A Glorious Vision: Misconceptions and the Middle East

By Gamaliel Isaac,

Published by the Intellectual Conservative on September 25th, 2006

 

In June of 2002 President Bush outlined a glorious vision for peace in the Middle East.  He said:

My vision is two states, living side by side in peace and security…1

In 2005 he expressed the opinion that many Israelis and Palestinian Arabs desired such an arrangement.  He said:

I want it to happen before I'm President, but it's not about me. That's my point. It's about the Palestinians, and it's about the Israelis, all of whom want to — many of who want to get rid of the past and have a more glorious future by living side-by-side in peace and democracy. And it's — I think it's going to happen.2

This is a glorious vision; a vision in which the United States will help spread freedom in the Middle East and by doing so bring peace to the region.  After Israel uprooted the Jewish inhabitants of Gaza and turned their land over to the Palestinian Arabs in order to help bring about President Bush’s vision, a song was written by Palestinian Arabs expressing another “glorious” vision.  The words are:

O brigades be prepared, Gaza has been restored! Start preparing to liberate the rest of the land. Drive the Zionist out. O Hamas, let’s liberate Jerusalem with the help of your soldiers and glorious rockets.3

After Israel withdrew from Gaza a mob of Palestinian Arabs destroyed the remaining synagogues as well as several Israeli greenhouses that were bought for them to help their economy.  Apparently many Palestinian Arabs have a different vision than President Bush.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said that the approach of the Bush administration to achieving his vision is "premised on sound strategic logic.4

In February 2006, Secretary of State Rice testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, "Overall things are getting better in the Middle East."

The Republican Senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel — called her on that.

I don't see, Madam Secretary, how things are getting better. I think things are getting worse.5

Clearly things have gotten much worse.  The contradictions between the visions of the Bush administration and reality raises the question of whether the thinking of the administration really is as sound as Secretary of State Rice claims it to be.

The U.S. Role in the Deteriorating Situation in the Middle East

Both the United States and Israel have made decisions that have and are making the situation in the Middle East deteriorate.  Israel depends on the United States for its survival so Israeli policy decisions are heavily influenced by American pressure.  This is unfortunate becasue United States policy is influenced by a desire to win over the Arab world and to keep the oil flowing by appeasing the Saudis.  In addition to this destructive external influence on Israeli policy, Israel suffers from a destructive internal influence that results from the psychological effects of having been under siege since its declaration of independence in 1948.  Israelis want to believe that if they only yield to Arab demands they can bring about peace6 and they seek approval from a world that seeks approval from the Arabs.

The recent key decisions that have led to the dangerous and miserable situation Israel is in now, were:

1) Rabin’s decision to sign the Oslo Accords, which allowed Arafat and the PLO to return from Tunis and to take control of and incite the Palestinian Arabs against Israel.
2) Barak’s decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Lebanon.
3) Sharon’s decision to ethnically cleanse Gaza of Jews.
4) Israel’s decision to swap many live Arab prisoners for a dead Israeli one.
5) The Bush administration's decision to force Israel to give up control over the borders of Gaza.

Although it was Rabin’s decision to sign the Oslo Accords and cede territory to Arafat’s control, this decision followed pressure from the United States.7  Pressure not to cancel this decision despite the PA not meeting its obligations under the accord also came from the United States.  In fact, pressure to make more territorial concessions even after Arafat made it clear that the peace treaty he signed was only for the purposes of extracting concessions and that he did not intend to honor it, also came from the United States.8

Although it was Barak’s decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000, and although much of the Israeli public wanted the troops out because so many were dying at the hands of Hezbollah, the United States encouraged this decision.9,10  The result of this decision is a terrorist army, armed with thousands of rockets and protected by underground bunkers, dispersed among the civilian population of Lebanon.

Although Sharon made the decision to ethnically cleanse Jews from Gaza, we know there was American pressure on him to make concessions.  Sharon himself in a meeting in April 2005 with Jewish leaders in Washington D.C. stated:

First of all I understand that the Oslo agreements were the greatest disaster Israel ever had.  But we cannot sit quietly and take no steps.  The world won’t accept it, including the U.S. and the U.S. is under pressure from Europe to pressure us.11

Once Sharon decided to uproot Israelis from Gaza there was American pressure on him to not back out of the decision.  The U.S. Department made it clear to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that it wanted the Jews out of the Katif district of Gaza by August 15th, with no excuses.12  The Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, came to Jerusalem and pleaded with Sharon to reconsider his plan to obliterate the 21 Jewish communities, 325 thriving Jewish farms, and 86 synagogues and Jewish study centers of Gush Katif.  Sharon’s answer to Rabbi Cohen was, "This is what the U.S. State Department is demanding that I do, and I must do it . . .."

