The Newest “Terrorist State”
By Garner Ted Armstrong
While President Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinians’ newly installed Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) delivered sugar-coated speeches of hope and promise at Akaba, tens of thousands of Jewish settlers staged a massive protest in Jerusalem.
Among the signs was one which read, “Bush’s roadmap leads to Auschwitz.” Demonstrators angrily denounced the very man they had previously supported, Ariel Sharon, who promised to abandon some of the “illegal outposts” in territory claimed by the Palestinians.
Also present among the demonstrators were some of the ultra-right Jewish settlers who bitterly oppose the creation of any Palestinian state, saying, in effect, “Bush goes to Afghanistan and Iraq to destroy terrorist states, and now he’s trying to create one right in our backyard!” Obviously, Sharon has his work cut out.
After all, each of the leaders who delivered kind words and fair speeches at Akaba in Jordan are politicians. Each has an uncertain future; one based upon elections, or, in the case of Abbas, whims. It was reported that while Abbas was shaking hands with George Bush in Akaba, Yassir Arafat, watching on television from his office in Palestine, was “furious.” Arafat knows Washington is determined to deal with an “alternative leadership” and is equally determined to prevent this from happening. He was livid over the snub; said to have been “working the telephones” in order to somehow inject himself into the proceedings. While he may have succeeded in putting some pressure on Mahmoud Abbas, he did not succeed in taking part in any of the discussions or photo ops.
Those around him reported that it was the photo op of Abbas shaking hands with Bush that drove Arafat wild.
Abbas was born in Safed in British Mandate Palestine in 1935. Today, he remains as one of the few surviving founder members of Fatah, a major arm of the “Palestinian Liberation Organization,” or the PLO. Abbas was with Arafat when the PLO was exiled first to Jordan, then to Lebanon, and finally to Tunisia, after Israel invaded Lebanon to destroy Arafat’s PLO base there.
Abbas studied in Egypt, and later went to Moscow for a doctorate. He authored several books, among them one which has been attacked by Jewish leaders which they say is “revisionist” when it comes to the holocaust. Abbas spent some time in one of his books delving into claims that “only” about 80,000 Jews died in the holocaust, instead of many millions. He tried to cover himself by saying, “I quoted an argument between historians in which various numbers of casualties were mentioned. One wrote there were 12 million victims and another wrote there were 800,000. I have no desire to argue with the figures. The Holocaust was a terrible, unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation, a crime against humanity that cannot be accepted by humankind.”
So will Abbas get the militants to lay down their arms; the suicide bombers to quit blowing themselves and their victims to bits? The famous British news service Reuters quoted Abdel Aziz Rantisi, an offical of Hamas as saying, “We will never be ready to lay down arms until the liberation of the last centimeter of the land of Palestine.”
The charter of all such organizations is founded on the principle of the destruction of the State of Israel, and the complete annihilation or removal of all Jews from Palestine. But another Hamas official told ABC's “Nightline” a different story. To Ismail Abu Shanab of Hamas, there was a quid pro quo. He said, when asked if terrorist attacks would cease while the parties negotiated, “Definitely yes ... we are ready to offer it at any time if there is a guarantee that those preliminary steps will be taken as part of a full or wide-scale withdrawal, and not the final steps. We want the United States to guarantee all of these things, an Israeli withdrawal, even if it is step by step.”
Whether the man meant by “withdrawal” the Israeli withdrawal from the so-called “occupied” territories, or withdrawal from all of Palestine was not spelled out. For their part, the militant “Islamic Jihad” group said it would keep up its “resistance” (a term meaning it intends to continue suicide bombings) so long as Israeli forces occupy “Palestinian areas.”
So will the Bush “roadmap” prove to be a guide; a directory on how to go from point A to point B, and eventually to the destination of peace, or will it prove, instead, to be another fruitless gesture; a meaningless exercise like all the other “peace process” initiatives?
Consider what the creation of a “State of Palestine” would mean.
