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by Rachel Neuwirth


The majority of the Palestinian Arabs voted for Hamas and the Bush administration acts surprised and shocked. They denounce Hamas and are squirming to find ways to still proceed with a fictional "peace process" based on an ill-conceived scheme called the Roadmap.

The Israeli government was very reluctant to have that election take place. It feared a Hamas victory would also legitimize it despite its being a declared terrorist organization. It was Condoleezza Rice who demanded that Israel permit the election and allow Jerusalem Arabs to vote. The word is "demanded" and not "requested" because it was reported that Rice's demand came with a threat to punish Israel if it objected. And yet, when Rice addressed the U.S. Institute of Peace on August 19, 2004, she defended "the President's clear message and consistent practice" in his foreign policy against Islamic extremism and she declared "True victory will come not merely when the terrorists are defeated by force, but when the ideology of death and hatred is overcome by the appeal of life and hope, and when lies are replaced by truth."

But this kind of clarity and consistency has been sorely lacking in the American policy toward Israel. This is not the first time that an American administration has made demands that come with threats. In the past the administration has withheld military and financial aid until Israel bowed to U.S. demands even when those demands put Israel in greater danger. Contrast this with America's kid glove treatment of Egypt. To this day Egypt continues to violate the letter and spirit of its so-called peace agreement with Israel and is un-cooperative with U.S. interests in many respects. But for Egypt American military and economic aid continues unimpeded. Bush also gave an extra two million dollars for the Palestinian Authority to help them campaign and presumably be the "moderate" side in the election[1].

The Bush Administration objects to Hamas' openly announced goal to destroy Israel, a declaration explicitly contained in the Hamas covenant. But Yasser Arafat and the PLO were little different in substance from Hamas, yet the U.S. found them to be acceptable partners for peace and worthy of massive assistance. Yasser Arafat also had a PLO covenant calling for the destruction of Israel. This did not block U.S. support for Arafat and the PLO. In the early 1990's the U.S. government coached Arafat to publicly utter a few words, in English, recognizing Israel's right to exist and promising to forgo terrorism. In return for these empty words Israel was pressed for significant concessions as if such an empty gesture from a terrorist requires some kind of reward. Putting a fig leaf on terrorism is hailed as a diplomatic achievement[2][3].

When the PLO covenant became a diplomatic embarrassment Bill Clinton went to Gaza to attend a meeting of the PLO ruling council. In a staged "show of hands" the council voted to amend the infamous covenant. Clinton promptly hailed the vote as removing this onerous obstacle to peace and proceeded with the Oslo Accords, plus a dozen visits of Arafat to the White House and gave hundreds of millions to Arafat and the PA. The PA/PLO continued to show a map of "Palestine" in which there was no Israel and with no objection from the U.S. administration. And the original PLO covenant remained in effect with not a single article officially amended[4][5].

Arafat was persuaded to confine his inflammatory rhetoric against Israel to speeches in Arabic while sounding more "moderate" in English. Arafat wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Feb. 3, 2002, titled "The Palestinian Vision of Peace": He stated:

"I condemn the attacks carried out by terrorists groups against Israeli civilians. These groups do not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations for freedom."

Three days later, he addressed a rally in Ramallah (in Arabic) and he called for "a million martyrs marching on Jerusalem." Just a few hours after that speech, a Palestinian terrorist from Arafat's own Fatah movement, murdered three Israeli civilians, among them an 11 year old girl. The next day, Arafat's "Voice of Palestine" broadcast jubilant praises for the "heroic martyr." So much for the "Palestinian Vision of Peace." Hamas, in contrast, is simply more honest about its intentions and refuses any cajoling to at least sound conciliatory in English so that our State Department could resume business as usual[6].

In violation of the letter and spirit of the 1993 Oslo Accords, Arafat continued his violence and condoned acts of terror. After Ehud Barak's 97% offers to Arafat at Camp David, Arafat launched an even more bloody second intifada. Meanwhile U.S. diplomacy continued along with U.S. funds to the PLO/PA.

