Latest update: January 13th, 2014
Secretary of State, John Kerry, is preoccupied with the attempt to establish a Palestinian state, as a means to advance peace and US interests. However, Congress – which is charged by the Constitution with supervising the Administration – has yet to conduct hearings on the impact of the proposed Palestinian state upon vital US interests. Congress cannot relinquish its constitutional responsibility to probe, independently, the critical implications of a Palestinian state upon the US economy, core values, homeland and national security, as well as upon the stability of pro-US Arab regimes, in particular, and the Middle East in general.
Independent Congressional scrutiny of this Palestinian state-driven policy is doubly-essential against the backdrop of the systematic US Middle East policy failures since 1947.
The US Administration Track Record
In 1948, the US State Department opposed the establishment of a Jewish state. Assuming that Israel would be an ally of the Communist Bloc, and expecting Israel to be devastated by the invading Arab armies, the Administration imposed a regional military embargo, while the British supplied arms to Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
During the 1950s, the US Administration courted the Egyptian dictator, Nasser, in an attempt to remove him from Soviet influence, offering financial aid and pressuring Israel to “end the occupation of the Negev,” internationalize Western Jerusalem and evacuate the whole of Sinai. Instead, Nasser intensified his pro-USSR policy, subversion of pro-US Arab regimes and support of Palestinian terrorism.
During the 1970s and 1980s, until the invasion of Kuwait, the US Administration supported Saddam Hussein through an intelligence-sharing agreement, the transfer of sensitive dual-use US technologies and approval of five billion dollar loan guarantees.
In 1977, the Administration, initially, opposed the Begin-Sadat peace initiative, lobbied for an international conference, and finally jumped on the peace bandwagon.
In 1979, the Administration abandoned the Shah of Iran, facilitating the rise of Khomeini, which transformed Iran from a top ally of the US to its sworn enemy.
During 1993-2000, the Administration embraced Arafat as the harbinger of peace and democracy, elevating him to the Most Frequent Visitor to the White House.
In 2005 and 2006, the Administration encouraged the uprooting of Jewish communities from Gaza and the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian election, deluding itself that both would advance the cause of moderation, stability and peace.
In 2009, the Administration turned its back on pro-US Mubarak, facilitating the rise to power of the anti-US, transnational-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. In 2011, the Administration participated in the toppling of Gaddafi’s regime of terror, intensifying chaos in Libya, which has become an exporter of military systems to Muslim terrorist organizations. In 2013, the Administration handed Russia an unexpected Syrian bonus. In 2014, the Administration has managed to instill panic in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, which are concerned about the US potentially transforming Teheran from a controllable tactical- to an uncontrollable strategic – threat.
Mahmoud Abbas’ Track Record
The background of Mahmoud Abbas, the Chairman of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority – ostensibly a moderate compared with Hamas – sheds light on the likely nature of the proposed Palestinian state.
Abbas speaks fluent Russian, as a result of his KGB training and Ph.D. thesis (Holocaust Denial) at Moscow University. He was the architect of PLO ties with the USSR and other ruthless communist regimes. In 1972, he oversaw the logistics of the Munich Massacre of eleven Israeli athletes. In the late 1950s, 1966 and 1970, he fled Egypt, Syria and Jordan because of subversion. During the 1970s and 1980s he participated in the Palestinian plundering of Southern Lebanon and the attempts to topple the central regime in Beirut, which triggered the 1976 Syrian invasion of Lebanon and a series of civil wars, causing some 200,000 fatalities and hundreds of thousands of refugees. In 1990, Abbas collaborated with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, despite Kuwait’s unique hospitality to 300,000 PLO-affiliated Palestinians. In 1993, he established the Palestinian Authority hate education system – a most effective production line of terrorists.
The Impact on the Middle East
During the October 1994 signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, top Jordanian military commanders urged their Israeli counterparts to refrain from establishing a Palestinian state, “lest it destroy the [pro-US] Hashemite regime.” Coupled with a terror-dominated Iraq, it would initiate a domino scenario, sweeping Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other oil-producing Arab regimes, causing havoc to the supply and price of oil and devastating the US economy.
Abbas’ PLO was an early ally of Khomeini. Moreover, following his 2005 replacement of Arafat, Abbas’ first visits were to Teheran and Damascus. A Palestinian state – whether controlled by the PLO or (most probably) Hamas – would provide Iran, as well as Russia, China and North Korea, improved access to the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, at the expense of the US.
In 1993, the Palestinian Authority was established by PLO graduates of terrorist bases in the Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia, generating a robust tailwind to global Islamic terrorism. It has become a major terror academy, exporting terrorists to Iraq, Afghanistan, Latin America, Africa and Europe. Thus, the Palestinian Authority has sustained the legacy of Abbas’ PLO, which has been the role model of international and Islamic terrorism, training worldwide terrorists in Jordan (1968-1970) and Lebanon (1970-1982). The PLO introduced commercial aircraft hijacking, carried out the 1973 murder of the US Ambassador to the Sudan, and participated in the 1983 murder of 300 US Marines in Lebanon.
A Palestinian state would reward a regime which is referred to by much of its population as “Modern day Sodom and Gomorrah,” and has driven Christians away from Bethlehem. It would add another anti-US vote at the UN.
Both Hamas and the PLO follow in the footsteps of Palestinian leaders, who collaborated with Nazi Germany, the Communist Bloc, Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden, and currently with Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other rogue regimes.
Hence, the proposal to establish a Palestinian state proves that policy-makers are determined to learn from history by repeating – rather than avoiding – past dramatic blunders.
Thorough Congressional supervision could spare the US a blow to its economic and national security interests.
About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.
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