After Sharon complied with U.S. wishes and ethnically cleansed Gaza, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice put pressure on Israel to withdraw from more territory saying that, "It cannot be Gaza only."13

The Oslo Accord Disaster

The Oslo Accords were essentially agreements to turn control of the Palestinian occupied areas to the PLO in exchange for PLO promises for peace.  One of the underlying misconceptions behind the accords was that the root of the conflict was the desire of Palestinian Arabs for freedom from the Israeli occupation.  According to this rationale there would be no reason for the PLO not to keep their promises if they were given control of areas that the Israelis administered such as Judea and Samaria.

If the occupation of Judea and Samaria is the cause of violence in the Middle East that raises the question of why — in 1967, before the Israelis occupied Judea and Samaria — the Arabs surrounding Israel attempted to annihilate Israel.  It raises the question of why the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded before 1967.  It raises the question of why before the existence of the modern state of Israel, the official leader of the Palestinian Muslims, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, collaborated in the Nazi genocide, declaring that he sought to "solve the problems of the Jewish element in Palestine and other Arab countries" by employing "the same method" being used "in the Axis countries."14

It also raises the question of why, after the Oslo accords and the ensuing Israeli withdrawals, when 99 percent of the Palestinian Arab population was under the jurisdiction of the PLO and not Israel,15 there was such a large increase in violence against Israel.

Another misconception behind the Oslo accords is that the conflict is a result of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.

If Israelis were oppressing the Palestinian Arabs, that raises the question of why there was such a dramatic improvement in the quality of life of the Palestinian Arabs under the Israeli administration.  Ephraim Karsh wrote in Commentary that:

At the inception of the occupation, conditions in the territories were quite dire . . . Within a brief period after the war, Israeli occupation had led to dramatic improvements in general well being, placing the population of the territories ahead of most of their Arab neighbors . . . During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world — ahead of such "wonders" as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself . . . Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians also made vast progress in social welfare. Perhaps most significantly, mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 . . . And under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.16

The result of the Oslo accords was regression of the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs and the development of a population indoctrinated to hate Israel that committed many more terrorist attacks after the Oslo Accords than before.  In fact, suicide bombings were introduced after the Oslo Accords.17

Negative Consequences of The Withdrawal From Lebanon

It’s hard to believe today but Lebanon was once called the Switzerland of the Middle East because of its conflict-free status.18  The capital, Beirut, was a byword for romance and elegance, with French-style architecture and boulevards.

The beginning of the end of the Switzerland of the Middle East occurred when in 1970 Lebanon gave refuge to the Palestinian Liberation Organization when it was expelled from Jordan.  The PLO took over the south of Lebanon, which became known as "Fatahland" after al-Fatah, the name of Arafat’s main PLO faction.  The PLO commenced to attack Israel from Lebanon with the result that in March 14, 1978, Israel sent in 25,000 troops to drive the PLO out.  After Israel withdrew, the PLO regrouped and launched rocket attacks.  In response Israelis bombed PLO targets in Lebanon in 1981.  In 1982, Israel in response to the bombing of a bus and an assassination attempt on Israeli ambassador Shlomo Argov, invaded Lebanon and stayed there until 2000.  During this time Hezbollah attacked Israeli troops in Lebanon.  The Israeli public wanted out, as did the U.N. and the United States, so Prime Minister Barak decided to withdraw.  This made it possible for Hezbollah to build a heavily fortified, extensive complex of bunkers from which they could briefly emerge, fire rockets and retreat to.  When Israeli soldiers attempted to weed Hezbollah terrorists out of Bint Jbel, the terrorists simply popped up out of their bunkers, fired anti-tank rockets and destroyed the Israeli tanks, and then descended back into their bunkers,19 bunkers that would not exist if Israel had not withdrawn from Lebanon.  The withdrawal made it possible for Iran to arm Hezbollah with sophisticated anti-tank and anti-ship missiles.20  The absence of Israeli troops made it possible for Hezbollah to disperse rockets among the civilian population of Lebanon, making them into a human shield.  It made it possible for Hezbollah to annihilate the SLA, the mostly Christian army that had opposed them.  Netanyahu explained how the withdrawal from Gaza eroded Israeli deterrence and in so doing triggered more violence.  He said:

In 2000 we withdrew from Lebanon without any guarantees or security agreements. In Hezbollah's eyes, Israel was fleeing Hezbollah terror. This prompted Nasrallah’s "cobwebs" speech about Israel's weakness, which reverberated with Hamas and triggered the second Intifada.  The result of this second Intifada led to a second Israeli unilateral withdrawal, and Israel was again perceived as fleeing before terror. This Hamas success in turn reverberated back to Hezbollah, and so on.21

Shortly after Israel came to the realization that it needed a massive ground invasion to defeat Hezbollah, the United States agreed to a U.N. resolution to end the fighting.  The resolution called for the:

Full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State . . .22

The major problem with the resolution was it was unresolved who would disarm Hezbollah.  After the cease-fire USA Today asked Secretary of State Rice if the U.N. forces would forcibly disarm Hezbollah.  She replied:

