Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Lesson to Israel

While reading the news today I came across a particularly interesting article on Yahoo News. This article and the possible implications it presents will probably go largely unnoticed because of the news coverage of hurricane Katrina. The title of the article, Egypt vows to work for full Palestinian liberation, should send chills down the spine of Israelis that remember 1967 and to those who thought the recent Gaza and West Bank pullouts were going to bring respite from terrorist attacks by Palestinian militants.

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman offered congratulations to the Palestinian parliament on behalf of Egypt's President Mubarak as well as a "commitment that we stay hand in hand with you until all Palestinian territory, in the West Bank and as well as Gaza, is liberated." He went on to state that "Egypt supported Palestinian efforts towards the complete and total freedom of land occupied in 1967 to pave the way to the creation of a Palestinian state that will take its place in the Arab nation."

These statements are reminiscent of the Pan-Arabism and the rallying of the "streets" of the nineteen sixties led by then Egyptian leader Abdel Nassar. Leaders of Arab nations during this time routinely used the Palestinian plight and the very existence of a Zionist state in their midst to boost their own standing with their citizens. Maybe this is Mubarak's way of rallying the "street" in support of him in light of the upcoming election that is to take place on September 7th or maybe it is an attempt to take Egypt off the proverbial terrorist target list by showing renewed support for the Palestinians as they are often used as an excuse for terrorism. In either case Israel should be worried.

I understand that the withdrawal was as much an economic and defensive strategy for Israel as it was an attempt to show good faith to the Palestinian truce and their quest for statehood. But with Palestinian militants claiming victory over Israel and touting their terrorist tactics as the primary cause of that victory in addition to now being emboldened by the powerful statements coming from Egypt, Israel can now expect more and not less, as was hoped, terrorist attacks. These recent events should also be a lesson to the world that terrorists cannot be appeased and any attempt at appeasement is going to be seen as a validation for terrorist attacks.

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