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Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 2000 /11 Mar-Cheshvan 5761

Cal Thomas

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Irreconcilable differences --
THE DEAD DUCK "peace process'' is moving again to Washington where a lame duck president will meet with Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak -- separately, but unequally -- in another meaningless and certainly fruitless exercise in futility.

Arafat has been a genius at playing the Israeli left and the West for suckers. He plays to the West's humanistic view of Man as basically good, while Arafat is the instigator and incarnation of much that is evil. The closest the West gets to a proper concept of evil is Halloween costumes depicting evil characters in which sophisticates do not believe.

The Clinton Administration has offered a $30 billion bribe to Arafat if he will lay down his arms and beat his growing stockpile of swords into plowshares. Instead, he's busy buying more swords and lining his own pockets and those of his cronies with what we, and the rest of the world, have already given him. The land-for-peace formula was doomed from the start because, while Arafat was happy to take land, he had no intention of granting peace. Why should he when he knows he can get it all with a little patience and a lot of violence?

Any math student knows that when a formula is wrong, the result will also be wrong, unless one is on the side of people who would exterminate Israel. Arafat feels no need to keep his intentions secret. He shouts them from the housetops, knowing that the State Department and the Israeli left are too stupid to believe what he says and too blind to believe what they see almost nightly on television. It makes them feel better to believe they will be respected in the morning, even after they have been repeatedly violated.

So, let us again go through the drill. Arafat claims he wants peace, but speaking to a Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership conference in Tunis last month, Arafat promised there would be a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Never mind that the Oslo agreement leaves the status of Jerusalem to be negotiated between the parties. Whatever Yasser wants, Yasser gets.

PLO Representative for Refugee Affairs, As'ad Abd Al-Rahman, said at the conference, "The negotiations that are being conducted between the Palestinian and Israeli sides are negotiations of blood. Despite the many casualties, the Palestinian people are inclined to continue the confrontation because it is beginning to bear fruit.''

The Arab press joins with Arafat, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in pledging the total destruction of Israel and, in some cases, they call for the annihilation of the Jewish people. How long should it take a rational person to believe a violent man coming down the street might have evil intent if he shoots at everyone and everything in sight? When he kills your neighbor and begins walking in your direction, a prudent person might conclude he'd better defend himself. But in the twisted reasoning of the Middle East, Israelis are illegal occupiers of land that rightfully belongs to them and so when people throw stones and others fire weapons, the soldiers fire back and are then saddled with blame.

The Palestinian media is full of incendiary rhetoric, which displays the PA's true intentions. Israeli Arab Knesset Member Abd-Al Malek Dehamshe was recently interviewed on PA Television. Dehamshe said, "We exaggerate when we say 'peace'...what we are (really) speaking about is 'Hudna.'''

"Hudna'' is an Islamic term meaning cease-fire. Dehamshe was responding to a caller to the program who asserted, "Our problem with Israel is not a border problem but one of existence.'' Dehamshe not only failed to disassociate himself from the caller's remark but he in effect agreed with the caller by referring to agreements with Israel not as "peace'' but rather as "Hudna,'' that is, a cease-fire. It is a step toward the PA's ultimate goal, which is not co-existence but the annihilation of Israel.

That is precisely what PA Minister Abdul Aziz Shahian said in the May 30 Palestinian daily newspaper Al Ayaam: "The Palestinian people accepted the Oslo agreements as a first step and not as a permanent arrangement, based on the premise that the war and struggle on the ground is more efficient than a struggle from a distant land...for the Palestinian people will continue the revolution until they achieve the goals of the '65 revolution.'' For the unread, the '65 revolution refers to the founding of the PLO and the publication of the Palestinian covenant that calls for the destruction of Israel by armed struggle.

One would have to be a complete idiot to ignore such behavior and rhetoric.

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