When George Bush took office he refused to meet with Arafat but increased PLO/PA funding thus giving mixed signals. President Bush then embraced Arafat's long term close partner Mahmoud Abbas as the new "moderate" Palestinian leader. Abbas was one of the founders of the Fatah terrorist organization and funded the terrorists who massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He is also a Holocaust denier, a full partner in terror with Arafat who also refused to disarm or oppose Palestinian terror. To this day George Bush supports Abbas[7][8].

The Bush administration makes a show of complaining that Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist. But for all of Israel's existence since 1948 every American administration has refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Muslims have Mecca and Medina and have no religious or historical connection to Jerusalem except for politically-based false claims. Since the end of the Crusades, Christians no longer have any political claim on Jerusalem. In contrast Jerusalem is the holy city of Judaism from biblical times having been Israel's capital twice during the periods of the First and Second Temples. Jerusalem is mentioned countless times in both the Hebrew and Christian bibles and never once in the Koran. And yet America singles out Israel as the only country in the world where we steadfastly refuse to recognize its capital.

In recognition of historic truth and justice the U.S. Congress, reflecting the will of the American people, voted to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and allocated funds for that purpose. That action is part of American law. Both Bill Clinton and George Bush, when campaigning for office, promised to promptly move our embassy to Jerusalem. Both men promptly reneged on that promise upon taking office citing American national interest which suddenly became the excuse. The real reason is that the Arabs want to deny any legitimacy to Israel as a nation and the U.S. administration is afraid to annoy the Arabs thus giving them a veto over American decisions. The ongoing and indefinite refusal to move the embassy, along with excluding Israel from NATO membership, could certainly be seen by the Arabs as a clear signal that America regards Israel's existence as temporary. In turn, these signals encourage the Arabs to be even more intransigent in their refusal to make peace with Israel.

In 1998 Israel was commemorating the three thousandth anniversary of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel under King David. Martin Indyk, the then U.S. ambassador to Israel, petulantly boycotted that ceremony to show his disapproval. Bill Clinton did not rein in his undiplomatic and outrageous ambassador who, ironically, is also Jewish. And, it must be conceded that, shamefully, the ever self-debasing American Jewish leadership could muster no courage to say anything.

As an aside, a rare exception that proved the rule occurred in January 2001. The Israeli government, under Prime Minister Ehud Barak, proposed the unthinkable. He offered to divide Jerusalem, the heart of Judaism, with a large part going to Israel's enemies, the PLO/PA. The people of Israel protested in a massive rally in Jerusalem. Mr. Ron Lauder, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, joined the protesters' rally as a private citizen because his constituent organization was shamefully unable to produce a majority to oppose dividing Jerusalem. This is another example that any Jew who courageously stands for Jewish rights and Judaic principles will be vigorously undermined by Jewish leaders more inclined towards self-debasement and appeasement than with standing for principle[9].

What is the real message from the Bush Administration regarding Hamas? Are we to believe that Bush really objects to any attempt to destroy Israel? We certainly would like to believe that. Or is the real message that those who would destroy Israel should rather follow the successful protocol of deception pioneered by Yasser Arafat with coaching from the U.S. State Department?


1. "Dr. Rice Addresses War on Terror," The White House, August 19, 2004,

2. Carl Limbacher, "Hamas Oath Vows Death to Jews," January 28, 2006,

3. "The Covenant Of The Islamic Resistance Movement," The Avalon Project at Yale, August18, 1988,

4.  M. Zimmerman, "The Infamous PLO Covenant," Freeman Center for Strategic Studies,

5. Israel Government Press Office, "Failure to Amend the PLO Covenant," January 29, 1998,

6. "A week in Israel," February 12, 2002,

7. Rafael Medoff, "Likely PA Prime Minister a Holocaust-Denier," February 26, 2003,

8. Kenneth R. Timmerman, "The Truth About Mahmoud Abbas," Insight On The News, June 30, 2003,

9. Lisa Keys, "Jewish Groups in Uproar As Their Top Spokesman Joins Jerusalem Protest," Forward, January 1, 2002,

Rachel Neuwirth is a freelance writer who resides in the Los Angeles area. Please, visit Rachel's web-site Rachel receives e-mail at

Bertram Cohen and Salomon Benzimra contributed to this article. It appeared March 14, 2006 in ChronWatch website


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