I don't think there is an expectation that this force is going to physically disarm Hezbollah. I think it's a little bit of a misreading of how you disarm a militia. You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of a militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms voluntarily.23

Ralph Peters wrote about how ridiculous expecting Hezbollah to voluntarily disarm is.  He wrote:

The U.N. resolution called for Hezbollah to disarm – a fantasy only a diplomat could believe. As soon as the refugees began flowing southward and packing the battlefield, Nasrallah told the international community to take a hike. He knows that U.N. peacekeepers won't try to disarm his forces – if they ever show up – and the Lebanese military not only won't try, but couldn't do it . . . Then he [President Bush] declared that Israel had won. That's about as credible as insisting the Titanic docked safe and sound.24

Peter’s opinion was echoed by Lebanon’s Druze leader Walid Jumblatt:

How could the Lebanese army or some international force do what the mightiest army in the Middle East (Israel) did not do? Don't ask us to disarm by force. It is a fantasy.25

The statements of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, which praised Hezbollah for defending Lebanon, raise the question of whether the Lebanese government even wants Hezbollah to disarm.  Not only is Hezbollah not being disarmed since the cease fire took effect, it is arming itself as well as building new underground bunkers.26

It is difficult to understand how the U.S. administration could actually believe that Hezbollah will be disarmed even without the precedent of an ineffective international force in Lebanon.  Brigitte Gabriel reminded the host of Cashin’In on Fox News Channel that:

We actually had a multinational force in Lebanon in 1982 made up of the French, the British, the Americans and the Italians, and what did Hezbollah do, Hezbollah bombed the marines and the French in one day and within four months they left.  So the multinational force came to Beirut in 1982 and they left in 1984 and they accomplished nothing and let Hezbollah grow and regroup and rearm.  We need to let Israel disarm and basically kill Hezbollah once and for all.27

The fact that the ceasefire agreement leaves Hezbollah armed and intact would be bad enough if it did not also include an agreement by Israel to negotiate relinquishing the Shebaa farms to Lebanon.  The ceasefire is seen by the Arab world as victory for Hezbollah and is inspiring the Arab world to further violence.  Abu Nasser, commander of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade said that:

We are proud of our brothers, the Hizbullah fighters. They are inspirational teachers that demonstrated everything we have been feeling in recent years – Israel is falling apart . . . Since the Gulf War, missiles were what brought Israel to the negotiation table. The withdrawal from Gaza was also a result of missiles. If we use them correctly in the West Bank, we will get rid of the IDF here too.28

Israel’s secret service chief Yuval Diskin said that, "Hamas is organizing itself according to the model of southern Lebanon, using the lessons of the war, they are building bunkers . . . deploying anti-tank missiles and ground-to-ground missiles."

Anti-tank missiles were lethal to the Israelis in Lebanon.   According to Diskin, since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip some 15,000 automatic rifles, 4 million bullets, 15,000 bombs and dozens of anti-aircraft missiles have been smuggled in, mainly through the Rafah terminal from Egypt, one of the terminals Condoleeza Rice pressured Israel to give up control over.29

Syria was so inspired by the Shebaa farms concession that it is creating a new terrorist group modeled on Hezbollah to pressure Israel into giving up the Golan Heights.30

Perhaps one of the most disastrous aspects of the cease-fire is Israel’s loss of deterrence.  Moshe Dayan, one of the great generals of Israel, explained the importance of deterrence for Israel’s survival in a 1965 talk to volunteers of the RAFI political party:

The essence of Israel's security in this region (Middle East) is deterrence.  When we formed the State in 1948-9, we were very weak. The Arab States had planes, tanks, heavy artillery and many more soldiers than us. We had very little heavy military equipment. In the period 1949-55, we absorbed almost a million immigrants. Tent cities sprung up all over the country. We were totally disorganized. Had the Arabs mounted another major invasion, we could have lost. We devised a solution to this problem. It was deterrence. Think about being lost in a forest and surrounded by hostile animals. If you light a torch, boldly approach them showing no fear — they will retreat. But, if you show fear — they will attack and you are lost.  We used this principle to save Israel during those early years. Every time we were attacked, we retaliated ten-fold. We showed daring and penetrated deep within their borders to attack our targets . . .  You know the result. The Arabs were afraid and never attacked.  Deterrence worked.31

Statements by Arab leaders such as Hizbullah central council member Ahmed Barakat indicate that Israel’s deterrence shield is crumbling:

Today Arab and Muslim society is reasonably certain that the defeat of Israel is possible, and that countdown to the disappearance of the Zionist entity in the region has begun . . . If a mere organization succeeded in defeating Israel, why would Arab nations not succeed in doing so if they allied? Many Arabs and Muslims viewed Israel in a fictional way and the resistance has succeeded in changing this.32

