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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My letter to Condoleeza Rice

Dear Madam Secretary:

I am growing alarmed at the recent media reports saying that you are consistently pressuring Israel - to accelerate her unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, to limit natural growth in the settlements, to allow contiguous access between Palestinian areas of the West Bank and Gaza, to provide weapons to the Palestinian Authority, and now to give the Shebaa Farms area to Lebanon - going beyond what even the UN asked of Israel.

This pattern is very disturbing, to say the least.

President Bush made a clear statement in 2001: either you are with us or against us in the war on terror. Israel has consistently been America's staunchest ally, and her sacrifices have saved American lives with anti-terror technology and methodologies. Meanwhile, Palestinians celebrate when American and Israeli civilians die. It is mind-boggling that in the context of the war on terror, the US State Department can even conceive that it is a good idea to reward Hezbollah and Hamas by pressuring Israel to give them land. It is disingenuous to think that somehow Palestinian "moderates" are strengthened by Israeli concessions

Any realistic look at the situation in the Middle East shows that Abbas has shown little desire to stop terror against Israel. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are still associated with his own political party and its members are "policemen" on the Palestinian payroll. Mahmoud Abbas has learned from his mentor Arafat how to give half-measures when his back is pushed against a wall, but fundamentally he has yet to condemn a terror attack on moral grounds. This is not an ally who deserves to be rewarded. And it is only wishful thinking that Hamas is not strengthened by Israeli concessions.

It is equally bizarre to demand that Israel arm her enemies. Only ten years ago, Israel saw her citizens murdered with the very weapons that she gave them. No one can account for the thousands of M-16s that were given to the PLO in the 90s. Somehow, Palestinians are claiming to you that they are short on ammunition, yet they seem to have enough to fire indiscriminately in the air during funerals and weddings.

Pressuring Israel goes against the Bush Doctrine. It rewards the terrorists and their supporters. It is strengthens those who are against freedom, who are against democracy, who are against women's rights, and who are fundamentally against what America stands for. We have unfortunately already seen how the world's apathy towards terror attacks on Israel has directly led to terror attacks on other Western nations. Signalling the terrorists that the US can help their agendas makes America less safe. Perhaps more disturbing, the impression being given by the State Department is that the US is willing to gamble Israeli lives on a longshot bet that somehow so-called Arab "moderates" can be strengthened, and that we are willfully blind to the obvious and blatant support for terror exhibited even by the "moderates."

Those who support terror, implicitly or explicitly, are the ones who need to be pressured, not those who stand side-by-side with us to fight terror.

Thank you!