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Old jokes and old mistakes

Posted: May 14, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com
There"s an old joke that goes like this: The prime minister of Israel sits down with Yasser Arafat to negotiate their conflict. The prime minister asks if he can begin by recounting a story.

Arafat says, "Of course."

"Years before the Israelites came to the Promised Land and settled there, Moses led them for 40 years through the desert," the prime minister said. "During this period, the Israelites began complaining about thirst. Lo and behold, a miracle occurred and a stream appeared before them. They drank their fill and began to bathe their dusty bodies. When Moses came out of the water, he found his clothes were missing."

""Who took my clothes?"" demanded Moses.

""It was the Palestinians,"" replied the Israelites.

At that point, Arafat objected: "Wait a minute. There were no Palestinians during the time of Moses."

"Precisely," replied the prime minister. "Now that we"ve got that settled, let"s begin our negotiations."

Like I said, it"s an old joke. And it"s hard to laugh - or even smile - about events in the Middle East today, especially when international meddlers - including the United States and Europe - force Israel into making the same old mistakes over and over again.

The latest mistake is the acceptance - at face value - of Arafat"s latest denunciation of terrorism against Israeli civilians. How many times have we heard Arafat make pledges to refrain from terror, to battle terror, to pursue peaceful relations with his Jewish neighbors?

Time and time again, the U.S. has promoted the rehabilitation of Arafat as a peacemaker despite his 38-year track record as the leading terrorist in the world.

Are words more powerful than deeds? Does rhetoric alone mean more than actions? How many second chances is the international community willing to extend to the modern-day inventor of terrorism?

While Arafat"s supporters like to compare him to George Washington, Americans must not be fooled. George Washington was known throughout the world not only as the father of our country, he was known as the "father of freedom." Arafat, on the other hand, is the father of modern terrorism - the very same kind of terrorism that struck the U.S. so hard Sept. 11.

It was Arafat, after all, who pioneered the airline hijacking and the spectacular terrorist action that would rivet the world. Osama bin Laden learned at his filthy, bloody feet.

Arafat will never change. He has learned to survive by saying the right things at the right time. But his words are meaningless. His only goal is to preside over a Palestinian state that replaces the state of Israel - not one that lives peacefully next to the state of Israel.

If he changes his rhetoric from time to time, it is only because he considers it strategically wise to do so. He is, as he has said many times, following the lead of the prophet Mohammed, who feigned peace with the Meccans only to conquer them.

Do American leaders really fall for this unconvincing charade by Arafat? Are they that stupid? Can"t they see what this man is as clearly as I can?

I have become convinced the reason we keep making the same mistakes over and over again with Arafat has nothing to do with stupidity. It"s much worse than that. American leaders - including George W. Bush and Colin Powell and Bill Clinton before them - are following this course of coddling terrorism, rewarding it, forgiving it, blessing it, honoring it because of pressure from one of the most evil regimes that has ever plagued the world.

I refer to Saudi Arabia. American leaders fear an oil embargo. They fear the power of the sheiks. They fear these illegitimate robed and bejeweled thugs. So they plot what they see as a middle-road course between the evil tyranny that bans churches and synagogues, oppresses women, forbids free expression and never even considers the notion of accountability to the will of its own people.

It"s sad, but true. America - the land of the free and the home of the brave. George Washington must be turning over in his grave.

It"s no joke. Maybe we can"t expect Yasser Arafat to live up to his words, but it"s time for America to live up to its rhetoric. If this be a war on terrorism, there must be no tolerance or appeasement of terrorism - anywhere, by anyone.


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Joseph Farah is editor and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily.com and writes a daily column. Get an autographed, first-edition copy of Joseph Farah"s 1996 book, "This Land Is Our Land," published by St. Martin"s Press.

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