A religious leader on Palestinian TV said:

I am telling you that the Zionists are in horror, fear, confusion, and that their political and military leaders are in disagreement . . . They are living in shelters in fear. They are living like mice and rabbits [in shelters], unable to go out. Their people screamed and yelled, by the thousands, [they are] interested in leaving, interested in going to America, to Europe and Britain . . .33

If the United States had waited a few more weeks a completely different outcome might have resulted.  David Hornik wrote:

Allowing Israel to take a few more weeks and rout Hezbollah — preferably also with some sobering strikes against Syria — would have created a different scenario and, most important, perceptions of a Western victory and humiliating jihadist defeat. That may have allowed the truly moderate Christian, Druze, and Muslim forces in Lebanon to start trying to retake control of their country while leaving the Iranian-led jihad axis reeling.34

Fuad Siniora’s pro-Hezbollah statements make it likely that giving the Lebanese army control of the south of Lebanon may simply make it more difficult for Israel to strike Hezbollah in the future.  The international force is likely to be led by the French who also have made statements supporting Hezbollah.35  France is deploying heavy armor that French defense officials say will include Leclerc tanks, surface-to-surface artillery, short-range anti-aircraft missiles and radar – unusually heavy weapons for a peacekeeping force.36  In the Hezbollah conflict with Israel, Israel used planes and Hezbollah used missiles so the only possible target of French anti-aircraft missiles and radar is Israeli planes.  It is unlikely that the target of French surface-to-surface artillery is Hezbollah since Hezbollah bases itself among civilians.  The United Nations Forces are likely to be an obstacle to Israel as well.  UNIFIL showed its pro-Hezbollah sympathies during the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah when it published Israeli military positions on its website.37  France, the United Nations and Lebanon have all said they will not use their weapons to disarm Hezbollah, but none of them said that they wouldn’t fight Israel.38

Negative Consequences of the Imposed Border Agreements

After Israel was forced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to agree to relinquish control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, there was a huge influx of weapons into Gaza, include Strella anti-aircraft missiles, Katyusha rockets, anti-tank missiles, hundreds of thousands of rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition.39,40,41  Secretary of State Rice apparently is unwilling to acknowledge the disastrous consequences of her dictatorial meddling.42  After the influx of weapons she said in regard to agreement she imposed:

And this did open an opportunity for peace, for a new kind of peace. We saw, in the Gaza, the beginning of coming to life of economic life there. We successfully got a Rafah crossing agreement.43

Negative Consequences of The Ethnic Cleansing of Gaza

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believed that the withdrawal from Gaza would create momentum toward peace,44 but what it actually did was create momentum toward more terrorism because as former Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Arens said:

Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and the uprooting of Jewish communities there was interpreted by Hamas and by the Palestinian people as a victory for terrorism.45

Hamas leader Ahmed al-Bahar, confirmed this when he said:

The painful and qualitative blows which the Palestinian resistance dealt to the Jews and their soldiers over the past four-and-a-half years led to the decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip . . . The suicide attacks . . . have taken their tolls on the Jews, both psychologically and economically, in addition to the high number of casualties . . . All indications show that since its establishment, Israel has never been in such a state of retreat and weakness as it is today following more than four years of the Intifada . . . The withdrawal marks the end of the Zionist dream and is a sign of the moral and psychological decline of the Jewish state. We believe that [terrorism] is the only way to pressure the Jews.46

A poll showed that 74% of Palestinian Arabs share al-Bahar’s views.47

Prior to the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza for peace, The Israeli section of Gaza was a place where except for the occasional Arab terrorist, and periodic rocket attacks on Jews, Arabs and Jews coexisted in peace and friendship, a goal presumably held by the Bush administration for the region.  Fhaud, 63, an Arab greenhouse supervisor in Gaza, told WorldNetDaily:

I've known my boss since he was a kid and I worked for his father. Some workers here have known three generations of Jewish families. I was invited to all the bar mitzvahs and weddings.48

The ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza caused psychological damage to many of the uprooted victims, many of whose families have broken apart49 and haven’t been able to find new employment.

What were once beautiful green farming communities have become desert launching pads for Kassam rockets.  The civilians in Southern Israel face daily barrages of exploding rockets from Gaza that they never faced before.  Israel has been forced to re-enter Gaza to stop the rocket attacks as well as incursions by Palestinian terrorists.  The Palestinian Arabs of Gaza have put up ferocious resistance50  because they have massive amounts of advanced weapons; weapons that poured into Gaza as a result of Israel relinquishing control of the border between Gaza and Egypt because an agreement forced on Israel by the United States. 

