In the past 24 hours, Palestinian terrorists have killed two Israelis, fired rockets and mortar rounds at Jewish communities in Gaza, opened fire on Israeli soldiers in Atzmona, and sent a suicide bomber to blow up Soroka Hospital in Beersheba (thankfully, she was caught on the way).
So how exactly is Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reacting to this renewed onslaught of Palestinian violence?
Why – by hosting Palestinian leader Abu Mazen, of course!
Sharon and Abu Mazen will be holding a mini-summit today to discuss coordinating the proposed Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria that is slated to take place in August.
In other words, even though Abu Mazen continues to allow Palestinian terror groups to attack Jews with impunity, Sharon seems to have no qualms about greeting him in Jerusalem or discussing the transfer of territory to his control.
This is not just a matter of national pride or even diplomatic niceties – it is a dangerous act that signifies weakness and frailty, for it sends a message to the Palestinians that they need not pay any “price” for their continued acts of terror against the Jewish state.
Abu Mazen belongs in a jail cell, not in a tete-a-tete with high-level Israeli officials. As US President George W. Bush has said time and again, those who harbor terrorists should be held to account. It is time Israel began applying that principle to its Palestinian neighbors, too.