However unwittingly, President Obama is now setting the stage for Israel’s dismemberment. Almost certainly, his fixed and unwavering commitment to a Palestinian state stems from the purest and most sensible of motives. Surely this principled commitment is drawn from some deeply personal and historic sense of justice and fairness, and not from any sort of insidious anti-Israel bias. The problem, however, is that this seemingly well-intentioned presidential interest in fair play is starkly at odds with an asymmetrically brutal geopolitical reality in the Middle East.
From Arafat to Abbas, nothing fundamental has changed concerning goals within the Palestinian Authority, or within any of its sister terrorist organizations. In the still-prevailing Palestinian view, formal and informal, Israel remains the unquestionably necessary focus of literal eradication. At the same time, among the Palestinians, there have been some very real transformations in the relative power of theology and politics.
Today, there is a vastly more influential religious core to such goals than in the “old days,” when even Marxists were permitted a prominent place in the Palestinian terror infrastructures. Now, too, the fiery language of terror is sometimes more finessed and intermittent, and the operational tactics are more subtle and more cleverly disguised. Moreover, not even the always-unreciprocated policy of Israeli territorial surrenders (“Land For Nothing”) is really new. Several years back, then Prime Minister Sharon’s “disengagement” was just the latest delusionary expression of a recurrently self-destructive Jewish history.
Speaking of history, Mahmoud Abbas, known also as Abu Mazen, was originally part of a small fanatical group that had first founded Fatah in 1959. He was always a loyal follower of Yasser Arafat, pretended to study in Moscow, and even penned a so-called “doctoral thesis” that celebrated Holocaust denial as a proper academic genre. Now generally called a moderate by the Israeli and Jewish Left, and also by U.S. President Obama, his unhidden life goal remains the total destruction of Israel. When he agrees, periodically, to halt the “armed struggle,” it is always only for a strictly limited period, and always only as a patently tactical expedient. In other words, for the moderate Abbas, the mass murder of Jewish women and children does need to be controlled, not because it is wrong, but because it slows down the obligatory and sanctified metamorphosis of Israel into Palestine.
For the “moderate” Obama-supported Abbas, therefore, incessant genocide against Jews is not morally objectionable; it is merely inconvenient.
Abbas has listened approvingly to endless Friday sermons in the mosques that recall the following Qur’anic verse: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet, and strive to make mischief in the land, is only this – that they should be murdered or crucified, or their hands and feet should be cut off on opposing sides, or they should be imprisoned.” As to those Muslims who allegedly collaborate with America or Israel, they are Murtaddun (apostates), whose lives are free prey. In this respect, according to recent verdicts issued by The Shari’ah Court of the United Kingdom, “There is no difference between a man and a woman…. It is permissible to shed the blood of a woman who is a heretic (“Harbiyya”) even if her fighting is limited to singing….”
This is just a snapshot of the Palestinian movement for statehood now so ardently championed by the President of the United States. With such support, the Palestinians under Abbas continue to seek their particular version of national self-determination. In principle, at least, this objective could conceivably have some identifiable merit under authoritative international law, but not, by any means, when it is consciously constructed upon a rising mountain of Jewish corpses.
By their intentional targeting of infants and children, all Palestinian terror groups are largely unique in their wantonness. Refusing to consider any Jew, anywhere, as worthy of protection from indiscriminate violence, these groups currently hold back from the next planned wave of suicide bombers only for narrowly tactical reasons. Once it becomes clear that Israel is being irremediably transformed into Palestine, and that any further U.S.-mandated deportations of Jews from Jewish lands has cleared a usable path for Arab rockets and perhaps even radioactivity, a choreographed paroxysm of synchronized explosions will likely tear across Israel. When this happens, the reaction of ordinary Palestinians will be exactly the same as it was on September 11th – absolute jubilation.
The reverberations will also be felt outside Israel.Despite steadily receiving large amounts of U.S. tax dollars, all Palestinian organizations, both official and non-official, remain deeply involved with and sympathetic to anti-Israel terrorism. For its part, Israel remains at the very front line of anti-terrorist engagement for the United States. For us, President Obama should now be reminded; Israel is still the “canary in the mine.”
Any Palestinian state would have an injurious effect on Israel’s survival, and therefore a correspondingly debilitating effect on our own U.S. security. After Palestine, Israel’s security would require, among other things: (1) a far more comprehensive nuclear strategy involving deterrence, preemption and war fighting preparations; and (2) purposeful enhancements to a corollary and interpenetrating conventional war strategy. Without such strategic and tactical improvements, America – not just Israel – would be at greater risk than had existed before Palestine.
(To be continued)
Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and is author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism and international law. He has on occasion been associated with certain federal agencies on issues of counterterrorism, and has contributed to such Department of Defense publications as Parameters and Special Warfare. In Israel, Professor Beres was Chair of Project Daniel. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.