The winner of the Palestinian elections, Hamas, might not have even been allowed to run for office without U.S. pressure on Israel.  Secretary of State Rice made the excuse that no one predicted that Hamas would win, but Hamas was doing very well in local elections while the U.S. was pressuring Israel to allow Hamas to run for the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Negative Consequences of Prisoner Swaps

In September 1997, Hassan Nasrallah's son, Hadi, was killed in a clash against the Israelis, who took his body away with them.  In exchange for the body of an Israeli naval commando who had been killed in a 1997 Hezbollah ambush, the Israelis returned the corpse of Nasrallah’s son and the remains of 39 other fighters.  In addition the Israelis freed 60 Lebanese prisoners.  According to a Newsweek article,

In 2000, to gain the freedom of still more prisoners, Hizbullah ambushed and captured three Israeli soldiers and abducted a retired Israeli colonel who had been lured to Beirut. The negotiations, through a German intermediary, lasted more than three years, eventually winning the release of 400 prisoners — not only Lebanese but Palestinians and other Arabs as well.51

The Israeli policy of releasing large numbers of Arab prisoners for a single Israeli, even when the Israeli was a corpse, created a tremendous incentive for Hezbollah to capture more Israeli soldiers and a recent such capture was one of the triggers of the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel in Lebanon in 2006.

Why the U.S. Administration Engages in such Harmful Foreign Policy

Two underlying misconceptions that lead to bad American policy are that Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is a leader who wants peace and that the Palestinian people want peace.  President Bush, in an interview with Al Arabiya said: 

The Palestinians are good business people . . . And they're peaceful, they really are peaceful.  And they have a chance to — and I've told this to Abu Mazen; I said, you've got a fantastic population, now is your chance to lead them . . . Yes, we had the chief of staff (of the Palestinians), and his spokesperson is a lovely lady who is a very well educated person, went back to the — to Palestine to try to serve what she hopes will be a country. I was impressed by these young, dynamic, capable, peace-loving people.52

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also sees the Palestinians as peaceful.  Although on January 26, 2006, they voted overwhelmingly for Hamas, Secretary of State Rice remarked after her February 8 meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that:

The Palestinian people have been through an election. They voted for change, but I don't think they voted to change their aspirations for a peaceful life.53

After Hamas’s victory, Secretary of State Rice held on to her belief that the Palestinians are peace loving and made the excuse that she "underestimated how deeply frustrated Palestinians were by Fatah's corruption."54

If the Palestinian Arabs were just against corruption they could have voted for the Waad party or the Third Way party.  The Third Way only received two seats in the PLC and Waad, which had the most peaceful platform, won zero seats.  The Palestinians have been Nazified by a poisonous ideology and the degree of this Nazification was revealed in a poll taken on Aug. 8, 2006, during Hezbollah’s rocket barrage on Israel, that found that 97% of the Palestinians support Hezbollah.55

Although Secretary of State Rice believes the Palestinian people to be good, they don’t view her that way.  In an article titled, “Palestinians Love to Hate Condoleezza Rice,”  Palestinian Media Watch lists some of the racist attacks on her by the Palestinian Arabs and the Palestinian press.56

The Bush administration views Abbas as the great hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.  One of the reasons for U.S. pressure on Israel to withdraw from Gaza was the belief that it would bolster Abbas’s position as a leader who can deliver.  The belief that he would fight terror was the reason for U.S. pressure on Israel to deliver weapons to Abbas’s Fatah party even though the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, the terrorist arm of Fatah, announced the start of a military campaign against Israel57 and even though Fatah members openly said they would use the guns against Israel and had done so in the past.58  Condoleeza Rice held the belief that Israel had to make concessions to Abbas for peace so strongly that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that when she met with Sharon she:

Ranted and raved . . . was full of demands on Israel . . . twisted our arm . . . said we had to make all kinds of concessions to Abbas . . . she ticked us all off.59

Condoleezza Rice has gone as far as to tell Abbas, "How very much admiration there is for you in the United States."60

President Bush has gone as far as to call Abbas an “agent of peace.”61  A cursory glance at Abbas’s history throws grave doubts on Abbas’s peace-loving nature.  Abbas reportedly financed the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.  He even kissed Mohammed Daoud, the organizer of the attacks, and wished him luck.62  Abbas has made clear that any temporary cease-fire was aimed at gaining a tactical advantage over Israel63 and explained how the peace process can be used to fragment and polarize Israel.64  Abbas wrote a book that claims that the Zionist movement inflated the number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust from a few hundred thousand to six million in order to get support from the world for a Jewish state.  He then blamed the murder of those hundred thousand Jews on the Zionists by claiming that they gave permission to every racist in the world, led by Hitler and the Nazis, to treat Jews as they wish, so long as it would guarantee immigration to Palestine.65  The implication of Abbas’s bizarre book is that Hitler needed permission from the Jews to kill them and the Jews gave it so that they could immigrate.  In a televised speech on the occasion of Israel’s independence day, Mahmoud Abbas described the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 as an unprecedented historic crime and vowed his unwavering refusal to ever "accept this injustice."66  The very same day that an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber killed at least five Israelis and wounded more than 40 innocent people in a Netanya shopping mall, the Palestinian daily, al Hayat al Jadida reported that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed a new law to support the families of suicide bombers.67  He encouraged young students in Gaza to be martyrs by telling them that violence was the reason the Israelis withdrew from Gaza and by telling them that, “[Martyrs] receive their reward in the Garden of Eden.”68  After Hezbollah fired Katyusha rockets that killed eleven Israelis, Abbas praised Hezbollah, telling reporters that the Hezbollah war has re-awakened the Arab world with honor and is an example for others to follow.69,70

