Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Barbara Lerner - Collapsing Temples (NRO)

It is being referenced in many other places but it is a very good article and well worth reading.

Here's a part:

Here, first, is the way Palestinian Arabs have manifested their alleged embrace of peace and democracy in the months since Mahmoud Abbas replaced Yasser Arafat. Abbas was elected last January 9 with 62 percent of the vote, but, as Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki clearly shows, this was not a vote against terror: Two thirds of Palestinians still see terror as an effective weapon, and they give all credit for Israel's decision to withdraw from Gaza to the terrorists.

Hamas, the largest of the many Palestinian terrorist groups, boycotted the election, claiming it was based on the "illegal" Oslo "peace," but they did field candidates in the municipal election for control of Gaza on January 27, winning 77 out of the 118 seats — a victory margin of 67 percent. This huge Palestinian terror majority makes no secret of the fact that they intend to drive Jews out of Israel and Americans out of the Middle East. They are closely allied with all the other terrorist groups in the region, and with all the terror-sponsoring states. During both Iraq wars, they marched in support of Saddam Hussein; today, they march for Syria, and for Hezbollah, along with allied Palestinian terror groups like Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the terror wing of Abbas's own party, Fatah.

On March 11, there was a big pro-Syrian demonstration in Gaza. Thousands of armed, masked Palestinians waved Palestinian flags tied to Syrian and Lebanese ones. They burned American and Israeli flags, along with effigies of George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon, with the caption "You have no place here." As usual, they all screamed "Death to America" and "Itbah al Yahud" ("Kill the Jews"), as well as "Yes, yes," to Syria and Hezbollah.

Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the man our press keeps assuring us is "a moderate," has made no move to disarm these men or the hundreds of thousands of others like them who form a majority of all Palestinians in the West Bank as well as Gaza. Instead, he proposes to integrate gunmen who are not already members of the Palestinian security forces into their ranks, arming and training them with huge new infusions of American and European cash.

Last week, Abbas sent a different message to the beleaguered minority of Palestinians who actually do want peace — those who try to thwart planned terrorist attacks by reporting them to Israeli authorities. Fifty-one Palestinians are currently under Palestinian death sentences, more than half of them for "collaborating" with Israel, but executions have been suspended since August 2002. On March 3, Abbas lifted the ban, ordering the execution of 15 of them this month.

This "progress" is more than enough to satisfy our road-map partners, but it is nowhere near enough to satisfy Palestinian gunmen. When Abbas tried to hold a meeting in Gaza last week, Islamic Jihad gunmen broke it up by surrounding the meeting hall and firing a hail of bullets into it. That sent Abbas and his cronies scurrying back to Ramallah in the West Bank. There, on March 10, Palestinian gunmen from Abbas's own party — Fatah — followed suit: They broke up the meeting he tried to hold there, too, firing their guns and smashing windows and chairs. And of course, Kassam rocket attacks on Israeli civilians in Gaza continue: There were two more last week, along with an automatic weapons attack in Hebron, wounding two Israelis, plus the bombing of a beachfront nightclub in Tel Aviv on February 25 that killed five and wounded 50. But for the vigilance of Israeli counterterrorism forces, there would have been many more.