First, it would mean the laying out of a weird, partitioned, gerrymandered series of splotches on a regional map which would somehow try to tie together Gaza, parts of the West Bank, and even an eastern suburb of Jerusalem. Some kind of guaranteed access routes would have to be laid out for roads, rails, and even air corridors, to connect this new patchwork state.
Along each of these, there would be elaborate security measures required, such as high, electrified double fences, surveillance cameras, checkpoints, and hardened military installations so each road could be severed quickly in the case of war, or renewed bombings.
If Sharon succeeds in shutting down some of the more than 150 settlements, he incurs the wrath of hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the world; many from Russia, who have built substantial “settlements” all over the West Bank, and even in Gaza. I have seen such “settlements.” In the Western United States, the pioneers gathered in “settlements” around forts. They were commonly known as “settlers.” They settled on land which had been won by force of arms from Mexico and Spain; from Britain and Russia; from Mandans, Crows, Arapahos, Comanches, Cherokees and Navahos – along with dozens of other aboriginal tribes, mistakenly labeled “Indians” by Columbus.
The word “settlement” carries a certain temporary connotation with it. Perhaps many westerners view the Jewish “settlements” as nothing more than ramshackle outposts of hopeful Jewish “pioneers” who still depend upon the Army for protection, and whose very presence on the land is temporary. Perhaps they envision these settlers living in tents.
But the settlements in Palestine consist of thousands of solidly built homes, two and three stories high, of quarried stone; of shopping centers, schools, synagogues, fire stations, police stations, hospitals, parks, paved roads and modern infrastructure. Things such as flushing toilets inside the homes, for example. Many of these “settlers” have now lived in their homes, shopped in their stores, and gone to their synagogues for well over thirty years. Their children have grown up, married, and have children of their own who have proceeded to build their own homes, and grow crops or orchards on their lands, reclaimed from the rocky soil.
This new generation has added to the size and scope of each “settlement” which in reality is more like a town or village; in some cases a small city, complete with local city government.
Consider. As the last “wild Indians” were gathered onto reservations toward the end of the 19th century, hundreds of towns and cities were taking shape all over the American west. The former Russian colony of San Francisco became a booming port and trading center; even more so when the gold rush of 1849 occurred. All across the southwest, from Texas to California, hundreds of cities were built; millions of acres of land turned into productive cattle raising or farms.
Millions of immigrants put down roots in these new lands; lands which had been wrested from their former inhabitants and owners by force of arms. But there was no UN; no “international law,” no “world court” in the Hague which told the inhabitants of Tucson, Phoenix, Lordsburg, Deming, El Paso, Midland, Dallas and Houston to “abandon the illegal settlements” and give it all back to the Mexicans. No Kofi Annan showed up to demand that San Francisco be given back to the Russians, or that Portland be given back to the Diggers and Klikitats.
No self-styled “world body” decided that lands won by force of arms did not belong to the victors, but should always be returned to the vanquished, even if the vanquished had launched a series of five abortive wars aimed at annihilating the victors, and had failed.
Not that Mexico didn’t try. But following the massacre at the Alamo, general Sam Houston met Mexico’s famous general Santa Anna at San Jacinto. Houston had cobbled together a rag-tag “army” of some 783 men; mostly farmers, ranchers, hunters, and volunteers. These men were the kind who put meat on their family tables by marksmanship. Gunpowder and lead were expensive. Their fathers had impressed upon them the necessity to “make every shot count” when hunting deer and antelope; wild turkey and bear.
So it was that when those 783 men met Santa Anna’s army of 1,500 well-armed, disciplined Mexican solders, accompanied by a massive supply train, many women and camp followers, that a “war” took place which lasted all of eighteen minutes. When the shooting was over, 630 Mexicans lay dead, and 730 were taken prisoner. Santa Anna was taken prisoner the following day when he was found hiding among the others, pretending to be a peasant. Their obsequious attitude toward their general gave him away.
