"When you wish upon a star your dreams come true." That line from Jiminy Cricket in "Pinocchio" seems to sum up the wishful thinking the Bush Administration wants to employ after last Sunday's Palestinian election.
"If your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme" might describe the false hope being placed in the election of Mahmoud Abbas as the new Palestinian leader. President Bush called Abbas and invited him to Washington. Bush praised the election and the turnout, as if an election held in a dictatorial culture resembles one held in an open society in which political opponents are not murdered.
In a replay of past failed strategies, Secretary of State Colin Powell called on Israel to release Palestinian prisoners, though most were jailed because they tried to violently obliterate the country. He claims their release would be a "confidence-building measure." The Palestinian side has all of the confidence it needs. It is confident it can roll the United States and Israel by continuing to promote the fiction that Israel alone determines the political climate in the region.
Powell told ABC's "This Week" program last Sunday that the Palestinians must also commit to "the end of violence, the end of terror," but that requirement has never been enforced. The Palestinians have paid no price for their failure to abide by the "conditions" set forth by President Bush.
Calling an election free and fair (as monitors did) in a society that continues to support the elimination of Israel, teaches virulent anti-Semitism in its schools, preaches hatred of all things Jewish, Christian and American from its mosques and stereotypes Jews in political cartoons and in editorials redefines "free and fair." Do words and actions have meaning?
Abbas has been a terrorist leader since the 1950s. Elevating him to the equivalent of George Washington does not make him a democrat. As a deputy of Yasser Arafat, with whom President Bush properly refused to meet, Abbas is no more a legitimate leader than are the deputies of the Taliban or Iraq's Baath party.
Abbas has denied the Holocaust happened. He engineered ties between the PLO and ruthless Eastern European and Russian dictators - all unfriendly to their Jewish citizens and to Israel. What the Bush Administration detested in Arafat can be found in the utterances, policies, beliefs and practices of Abbas. Does he become "kosher" simply because he is declared so by the United States?
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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