It is likely that the assumption of the Bush Administration that Abbas and the Palestinians are peace-loving people stems from wishful thinking.  The consequences of faulty assumptions are faulty conclusions and in the Middle East, policies based on faulty conclusions lead to disaster.  If one makes the faulty assumption that the Palestinians are a peace-loving people it follows that they must have a valid reason for all their fighting.  If one believes they are honest people then their propaganda that they are fighting because the Israelis have taken away their country and their freedom and because they are oppressed and impoverished becomes plausible.  It follows then that all that needs to be done is to put pressure on Israel to liberate the Palestinians, give the Palestinians vast amounts of money and a state and the freedom that comes with it and voila, you have peace!  These theories have been tested with disastrous results.  It should have been obvious that the problem of the Palestinians is not lack of money when one considers the money they spend on their vast amount of rockets, guns and ammunition.  The United States and Europe have poured money into Palestinian coffers and that money has been used for weapons.  Despite the infusion of money, the violence committed by the Palestinian Arabs has increased.

One of the reasons that Condoleezza Rice imposed the Rafah agreement on Israel was her misconception that helping the Palestinian economy was a step for peace and that forcing the Israelis to yield control of the border would help the economy.  Instead, it helped the economy of weapons smuggling and the weapons that entered led to chaos; yet despite, Rice proudly announced that the Rafah agreement is helping the economy of Gaza.71

Condoleezza expounded on her freedom will bring peace misconceptions in an article in the Washington Post where she wrote:

The "freedom deficit" in the broader Middle East provides fertile ground for the growth of an ideology of hatred so vicious and virulent that it leads people to strap suicide bombs to their bodies and fly airplanes into buildings.72

The belief that more freedom would bring peace may be another reason why Condoleezza Rice pressured Israel to relinquish control of the Rafah crossing.  It may explain why the administration pressured Israel to give Hamas the freedom to run for office.  The Bush administration believed that even if Hamas won, the need to put food on people’s tables and win elections in the future would have a moderating effect.  That is only true if the populace you are trying to win over desires peace and if you intend to hold fair elections in the future.  Since Hamas believes that the only rule should be the rule of Allah it is highly unlikely that they will put the rule of Allah at risk in future elections.  Palestinian celebrations after 9/11,73,74,75 and orgies of destruction they engaged in when Israel turned over Joseph’s tomb,76,77 and Gaza78 to them indicate that a great many of them are every bit as fanatic as Hamas anyway, so whatever pressure exists to appease the population is likely to lead to more violence.

There is another belief that is probably also behind the decision of the Bush administration to allow Hamas to vote.  Secretary of State Rice in a speech at the University of Cairo said that:

For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region, here in the Middle East – and we achieved neither.  Now we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people.79

President Bush reiterated this belief on August 7th, 2006, when he said that the prior policies of the United States which sought stability (as opposed to freedom) were behind the anger and resentment that, "Bubbled forth with an attack, with a series of attacks, the most dramatic of which was on September the 11th."80

A policy that sought stability would have been one that prevented Hamas from running for election; one which made the freedom of the Palestinians to choose their rulers a priority would allow Hamas to run for election.  If President Bush’s belief were correct, the anger of the Palestinian Arabs toward the United States should have diminished once they had the freedom to vote for Hamas, and they would vote against Hamas since they no longer had that anger and resentment.  The overwhelming Palestinian vote for Hamas, the ongoing hostility of the Palestinian Arabs to the United States and the venom recently directed at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice81 indicates that the evidence does not support this belief of the Bush administration.

A major misconception that has driven both the Bush and previous administrations is that the way to achieve peace is for Israel to give up land.  This misconception was reinforced by the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel when Israel gave Egypt the Sinai.  There are many signs that Egypt is preparing for war with Israel,82,83,84 and there is reason to believe that fear of defeat and not the piece of paper that former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat signed is keeping the peace.  Syria has not fought Israel for the entire time that Egypt has avoided fighting Israel, and Syria has no peace treaty with Israel.  The problem with Israel giving up land for peace is it creates an incentive to those being given that land to be more violent so that Israel will give up more land for peace.