Only nine Texans had been been killed. It reminds one of the lop-sided wars of the United States against Iraq and Afghanistan, along with Grenada and Panama.
When one studies the outcome of the 1967 Six-Day War, wherein six Arab armies attempted to annihilate the state of Israel, there are some poignant parallels.
One might as well refer to the entire United States as “the occupied territories” if one is bent upon demanding that all territories captured from an enemy by force of arms remain forever the property of the enemy, and can never become the legal property of the victorious force.
Will the “settlements” – all one hundred and fifty or more of them – become the property of Palestinians, who did not build them; who did not develop the infrastructure, quarry the stone, construct the fire stations, the shopping malls, the hospitals and schools?
So it would seem, according to one of the first intersections along the “roadmap to peace.” Aside from the nettlesome, seemingly impossible roadblock along the road of the settlements is the issue of the “return of the refugees.” But the “refugees” as they are called, are probably some four to five times as many today as they were in 1948 and 1967. They consist of millions – yes, millions – of Arab families who fled from present-day Israel, and who were never allowed by Jordan, Egypt, Syria or Lebanon to be assimilated into the local populations, but who have been living in squalid, poverty-stricken “camps” ever since.
Presumably, a major intersection along the “roadmap to peace” has a sign which tells millions of these people to take the right fork to the settlements; dispossess those who built them, and move in. The “resettlement” of the “refugees” is one of the points to be “negotiated.” What do you think the chances are for a solution which leaves all parties satisfied?
The creation of a State means national sovereignty. It means the inherent right to raise an army, a navy and an air force. It means the right to effect pacts and treaties, such as mutual “defense” pacts. It means a seat in the UN. It means sending ambassadors to nations all over the world, and receiving their ambassadors; it means sending an ambassador to the Vatican. It means the right to open and operate international ports and airports. It means the right to purchase or to receive as gifts wholesale shipments of arms; aircraft, ships, tanks, artillery, air defense systems, mortars, machine guns; an entire panoply of weaponry from any nation on earth, including North Korea, Iran, Syria, Russia, France, or any other country willing to provide them, including transshipments of American-made tanks and F-16’s from Saudi Arabia!
Today, the Hizbollah in the Bekaa valley are equipped with missiles, a few tanks, and large numbers of mortars and small arms. Tomorrow, the new Palestinian army could be equipped in the same manner as is the Syrian army or the Egyptian army.
Terrorists must depend on funding, and safe havens. Today, they wear masks in public, and hide out in Haza and Hebron; in Palestinian areas, from whence they go forth in various disguises; men or women; even children, to blow themselves and their victims to bits. Following the talks in Akaba, a terrorist bomber in Gaza told an interviewer, “We all have our (bomb) vests, and are awaiting orders to go out and use them.” How long before militants attempt to sabotage the so-called “roadmap to peace” by huge, bloody bombings?
Once a Palestinian State is established, Arafat and his ilk will be under no pressure from any quarter to “cease the incitement,” or to “crack down on terrorism.” Today, Palestinian TV and radio; Palestinian Arabic newspapers; school texts, imams in the mosques and parents all continually incite, rant and rave against the “evil Jews” who “stole our lands,” and “kill our women and children.”
Is there reason to believe all this venting of hatred will suddenly cease when the Palestinians suddenly become a state?
The Palestinians were offered statehood by the UN in 1948. They turned it down, for it meant “coexisting with the State of Israel.” From that time to this, they have tried, in five wars, to destroy Israel.
Now, perhaps the Palestinians are about to join a select group – a group of the luckiest nations on earth – those nations lucky enough to have been defeated by the United States, such as Germany, Japan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The US has a history of building up its vanquished enemies into super states.
Though defeated time and time again, the Palestinians apparently are about to have a state handed to them on a silver platter.
And the speeches of the leaders? They are characterized by God’s message to Jeremiah:
“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:13,14).
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