The recent bombings of Israeli civilians in Jerusalem and Haifa have created a situation of extreme instability in the Middle East. The first attack, a double suicide bombing of a crowded pedestrian mall was quickly followed by a car bomb designed to kill rescuers. The second attack occured as a Palestinian man boarded a bus in Haifa then detonated an explosive. The death toll currently stands at 25.
These actions are not the actions of a civilized people. If the Palestinians so badly desire a homeland, then they could easily get one at the negotiating table. The talk by the Palestianians of their own homeland is, unfortunately, an elaborate smokescreen. The real desire of these Palestinian militants is the complete and utter destruction of the State of Israel. Suicide bombings aren’t designed to win popular support, they’re designed to kill and terrorize. The actions of groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah aren’t about politics, they’re about engendering fear in the Israeli population and weakening support for the Israeli government.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had a very eloquent response to these attacks. Prime Minster Sharon is exactly right on what these attacks mean and what Israel should do about them. He’s also entirely correct in pointing out that Israel is a democratic state that supports the human rights of its citizens. By comparison, the Palestian Authority is an autocratic system with widespread corruption and human rights violations. The last thing we need in the Middle East is another autocratic Islamic dictatorship.
A Palestinian homeland only deserves to be discussed when Arafat gets serious about cracking down on terror. The only acceptable Palestinian state is one that respects of the right of Israel to exist, recognizes the rule of law and basic standards of human rights, and has a basic sense of civil society. However, that would mean that Arafat would be unable to talk peace in English while inciting war in Arabic. It has become increasingly clear that Yassir Arafat isn’t interested in peace, doesn’t have any control over his own people, and is unwilling to take the steps necessary to ameliorate the situation. Until the Palestinians drop their attempts to destroy Israel and actually work on a real peace, the violence is likely to continue.
It’s become a common fad for the Left to critize Israel as a barbaric and warlike state. It also show the Left’s lack of understanding of the world situation. We all saw the images of the death and destruction of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. To the Israelis, those images are all too familiar. They see that kind of blooshed every day. Our nation has united around the maxim that terrorism cannot go unpunished. This isn’t a maxim that applies strictly to the United States, but to the Israeli people as well. It would be the height of hypocracy to support our actions against terrorism while simultaneously chastising the Israelis for doing exactly the same thing.
There’s a time for talk and a time to stand. For the Israelis, now is the time to stand. As allies of the Israeli people, the United States should stand with them.