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Jewish World Review / Dec. 24, 1998 /5 Teves, 5759

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas Peace in Bethlehem!?
Something to think about during Xmas

(JWR) --- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com) LET'S PUT THE LATEST MIDDLE EAST FARCE in a setting most Americans can understand.

Imagine a national gathering of the wizards and grand dragons of the Ku Klux Klan. The head racist (whatever he is called) gets up and asks for a show of hands on a resolution to repeal the KKK's founding document declaring blacks and Jews inferior to the white race. Should all who oppose the Klan immediately embrace the organization's members and declare victory over racism, or does prudence dictate waiting to see if actions follow words?

President Clinton accepted at face value the big show put on for his and the rest of the world's benefit. The Palestinian "delegates,'' attired in Western-style suits, raised their hands on cue in a type of Sieg Heil salute as they supposedly repealed the clause of their covenant calling for the destruction of Israel. But Article 33 of the Palestine National Charter says no changes can be made without a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the Palestine National Congress (PNC). The PNC's own press office released a statement calling the gathering a "popular convention,'' not an official gathering of the PNC. The meeting also included many non-PNC members. The number voting in favor of the "repeal'' was 456 out of 727 in attendance, less than two-thirds. So the vote was invalid on two counts, yet the president accepted it as authentic.

For once, Clinton's cynical manipulation of children in pursuit of his policies was turned back on him. Arafat trotted out four tearful children who asked the U.S. president to help free their fathers from Israeli jails. Then Clinton said he had met four Israeli children whose fathers had been killed "in conflict with Palestinians.'' This indulgence in moral equivalency ignores the fact that the Palestinian men in prison are there because they murdered Israelis, and the Israeli children have no father because they were murdered (not "killed'' in a conflict) by Palestinians. Did the World Trade Center bombers of have children? Should they have been introduced to children of the victims?

In his speech, Clinton said that the vote "fully, finally and forever'' rejects the passages in the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction. It does no such thing. A look at the Web page of Arafat's Fateh organization shows the passages are still there, as does the Web page of the Palestinian organization in Canada.

Days prior to the Arafat extravaganza, a political symposium was held in Gaza that included leading Fateh members, officers of the Palestinian security forces, Palestinian Authority propagandists and prominent intellectuals. According to the Arab publication Al Hayat Al-Jadida (as translated by the Middle East Media and Research Institute), Arafat's advisor for national and political guidance, Othman Abu Gharbiya, discussed Palestinian readiness for a possible confrontation with Israel after the expected declaration of Palestinian statehood next May.

Propaganda on Palestinian television and in newspapers, as well as in Palestinian schools, continues to be inflammatory toward Israel and the Jews. The messages suggest a warlike environment, with Israel being regularly vilified. There was Arafat's Ramallah speech of Nov. 15 in which he declared "our guns are raised, and we will aim them at anyone who prevents us from going to Jerusalem.'' Then there were scenes broadcast on television that showed military-style children's camps. Boys and girls chanted, recited poems and sang songs praising armed revolution, jihad and martyrdom. Is this the way people behave when they are interested in peaceful coexistence?

On the heels of the political aid given the Palestinians, the president promised more financial aid, increasing a pledge of $100 million over five years by another $300 million. Given a recent audit that showed British aid has been misspent, this is a case of throwing good taxpayer money after bad.

The Gaza meeting was a sham. Yasser Arafat is a liar. No wonder Bill Clinton felt so comfortable.

He was among friends.


12/22/98: The slime machine brings Apocalypse Now
12/15/98: The 'moving finger'
12/11/98: This sorry president
12/09/98: The eclipse of principle
12/03/98: Destroying Jewry on the installment plan
12/07/98: Before the Age of Clinton
12/01/98: Apathy and ignorance
11/19/98: Ken Starr's moment of truth
11/19/98: The fall of journalism's empire
11/17/98: Republicans drift while conservatives float
11/13/98: Supreme Courtupholds freedom of school-choice
11/10/98: The revolting Republican 'revolution'
11/06/98: Hulk Hogan for president?
11/03/98: Clinton's greatest peril isn't Monica
10/30/98: Mother Teresa was right about killing
10/27/98: Clinton to Netanyahu: 'You're despicable'
10/21/98: A 'peace' agreement: Wye not?
10/19/98: Vanity Fair snubs some of the greatest women 'leaders'
10/14/98:The mean machine
10/09/98: Impeachment: an outside perspective
10/07/98: The corruption of the Secret Service
10/02/98: Land erosion in Israel
10/01/98: The race panel: lies in black and white
9/18/98: The Clinton strategy and the Clinton legacy
9/18/98: Stopping him before he sins again
9/15/98: Repenting when the end is near
9/11/98: Faithfully executing: Congress vs. the President
9/10/98: The degrees of separation between Dan Burton and Bill Clinton
9/08/98: Joe Lieberman and the Democrats' conscience
9/04/98: Clinton vs. Reagan and the struggle for power
9/02/98: If only Bubba had been a Boy Scout
8/31/98: Liberal clergy and the Lewinsky affair
8/27/98: Combating the terrorists among us
8/25/98: The president as 'Chicken Little'
8/20/98: That was no apology
8/18/98: Big government's crab grab
8/14/98:Untruths, half-truths and anything but the truth
8/12/98: Lying under oath: past and present impeachable offenses
8/10/98: Endangered species
8/04/98: In search of an unstained president
7/31/98: The UK is ahead of US in one area...
7/28/98: Murder near and far
7/21/98: Telling the truth about
homosexual behavior
7/17/98: One Nation? Indivisible?
7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.