Politicians, pundits, and political scientists have blamed Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, the Sudan and other Islamic states as sponsors of terrorism, and so they are. But if we consider the policies of American presidents from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush, as well as the behavior of Israeli prime ministers from Yitzhak Shamir to Ariel Sharon, another picture emerges.
In 1982, in the aftermath of Israel’s “Operation Peace for the Galilee,” President Ronald Reagan saved the PLO in Lebanon.
In 1990, President George Bush (senior) recognized Syria’s reduction of Lebanon to a vassal state in payment for its verbal support of the U.S. in the first Persian Gulf War. Mr. Bush ignored the fact that Damascus is the home of at least ten major terrorist organizations.
One of the most frequent guests at the Clinton White House was Yasser Arafat, the godfather of international terrorism.
Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has become the darling of President Bush junior, even though he has made it crystal clear that he has no intention of curtailing the PLO’s terrorist activities.
The U.S. Congress has been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into PLO coffers for more than a decade. Democratic America has been financing terrorism!
Even though Israel is the most bloodied victim of Arab terrorism, Israeli governments have been patronizing terrorists for more than two decades. In May 1985, a government of national unity headed by Yitzhak Shamir unanimously agreed to exchange 1,150 Arab terrorists for six Jewish soldiers captured in Lebanon by the PLO. The government allowed 600 of those terrorists to return to their homes in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. These terrorists became the leaders of the first intifada.
In September 1993 President Clinton hosted the Rabin-Arafat “handshake” on the White House lawn in a ceremony that capped the Oslo Agreement. Terror-master Arafat was sanitized and lionized in the capital of the democratic world.
Glaringly evident here is a policy of appeasing and rewarding terrorists, especially those at war with Israel. Terrorism pays: it pays because the political leaders of the democratic world are willing to pay Arab terrorists with Jewish land!
However, as patrons of terrorism, American presidents cannot compete with Israeli prime ministers. Rabin released and armed tens of thousands of Arab terrorists. His foreign minister Shimon Peres trivialized Arafat’s crimes by calling the Jewish victims of terrorism “sacrifices for peace.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also released and armed Arab terrorists and rewarded them with Jewish land. During his premiership, the prime minister’s office published daily reports of Arafat’s violations of the Oslo Agreement, yet he refrained from abrogating that disastrous agreement.
Netanyahu was succeeded by Ehud Barak who, in 2000, cravenly withdrew the IDF from southern Lebanon and turned the area over to Hezbollah. Barak was also willing—even anxious—to give Arafat 95% of Judea and Samaria, including eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for a piece of paper!
Enter Ariel Sharon, who surpassed all his predecessors as a patron of Arab terrorism. He not only released hundreds of terrorists, but also pursued a policy of self-restraint toward Arab terrorism resulting in the murder of more than 1000 Jews. To this add Sharon’s unilateral disengagement policy, which has made Gaza a center for global terrorism and inspired his successor, Ehud Olmert, to apply the same policy in Judea and Samaria!
Something must be wrong with a “democracy” that brings to power prime ministers so lacking in courage and honor as to patronize Arab terrorists. For this one may blame the morally decadent education of these prime ministers. On the other hand, if democracies are supposed to be self-correcting, something must be wrong with Israel’s system of government when one democratic election after another produces the same bloody and defeatist policy—indifferent to the protection of Jewish lives and the retention of Jewish land.
By patronizing Arab terrorists, Israeli prime ministers have murdered the sense of justice in Israel. A report by the Almagor Terror Victims Association demonstrates that at least 14 of the major terrorist attacks in recent years were carried out by terrorists released from prison in the context of various “good will gestures” and Israeli prisoner deals. All of them were released with assurances to the public that they did not have “blood on their hands”—a euphemism for those prisoners whose deadly attacks failed to prove fatal.
Between the years 1993-1999, in the context of “confidence building measures” and prisoner deals, Israeli government released 6,912 terrorists. 854 of them (14%) were arrested subsequently for murder, attempted or otherwise. The report concludes: “In all the previous death-bargains, the overwhelming majority of those released returned to terrorist activities, at the cost of a huge destruction of [Jewish] life.”
I go further: Israeli prime ministers have been complicit in murder.