Cal  Thomas

Blair and Bush spoke about "democracy" and "free and honest governments." But there is only one democratic, free and honest government in the region, and it is Israel's. Blair went on about the need for a "Palestinian leadership that acts decisively against terror and builds democracy." Nice words, but there is no evidence that Arafat and his deadly conspirators have ever considered stopping terror, which is their preferred instrument to eradicate Israel and its democracy from the region. Arafat has his own "road map," and there is no exit marked "Israel" on it.

The Bush-Blair "road map" is designed to be adopted even before the Palestinian Authority has met the president's own conditions for statehood. It was the same after the Oslo accords. Palestinians failed to live up to a single provision of the document, which Arafat signed. That didn't stop Western nations from keeping the pressure on Israel to make further concessions.

When Secretary of State Colin Powell testified last week before a House committee, he said it was Palestinian attacks on Israel and a lack of Palestinian peace proposals that have kept progress from being made toward a peace agreement. So why isn't the pressure on Arafat to halt the attacks for good instead of on Israel to make more compromises that could lead to its own extermination?

U.N. Resolution 242 requires "the termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

The new Palestinian prime minister is not about any of this. To him, force remains an active strategy, and his denial of the Holocaust is sufficient evidence - if more is needed - that neither he nor any other Palestinian leader has any intention of implementing the Bush-Blair "road map" unless it leads to hell for Israel and the Jews.

In the column distributed Feb. 26, E.J. Dionne was quoted as saying he wished President Bush would demonstrate "heroic ambivalence" in his approach to a possible war with Iraq. Mr. Dionne says that in a column last October he used the words "principled ambivalence," not "heroic ambivalence."

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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