The Peace-Loving People Misconception

The problem with the belief that the Palestinian Arabs are peace-loving people is that it does not recognize the radical nature of the version of Islam that they are indoctrinated with and it does not recognize that they are bought up from childhood to hate Israel.  Brigitte Gabriel, a Christian Arab who survived Muslim oppression in Lebanon thanks to Israel, has said that, "Arab children are taught hatred of the Jew from their mother's milk."85

This hatred of the Jews comes from literal interpretation of the Koran.  During the life of Muhammad, the Jews rejected Islam, which is why the Koran has statements such as, "Allah has cursed them (the Jews) on account of their unbelief; so little it is that they believe."86

And why the Hadith has statements such as:

The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, so that Jews will hide behind stones and trees and the Stone and the tree will say, O Muslim, O servant of God! There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.87

According to Islamic law once Islam has conquered a land it belongs to Islam for eternity.88  Invading Muslims in the 7th century conquered Israel and so it is the religious obligation of Muslims to keep Israel part of Dar al Islam (land subjugated to Islam).  Mahmoud al Zahar, the most senior Hamas member in Gaza, explained,

Israel has no right to any inch of Palestinian land. This is an important issue. Our position stems from our religious convictions. This is a holy land. It is not the property of the Palestinians or the Arabs. This land is the property of all Muslims in all parts of the world.89

Even before Hamas came to power Palestinian sermons preached that all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (which includes all of Israel) is a religious Wakf — an Islamic religious trust. They preached that any Moslem who relinquishes any part to Israel is damned to Hell.90  Eternal damnation is not enough; Palestinian Arabs suspected of selling land to Jews have been killed.91  The radio of the Palestinian Authority broadcast that, "Israel's survival is forbidden by Islamic Law" before Hamas came to power.

Radical Islamic religious convictions are behind the Middle East conflict, not land as Arab propagandists claim.  Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech to the Israeli Knesset, explained that:

This is not a conflict about a particular piece of land. We withdrew from every inch of Lebanon, yet we were attacked. We withdrew from every inch of Gaza, yet we were attacked. Our enemies tell us that even if we give up every last inch of Judea and Samaria and return to the pre-1967 borders, this would make no difference to them . . . At its core, this is a conflict about Israel’s very existence, whatever our borders may be.92

There are Islamic doctrines that preach hatred against infidels even if they are not Jewish.  For example, the Koran commands:

Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.93

And:

Fight those who do not believe in Allah . . . until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.94

If Islamic doctrines are the root cause of conflict in the Middle East we would expect such doctrines to lead to conflict between Islam and other groups who have nothing to do with Israel.  That is indeed the case, and in 1993 between two-thirds and three-quarters of all the conflicts in the world were determined to involve Moslems against Moslems, or Moslems against non-Moslems, even though at the time Muslims only made up about 20% of the world’s population.95

The majority of Muslims who call themselves Palestinians are in reality recent immigrants to the area who emigrated from surrounding areas (because of the prosperity created there by the Jews) and who then claimed the area as their own.96  If Islamic doctrine is the root of these claims then one would expect Muslims immigrating to other areas to make similar claims.  We can see this taking place today simply by reading our newspapers.  The Mufti of Australia and New Zealand, Taj Al-Din Hamed Abdallah Al-Hilali, claims that Australia is Muslim land and a similar claim has been made for America.97  Islamic claims are being made to land in Europe.  In October 2005 Muslims rioted in the Rosenhoj Shopping center in Denmark. "This area belongs to us," the youths proclaimed. [...] "The police have to stay away. This is our area. We decide what goes on down here."98  In France, Muslim immigrant youths also taunted authorities, saying, "This territory belongs to Islam; you don't belong here."99  Muslim areas in Europe have become so dangerous for non-Muslims that even police area afraid to go there.  Non-Muslim Europeans are leaving their countries to escape as Muslims immigrate to their country.100  Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said that, "We have 50 million Muslims in Europe, there are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.101

President Bush, meanwhile, makes statements such as, "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."102

What Can Be Done

The threat of the Islamic world is increasing rapidly.  Iran is close to the mass production of nuclear weapons and Pakistan already has them and has talked about using them against Israel.  Just how dangerous Pakistan is, was shown in a photo on the cover of Investors Business Daily in which two young girls held up a banner that said, “We are all Hezbollah,”103 and by the involvement of Pakistanis in the recent attempt to blow up airplanes on route from London to the United States.104  The thousands of rockets falling on Israel should be a warning to us all about what could happen here.  Rocket pads have already been intercepted on the way to the United States from Saudi Arabia during the search of a ship.105  Such rockets could launch dirty bombs from ships in our ports or worse.  We cannot afford to base our foreign policy on the belief that giving freedom from occupation to a Nazified population that has been indoctrinated from childhood to hate the infidel will bring peace any more than we can base domestic policy on the belief that freeing hardened criminal gangs from jail will turn them into law-abiding citizens.  Radical Islam must be struck preemptively because it is the Islamic obligation of every radical Muslim to strike the infidel and it is gaining the capability to commit mass murder on a scale that will dwarf 9/11.  There are those, especially among the Left, who argue that fighting Islam just antagonizes Muslims further and point to how the Israeli invasion of Lebanon has antagonized the Muslim world.  That is like arguing that if you fight crime you will antagonize criminals.  Of course you will but if you don’t fight crime you will have a lot more crime than if you do.

