Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mr. President, It’s Time To Think Outside Of The Box


The box President Bush refuses to think his way out of is the two-state solution confined to Israel and the territories.

Hamas’ takeover in Gaza, and Fatah’s takeover in the West Bank have dealt a blow to the advocates of the two-state solution. But it has provided them with a perceived opportunity.

In the coming months we are likely to witness one more STRONG push to cement a two-state solution.

But such a “solution” cannot work in the long run, even if an independent Palestinian State is forcibly created and billions of aid money is bestowed upon it. This “solution,” if it comes about, will seriously weaken and imperil Israel, will serve to ruin the lives of many Palestinian Arabs, and will ultimately bring the world that much closer to a regional conflagration.

It is a pity that President Bush no longer appreciates the significance of his own principled words from 2003.

“Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe, because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place for stagnation, resentment and violence for export.”

The President abandoned his words in Iraq. Somewhere along the line, when the fight to win became difficult, the United States looked to cut deals with mini local tyrants who have non-democratic agendas. The willingness of the U.S. to cut deals—and purchase stability at the expense of liberty—was perceived by all as weakness.

As Tony Blair said back in 2003: “weakness in the face of a threat from a tyrant, is the surest way not to peace but to war.”

This applies to all tyrants, big and small, and whether in kaffiyeh or a business suit.

The principle abandoned in Iraq is now ignored in Israel and the territories because the fair election of Hamas—a group that wouldn’t say it accepts the existence of Israel, when it doesn’t—led to “inconvenient” problems for Washington.

Take a look at the new American tactic with respect to the Palestinians. President Bush has decided to choose sides between tyrants. He has decided to back Fatah’s dubiously created unelected government in the West Bank. This is the perceived opportunity to salvage the “two-state solution.”

How shortsighted.

We’ve come along way since the days when the PLO was treated as a pariah for its terrorist activities. It is now, once again, the benefactor of U.S. largess.

Since being resurrected from near death in 1993 by the Oslo-accords, the PLO in guise of the PA has received, according to noted historian Michael Oren, more international aid than any entity in modern history. It has abused this aid by buying weapons, maintaining in the West Bank the highest percentage of policemen-to-population ratio in the world, and stuffing its leaders’ private bank accounts.

Expecting Fatah to reform itself financially, ideologically and structurally defies all past experience.

It is oxymoronic—dare I say un-American—for the United States to side with and prop up one essentially anti-American non-democratic group (Fatah) in a fight with another anti-American non-democratic group (Hamas).

But this is exactly what the United States is doing.

And unfortunately the Israeli government is right there to help.

As the leader of a U.S. dependent State in mortal danger, perhaps Prime Minster Olmert (may he soon be replaced) has no real choice but to go along with President Bush in propping up the remnants of Yasser Arafat’s organization. But it sure smells.

Perhaps the Prime Minister figures that going along with the U.S., in exchange for the extra aid/bribe money Israel will receive for doing so, is worthwhile since the American endeavor is likely to fail anyway.

One thing is sure: a truncated Israel will need all the extra bribe money it can get. A truncated Israel will not be viable. It will not be strong into the future.

In the Middle East, the Western proclivity to seek expedience and compromise to solve problems has proved to be a long and unending road. This path hasn’t worked.

Utterly defeating the enemy and imposing terms of unconditional surrender is painful, but it is the shorter and only road to peace. It will free the millions who simply want to live decent lives with their families.

Who is the enemy? Those who will not support the ideal of live and let live but rather, insist on destroying it. Those who wish to see Israel, the United States, and the rest of modern civilization destroyed, and seek out means to do so. Those who will not make fair room in the Middle East for Israel to thrive, not merely survive. Those who will not grant the Palestinian Arabs citizenship or a State of their own in the vast Arab lands that are 1 ½ times the size of the United States, and 99.8% the size of Israel and the territories.

Mr. President, propping up a regime such as Fatah is unworthy of America.

Propping up Fatah does not serve the Palestinians, Israel, or prospects for long-term peace between Israel and her many Arab neighbors.

The forced implementation of the two-state solution is a path to ruin.

Mr. President, it is time to think outside of the box.

--David Naggar

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