Charles Krauthammer

     WASHINGTON -- Anti-Semitism, once just a European disease, has gone global. The outgoing prime minister of Malaysia gets a standing ovation from leaders of 57 Islamic countries when he calls upon them to rise up against the Jewish conspiracy to control the world. The French ambassador to London tells  dinner party guests that Israel is a ``s--tty little country ... why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?''

     Ah, those people. Kofi Annan's personal representative in Iraq now singles out the policies of the world's one Jewish state -- and only democratic state in the Middle East -- as ``the great poison in the region.''

     It is in this kind of atmosphere that Israel offers unilateral withdrawal from Gaza -- uprooting 7,000 Jews, turning over to the Palestinians 21 settlements with their extensive infrastructure intact and creating the first independent Palestinian territory in history -- and is almost universally attacked.

     Moreover, and much overlooked, Israel will also evacuate four small West Bank settlements, which creates extensive Palestinian territorial contiguity throughout the northern half of the West Bank. 

     The Arabs have variously denounced this as Israeli unilateralism, a departure from the ``road map'' and a ruse and a plot. The craven Europeans have duly followed suit. And when Tony Blair defied the mob by expressing support for the plan, he was rewarded with a letter from 52 Arabist ex-diplomats denouncing him.

     This Nuremberg atmosphere has reached the point where if Israel were to announce today that it intends to live for at least another year, the U.N. Security Council would convene on a resolution denouncing Israeli arrogance and unilateralism, and the U.S. would have to veto it. Only Britain would have the decency to abstain.

     It gets worse. The Bush administration has been attacked not just for supporting the Gaza plan, but for bolstering Israel in this risky endeavor with two assurances: First, that the Palestinian refugees are to be repatriated not to Israel but to Palestine; and second, Israel should not be required to return to its 1967 borders. Enlightened editorial opinion has denounced this as Bush upsetting 30 years of American diplomacy.

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer is a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner, 1984 National Magazine Award winner, and a columnist for The Washington Post since 1985.

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