History teaches us that the most indoctrinated populations can be reformed.  Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan have become peaceful democratic countries.  In both cases the countries were defeated, disarmed and occupied, during which time all incitement was stopped and reeducation programs were instituted.  Perhaps the best reeducation lessons came from defeat. 

The opinion that de-Nazification of the Arabs is necessary has been expressed by Steven Plaut and others.106  Joseph Puder, in an article titled "Restraint Means Genocide," wrote:

In the final analysis we must remember the lessons of World War Two – our implacable enemies, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, were able to emerge as democracies only after their total defeat. Nazi Germany with its deadly ideology of master race and world dominance could not be brought to the negotiation table. Nor were the Western powers able to affect compromise with such an ideological enemy. Britain and France also learned that appeasement could not seduce the Nazis. Total destruction of the Nazi war machine and its state apparatus enabled us to witness a free and democratic Germany emerge.

Only the complete defeat of Palestinian terrorism and its infrastructure in the Israeli context can bring the Palestinians to the negotiation table and give peace a chance. Similarly, America must overthrow the state-sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Syria, and perhaps Saudi Arabia if we are ever to hope for a terrorism-free world and a stable Middle East.107

Alarmingly, not only are we not de-Nazifying the Middle East but the Middle East is Nazifying us.  Large Saudi investments in our universities and our media our influencing what we believe.  Large scale Islamic population growth has turned Dearborn, Michigan into Dearbornistan,108,109 while towns throughout the United States are becoming homes to radical madrassas.110  The Islamic population of the United States is growing faster than any other subgroup and is projected to double again by 2010.111  Saudi money is pouring into our country to create and fund radical mosques that ensure that the burgeoning population is radicalized,112 while President Bush talks about “Our friends the Saudis.”

The ability of Hezbollah to rain rockets on Israel and the difficulty Israel faces in stopping them shows the power of a small well-trained force that is willing to target civilians and hide among civilians whose weapons are supplied by a country with massive oil wealth. When we witness large-scale support for Hezbollah in towns such as Dearborn, Michigan,113 we need to wake up to the possibility that some day we may face widespread terrorist attacks by terrorists equipped with Iranian weapons in the United States.

Although much of this article is devoted to the folly of the Bush administration it is important to note that he has shown great insight in believing that spreading freedom can contribute to peace.  President Bush’s glorious vision of peace in the Middle East is a noble goal to strive for.  After the attacks of September 11th, Bush courageously sent troops to overthrow the terrorist-supporting regimes of Afghanistan and Iraq.  The problem in both cases is that nothing was done to de-Nazify these countries and nothing has been done to stop the incitement in these countries. In both countries fanatic Muslims and terrorist leaders have been allowed to run for office because of the theory of the Bush administration that freedom will bring peace.  For freedom to bring peace these populations must be defeated with overwhelming force, occupied and de-Nazified.  Likewise, if the Bush administration would not pressure Israel to withdraw from land and instead encourage Israel to occupy and de-Nazify the Palestinian Arabs, the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs might improve the way it did under the original Israeli occupation.  Perhaps then Bush’s glorious vision of a peaceful Middle East might come to pass, perhaps then Arabs and Jews might live on a friendly basis, the way they did in the Jewish towns of Gaza before Gaza was ethnically cleansed of Jews for an illusory peace.

First published by the Freeman Center.

Endnotes

1. President Bush Calls for New Palestinian Leadership, Press Release, Office of the Press Secretary, 6/24/02

2. Interview of President Bush by AL Arabiya, Press Release, Office of the Press Secretary, 10/24/05

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6. Levin, K., The Oslo Syndrome, Delusions of a People Under Siege, Smith and Kraus, June 1, 2005

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10. Farah, J., How Barak Sold Out Lebanese Christians, 10/31/2002

11. Outpost, May 2005

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16. Karsh, E., What Occupation? Commentary Magazine, July-Aug 2002

17. Karsh, E., What Occupation? Commentary Magazine, July-Aug 2002

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46. Shmed al-Bahar, Jewish News Wire 3/28/05

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69. Abbas Praises Hizbullah, Israel National News, 8/6/2006

70. Bedein, D., Abbas Endorses Hezbollah, frontpagemag.com 8/11/2006

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74. Palestinians Party on September 11, little green footballs,  9/7/2002

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77. Palestinians Destroy Religious Site that was Site of Many Clashes, New York Times, pg. 10, 10/8/2000

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94. Koran 9:29

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103. Investors Business Daily, 8/10/06

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