[Freemanlist2] P. David Hornik - The Price of Palestinianism

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Wed Mar 28 10:22:00 CDT 2007


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The Price of Palestinianism
By P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 28, 2007


"It is impossible to ignore the fact that the chairman of the PA blatantly breached commitments that he gave Israel, especially the commitment that a national unity government would not be established before Gilad Shalit was released,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his cabinet on Sunday. He was referring to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas; and to the Israeli soldier abducted by terrorists who infiltrated Israel from Abbas’s PA last June.
Olmert added that Abbas’s commitment was “given to me time and time again, also during the trilateral meeting [between Olmert, Abbas, and Condoleezza Rice five weeks ago], and it was also given to leaders of foreign states. These leaders, who heard this clear commitment, wondered how it was possible to break this commitment so blatantly.”
Olmert also complained that “the political platform of the Palestinian unity government grants legitimacy to violent resistance, violating [Abbas’s] promise...”
 
Olmert, not notable for moral backbone or consistency, publicly berated the sainted Abbas knowing that both Secretary of State Rice and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had arrived for another flurry of diplomatic activity centering on the PA chairman. Olmert may be surprised at the relentlessness of even American Palestinianism, which continues on the same track even at a time when Abbas has formally “united,” in a subservient role, with Hamas.
 
The corrupting influence of Palestinianism was dramatically on display Sunday when Ban, as part of a visit to Abbas in Ramallah, proceeded to the tomb of Yasser Arafat, where he laid a wreath of white flowers and closed his eyes in reverential silence. On Monday Ban went on to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. It is hard to imagine a more grotesque sequence of events. Whereas the Nazi mass murderers, some of whose work is on display at Yad Vashem, are still generally reviled in the West and sometimes were even punished, Arafat’s grave is now a pilgrimage site for world leaders.
 
Being a Palestinian figure, Arafat was given a status as a sainted statesman that Israel itself finally endorsed in the 1990s. Arafat died royally in Paris, was gushingly eulogized by President Chirac, and was buried with full honors in Ramallah as an international rostrum of dignitaries attended. And his legacy lives on. Every time you hear about another attempt to blow up passenger planes, or about the latest suicide bombings in Baghdad or elsewhere, think of Arafat, who did more than any other individual to pioneer these forms of savagery. 
 
And now the head of an organization that was created sixty years ago to promote world peace, on a visit to Arafat’s longtime lieutenant and successor, goes to Arafat’s grave to pay homage. Such is the corrupting influence of Palestinianism.
 
As for Rice, one might dismiss her latest round of Ramallah-Jerusalem parleys as a passing performance meant to shore up America’s standing with its putative Sunni allies, who are said to require “progress on the Palestinian issue” before agreeing to cooperate against Iran. True, Rice left Israel after browbeating Olmert to commit to“political horizon” talks with Abbas. Olmert had previously said such talks were no-go as long as Abbas was officially a cog in a Hamas mechanism. Not to mention Olmert’s bitter words on Sunday about Abbas’s credibility.
 
But Abbas is, in any case, powerless and the Olmert government may be on its last leg. The Bush administration is well into its tenure and faces both Republicans and Democrats in Congress who are not pushovers for Palestinianism.
 
One problem with such complacency is that according to reports, the Americans are, nevertheless, serious. “State [Department] officials,” claims ynetnews.com,  “have made it clear . . . that the US is working toward an Israeli-Arab summit, mediated by the Quartet, by the end of May.” Akiva Eldar of Haaretz says he was told by Ban that “the international Quartet is planning to invite to its next meeting Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab Quartet—comprising Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. . . . ”
 
Whether or not the US and the rest of the Quartet are actually pursuing such a gang-up—a dire scenario in which representatives of a tottering, radically unpopular Israeli government would face representatives of profoundly anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist regimes in a supposed quest for peace—the damage is being done. Rice and Ban, with their latest antics in Israel and the PA, are further driving home some basic tenets of Palestinianism: that the Palestinians are a legitimate society, needing and deserving a state, no matter how they and their leaders behave, and no matter—according to more extreme Palestinianism, which Rice sometimes adopts—what concerns Israel has about its security and survival.
 
And no matter what the costs in regional stability and longer-term American interests. Heedlessly transferring land from Israeli to terrorist control, whether in the West Bank, Lebanon, or Gaza, does not have a good record so far. Even an Israeli leader of Olmert’s ilk somewhat grasps this by now. One does not expect much from the head of the UN. One still hopes the US is not hell-bent on pushing Israel into “peace” with Fatah-Hamas.
 
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