Published in Jerry Falwell’s National Liberty Journal
In Chapter 12 of the book of Genesis, God says, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” Quoting this Covenant, the Rev. Jerry Falwell announced last January, after his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that he intends to mobilize 200,000 evangelical Christian ministries and 70 million evangelicals into lobbying Congress in an effort to urge Congress not to pressure Israel to cede any more land to the Palestinians.
As an Israeli, I applaud Falwell’s intentions and ask you to help him help Israel and Jerusalem.
While Israel is celebrating it’s 50th birthday this year, it is facing a threat to its existence more serious than the five defensive wars it had to fight against Arab aggressors. Unable to win on the battlefield, Arab and Palestinian leaders, with the help of their European friends are successfully pressuring the Clinton Administration to force Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to relinquish more land in the “West Bank,” also called by its biblical name “Judea and Samaria,” and to relinquish exclusive control over Israel’s 3,000-year-old capital of Jerusalem for the sake of the so-called “peace.”
When most Israelis are asked whether there is any chance for a real peace between the Israelis and the Arab Palestinians, their answer often is a sad “no,” and the reason is that there is so much hatred, resentment and blame among the Palestinians against Israel and the Jews, there can never be peace – even if the Israeli Government will withdraw as the Arabs desire from all the so-called “occupied territories.”
President Clinton and other supporters of the “Oslo Agreement,” signed between Israel and PLO, repeatedly attempted to reassure Israelis that there are two kinds of Palestinians – the extremists, who want to derail the “peace process,” and the others who want to turn over a new page in relations with Israel. The many exhibitions of hatred in the Palestinian community since the treaty with Yasser Arafat was signed leave many Israelis wondering whether the problem is not with a few Palestinian extremists, but with a community of extremists.
Earlier this year, thousands of Palestinians rallied in support of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories, urging him to “hit Tel Aviv with chemicals and missiles.”
A poll done by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communication Center found that 77.2% of the Palestinians support Iraqi attacks against Israel in the event of a U.S. attack on Iraq, and 94.1% support the Iraqi leader in his struggle with the United States.
During the last five years, since the “Oslo Agreement” was signed, and after many terrorist attacks in which innocent Israelis were murdered Palestinians celebrated in Gaza and the West Bank, re-enacting on stage the suicide bombings while thousands of spectators cheered. The pictures of suicide bombers of the Israeli Holy War and its militant twin, Hamas, hang in Gaza homes and are carried in wallets and on key chains of Palestinians.
Repeatedly, Arafat explains that only Israeli concession and withdrawal from the West Bank will lower the frustration level among Palestinians and bring about a change of attitude and a decline on terrorist attacks.
Yet, in the last five years, the Israeli Army has withdrawn from Gaza, Jericho, Jenin, Tulkram, Bethlehem, Sheehem, Qalqilyah, Ramallah, and most of Hebron and still the support for attacks on Israel grows.
In a recent poll by the Center for Palestinian Research and Studies, 46% of the Palestinians do not desire peaceful coexistence with a Jewish state, but require a Palestinian state in all of Palestine, including Israel, for peace.
And this is the essence of the problem. The Palestinians still regard Israel as their enemy and Arafat, through his officials and Palestinian media, is helping to perpetuate this belief among his people by words and deeds.
In English, Arafat calls for peace with Israel, but in Arabic he calls for “Jihad” (Islamic holy War) “via deaths, via battles,” against Israel. On one hand, he calls the Oslo Agreement the “the peace of the Brave.” On the other, he refuses to evoke the 30 clauses in the Palestinian Charter, calling for Israel’s destruction through armed struggle and reclaiming of the whole of “Palestine,” with Jerusalem as the capital.
In English, Arafat has condemned terrorist attacks against Israel, but then in Arabic, he glorified the terrorists, referring to the terrorist’s wing of Hamas as “part of a patriots movement.”
Contrary to the Oslo Agreement, the PLO has failed to disarm or outlaw Hamas and Islamic Jihad and has failed to seriously prosecute them. After every terrorist attack, the Palestinian authorities arrest some of the Hamas activists and then quietly release them from prison when the public outcry and media attention subsides.
As a result, throughout the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories, Hamas has in place a broad infrastructure of hideouts, safe houses, weapons storage depots, bomb factories, training camps and the like.
The Clinton Administration, the Western media and Arab and European leaders seem determined to portray Arafat as a changed man who “made a fundamental commitment to peace,” differentiating him from Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists but, in reality, it seems that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are two faces of the National Palestinian movement with the same long-term goal of destroying Israel. Not only does Arafat allow terrorists to kill and maim Israelis without serious interference from his Palestinian police, but he and other Palestinian officials frequently praise Hamas.
Arafat hailed the recent release of Hamas founder Shick Ahmed Yassin calling him “my brother Ahmed Yassin the warrior.” Arafat has praised the top Hamas bomb maker, Yihya Ayyash (the engineer), who was responsible for many suicide bombs, killing hundreds of Israelis, ”a martyr,” and “a hero of the Palestinian people.”
