April 14, 2004
Bush to Palestinians: Piss Off

In a stunning refutation of the status quo in the middle east since the 1967 war, George Bush endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza and to retain portions of the West Bank. It also kills the unreasonable expectation that Israel accept 4 million refugees (of the 472,000 the UN noted were displaced in 1948), and puts the onus onto the Palestinians to take care of their own, rather than expecting Israel to do it for them.

This is huge. By explicitly endorsing the Israeli government plan, Bush has finally provided a firm indication to the Palestinian leadership that we will not stand idly by while terrorists kill Israelis, while the Arabic street blames the US and Israel for the attacks (and their "root causes"). Finally, a rational response to the intransigence plaguing the whole peace process, all from one side (and I'm not referring to the Israelis).

The UN/appeasement wing will be in a tizzy over the announcement, squawking about the need to be fair and objective. They will wail about how such a decision will make the Palestinians hate us. I have news for them; the Palestinians already hate us. This American remembers seeing the tape of Palestinians cheering and celebrating on September 11, 2001. That erased any lingering doubts in my mind about where the sympathies of the Palestinians laid. In any conflict over the past 20 years (Lebanon, Gulf War I, Somalia, 9/11, Iraq) the Palestinians have fiercely opposed the US. That makes them enemies, not victims and not potential friends. The US should not feel obligated to take up the cause of a group that is implacably hostile to us. Jim Miller points to a story that states that Yasser Arafat authorized the murder of three Americans in 2003.

Of course, Meryl Yourish has something to say about this. As one of her commenters obliquely notes, this is likely to change the opinion of some who are not particularly supportive of Bush, especially if they are friends of Israel.

posted on April 14, 2004 02:06 PM


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