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Jewish World Review Oct. 4, 2001 / 17 Tishrei 5762

Don Feder

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U.S. wants Israel to embrace terrorists -- ISRAEL is being served up to the wolves to shore up Arab support for the anti-Osama alliance. It won't be the first time the Jewish state has been a pawn in misguided Middle East diplomacy.

Yesterday, President George Bush declared the idea of a Palestinian state has always been part of the peace process. Not so. It was supposed to be negotiated, not handed to Arafat on a silver platter marked "Made in America."

The State Department pressured Jerusalem to negotiate the latest fictitious cease-fire, one-week old and fading fast. (The Israeli army has been attacked dozens of times, and a car bomb exploded in Jerusalem on Monday.)

You'd think that after the horror of Sept. 11, we would stop mechanically intoning that "both sides must sacrifice for peace." Yet, this administration continues the deluded chorus of its predecessors.

Sacrifice for peace? Israel has sacrificed territory, security and the lives of its citizens. After Olso, it gave Arafat 40 percent of the West Bank and all of Gaza. At Camp David, the Barak government offered him sovereignty over 90 percent of the territories, with part of Jerusalem as his capital.

In return, he unleashed a bloodbath -- stonings, drive-by shootings, sniper assaults, suicide bombings, mortar attacks -- that has claimed almost 200 Israeli lives to date.

To solidify the latest truce, Arafat demands a permanent Israeli redeployment, an end to the targeting of Palestinians who orchestrate atrocities and a lifting of the security blockade. At the same time, he flatly refuses to hand over Hamas and Islamic Jihad capos. And Colin Powell thinks Israelis can do business with this butcher.

History is on automatic replay.

During the Gulf War, the administration of the elder George Bush sold out Israel for its grand anti-Saddam alliance. Secretary of State James Baker pressured Jerusalem not to respond when Baghdad's Scuds Tel Aviv.

After the war, as a payoff to the Saudis for allowing U.S. troops to protect them, Baker twisted the arm of then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to get him to negotiate with Palestinians in Madrid -- the first step on the road to Olso and the fatal handshake with Arafat.

In hot pursuit of a Nobel Prize, Bill Clinton drove the peace process over a precipice. During his tenure, Arafat practically took up residence in the White House. Reflecting Clinton's mindset, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger called Palestinian violence a "blessing" as well as a curse, because it might spur negotiations.

Camp David was the culmination of Clinton's diplomacy. When Arafat saw what Israel was willing to give up (under American pressure), he turned to guns and bombs to up the ante.

Administrations change; appeasement continues. In his briefing of Sept. 27, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher explained that anti-American terrorism and suicide bombings in Israel are in no way comparable, as the latter involve "political issues that need to be resolved in the Middle East." Do dead Israelis appreciate the distinction?

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer called the latest cease-fire "an important step forward in restoring confidence." Confidence in what? Arafat's word? The Palestinians' longing for peace?

"Let the Americans know the meaning of death," Palestinians chanted in the streets of Nablus on learning of the Manhattan massacre. The day the World Trade Center was demolished, Arafat's official newspaper called the killers of Israeli civilians, "noble successors of the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the U.S. Marines a tough lesson."

Students at Al-Najah University in Nablus have opened an exhibit celebrating the slaughter of women and children, which includes a recreation of the Aug. 9 attack on a Jerusalem pizzeria (15 dead), complete with fake body parts. In a recent poll, 85.3 percent of Palestinians said they supported a continuation of Arafat's jihad.

And the administration wants Israel to have confidence in Arafat and the lynch mob he leads.

Washington says there will be no negotiations with the Taliban over bin Laden's surrender, but it constantly prods Israel to make concessions to a creature every bit as evil. We speak confidently of a war on terrorists thousands of miles from our shores and want Israel to embrace terrorists in its backyard.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate