THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL
By Cal Thomas
(March 22, 2000 1:22 p.m. EST ) - Which is the greater threat: George W. Bush meeting with Bob Jones III, or President Clinton meeting with Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad in Geneva to further grease the slope leading to Israel's ultimate demise?
State Department spokesman James Rubin betrayed the indefensibly flawed and fatal (for Israelis) philosophy behind resumption of the "permanent status negotiations" between Israeli and Palestinian delegates when he said March 17, "The Palestinian issue represents the core of the conflict." No, it doesn't -- and it never has. The core of the conflict is the rejectionist policies of Israel's enemies to the very existence of the Jewish state, which preceded even the 1948 reconstitution of Israel. A largely ignored article in U.N. Resolution 242 requires of the Arabs "termination of all claims and states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." There has been no such termination. The Jerusalem Post, on Feb. 11, ran a picture of a small Palestinian child dressed as a suicide bomber taking part in a rally in Nablus observing the 12th anniversary of the terrorist group Hamas. The Post reported theatrical shows that included blowing up cardboard Israeli buses and setting mock Jewish settlements on fire. Do people who desire peace behave like this?
Is Assad a peacemaker? According to the Ariel Center for Policy Research, which published an ad in the Feb. 8 issue of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, President Assad provides safe haven to international terrorists and to Nazi war criminals, including Alois Brunner, one of Adolf Eichmann's senior henchmen. Assad is also a leading Holocaust denier. On Jan. 31, the editor of Assad's official newspaper, Tishrin, wrote: "Israel invented the legend of the Holocaust so as to blackmail the world and wield terror among intellectuals and politicians." This is a strategy of peace?
There's plenty of anti-Jewish sentiment in the Middle East, but Assad's brand is particularly venomous. On Nov. 27, 1999, the Syrian weekly al-Osbua al-Arabi ran this: "The Passover Matza is soaked with the blood of Iraqis, Lebanese and Palestinians ... the Talmud is drenched with hatred ... the hostility toward humanity is imprinted on the Jewish soul ... the Jewish Shylock spreads throughout the world and acts under American sponsorship."
Since seizing power 30 years ago, Assad has maintained his position by treating his opponents to execution, torture, imprisonment without trial and kidnapping. Assad has used various means to deter the Sunni majority, including poison gas, which he employed to murder 20,000 residents of the city of Hama. One out of 240 Syrians is employed in "security" organizations, their main purpose to keep Assad in power.
Syria is still defined by the United States as a terrorist state and is the axis around which much of the world's terrorism revolves. Iran, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba are among those that maintain terrorist ties to Syria. Assad has not been a peacemaker with his own Muslim neighbors. He supports and harbors anti-Turkish PKK Kurdish terrorism, claiming Syrian sovereignty over southeastern Turkey. He continues the 13-centuries-old conflict with Iraq. He occupies Lebanon, which he has turned into the world's largest terrorist camp, and is now ready to inflict even more death and destruction on Israel as it withdraws soldiers from the "buffer zone" between the two nations.
Syria is also one of the most active proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, especially the chemical and biological variety. Nothing that Israel or the United States may do will deter Syria or Israel's other implacable enemies from their appointed and, they believe, divinely mandated objective to eliminate from the region Israel as a nation and all Jews as a people. How can differences be bridged if terrorists and terrorist states hold steadfastly to this objective? There is no evidence that they are prepared to change. There is plenty of evidence they will use the leftist government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the strong-arm tactics of the Clinton administration to hasten Israel's apocalypse and realize Hitler's dream.
(c) 2000, Los Angeles Times Syndicate