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Friday, June 17, 2011

Israel: Standing Alone?

By, Deborah Weiss
American Security Council
June 2, 2011

Israel celebrated her sixty-third anniversary of independence on Saturday, May 14th, 2011. The following day, May 15th, constituted the holiday Palestinians refer to as “Nakba”, which means “the catastrophe” in Arabic. It is the day in which Palestinians mourn the creation of Israel. Prior to Israel’s anniversary, 350,000 organizations and individuals signed onto a facebook page calling for a third intifada against Israel, at which time facebook finally took the page down. During the first two intifadas, Palestinians had thrown rockets across the borders into Israel, terrorizing Israeli citizens. Fatah, which had previously worked to prevent terrorism along the West Bank, announced that it if a third intifada were to occur, it could not do anything to stop it. As it turned out, the protests did not rise to the level of an intifada this year. However, Israel was still invaded with violent demonstrations from all sides – Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Gaza and the West Bank.

Now, Hamas and Fatah are reconciling to form a “unity government”. It has been established that once a Palestinian unity government is formed, it will go to the UN demanding unilateral recognition of Palestine as a nation state, henceforth bypassing the peace process. In other words, Palestine would not have to negotiate with Israel regarding borders and Hamas would not withdraw its charter-required commitment to destroy Israel. If the UN grants this request, then Palestine will be able to sign onto the International Criminal Court and file criminal complaints against “Israeli aggression”. This is a legal strategy to achieve the destruction of Israel at the same time Palestinians have a strategy on the ground to attain Israel’s destruction through terrorism.

President Obama’s speech on May 19, 2011 was additional bad news for Israel. For the first time in American history, a sitting U.S. President referred to parts of Israel as “occupied territory” despite the fact that there had never been a pre-existing Palestinian state to occupy. President Obama also told Israel that she should go back to the 1967 borders. If Israel were to comply, she would be only 9 miles wide at her narrowest point and Jerusalem would be split in half. Israel would no longer control the land with the Wailing Wall of the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest of sites. Moreover, such borders would give the Palestinians land that is geographically higher than that of Israel’s. This would provide Palestine with a military advantage, making it easier to proceed with maneuvers toward Israel’s destruction. Indeed, the President’s speech raises the question of whether Israel’s one friend in the world --- the U.S. --- is abandoning her in her greatest time of need.

Undoubtedly, Israel is in big trouble. In the Middle East, anti-Semitism combined with anti-Israel sentiment is the one unifying force that fractioned groups active in the “Arab Spring” have in common. Though they may differ on other issues, they are united in their hatred of Israel. Unfortunately, this sentiment is increasingly shared around the globe including Europe, where anti-Semitism is at its highest rate since World War II. And Obama isn’t helping. Nor are college campuses in the U.S. which are indoctrinating their students with anti-Israel propaganda. For example, Columbia University recently announced that it started a “Palestinian Studies” department. Apparently it wasn’t enough that Columbia already employed a professor with known terrorist ties – Khalid Rashidi. Now, he is the head of the university’s Center for Palestinian Studies.

Currently, the United States provides Fatah, the alleged "moderate Palestinian party" with approximately half a billion dollars of funding per year. However, Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and the European Union. And, it is illegal to donate money to a terrorist organization. Indeed, there are people sitting in American prisons today for donating money to Hamas.

Accordingly, Democrats and Republicans in Congress are deliberating the idea of passing legislation stop funding to the unity government until Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist and promises to work to stop Palestinian terrorism against Israel. However, political appointees at the State Department urge continued funding of the Palestinians. They want to take a “wait and see” attitude, claiming it is too soon to form a conclusion about how the new unity government will act.

Despite the State Department’s inclinations, the Hamas Charter is clear that it is dedicated to the total destruction of Israel -- not merely to regain what some in the west refer to as "occupied territories”. Hamas considers ALL of Israel to constitute "occupied territory". Hamas has been equally clear that its position on this will not change with the formation of the new unity government. On the contrary, Fatah is already showing signs that it is acquiescing to Hamas, by refusing to stop Palestinian invasions of Israel along the West bank during Nakba.

All this sounds like a conspiracy theory against Israel, right? If only it were. Prosecutors will tell you that some conspiracies are theories and others are fact. The existential threat against Israel could not be more real. Funding a terrorist entity is against the law. There is no exception for the U.S. government. Please contact your congressmen and senators to let them know that you do not want your tax-payer money going to support Hamas, a U.S-designated terrorist organization.

Deborah Weiss is an attorney, writer and public speaker. She works for and is a regular contributor to the American Security Council Foundation, FrontPage Magazine and The Washington Times.


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