The Leading Patrons of Arab Terrorism


The Leading Patrons of Arab Terrorism


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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 1987.

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 predecessors?

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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