J. Philip RosenJ. Philip Rosen is a noted New York based attorney, philanthropist, and active Zionist leader.
September, 1993 - A sparkling afternoon on the White House lawn; the Jewish celebrity world was there, side-by-side with their Muslim cousins. The Israeli prime minister, a war hero, was shaking hands with one of the most despicable mass murderers of modern time, the man who ordered the torture, mutilation, and killing of hundreds of Israelis, as well as Americans (including soldiers and diplomats), Europeans, Canadians, etc. But this mass murderer had reformed; he now wanted peace. And we believed it.
For the next seven years, the fraud continued unabated - the PLO and its leadership encouraging and committing mass murder of Jews while preaching peace and brotherhood on CNN. And we believed it, shielding our eyes from the brightness of the exploding buses and baby strollers. We went a step further than just believing - thinking that life must resemble theater, we created "good guys" from the murderers, hard though that may be, to distinguish from the "bad guys", believing the truism of the modern world that they can't be all bad.
So, no matter what the "bad guys" did, we had to keep talking to the "good guys". And the stories would have been comical, if they were not so tragic. One "good guy" ordered a suicide bus bombing from his cellphone in Bill Clinton's White House oval office (and you thought Monica was the worst thing to happen there). The Israeli prime minister met with the PLO leadership while their subordinates were committing two suicide bombings at the exact same time. And the stories go on and on.
In September 2000, the good guy terrorists and the bad guy terrorists attacked in an all-out war against Israel and the Jewish people; and I thought the world, or at least the Jewish world, recognized there was no distinction among the terrorists - the destruction of Israel is their joint goal.
After five years of unabated mass murder and over 1,000 deaths, we still fall for the longest running joke in the Middle East: the good guys of Mahmoud Abbas and the bad guys of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Israeli prime minister meets with Abbas and raises the flag of murder in Jerusalem. The US secretary of state calls for the renewal of meetings with this PA charlatan. And the Jewish leadership, led by Peace Now and the Policy Forum, are already clamoring for "final-stage negotiations" with another Holocaust denier who dreams about the end of Israel (and another Holocaust).
Now that the cataracts have been removed from our eyes, let us review what we see:
1. The PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas, is directly responsible for numerous acts of mass murder and the importing of thousands of weapons, some of mass destruction;
2. The PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas, worked and frequently works side-by-side with the "bad guys" in committing these murderous acts;
After five years of unabated mass murder and over 1,000 deaths, we still fall for the longest running joke in the Middle East.
3. The PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas, wants the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jewish people just as much as the "bad guys" do;
4. The PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas, was directly responsible for the murder of US diplomats and soldiers;
5. The PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas, celebrated and supported the Hizbullah forces and victory just as much as their brethren on the "bad guy" side;
6. The PLO, led by Mahmoud Abbas, has supported the murder of US soldiers in Iraq and gave full support to its mentor, Saddam Hussein;
7. It is only because of the game Arafat played and Abbas now plays with and on the West that resulted in Arafat receiving billions of dollars of support from the US and Europe, and will now allow Abbas to start receiving comparable sums as long as Abbas does not use Ahmadinejad's language of Holocaust and genocide;
8. According to a recent poll, fully two-thirds of Palestinians continue to see violence against Israel as a justified act of "resistance".
And just last week, after nine months of relative calm (i.e., no successful suicide bombings, just dozens of rockets, mortars and shootings), came the first-ever suicide bombing in Eilat, an (until now) oasis of calm in the Israeli storm. Consider the following press report of the attack:
"A Palestinian suicide bomber killed three Israelis at a bakery yesterday in the first such attack inside the country in nine months, and the two radical groups that claimed to have sent him said they were trying to end weeks of Palestinian infighting by taking aim at Israel instead."
Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades claimed joint responsibility. This time, the United States government did not single out a particular Palestinian terror group for responsibility in the attack. For the first time in recent memory, the US held the entire Palestinian Authority government responsible, primarily because the Palestinians loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the PA and the head of the Fatah organization, took credit for the murders in Eilat. Indeed, the official evening television newscast of the PBC, the Palestinian Broadcast Corporation, owned and operated by the PA, announced that the Fatah shared credit for the attack - even though the official Israeli government TV Channel One newscast announced that these were "graduates" of the Fatah, hinting that Abbas could not have been responsible for the attack.
Let's take a test - I'll quote a Palestinian leader and you'll tell me - moderate or radical?
"These weapons liberated the land, and by these weapons we will continue the liberation process."
"Radical" Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
"We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion.... We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem."
"Moderate leader" Yasser Arafat.
"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations."
Again, "moderate leader" Yasser Arafat.
"With the will and determination of its sons, Fatah will continue. We will not give up our principles and we have said that rifles should be directed against the occupation."
"We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation."
Radical? Nope. That was our "moderate" partner, Mr. Abbas.
It's time to open our eyes and realize that Abbas and his cohorts in Fatah and the PLO or PA are evil, even on a relative scale; unfortunately, there is no one on the Palestinian side to talk to. In fact, Abbas's position concerning Israel cannot change, given the nature of the society over which he presides.
It is a society that fails to discipline its people after they decapitate an Israeli reservist and use his head as a soccer ball, that routinely allows alleged Israeli "collaborators" to be dragged from their homes and shot in front of their families, that throws candies into the air to celebrate the murder of Israeli civilians, that mourns the death of the Butcher of Baghdad, and that extols the virtues of "martyrdom" in its classrooms, marketplaces, children's video games, essay contests, summer camps and on its billboards. It is a society that has a serious pathological problem that cannot be rectified through negotiations and roundtable discussions.
Under such conditions, there cannot be anyone to talk to on the Palestinian side and will not be until the Palestinians expunge all of this from their society. It will take years; it may take even longer.
It is time to wake up, my friends, and think about those things we hold dear - our people, our values, our religion, our state - and protect them.