The Prerequisite to Peace

Pursuing peace through a mechanism like the Quartet's "Road Map" is doomed to failure. The Middle East conflict will only be resolved when all terrorist Islamist factions in the Arab states and elsewhere are expunged, and when the Arab world embraces democracy and accepts Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.

Rachel Neuwirth,

Rachel Neuwirth
Rachel Neuwirth
Pursuing peace through a mechanism like the Quartet's "Road Map" is doomed to failure. The Middle East conflict will only be resolved when all terrorist Islamist factions in the Arab states and elsewhere are expunged, and when the Arab world embraces democracy and accepts Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.

The Quartet's attempt to negotiate with terrorist factions (as defined by the US State Department) is a mockery of the American-led war on terrorism. This is because the Palestinian Arab terrorist factions are directly linked to the umbrella of global Islamist terrorism, which includes al-Qaeda, the PLO, Tanzim, Hamas, Hizballah, Abu Sayyaf, and others. They are all, in fact, one and the same entity and are supported by Saudi Arabia and dominated by the Wahabbi brand of Islam.

Even today, after all the American diplomatic efforts to convince the Saudis to change the status quo, Saudi Arabia remains the main financial supporter of these terrorist groups. Other significant support comes from a variety of countries supported by the United States including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan. Other countries that harbor terrorists and support radical anti-Western groups are Syria, Iran, and Libya.

The Arab Muslim nations will never accept any non-Muslim countries (especially a Jewish state), because they believe that (1) they have historic, patrimonial rights to all the land in the Middle East, and (2) Islam is destined to rule the world.

They hold that the land extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea (in other words, all of Israel) is Arab-Muslim land by right. Their textbooks, Web sites, and official government publications substantiate this (see for just one example). They deny that the Jews are indigenous to the Middle East and that they have maintained a continuous presence there since 2000 years before the rise of Islam and the Arab nation. Most Arab political groups, whether Islamist, pan-Arabist, or monarchies, have mobilized around this belief since the 1920s. This denial of Jewish legitimacy comes mostly from the Wahabbi sect of Islam, but there are more mundane and immediate reasons for this hateful scapegoating. The only way for Arab despots to stay in power is by deflecting blame for their legacy of abominable social conditions onto ?the Zionists.?

On July 3, 2003, the Middle East Media Research Institute ( reported that the Saudi royal family's financial support of Palestinian "mujahideen fighters" and "families of martyrs" during the 1998-2003 intifada came to more than US$4 billion. There are no precise figures, but it is clear that massive financial support also came from Iran, Syria and other sources. The real tragedy is that this money could have been invested in a decent education system, health care and economic progress for the Arab-Palestinian societies. Instead, this money finances the indoctrination of children about the glories of becoming a "shaheed" ("martyr" or suicide bomber).

It is simply not feasible to implement peace with any Palestinian Arab entity -- certainly not the PLO/PA, a terrorist organization from its very inception. The PLO founding covenant still retains the passage about destroying Israel. Arafat and Abu Abbas together have led the PLO/PA for over 45 years. United States Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer has called Arafat-appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen) a "relatively weak man" who tends to "run away from problems." Kurtzer also added, "It's not easy to change behavior patterns after that many years." Once again, Kurtzer has minimized a serious situation. Kurtzer should have said, "Abu Mazen, just as his handler, Arafat, is determined to wipe Israel off the map, albeit somewhat slower."

The PLO/PA entity has proven again and again that it honors no agreements, constantly resorts to violence and terror, and simply cannot stop murdering Jews. And don't let what the PLO/PA's leaders say in English fool you. The PLO/PA deceives Westerners by making pronouncements in English that sound conciliatory, but its Arabic statements are what really matter and these have consistently been bellicose and hostile.

Hamas, one of the more "active" Jew-killing factions, reiterated on June 2003 what has been written in their charter since 1987: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist [only] until Islam obliterates it, just as it obliterated others before it." The leaders of Hamas may be Nazi-like, but at least they are honest.

The first prerequisite for peace between Israel and the Palestinians Arab is to demand that Arab nations stop funding and supporting Palestinians Arab terrorists.

On June 14, 2003, Adul al-Jubeir, advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, condemned terrorism, but refused to condemn Hamas directly and reasoned that, since its "political wing" runs social institutions, Saudi financing of Hamas is really a form of humanitarian aid. Similarly, again defying all logic, he argued that funding the families of suicide bombers is not really "funding" terrorism. He neglected to address the issue of whether or not it encouraged suicide-homicide bombings. On July 3, 2003, Middle East Newsline reported that Assistant Secretary of State William Burns was traveling through Gulf Cooperation Council countries urging them to halt the $100 million/year funding for Hamas. At least three of these countries refused his request. Middle East Newsline identified those states as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia ? called "our friends" and "Arab moderates" by G. W. Bush.

Bush also once famously said, "You are either with us or with the terrorists!"

The second step to eradicating the Arab/Muslim/Islamist terror organizations is to acknowledge that their tentacles can be found in all five continents and that, as President Bush said, you cannot negotiate anything with them -- you must destroy them. They certainly must not have any say whatsoever in any possible resolution to the Arab-Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Only reasonable, levelheaded Palestinian Arabs, who truly denounce terrorism and sincerely want a peaceful settlement, should be involved in any negotiations.

Yes, unfortunately, today there are precious few Palestinian Arabs who realize, and are willing to say, that the misery brought upon them is a direct consequence of their own actions and those of their leadership. Recent polls reveal that fully 75+% of them both condone the attacks on Israelis and want them to continue. And continue they have and continue they will. Sa'adi's Jenin terror cell, an offshoot of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for the July 7th suicide bombing at Moshav Kfar Yaabetz, which killed Mazal Afari, a 64-year-old mother of eight. This, despite the Road Map, despite Israel?s good faith actions. So, once again, the Arab Nazis are making the Jewish State the most dangerous place for Jews to live.

The Arab World must separate politics and religion. Unless and until democracy replaces the theocracies and thugocracies that characterize all Arab/Muslim governing systems (with the possible exception of Turkey), ?peace in the Middle East? will remain a chimera. But Arab/Muslim governments show no sign whatsoever of separating Islam and politics any time soon. Religion and politics are joined at the hip... no, joined at the head. Militant Islam and radical Arabism are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

The 1993 Oslo Accords, the Aqaba Summit, the so-called "Road Map" and the endless interim agreements in between are merely pit-stops along a circular track that loops endlessly and predictably. Perpetual failure is assured unless and until the Arab/Muslim World steps forward, and seeks true reconciliation with both Israel and the West in general.

Therefore, the only way to bring about any semblance of peace in the Middle East is for President Bush to implement a thorough geographical separation between Arabs and Jews. The best way to do this would be to create a second Palestinian state anywhere in the mostly vacant 13.5 million sq. km. of the 22 existing Arab countries, including the already-existing Arab-Palestinian country called Jordan. (For contrast, Israel is about 20 thousands sq. km.,which includes Judea, Samaria/West Bank and Gaza.) President Bush should steadfastly insist on the principles he outlined on 6/24/02 and again at the 6/4/03 Palestinian/Israeli Aqaba Summit -- namely, that peace can be achieved only with victory over terrorism, transformation to democracy in the Arab world, and a clear and unequivocal acceptance of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.
Rachel Neuwirth is a Los Angeles-based analyst on the board of directors of the West Coast Region of the American Jewish Congress and the chairperson of the organization?s Middle East committee.