The Trumpet: Christian Supporter of Israel States the Case Against the Bush Policies

I don't recall reading a more clearly stated case. I can't say that I agree with it all, but I have a hard time dismissing the facts. This column comes out of the bastion of Christian followers of the stormy and legendary leader, the late Herbert W. Armstrong. The provenance of the argument is of no consequence to the impressive accuracy of the facts and reasoning it presents. And it's conclusion is alarming, "America’s breathtaking betrayal of Israel is becoming clearer by the day."
Joel Hilliker Columnist
“The State of Palestine Is Long Overdue”

The American president is traveling the Middle East promising peace between Israel and the Palestinians this year, before he leaves office.

He proposes to accomplish in 11½ months the opposite of what essentially the same strategy has wrought for 14 years.

He is endorsing a process that has repeatedly, consistently, absolutely proven to be not merely an unqualified failure, but a road map to more war. By doing so, the president is hurling logic off the same cliff his predecessor did.

Here is a promise for the next 11½ months you can count on: The more resolute, vigorous and desperate the president becomes in trying to make a mark on history, the more devastating it will be for the Jewish state.

In this quagmire, no action is eminently better than wrong action. Just look at the history.

Remember the photo that started it all: Bill Clinton smiling upon Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat as they shook hands on the first big breakthrough in the peace process. The 1993 Oslo Accords granted the Palestinians diplomatic recognition, self-government, territory and a promise of more concessions for good behavior. In return, the Palestinians agreed to end their armed struggle and to clamp down on terrorism.

Thus the pattern was set: Israelis make concessions; Palestinians make promises; Palestinians break promises.

Israelis can now fondly reminisce about pre-Oslo days. In the decade that preceded this foray into “solving” the Arab-Jew conflict, 41 Israelis were murdered. In the decade after, that statistic increased 2,305 percent.

Now 14 years of bloody failure have proven that every time Israel turns over more power to the Palestinian Authority, terrorism increases. Every time foreign governments increase aid to the PA (Palestinians have received more money per capita than anyone in history), funding for terrorist attacks against Jews also rises. Concessions to Palestinians simply do not facilitate the dream of two states peacefully coexisting; instead they increase the body count of Israelis—and of Palestinians who die when Israel tries to defend itself.

Time and again, ambassadors and politicians have tried to reinject themselves into this mess to try to stop the bleeding. As with Olso, America has largely been the driving force. And for 14 years, it has pushed for “peace” using the same failed pattern. In an effort to be “evenhanded,” Washington has funded, armed and trained the Palestinians; it has required that Israel use restraint in defending itself; it has smiled upon Israeli leaders offering extraordinarily generous packages of incentives and concessions (which Palestinians responded to with more violence); it has encouraged the Palestinian democratic process that brought Hamas into power; it has urged Israel to relinquish control of the Gaza-Egypt border, which enabled Gaza to become an armed terrorist stronghold.

And now, after hosting the humiliating Annapolis conference (at which U.S. officials accommodated the request by Arab leaders that Jews not be allowed to use the same entrance they did), the American president is visiting Jerusalem with this message: “The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it. And it will enhance the stability of the region, and it will contribute to the security of the people of Israel.”

Why “long overdue”? If Palestinians hadn’t waged war to eliminate Israel the day after it came into being, they’d have had a state 60 years ago. Then as now, they lack it because of rejectionism and warmaking. Why do they “deserve it”? Their efforts at governance are marked by economic corruption and unrestrained violence; they leave the Palestinian people hopeless, impoverished and seething with Jew-hatred (standard in government-funded school curricula). How will it “contribute to … security”? Is there a shred of evidence of this—aside from the same old Palestinian promises that are broken as quickly as they are made?

There is plenty of evidence of the opposite. A Palestinian state, of sorts, already exists: in the Gaza Strip. Israel conceded that territory in pursuit of “peace,” gifting it to Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah government. Then Hamas staged a coup, and Fatah fled the scene and retreated to the West Bank. Hamas proceeded to transform Gaza into a terrorist haven from which it regularly launches missiles into Israeli territory.

If America insists that the West Bank form the bulk of a new Arab nation—the U.S. president says he wants the state of Palestine to be “viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent”—what’s to prevent Hamas from taking over there as well? The West Bank is hardly a bastion of Fatah support: The unofficial capital city, Ramallah, recently elected a Hamas mayor. Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar says it’s “only a matter of time” before his organization conquers the West Bank—and history is on his side. At present, Fatah’s only guarantor of survival against Hamas is Israeli security forces.

That’s right: Fatah presently relies on Israel to protect it from being overrun by an Iranian-sponsored terrorist group. And still Washington says Israel will be more secure if Fatah is given statehood. Logic has been hurled over the cliff.

The real trouble is, Abbas, Fatah and the majority of Palestinians have never given Israel statehood. The mainstream Palestinian view—most vigorously expressed by, but by no means limited to, extremist groups like Hamas—is that Jews have no right to a state on Middle East soil. Abbas’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said last month that the Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Polls show that the majority of Palestinians reject Israel’s existence. Abbas’s weak credibility among his people would be even feebler if he didn’t accommodate this popular spirit of anti-Israelism.

That is the core issue at the heart of Arab-Jew conflict: two states cannot peacefully coexist when one wants to obliterate the other.

The “peace” process fails because in order to proceed, it must sidestep that reality and pretend that the “core issues” are other things. Aboard Air Force One with the president en route to the Middle East, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, in the words of the Washington Times: “The ‘road map’ for peace, conceived in 2002 by Mr. Bush, had become a hindrance to the peace process, because the first requirement was that the Palestinians stop terrorist attacks. As a result, every time there was a terrorist bombing, the peace process fell apart and went back to square one. Neither side ever began discussing the ‘core issues’: the freezing of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the rights of Palestinian refugees to return, the outline of Israel’s border and the future of Jerusalem.” Yes—just get rid of that pesky “hindrance to the peace process”—requiring that Palestinians stop the terrorism—and boom, problem solved, you can go straight to the “core issues.” Why didn’t we think of it before?

Reports are that, in the wake of the president’s visit, Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei are now talking about the “core issues.” The Jerusalem Post says, “This is the first time Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have tackled the core issues—Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, security and water—since the breakdown of the Camp David talks in July 2000.”

Negotiate they may, but Mahmoud Abbas at one time or another has already made clear his stance on these core issues. On Jerusalem, full sovereignty of the Temple Mount to Palestinians. On refugees, Israeli acceptance of “right of return” for millions of Arab immigrants, a move that would wipe out the Jewish nature of Israel. On borders and settlements, complete Israeli evacuation of the West Bank.

Strong demands. And what can Abbas offer Israel in return? Precisely nothing. He surely couldn’t keep a straight face and offer what Arafat offered at Oslo—to end the armed struggle and to clamp down on terrorists—when he already depends on Israel to protect his own government from those very terrorists.

So what will 11½ months of intensive “peace” processing accomplish? It’s no mystery. It will accomplish exactly what 14 years of “peace” processing accomplished before: more violence.

The post-Oslo total now stands at 1,700 dead Jews. In a nation with only 5.4 million Jews.

Think about that number. The “peace” process has yielded a death rate for Israel almost seven times higher than the Iraq war has for the U.S. military. And that’s mostly among civilians, not soldiers.

Liberals in the United States wanted to pull out of Iraq long ago. But they insist—they demand—and now with the backing of the White House—that Israel keep sacrificing the blood of its people in the trenches of this failed effort perversely called the “peace” process.

America’s breathtaking betrayal of Israel is becoming clearer by the day.

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