I don’t often write about the situation in the Middle East because more often than not, the principal concern is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As a man of Jewish faith, I am perceived as a partisan for Israel and thus my opinion is often discounted. My response has always been that my support of Israel comes first as an American and, after the killing of Bin Laden, that distinction has become more significant than ever.
The MSM (mainstream media)has not really focused on the various responses to Bin Laden’s death within the Arab world. They have concentrated principally on America’s reaction to his death, incessantly ruminating on whether it was appropriate to celebrate. While I acknowledge the difference of opinion on this matter, there is an unmistakable lack of moral clarity on one issue – comparing America’s modest celebrations to the unrestrained revelry by Palestinians and others after 9/11. There has always been a distinction between the killing of civilians and soldiers during war. By any civilized standard, celebrating the death of even one civilian is highly inappropriate, and not comparable in any manner to the killing of a soldier – especially one who openly declared war on America.
The diverse reaction in the Middle East is instructive to all Americans. Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, constructively said "Getting rid of Bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide, but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods – the violent methods – that were created and encouraged by Bin Laden and others in the world," but that was just one opinion. Fatah’s military wing countered with ”The Islamic nation awoke to a catastrophe; the reports of the Shahid- (Martyr-) death of the Sheikh, Jihad-fighter Osama bin Laden, in a treacherous manner, by the gangs of the heretics and those who stray.” Of course, this statement was only released in Arabic; they later provided a sanitized version in English for MSM consumption.
Fatah is supposedly the “good guy” in the conflict with Israel. Hamas, on the other hand, has long been recognized as the radical terrorist element, and their reaction was sadly predictable. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s overseer of Gaza, declared "We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood... We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs."
These are the parties that have combined to form a unity government, and are now seeking the assistance of America to coerce a settlement upon Israel. These groups want our support while they condemn the killing of a sworn enemy of the United States and a mass murderer. One would have to be either utterly delusional or anti-American to support these people.
But it doesn’t stop there. Last week, Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times wrote of the coincidence of Bin Laden’s death and the “spreading democracy” in the Middle East. What democracy? Sure, a couple of dictators have been overthrown, but we haven’t seen one government take shape yet, nor do we have any idea what those governmental forms might be. We did, however, hear from the Muslim Brotherhood, who may yet control Egypt when all is done. They called the killing of Bin Laden an assassination, and suggested that anyone accused of crimes be brought to a just trial. Bin Laden was not a common criminal – he was a self-declared warrior. The Brotherhood’s hypocritical statement boggles the imagination of anyone familiar with their historical activities, which are drenched in blood.
It was baffling to watch the outcome of the meeting between Prime Ministers David Cameron (Britain) and Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel). Tony Blair had stated in his memoirs that Europe was feckless in its support of the war on terror. Unfortunately, his successor is acting in a similar manner by telling Israel that they have not moved enough toward peace, and indicating that Britain would reward the aforementioned apologists for Bin Laden by backing an upcoming U.N. resolution to force establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Not only were his comments tragic, but they completely misrepresented a rational understanding of the situation. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate with Israel, and instead devise a devious plan to go directly to the U.N. and then blame Israel for the lack of progress. Only an inane fool would fall for such circular logic and support this preposterous resolution.
It is the obligation of the United States to make clear to their European friends that supporting these anti-American groups will not occur, and that this ludicrous proposal must be stopped. To force a “peace agreement” on Israel with parties who do not accept its existence borders on insanity. To do so when Israel doesn’t even know whether existing treaties – such as the one with Egypt – will be honored is utter lunacy at its most obvious.
For years, Arabs in the Middle East stated that its problems were based the continuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. That has now been proven wrong. To betray our strongest ally – Israel – and reward Fatah and Hamas would be an unforgivable and unacceptable mistake.