutions.

Terrorism has a long reach. While our Secretary of State was ricocheting around Arab capitals, a synagogue in Tunisia was attacked with 13 deaths and many injuries. While at first the government of Tunisia called the attack an accident, ultimately it conceded that it was terror. Has everyone forgotten that Arafat and the PLO were residents of Tunisia after their rout in Lebanon?

America was attacked when the "peace process" was in full flower. The first World Trade Center attack, the bombings of embassies in Africa, the assault on the S.S. Cole all occurred as former President Clinton was making great progress in wresting suicidal concessions from Israel. Terrorists are like an opportunistic virus, attacking where they perceive weakness.

Prime Minister Sharon should do what he has to do -- namely assume full security control of the territories now used as launch sites for terror.

America should further our own war against terrorists and the nations that fund, harbor, and support them. They will hear the noise of our firepower and the Arab "street" will subside. It happened in Pakistan, where there were early anti-American riots in the streets of Karachi and Islamabad. The rioters saw the success of our military and the riots stopped. We must show strength now.

Ruth King is a member of the executive committee of Americans For a Safe Israel. Herbert Zweibon, chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel, is in Israel.


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May 2002               - 1 -               Outpost


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