As part of that brotherly, political relationship, Arafat gives the “green light” to Hamas to terrorize Israel when he needs leverage in his negotiations and has rejected 31 Israeli requests for extradition of terrorists suspects. Instead, 11 of these individuals are serving in the Palestinians police force.
Arafat, through Palestinian Authority officials and the Palestinian media, is managing a campaign of anti-Jewish hatred reminiscent of classic anti-semitism. But, much worse, in the tradition of the medieval blood libel, the deputy minister of the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Supplies has accused Israel of giving Palestinian Arabs “food containing material that causes cancer and hormones that harm male virility and other spoiled food products in order to harm and poison the Palestinian population.” And the Palestinian Authority representatives to the UN have actually accused the authorities “of injecting 300 Palestinian children with the HIV virus.”
In July, the Arafat-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, the Chief Islamic Cleric of the City, delivered a prayer in the mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which was also broadcast on the Palestinian Authority radio station saying, “Oh Allah, destroy America for she is ruled by Zionist Jews.”
Instead of demanding Arafat to plug his sewer of hatred and comply with the Oslo Agreement, it seems the Clinton Administration prefers to look away and to forget Palestinian violations quickly in order to continue the so-called “peace process.”
It seems that every time an Arab bomb goes off in an Israeli bus or mall, the world acts surprised, but then insists that Israel must be the one to make more unilateral concessions to Arafat in order that the talks continue.
However, the absurdity is that Israel is being asked by the Clinton administration to endure the Palestinian violations and then is blamed for not satisfying the Palestinians’ demands to have Israel go even beyond the Oslo Agreement.
Moreover, by agreeing with Arafat that expansion of Jewish communities in disputed areas with Arab majorities is undermining the “peace process,” the U.S. is agreeing that Jews should not be allowed to live in areas with Arab majorities and that Gaza and the West Bank should be free of Jews. But if this is the case, why should Israelis believe Clinton’s reassurances that Arafat wishes to coexist with the Jewish state?
The Palestinian Authority itself is an Islamic entity and this persecution is born of the age-old Islamic belief in its own religious supremacy and Christians’ love for Israel. Over the past four years, Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority has waged a campaign of intimidation and harassment against Christians under its control, including the use of torture, threats and surveillance to monitor and control the activities of ministers and others active in the faith.
In contrast, Israel already proves its willingness to coexist with Arabs in peace. Of Israel’s 5.5 million citizens, one million are Arab Israelis who have equal rights. And since the establishment of Israel, the Christian population has increased by 363% from 34,000 to 157,300.
During the last few months, President Clinton has chosen to subject the Netanyahu Government to disproportionate pressure to yield additional strategic land to the Palestinians, grant them a safe passage from the West Bank to Gaza through Israeli territory, allow them to have a Gaza airport, seaport and industrial park, and release hundreds of more Palestinian prisoners.
The Clinton Administration has blamed Netanyahu for much the lack of progress in peace, despite the fact that Netanyahu accepted the Oslo agreement, signed by his predecessor, and returned the City of Hebron, upsetting much of his electorate base. While President Clinton welcomed Arafat, the terrorist, as a near head of state, he showed disrespect to the leader of the only democracy in the Middle East by refusing to meet with Netanyahu last November and refusing to give him a state dinner in January.
The Clinton Administration has decided to make public, despite Israel’s pleas, its own plan calling for Israel to turn over an additional 13% of the West Bank to the Palestinians over a three-month period, in exchange for empty Palestinian promises to fulfill old obligations to fight terrorism and stop incitement.
However, in January 1997, when Netanyahu agreed to withdraw the Israeli Army from Hebron, then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher signed a letter promising him that Israel alone will determine the amount or percentage of land in each withdrawal from the West Bank. The Clinton Administration chooses to forget the written promise and is determined now to dictate settlement to Israel. The establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank in Gaza would leave Israel with indefensible boundaries.
By his own words and deeds, it is clear that Arafat hasn’t abandoned his old agenda of a step-by-step plan to destroy Israel. As recently as January, he told the Palestinian newspaper Alayyam that he views the Oslo agreement as the first phase of the 1974 “Phased Plan,” which seeks to establish a state with as much territory as possible though political means and use it as a springboard for the final destruction of Israel.
As an Israeli, I’m worried about the future survival of Israel, but I’m also touched by Rev. Falwell’s love for Israel and encouraged by his plan to alert and awaken the evangelical Christian community to lobby Congress in an effort to stop the Clinton Administration from continuing to pressure Israel to cede more land to the Palestinians and to convince the administration to recognize a united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As Rev. Falwell stated so eloquently, “American support for Prime Minister Netanyahu should be unwavering because it’s in America’s best interest to support Israel because Israel is our only true friend.”
Bless those who bless Israel!
Published in The National Liberty Journal