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Jewish World Review
Nov. 20, 2007
/ 10 Kislev
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is behaving like a zealot. In her
ever-more-rash pursuit of a Palestinian state, she is exhibiting the
syndrome defined by the philosopher George Santana, as one who redoubles
her efforts upon losing sight of the objective.
Let's recall: The objective laid out by President Bush, when he decided
in June 2002 to support the creation of a homeland for the Palestinian
people, was to provide a stable, secure neighbor for Israel, committed
to leaving peaceably with the Jewish State.
Mr. Bush explicitly preconditioned such support on: an end to Palestinian terror; a
Palestinian leadership that was not tainted by ties to terrorism; and the
elimination of the infrastructure in Palestinian areas that enables such behavior.
After the 9/11 attacks, the United States was in the business of eliminating
terrorist-sponsoring regimes, not creating them.
Now, however, it is crystal clear that the only outcome from Condi Rice's idée fixe
namely that she will convene a Middle East peace conference at the U.S. Naval
Academy for the purpose of extracting from Israel the territorial concessions needed
rapidly to establish a Palestinian state has nothing to do with the original Bush
vision. Under present and foreseeable circumstances, the best that can be hoped for
from such a meeting is failure. For success will result in a new safe-haven for
terror that is a mortal threat not only for Israel, but for the United States, as
Unfortunately, even the failure of Condi's Folly at Annapolis is likely to be a very
bad outcome. To the extent that her actions are raising unwarranted expectations on
the part of Palestinians and their Arab friends, past practice suggests it will
translate into a pretext for new violence against Israel. That will be especially
true if, as is also predictable, the Israelis are blamed for the outcome for not
being sufficiently willing in the face of Palestinian intractability to make
what are euphemistically called "painful" moves for peace. Another way to describe
such moves are as reckless concessions that are certain to jeopardize Israel's
security, and quite possibly ours.
After all, it is only reasonable to expect the West Bank to follow the trajectory of
the Gaza Strip and, before it, southern Lebanon both of which Israel abandoned to
her foes, only to have those territories become staging grounds for attacks on
Israel and secure incubators for terror against us. Among those operating from such
areas are Islamofascist terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda and
the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the newest addition to the State Department's
list of such entities.
Condi Rice is nonetheless demanding that Israel now relinquish the West Bank and
East Jerusalem to yet another terrorist organization: Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah. To be
sure, the Secretary of State would have us believe that Fatah is no such thing. In
fact, the entire Annapolis house of cards is built on the fraudulent foundation that
the Palestinian faction established by Abbas' mentor, Yasser Arafat, is a reliable
partner for peace and effective counterweight to Hamas, which now controls the Gaza
Only a zealot who has altogether lost any sense of reality could make such an
assertion. Treating Fatah as the cornerstone of American diplomacy and demands on
Israel is nothing less than perilous and irresponsible. Consider the following
sampler of recent counter-indicators:
• Last August, five Fatah operatives assigned to Abbas' security detail
conspired to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during a visit by the
latter to meet the Palestinian "president" in the West Bank city of Jericho. After
their arrest on information from Israel's internal intelligence agency, Shin Bet,
several of these individuals were released by the Palestinian Authority.
• This is in keeping with past practice. By some estimates, Fatah and its
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade have claimed responsibility for the murder of roughly as
many Israelis as has Hamas. In those rare instances when the perpetrators are
actually arrested by Palestinian police, they are generally set free in short order.
How could Israel possibly entrust physical control of the West Bank from which
virtually the entirety of the Jewish State's population can be subjected to rocket
or even mortar fire to people with such a record?
• Speaking of the Jewish State, in the run-up to the Annapolis meeting,
Abbas and his subordinates have lately become quite brazen in denouncing Israel's
right to exist as such. Their statements not only speak volumes about the degree to
which Condi Rice's desperate bid for a "legacy" is now being clearly read as bullies
always do: as evidence of contemptible and exploitable weakness. They also make a
mockery of the premise that Abbas and Company are preferable to Hamas because,
unlike the latter, they are truly willing to live in peace with their Israeli
• In fact, only the most willfully blind could maintain such a pretense in
light of the incessant propagandizing and indoctrination about killing Jews and
destroying Israel that passes for official or at least officially sanctioned
broadcasts, sermons and speeches emanating from Abbas' rump Palestinian Authority.
The only Palestinian state that can possibly come from Condoleezza Rice's zealotry
is one that will be a dagger pointed at the heart of Israel and a new safe-haven for
terror aimed at the United States and other Western nations. Even if a corrupt and
politically unrepresentative Olmert government in Israel is prepared to play along,
Americans who understand the stakes for the Jewish State as well as our own, must
reject her desperate and unacceptable bid to launch a Palestinian one at Annapolis.
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
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