Turning Gaza Into Al-Qaedastan

Apparently, despite President Bush's initial surprise at Ariel Sharon's "Disengagement Plan", he has come to accept it and now even incorporates it into his "Roadmap". But how can he do this?

Harry W. Weber,

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The defining moment in George W. Bush's presidency was clearly the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001. Within days, the president realized the full significance of that atrocity as the Pearl Harbor of a new global war -- a terrorist war on Western democracies in general, and on the United States, in particular.

Unlike the US' European allies, who, with the exception of Great Britain, are still unable to fathom the full extent of the Islamic war on their continent, the US, under President Bush's leadership, has declared war and is actively pursing all terrorist groups around the globe.

In addition to Mr. Bush's commitment to militarily rooting out Islamic terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, the president realizes that the long term victory of the West over radical Islam will only come when, in the places it sprouts and gets it sustenance, a counterculture will be actively encouraged -- a culture of freedom, democracy and hope for a better life. The fact that the president has been able to all but defeat the terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to bring about free elections in both states, bodes well for the prospects of freedom and democracy throughout the Moslem World -- if the president will not relent, and pursue his dream evenly across the Middle East board without sentiment and favoritism to former "friends".

So, where have the president's policies gone wrong? Only in a sliver of land, a tiny place, but a place with great moral, political and religious importance to Christians, Moslems and Jews alike. That place is called Israel, the Holy Land.

Islam's general antipathy for the West, for Christians, for democracy, for modernity has been distilled and focused into radical anti-Americanism relatively recently. On the other hand, ever since 1948, Islam has seen Israel as America's proxy in the Middle East, and has used war against the Jewish state as a more "legitimate" and more "politically correct" outlet for its anti-Americanism. Thus, what happened to the US on 9/11/2001 has been happening to Israel since its birth in 1948. Just in that year alone, one percent of the newly born state's population was killed by Arabs. To put that number in perspective, it is comparable to the killing of 2.8 million Americans in a war, God forbid.

So, why has Mr. Bush, who is so actively opposing Islamic terrorism in every corner of the world, and is pushing Arab states to move toward democracy, so blind when it comes to the first and primary object of Arab anti-Western, anti-democratic hatred -- Israel? Why?

Apparently, despite President Bush's initial surprise at Ariel Sharon's "Disengagement Plan", he has come to accept it and now even incorporates it into his "Roadmap". But how can he do this? Surely, he must know that by retreating from Gaza, Israel will create a military vacuum there, transforming it into a terrorist mini-state controlled by Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- two organizations whose "terrorist" credentials are beyond dispute? That is not only the assessment of this writer, but the firm position of Israel's former Chief of Staff, the recent head of the General Security Services and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the leading experts on terrorism in the free world.

To expect, or even hope, that Abu Mazen can, or even wants to, rein in these groups is to place a huge and dangerous bet on the security of Europe and the US. It is important to remember that Hamas is a fanatic religious organization, and as such, if it takes control of Gaza, it's a sure bet to become the next Afghanistan -- a haven for terrorists with global ambitions. That is the position of Ya'acov Amidror, former head of intelligence for the Israel Defense Forces.

As soon as Israel leaves Gaza, it will morph, under Hamas' leadership, into Al-Qaeda's base in the Mediterranean, the underbelly of Europe. The US' war against terror will take a huge step backwards. Some say that Hamas can be encouraged to change, to become a purely political party. To expect Hamas -- a fanatic religious organization -- to be integrated into the Palestinian Authority and to abandon its basic religious goals is the height of naivete and wishful thinking. It is a bet that the US can't afford to take.

The president's geopolitical blind spot vis-a-vis Gaza has recently become even larger. Not only is he rewarding Hamas by giving terror a state in Gaza, but he insists that Israel leave intact all the houses in the twenty-one settlements to be turned over to the terrorists. The Bible President has never learned the prophet Elijah's condemnation of King Ahab, who, after killing Naboth, confiscated his vineyard. "Hast thou killed, and also taken possession..." (First Kings 21:19) The president is in favor of rewarding the murderers of hundreds of Jews by giving them their homes to boot.

If Mr. Bush is sincere and consistent in his drive to change the Middle East into a region moving toward democracy and freedom, he must face the fact that the autocratic kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Jordan are the first to go, for they are the worst enemies of democracy and the best havens for frustrated radical extremists and their adherents. Pressure must be put on Saudi Arabia and Jordan to begin the long process of democratization. King Abdullah of Jordan will eventually have to abdicate, or at best, remain a figurehead. There is no other way for democracy in Jordan to take off.

The Jordanian people - 70% of whom are Palestinians - will then create a Palestinian state east of the Jordan River, and that will obviate the need for a second Palestinian state west of the Jordan. A Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza will be a state whose existence will be a daily threat to the existence of Israel. It will be a terrorist state that will destabilize the region, will export terrorism to Europe, to America, to the world-at-large, a state that will receive military and financial aid not only from Hamas, but also from Hizbullah, Al-Qaeda and every other anti-Western gang in the world.

Israel is a tiny country (about the size of New Jersey), whose population density is one of the world's highest -- ten times that of the US. Over time, the pressure for land and water will inevitably lead to strife with the Arabs in Judea and Samaria -- even if the Arab population there can be miraculously brainwashed of Islam's fourteen-hundred-year-old indoctrination of Jew-hating. On the other hand, Jordan already occupies three-quarters of Palestine, it is largely barren and under-populated. It quacks like Palestine, walks like Palestine and looks like Palestine.

However, the best reason for declaring Jordan as Palestine and giving Israel sovereignty over the so-called West Bank, as Mr. Bush knows very well, is that God granted it to the Jewish people as part of their homeland -- not a hundred years ago, not a thousand years ago, but 3,717 years ago. Mr. Bush, read your Bible. Judea, Samaria and Gaza belong to Israel as its "Divine Destiny". They are part of Israel's "Manifest Destiny", and that is the best reason for the president to oppose all efforts to resist God's written mandate for the Jewish people.

Yet, incredibly, in the presence of Holocaust denier and Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen at the White House, Mr. Bush declared that Israel must allow free passage to Gazans -- Hamas and Al-Qaeda terrorists -- from Gaza to Judea and Samaria, presumably so they can create two fronts simultaneously against the Jewish State.

Trying to understand the cause of President Bush's most hostile and life-threatening action vis-a-vis Israel leaves one with only one very unsavory, but inevitable, conclusion: his antipathy for terrorists is exceeded only by his Christian rabid anti-Israelism. There is no other way to explain the president's willingness to sit by while Hamas and Al-Qaeda establish a second Afghanistan, call it Gazastan or Al-Qaedastan, in the eastern Mediterranean. This will happen unless the president sees the light and abandons his deeply held Christian anti-Semitism, which he disguises, in the fashion of the times, as "legitimate" Israel bashing.

The president had better shape up quickly, for if Israel continues to suffer from terrorism, so will the entire free world -- including America. Mr. Bush, God will not bless an America that is against Israel.