Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Ultimate Powerless Palestinian

By Alan Caruba

There’s a small news item in today’s local daily about “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas” and his visit to the White House where he appealed to the Bush administration “for more support in peace talks with Israel.”

I strongly suspect that President Abba cannot take a piss in Ramallah without having several heavily armed bodyguards to make sure Hamas doesn’t try to kill him as he relieves himself.

By way of background, Abbas was the right-hand man to Yassir Arafat, the father of Middle East terrorism who anointed himself the spokesman for the Palestinians. For years, no matter what peace deal was offered to him and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Arafat could not quite find a way to say yes.

The late Abba Eden, an Israeli scholar and diplomat, once said that the Palestinians never lost an opportunity to lose an opportunity.

One Israeli prime minister after another had to put up with his intransigence and, after he had been chased out of his headquarters in Lebanon, setting up camp in Tunis, the Israelis sent him a message. They went there and killed several of his trusted aides. In time, though, Arafat would make it back to the disputed Palestinian territories and find new ways to kill more Israelis.

At least Hamas doesn’t make any pretense of wanting peace with Israel. They want that thriving jewel in the dung heap of the Middle East to return to its original 1967 borders and that ain’t going to happen. Actually, they want to entirely destroy Israel.

The only thing that will happen is another war on Israel, this time coordinated by the Iranians using Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza strip. There is no knowing how many rockets they have warehoused.

For sixty years the Arab nations in the area have tried to vanquish Israel and failed. Egypt made a peace of sort and, while it is widely known the Israelis have high walls to protect them from the Palestinians in Gaza, it is less well known that the Egyptians have their own high walls, too.

Jordan never wanted to make war, but felt obliged to join in, thus losing the West Bank and ultimately all of Jerusalem. The Syrians lost the Golan Heights and, when they recently tried to secretly build a nuclear reactor with the help of the North Koreans, the Israelis blew it off the face of the map. So far, there’s not been a peep out of the heroic Syrians.

The Arabs never learn anything from history. In the 1980s the Israelis had destroyed a nuclear facility in Iraq. The Iranians are next.

President Abbas is unhappy that the Israelis continue to build settlements to house those people who actually want to live there. Trying to understand Jews is almost as impossible as trying to understand Arabs, still they do have claim to Israel. I read about it in the Old Testament and in history books.

It is an oddity of history that the Emperor Hadrian renamed Israel “Palestine” in the belief that the ancient name would be forgotten. It wasn’t. After World War One when the British were given the Palestine Protectorate, those pesky Jews in Europe, Russia and elsewhere were still praying, “If I forget thee, oh Israel…” They didn’t forget. In the late 1800s many who were tired of persecution began to move there to lay the foundation of a resurrected Israel. They bought land.

In May Israel will celebrate sixty years of sovereignty. The White House and Prime Minister Abbas apparently think they can tell the Israelis what to do about settlements and other issues of contention, but they can’t. Maybe they should both read the Old Testament?

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