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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024

U.S. must defend Israel from terrorist

\It is not necessary to condemn the suicide bombers,"" said Palestinian Foreign Minister Farouk Kaddoumi at the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Malaysia. He then began an extended oration against Israel and all they have done to deserve the attacks at Passover Seders, shopping malls and other places where civilians congregate to go about their daily business. From a military standpoint, this makes sense enough: A kill ratio of 15 (roughly the average of Israeli civilians killed in a successful attack) to one (the suicide bomber himself) is something any general would drool over. The only questions remaining are: What sort of sick mind considers people at a Seder or shopping at a mall to be legitimate targets, and why does our government not condemn such a regime to be an enemy on the same level as al Qaeda? 




Along with the continued coverage of the battles with the Palestinian Authority, perhaps overshadowed by the drama of Palestinian soldiers invading the Church of the Nativity and starting a firefight in one of Christianity's holiest sites, was the discovery of the ""Terror Invoice."" Documents in Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's compound provided concrete proof that the Palestinian Authority has had an active role in planning, funding and ordering terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. While Palestinian Authority figures want to portray the 10 suicide bombers as average, isolated citizens irate over Israeli policy, they are in fact murderous zealots taking orders either directly or indirectly from figures in Palestinian government. 




Understandably, Prime Minister Sharon has stated support for exiling Arafat from the region, saying that he can leave on a ""one-way ticket."" However, our government, in the midst of planning for war with Iraq and cleaning up in Afghanistan for our own war on terror, has not shown enough respect towards Israel and its own predicaments as far as terrorism is concerned. In a recent interview with CNN's Paula Zahn, Secretary of State Colin Powell made the outrageously contradictory statement that Arafat is engaging in terrorist activities, but at the same time has a ""legitimate role"" in the Middle East peace process. If we are supposedly living under a ""Bush Doctrine"" of pursuing terrorist leaders and those who harbor them, how can Yasser Arafat have a legitimate role at anything except as a defendant before either a criminal, military or war crimes tribunal? 




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By contrast, U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., lead Democrat on the House International Relations Committee and founder of the Human Rights Caucus, made the simple point that, adjusting for population differences between the United States and Israel, it is as if each terrorist attack would have killed nearly a thousand Americans. To ask Israel to do anything less than defend itself against these attacks is reprehensible. 




Were a foreign power to suggest that the United States should make a deal with Osama bin Laden to meet the terrorist leader's demands, perhaps giving him the East Coast while we're at it, the United States would rightly reject that notion in the strongest of terms. However, when Israel has to deal with its own terrorist problems, notions of moral equivalency between Israel's defensive actions and the bloodthirsty attacks of Palestinian terrorists is established. The international community pressures Israel to show restraint in the prosecution of the people who murder their citizens, even to grant them the power to lead a state on their borders. To say that this makes no sense is something of an understatement. 




For consistency in our war on terror, for upholding the lone Middle Eastern democracy, and for the protection of innocent life, the proper position for the United States is simple: Defend and preserve Israel, against the terrorist menace it must now face. 




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