Prime Minister Tony Blair, Jim Baker and Brent Scowcroft have developed an intriguing theory: The core of the 13-century-old Islamic terrorism and Middle East violence is the sixty-year old Palestinian issue.
They have introduced a cost-effective tactic in combating terrorism: Rather than flex a muscle against Iran and other rogue regimes, instead of challenging the terrorist acts of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, they expect that one should suspend disbelief, shrink the Jewish State back to the 1949 Lines and establish a Palestinian State on its border. Such a contrived approach would, supposedly, mollify and appease the unprecedented wave of anti-US Islamic terrorism.
1. 9/11 was planned while Clinton’s USA and Barak’s Israel were appeasing the Palestinians and the Arabs, proposing a total Israeli withdrawal, including the re-partitioning of Jerusalem and the giveaway of the Golan Heights.
2. The October 12, 2000 Islamic terrorist attack on the USS Cole (17 sailors murdered) occurred when Israel was willing to give away the store, while the US pressured Israel to absorb and compensate Palestinian refugees.
3. The August 27, 1998 Islamic terrorist assault of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania took place (257 murdered and over 4,000 injured) while President Clinton was brutally pressuring Prime Minister Netanyahu for sweeping concessions to the Palestinians and to Syria.
4. The 1995/6 Riyadh and Khobar Towers, Dhahran Islamic terror attacks (19 murdered) were carried out while Israel implemented unprecedented concessions, in spite of Palestinian hate-education, systematic violation of all commitments made by the PA and unprecedented Palestinian terrorism.
5. The February 1993 Twin Towers bombing (6 murdered and over 1,000 injured) transpired while Israel conducted the pre-Oslo talks with the PLO, snatching the PLO from the jaws of oblivion in terrorist camps in Yemen, Iraq, Sudan and Tunisia and making unprecedented concessions.
6. The December 21, 1988 PanAm-103 (270 murdered) terrorism took place a few months following the groundbreaking initiation of direct talks between the US and the PLO, while the US attempted to initiate a direct Israel-PLO dialogue.
7. The June 1985 TWA 847 hijacking to Beirut (1 US Navy Seabee diver murdered) took place when the US was backing Iraq in Baghdad’s war against Iran, irrespective of the Palestinian issue.
8. The April/October 1983 bombings of the US Embassy and Marines and French military headquarters – by Syria and PLO-supported Islamic terrorists (300 Americans and 58 French murdered) – occurred while the US military confronted Israeli tanks in Lebanon and the US Administration blasted Israel horrifically for its war against the PLO.
Blair’s, Baker’s and Scowcroft’s contention that the Palestinian issue is the core of anti-Western Islamic terrorism and Mideast violence reflects a complete lack of understanding of the Arab mentality. It is totally inaccurate and fails to explain the real reason for anti-US Islamic terrorism.
It diverts attention and resources away from The Core Cause: a 13 century old religion that preaches hate against those who don’t follow its precepts, and whose Holy Book preaches death and advocates terrorism against non-believers. This policy of violence has characterized Muslim interaction with the West for 1300 years, including instances of violence against the United States as far back as the late 18th Century.
Any one who is familiar with world history will be familiar with the history of Islamic violence against non-believers that goes back for centuries, and whose root cause has nothing to do with a 60 year old problem of Palestinian refugees.
If that is the approach of the new advisors to President Bush on the Islamic terror issues in the Middle East, we are in for a very rude awakening. Causing Israel to make concessions against their best interest to appease Palestinian terrorists will not bring peace to the Middle East and will not cause Islamic terrorists to lay down their weapons and grow dates and raise cattle.
(Thanks to Yoram Ettinger)