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Jewish World Review August 15, 2001 / 26 Menachem-Av 5761

Don Feder

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Israel must put an end to the beginning -- THURSDAY'S bombing of a Jerusalem pizza shop and the others that followed was like the latest showing of an old movie with a predictable plot and preordained ending -- dead children, the U.S. calling on Arafat to condemn the carnage, Arafat offering another of his bogus ceasefires and Jerusalem responding with "pinpoint actions." All of which will lead nowhere -- except to more dead children.

By going to a fast-food restaurant in the early afternoon, the suicide bomber targeted young families with small children. The bomb was packed with nails, to maximize its lethal impact. At least 15 died, including seven children, and 130 were wounded.

Yasser Arafat has enough blood on his hands to supply the Red Cross. Though he ritualistically condemned the slaughter (after U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell twisted his arm), a spokesman for Arafat's Fatah Party earlier praised the bomber.

After Arafat's "condemnation," Powell said the chairman must now "find those responsible and bring them to justice." In other words, Arafat must arrest his police, his propaganda ministry, most Palestinian clerics -- and himself.

On June 6, speaking at a Gaza mosque, Sheik Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Madhi, an employee of the Palestinian Authority, told the faithful, "We must educate our children to love jihad." Later that month, Arafat's official newspaper ran a cartoon depicting a Jew drinking Palestinian blood.

Several weeks ago, the Israeli navy intercepted a ship bound for Jihad land loaded with Katyusha rockets and anti-aircraft weapons. Israeli intelligence believes Arafat planned to use this arsenal against Israeli airports, military installations and civilian centers.

In conjunction with the latest ceasefire -- believe it or not, one has been in effect since June 2, during which time 40 Israelis have died -- CIA Director George Tenet gave Arafat a list of 100 Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders. True to form, none has been arrested.

It is now widely recognized, even among such fuzzy thinkers as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, that Israel can't make peace with Arafat, because he's: 1) a pathological liar 2) orchestrating the terrorism and 3) committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

But even such astute observers as The Wall Street Journal's editorial writers insist that we must differentiate between the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people. The latter, they maintain, include many decent folk who regretfully are ruled by a bloodthirsty tyrant.

Bushwa. In a June poll by the Jerusalem Media Center, 69 percent of Palestinians supported suicide attacks against Israelis -- in other words, the murder of babies.

While 45 percent said the goal of the current violence is an end to the "Israeli occupation," almost as many (41 percent) said the objective is an end to Israel.

The Palestinian silent majority is a myth. By and large, the Palestinians who oppose Arafat think he hasn't gone far enough in killing babies.

In response to the Jerusalem attack, Israel took over Orient House, the PA headquarters in East Jerusalem, and Israeli jets took out a Palestinian police station in Ramallah.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told reporters, "We're talking about surgical operations. We're not talking about all-out war. There's not going to be an escalation."

Which is another way of saying -- Arafat will win. He will continue to choose the parameters of his terrorist war. He will continue to bleed Israel until, at last, its war-weary citizens grant him suicidal concessions -- all of West Bank and Gaza (including strategically crucial territory), the dismantling of Jewish settlements and a limited, but highly significant, Palestinian right of return. For Israel, that will be the beginning of the end.

Instead, in the words of Winston Churchill, Israel must choose to end the beginning. She should tell the international community to go to hell, reoccupy Gaza and the West Bank and clean out the terrorist nests (starting with Arafat's office).

After that, Israel can allow the rest of the Palestinians to continue living on the West Bank and Gaza, perhaps eventually exercising a degree of autonomy over their own affairs, contingent on exceedingly good behavior.

In his autobiography, "My American Journey," Powell says he learned the following lessons from Vietnam and our Panama invasion: "Have a clear political objective and stick to it. Use all the force necessary and do not apologize for going in big, if that is what it takes. Decisive force ends wars quickly and in the long-run saves lives."

Israel is at war. Its enemy is as intractable as it is evil. A negotiated settlement is impossible. In a war there are only two alternatives -- victory or defeat.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate