ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | The Initial Step Towards Peace: Battling Terrorism

The Initial Step Towards Peace: Battling Terrorism

13 June 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

Simultaneously Israel is battling terrorism and the Quartet is attempting to save the ‘Road Map’.  Why did Israel ever accept the ‘Map’.  The answer has little to do with the Palestinians and everything to do with the Americans.  Israel wants a strategic relationship with the US, ally status.  Accepting the ‘Map’ and taking down a few proto-caravan outposts (illegal by Israeli law) was to be proof enough of good will to keep up US support.  The hope now is for a joint battle against terrorism.

Did PM Ariel Sharon really believe the Aqaba Conference would succeed?  Not really.   After 55 years of military and government experience, not to mention his status as one of the nation’s top experts in battling terrorism, if left unshackled by political and diplomatic handcuffs (witness how he broke PLO terror in the Gaza Strip, 1970-71), he knew better.  He trusted Palestinian PM Abu Mazen’s (Mahmoud Abbas) intentions, not his actions.  Even before Aqaba the security forces were given the ‘green light’ for a full court press to destroy the Hamas.  It turned ‘yellow’ during Aqaba week and after the attack at the Erez industrial zone (of Palestinian – Israeli economic cooperation) at the beginning of the week, the go-ahead was received again.

Abu Mazen and the ‘moderates’ have no grass roots support and they refuse to physically liquidate terrorism, they prefer negotiations.  After nine years of incitement by the Palestinian media, an entire generation values the suicide bomber.  According to reports the government will battle Hamas to the end, no compromises.  All leaders will be targets.  Dr. Rantisi, a leading terrorist, was the first target and although the operation failed, he can expect to find himself in helicopter gunship sights again.  So can everyone else, including Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin.

President George Bush hypocritically condemned Israel’s attack on Rantisi, surprising Israelis.  After the Jerusalem bus bombing (17 killed) the White House changed its tune.  For there to be peace, terrorism must be eradicated, no negotiations, no compromises.  Security Advisor Condileeza Rice said as much yesterday.

The Egyptian intermediary and heir apparent to the Mubarak throne, General Omar Sulieman is negotiating between the Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for half a year and has gotten nowhere.  Nor will he get anywhere.  As correctly pointed out by Middle East analyst Oded Granot of Channel One, the Egyptians fear a spill over of violent pro-Islamic demonstrations from the Palestinians to Egypt, should Hamas win.  Much to the joy of Chairman Arafat, Abu Mazen’s ‘moderate’ government may collapse within a month.

The Americans must stop the Saudi funding of terrorism, not a likely occurrence.  If not, Afghanistan and Iraq will be passing peripheral adventures, as terrorism will continue mauling civilized society.  Let us hope reports of Israeli government resolve are accurate.  The West should take note.

The Quartet is to meet next week in Jordan.  If they are really interested in making peace they must first endorse Israel’s war for the eradication of terrorism. 

But they have other priorities.