With Friends Like These …
After simmering the issue on the back burner for some time, America is again pushing for the creation of a Palestinian state—specifically, renewing pressure on the Jewish government to make concessions. The U.S. is making it clear that it wants another Islamic nation in the Middle East—and soon.
Last November, President Bush said he wants to see a Palestinian state before he leaves office in four years. On her first overseas trip as secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice followed up: “I don’t think any of us doubt that without a Palestinian state … that can meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people, that there really isn’t going to be a peace for either the Palestinian people or the Israelis” (Associated Press, January 31).
London’s Sunday Times reports, “The Israelis are worried that Bush is succumbing to European pressure for a new approach to the Middle East. They fear that Bush’s need for support in Iraq has made mending fences with Europe a higher priority than support for Israel” (February 6; emphasis mine). This “new approach” clearly includes romancing the Palestinians.
Following the February summit in Egypt, President Bush invited both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to Washington this spring. Impressed with Abbas’s early efforts, Congress passed a resolution describing Abbas as “a credible leader,” and the U.S. promised $350 million in aid to the Palestinian government.
This $350 million aid package includes an astonishing offer: to pay Palestinian terrorists for not attacking Israel.
According to Middle East Newsline, “Officials said that under the proposal, the United States would guarantee $100 per month to any insurgent who surrenders his weapon and renounces violence” (February 8).
It is hard to fathom how anyone could consider this a good idea—paying the schoolyard bully your lunch money in order to secure his “protection.” Can anyone actually imagine a terrorist being persuaded to change his ways because he is on the payroll of the “Great Satan”?
Even if this doesn’t happen, that fact that it is being seriously considered demonstrates the emptiness in what America has to offer as a peacemaker. Israel soon will be forced to look elsewhere for help. Watch for it.