Caroline Glick

Wednesday was a difficult day. First, on Wednesday morning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel's annihilation. Then, a few hours later, a Palestinian terrorist blew up at a felafel stand in Hadera and murdered five Israelis.

Israel's responses to these events revealed as much about its strategic confusion as Ahmadinejad's speech and the bombing revealed about our enemies' strategic clarity.

In the case of Iran, Israel's response was well-conceived and executed. In calling for the annihilation of Israel - a UN member state - Iran stands in grave breach of the UN Charter, which stipulates that member states must foster peaceful relations with one another. And so, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom ordered Israel's ambassador at the UN to demand Iran's expulsion from the world body. Israel's emissaries throughout the world rapidly pointed out the fact that with its nuclear weapons program, its ballistic missiles and its active support for global terrorism, Iran is not just Israel's problem. It constitutes a clear and present danger to global security.

In sharp contrast to Israel's clear, understandable and constructive response to the Iranian threat, the government's response to the bombing in Hadera was marked by confusion, defeatism and absurdity.

How is this the case? First it should be recalled that in the immediate wake of last week's terror attack at the Gush Etzion junction, the Aksa Martyr Brigades - the terror group belonging to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party - issued an announcement claiming responsibility. Oddly, in the hours that followed, IDF commanders and government ministers denied Fatah's claim and insisted that Hamas, not Fatah, had carried out the attack that murdered three.

Although no evidence was ever presented to back up this claim, let's assume that it is true. Still, the question arises: What does the fact that Fatah claimed responsibility tell us about Abbas's Fatah party, on which Israel and the US are currently pinning all their hopes for peace and security?

After Wednesday's bombing, the Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. As is their habit, the terrorists claimed that the massacre of Israeli civilians was their response to the IDF's killing of their terror commander Luai Sa'adi in Tulkarm earlier this week.

But then something interesting occurred.

In Gaza City, masked Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists held a joint press conference where they claimed joint responsibility for the bombing. A Fatah spokesman further announced that any attack against Islamic Jihad will be viewed as an attack against Fatah as well. Disturbingly, no Israeli newspaper other than The Jerusalem Post reported on the press conference.

Caroline Glick

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.

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