The Bush administration's announced goal for Israel and the "Palestinian people" has been two states, living side by side in peace. The administration is two-thirds there. There are now two states - one in Gaza, headed by the militant Hamas organization, which shot its way to power; and another in the West Bank headed by accused Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas. Unfortunately for Israel, there is no peace, which should not surprise those who have been predicting exactly what is now coming to pass.
Whatever their names, be they groups like Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida, or states like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran, their objectives are identical: the annihilation of the democratic Jewish State and the elimination of all Jews, either by death or displacement, from the land. To argue otherwise and to continue believing the fiction that "infidel" diplomats from the State Department or European Union can magically transform people commanded to hate Jews and Israel based on a twisted mandate from their corrupt notion of God, is to be in extreme denial.
Hamas won't stop with Gaza. After its victory over poorly directed Israeli forces in Lebanon last summer, why should it? The one thing terrorists understand is weakness. They perceive Israel, under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as weak and they are going for Israel's jugular. Benyamin Elon, a conservative member of Israel's Knesset, said, "The Fatah is diminishing in front of our eyes, and a group of gangsters is taking over. Israel can wake up now from the delusion of an independent Palestinian state."
Will it, or will Olmert be passing out and swallowing, himself, more diplomatic sleeping pills during meetings this week with President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and members of Congress? The violence and broken agreements are not being perpetrated by Israel. They are being perpetrated on Israel. It is mystifying why Western diplomats continue to pressure Israel to "do more" when "more" has brought Israel less.
Each time Israel gives up something necessary for its security, it receives in return more war, more terror and more insecurity. If more for less remains the "strategy" of the United States, then Israel has two choices: surrender now, or prepare for all-out war with catastrophic results.
Since President Bush laid out his "vision" for a two-state solution to Middle East turmoil four years ago this month, Israel has frozen expansion of Jewish communities beyond the armistice lines of 1949 (a major Palestinian demand). As Caroline Glick wrote in The Jerusalem Post, "Israel expelled all Israeli residents of Gaza and northern Samaria in order to render the areas Jew-free to the Palestinians."
What was the Palestinian response to Israel's construction halt? Did they suddenly embrace the two-state solution of peace and harmony with Israel? They did not. The Palestinians held elections in January 2006 and instead of picking leaders to make peace with Israel, they overwhelmingly voted in members of Hamas to head the Palestinian Authority. A flood tide of terrorists and arms subsequently flowed into Gaza.
The intentions of Hamas and other terrorist groups are not hidden. They openly proclaim what they intend to do and then they do it. Osama bin Laden said five years before Sept. 11, 2001, that he planned to attack the United States. Few took his statement seriously enough to eliminate him when they had the chance.
Those still in doubt or denial about what Israel's (and America's) enemies are planning might benefit from reading Jed Babbin's new book, "In the Words of Our Enemies" (Regnery Publishing). In it, Babbin assembles what the Islamic terrorists, Chinese and North Korean communists and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez are saying they want to do to us. This quote from the al-Qaida training manual leaves no room for diplomacy: "The confrontation that Islam calls for with these godless and apostate regimes, does not know Socratic debates, Platonic ideals nor Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine-gun."
Anyone who questions the sincerity of such a statement is a fool. Apparently enough fools remain in leadership in Israel, the United States and Europe to encourage the killers to fight on until victory is attained.
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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