Mona Charen

Anyone who has watched what the Palestinians have become over the past quarter-century could not be deluded into believing that their goal was peace. Under the thugocracy of Yasser Arafat, and aided by the Islamic radicals, the Palestinians (and Arabs generally) have been steeped in the most bitter hatred it is possible for one people to feel for another. No crime is so monstrous or incredible that it has not been attributed to Jews and Israelis, no motive more base and no power more exaggerated. The Washington Post quotes a Lebanese butcher on the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers: "As soon as I heard the news I was overjoyed. It was like Italy winning the World Cup."

A poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center found that 77 percent of Palestinians agree. Sixty-seven percent support further abductions.

Another piece of conventional wisdom that cannot stand up to the weight of recent events is the notion that Sunnis and Shiites will never cooperate. While it is true that a low-grade civil war is now underway between the two groups in Baghdad, the Shiites in Lebanon (who serve Iran) seem to be having no difficulty working with the Sunnis in Gaza. In fact, as Michael Ledeen reports in National Review Online (where, by the way, you can also find my new blog at, the mullahs in Iran have quite openly supported the Baathist "insurgents" in Iraq. There are rumors that Shiite Iran is harboring Sunni Osama bin Laden. What could draw these traditional foes into one another's arms? Only a common enemy.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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