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A London Salute to Terror

By Michael Freund
2/3/2005, 12:00 AM

About the only thing missing from today’s little pep rally for the Palestinians in England was a squad of cheerleaders swinging colorful pompoms in the air while reciting some catchy tunes.

Cheerleaders Even the name of today’s gathering - the “London Meeting on Supporting the Palestinian Authority” – sounds more like it was thought up by some eager college radicals than by an institution as haughty as the UK Foreign Office.

Graced by the presence of dignitaries such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, those in attendance did just about everything possible to minimize, if not downright ignore, the ongoing Palestinian violence against Israel.

Indeed, just hours before the festive opening in London, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on an Israeli vehicle near the town of Kfar Oranim, injuring two civilian security guards.

In addition, a major bombing attack was thwarted when Israeli soldiers discovered a Palestinian car booby-trapped with half a ton of explosives near Jenin. Col. Oren Avman told Israel Army Radio that, “Even an armored vehicle or bus could not withstand such a huge bomb", and that its discovery had prevented “a huge disaster”. It was said to be the largest bomb built by Palestinian terrorists in the past four years.

But the notables in London didn’t let these inconvenient little facts get in the way of their pro-Palestinian parade. As the left-wing daily Ha’aretz reported,

The final statement to be issued at today's London Meeting on Supporting the Palestinian Authority will not mention terrorism and refers only in vague terms to Palestinian security commitments. But the PA does promise "to restore and revive the lines of communication with the Israeli security establishment on security issues and will seek to strengthen them in the process."

The Palestinians persuaded the British hosts to leave out any mention of a Palestinian commitment to act against the launching of Qassam rockets or armed attacks on Israelis from the territories.

From the comfort of London, cheering on the Palestinian Authority even as it does next to nothing to stop anti-Israel terror might seem like an act of creative diplomacy.

But for the people of Israel, who live daily with such threats, it more closely resembles an act of willful ignorance and futility.