A New Push for Palestine
The recent decision by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, U.S. President George Bush, the leaders of Ireland and Holland, as well as British Prime Minister Tony Blair to support the creation of an independent Palestinian State has rocked the diplomatic world.
This unexpected, across-the-board support by leading Western nations will have a profound affect on the way Middle East negotiations are viewed in the near future, especially if this joint national move has a bandwagon effect, giving the Palestinian cause the nudge needed to gain their long-hoped-for victory.
How interesting that this block-stand taken so far is by modern Israelite nations: the U.S., Britain, Israel, Ireland and Holland.
How clearly such a stand ignores the warnings of outstanding leaders of the past such as Margaret Thatcher, who warned to never negotiate with terrorists. Here we have leaders of principal Western nations going one step further and siding with one!
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres falsely maintains that “Arafat is the only Palestinian leader who cares about the Western countries’ position” (www.israelnationalnews.com, Oct. 16). Peres admits that Arafat’s “desire to obtain legitimacy for the Palestinian cause influences him” (ibid). At the same time, from the other side of his mouth, Peres says, “Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah don’t care about the West, cannot be influenced, and call for for the destruction of Israel”(ibid.).
While world attention is diverted to Afghanistan, where the U.S. is waging fruitless war, the real issue motivating much of Islamic terrorism is the existence of the Jewish State of Israel, juxtaposed against the claim of the Palestinians for separatism. As veteran Egyptian publicist Muhammad Hassanein Heikal declares, “The current crisis in Afghanistan can spill over into other countries … but the chronic crisis is the Palestinian issue” (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 19).
At the heart of this question is religion. As long as the Jewish religion and Islam are thrust onto each other’s doorstep, as they are in Israel and particularly Jerusalem, there will be no peace in the Middle East. The creation of sovereign Palestine will not alleviate the hostility in the region.
Ignoring this reality, these world leaders seek to force the issue. Thus the tiny nation of Israel, surrounded by Arab states, finds itself increasingly pressed from all sides and fast running out of allies.