Colin Powell will soon meet with Yasir Arafat, who holds the singular distinction of being the only sponsor of terrorism to have won a Nobel Peace Prize. If I may be so bold as to give counsel to a secretary of state, I propose that Powell issue the following ultimatum
“The United States demands that you comply with the following conditions immediately.
“First, declare in Arabic that terrorism shall not be tolerated and denounce suicide bombers as the murderers they are.
“Second, declare an end to the intifada which you have encouraged since September 2000.
“Third, stop funding the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, as documents recovered from your Ramallah headquarters prove you to have done.
“Fourth, stop permitting Mideast powers to arm and fund terrorist groups like Hezbollah (armed by Iran) and Hamas (funded by the Saudi elite). Intercept shipments of arms and block transfers of funds, and if you cannot do so, share intelligence with Israel so that it can.
“Fifth, use the full power of your security and intelligence forces to destroy the headquarters and weapons of terrorist organizations and to arrest and imprison their leaders. If you lack the capacity to do so, allow Israel Defense Forces to conduct targeted strikes based on your intelligence.
“If you comply with these conditions, the United States and Israel will work with you to establish a viable Palestinian state.
“If you reject these conditions, the United States will put you on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, sever diplomatic ties with you, seek to establish a new Palestinian leadership and let Ariel Sharon do what he will in the defense of Israel.”
That is the ultimatum. It must be given in terms as unambiguous and forceful as those above, and the United States must be deadly serious about enforcing it. Nothing less will save Israel, and nothing less will protect America.
It is time for America’s Mideast policy to recognize that no political process can end the murderous machinations of the extremist segment within the Arab world that seeks Israel’s destruction. Israel can cut a deal with moderates who respect its right to exist, but Palestinian terrorists will never accept compromise. Witness the bone-chilling words of Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas leader, as quoted in the New York Times: “From our ideological point of view, it is not allowed to recognize that Israel controls one square meter of historic Palestine.”
Zahar is not referring to Israel’s 1967 borders: historic Palestine includes the entirety of Israel. These are the words of a fanatical proto-fascist bent on Israel’s destruction. Such people do not negotiate. They can only be defeated.
For too long, America has gullibly believed that Arafat would defeat them; that if treated as a partner in peace, he would save Palestinian society from the foul few who corrupt their compatriots’ hopes like a parasitic blight. Instead of condemning them, he has encouraged them; and they continue sending the sons of Palestine to kill and to die.
Arafat’s complicity in terror is unquestionable. If he really wants peace, then why his rejection of Ehud Barak’s insanely generous proposal for Palestinian statehood? Why the intifada? Why his approval of that infamous arms-laden boat from Iran; his funding of al Aqsa leaders; his penchant for praising terrorists as martyrs? The answer: he thinks Palestinian terrorism wins political concessions.