VIPAC - Letter Archive

Back to Archive

Date: Sun 13 Oct 2002
Subject: Support Israel's fight against PLO! Islamic terror is US enemy too! (VIPAC)

Dear Mr. President:

It has been widely reported that you recently instructed the American
ambassador to Israel Mr. Daniel Kurtzer to harshly criticize the Israeli
government for fighting too hard against the PLO's infrastructure of Islamic
terrorism. Mr. President I think you were wrong to have sent such a
message. You undermine America's own vital efforts against Islamic terror by
such criticism of Israel's legitimate acts of self defense.

If Israel has no right to fight Islamic terrorists in its own backyard then
what right does America have to go halfway around the world to fight Islamic
terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq? Indeed the voices being raised in
America today by Islamic extremists and their allies opposing America's
necessary war against Islamic terror are the same voices denying Israel a
right to self-defense against that same terror. They understand that
democracy's fight against terror is indivisible and they oppose it
everywhere. Your administration should also be able to understand the
indivisibility of this fight and therefore should vigorously support it
everywhere including Israel's own struggle against Islamic terror.

Therefore when you meet Ariel Sharon the Prime Minister of Israel on
Wednesday Oct. 16 in the White House please do NOT pressure him--as you are
reportedly planning to do--to appease Islamic terrorists by allowing PLO
terrorists more freedom of movement or giving them more financial resources
from tax revenues or granting them a stranglehold on Israel's vital water
supply in the Sea of Galilee. Such appeasement will only convince Islamic
terrorists that victory is within their grasp and will make them even more
determined foes as American forces confront them in Afghanistan Iraq and

Instead of appeasement please encourage Israel to be as determined and as
forceful as America has been in our fight for survival against the
international scourge of Islamic terror. That will help not hinder
America's own fight for freedom. A recent editorial in the Jerusalem Post
urges you to follow such a policy for these very same reasons and I include
it as a postscript for your consideration.


Oct. 13 2002
EDITORIAL: A Washington agenda

It is widely assumed that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is being summoned to
the White House on Wednesday to ensure Israeli restraint in the shadow of
and during the expected American action in Iraq. The meeting is indeed a
necessary one but one objective of it should be dispel the notion that our
self-defense disrupts the war against terrorism.

On Thursday a suicide bomber almost succeeded in blowing himself up on a
crowded bus but due to the courageous action of the driver and a passenger
"only" managed to kill one person and wound 30 others. On Friday night
another suicide bomber was kept out of a crowded cafe chased by an unarmed
guard and subdued by US Embassy guards. In both cases attacks that could
have killed a dozen people or more were narrowly averted. And these are but
the tip of the iceberg of the many attempted bombings thwarted by the IDF.

Under such circumstances and given America's own struggle against terrorism
one might think that US would show complete understanding for our restrained
military efforts. After all we have not just refrained from evicting or
arresting Yasser Arafat despite the shared US-Israeli assessment that he is
not lifting a finger to prevent terrorism. We have gone a step further and
heeded the US request to end the siege on Arafat's headquarters which
allowed some 20 terrorists he was harboring to escape.

Since then the terrorists have been emboldened. This is not surprising
because the sight of President George W. Bush protecting Arafat has at least
temporarily reversed the positive impact of his speech of June 24 calling for
a new Palestinian leadership.

This is not all. The US has reportedly been pressing us to ease up on
Palestinian cities to dismantle unauthorized civilian outposts and to
release up to NIS 2 billion in withheld Palestinian tax revenue. Further
rounding the picture we are being pressed hard not to act against the
diversion of some of the Jordan's source waters by Lebanon and not to "get
involved" (in the words of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) if attacked
by Iraq.

This is dead wrong. The same hand of Arab terrorism belligerency and
aggression that America is about to confront in Iraq is busy killing
Israelis. Bush understands that appeasement would be reckless in the case of
Iraq but it is no less foolhardy with respect to aggression against us.

It is difficult to fathom why Bush who seems to understand that the struggle
against terrorism must be a seamless and total one seems to think he will
score points with Arab regimes by restraining us. On the contrary the
experience with Afghanistan and even now with Iraq proves that Arab
opposition to the US is diminished not increased by powerful demonstrations
of resolve.

The Arab states are only minimally opposing the prospective US action not
because the US has been sensitive to their concerns but because they
understand the US is playing to win. The same is true with respect to Arab
aggression against us: The more the US demonstrates that attacking us brings
only more support for us the less we will be attacked.

Accordingly the goal of Wednesday's meeting in the White House should be
complete understanding between the two leaders and the deliberate reversal of
the impression that Israeli self-defense is part of the problem rather than
the solution. The model here should be the relationship between the US and
Britain. There are often differences of opinion even between close allies
but each nation has an interest in settling those differences quietly and
showing a united front.

Bush's great breakthrough is the realization that tolerating despotisms in
the Middle East is a direct threat to the US. A primary hallmark of that
tolerance has been the de facto acceptance of implacable Islamic enmity
toward us. It is not too soon to demonstrate that part of the new order will
be an end to the delegitimization of Israel. But if even the US is
uncomfortable with minimal Israeli measures of self-defense how can the Arab
world be expected to change its ways?




This page constructed by mberkow