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The Leading Patrons of Arab Terrorism
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Who are the leading patrons of Arab terrorism? Journalists,
politicians, and even political scientists say despotic regimes such as
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq (until the fall of Saddam Hussein).
Pretty obvious. But if we dare examine the behavior of various
democratic regimes—suffice to mention only the United States and
Israel—another picture emerges.
American presidents from Carter to Clinton patronized PLO chief Yasser
Arafat, the godfather of international terrorism. And now Secretary of
State Colin Power, prompted by the homicide bombing of a bus in
Jerusalem that claimed 20 lives, including five Americans, called on the
no longer “irrelevant” Arafat to work with the anything-but-relevant
Mahmoud Abbas to make available “those security elements under his
[Arafat’s] control so that they can allow progress to be made on the
road map and … end this violence”—Abbas, who said he would do nothing to
curb Hamas or any other terrorist organization!
Rather than accuse Mr. Powell of being a fool, I prefer to call him a
patron of Arab terrorism. And so is his boss, President George W. Bush.
True, the Bush administration initiated a war against the Taliban in
Afghanistan, as well as against Iraq. But Mr. Bush continues to
patronize Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading trainer, exporter, and
bankroller of terrorism.
Turning to Israel, every one of its prime ministers since and including
Yizhak Shamir has patronized Arab terrorism. In May 1985, Shamir
released 1,150 Arab terrorists for three Israeli prisoners in Lebanon.
Some 600 were allowed to remain in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, where some
became the terrorist leaders of the intifada that broke out in December
Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres patronized Yasser Arafat by signing the
September 1993 Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement, which required Israel to
release and arm of thousands of Arab terrorists. Benjamin Netanyahu and
Ehud Barak adhered to the Oslo Agreement, despite its having been
violated countless times by the PLO.
But no Israeli prime minister surpasses Ariel Sharon as a patron of
terrorism. First of all, it needs to be borne in mind that the
PLO-Palestinian Authority initiated a war against the Jewish stated on
September 29, 2000, while Ehud Barak was prime minister. Hundreds of
Jews were killed or wounded, largely because Mr. Barak’s policy of
self-restraint toward Arab terrorists.
Four months later, more precisely on February 6, 2001, a prime
ministerial election was held in Israel, and Ariel Sharon won a
landslide victory over Mr. Barak. Sharon was thus given a clear mandate
to eliminate the PLO-Palestinian Authority, hence to abrogate Oslo.
Instead, he appointed Oslo’s architect, Shimon Peres, as his foreign
minister, and later voted against a bill to abrogate Oslo. What is
more, he continued Barak’s policy of being merciful to the cruel by
rejecting zero tolerance for Arab terrorism.
As a consequence, between Sharon’s election in February 2001 and the
terrorist destruction of the Twin Towers seven months later on September
11, many more hundreds of Jews were killed and wounded by the
Palestinian Authority. Surely September 11 provided Sharon with a
marvelous opportunity to destroy that murderous organization. In fact,
according to Yossef Bodansky, the Director of the U.S. Congressional
Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the Bush
administration had given Mr. Sharon the green light to destroy the PA.
Why did he refrain from doing so?
The primary reason is this. Sharon has long been committed to a
Palestinian state, perhaps since 1998 when, as Netanyahu’s foreign
minister, he signed the Wye River Memorandum. His commitment to a
Palestinian state requires the existence a Palestinian negotiating
partner and therefore precludes the destruction of the Palestinian
Authority. This is why Sharon embraced the PA’s prime minister,
Mahmoud Abbas—Arafat’s Charley McCarthy—even though Abbas has made it
pretty clear that he rejects the existence of the Jewish state!
To compound his practical support of Arab terrorism, Mr. Sharon
instituted a unilateral cease fire shortly after the June 4 Aqaba
Summit, and has since then released hundreds of Arab terrorists! Is it
any wonder that almost 800 Jews have been murdered under Sharon’s
premiership—far more than the total murdered under his four
If Mr. Sharon is not a leading patron of Arab terrorism, what is he?
from the September 2003 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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