Israel shows United States how not to fight terrorism


By CHARLEY REESE

Story ran on Friday, October 26 2001

Israel prides itself on its fight against terrorism - or at least what it calls terrorism - but in fact, it provides the world with a perfect example of how to do it the wrong way.

This was brought home by the assassination of a Cabinet member, the minister of tourism, who was shot down outside his hotel room in East Jerusalem. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed credit. Why? Because a few months ago, the Israelis had assassinated the leader of that organization. Get it? Tit for tat. You kill, we kill, we all kill.

Israel has recently assassinated more than two dozen Palestinian political leaders. These murders are not characteristic of a democratic government, much less one that shares American values. The people who share the values of our American forefathers are the Palestinians. The Israelis share the values of the old racist British Empire. But have all of these political murders by the Israelis ended the Palestinian uprising? No.

Israel has been assassinating Palestinian leaders for nearly 50 years. Has it stopped terrorism? No. Israel has been engaging in bloody reprisal attacks, killing many innocents. Has that stopped terrorism? No.

Israelis have been arresting people by the thousands during the past 30 years. Has that stopped terrorism? No. Israel tortures, confiscates peopleís land, demolishes their homes, bulldozes their olive orchards, places them under curfew, seals them inside their towns. Has that stopped terrorism? No.

One thing Israel hasnít done is honestly address the issues that cause these attacks. Remember, anybody Israel decides to kill is automatically a "terrorist." Israelis are as promiscuous in their use of "terrorist" as the Israeli lobby is in its use of "anti-Semite."

But as to the question of withdrawing from the territory it captured in 1967, Israel has one answer: "No." As to the question of letting refugees return or be compensated for the property the Israeli government stole from them, Israel has had one answer: "No." As for letting U.N. peacekeepers protect the Palestinians from Israeli violence, the answer is "No." As for obeying more than 60 U.N. resolutions directing Israel to comply with international law, the answer is "No."

So, will there ever be peace in Palestine? No. The Israelis can continue to murder, imprison, isolate, torture, impoverish, brutalize and harass the Palestinians for the next 50 years, and for the next 50 years Palestinians, generation after generation, will resist the occupation of their land by any means they can.

So, every time an Israeli shows up purporting to be an expert on terrorism, we ought to laugh the person right back home. The Israelis are pretty good terrorists themselves, but as anti-terrorists, they are a bunch of goofs. The only thing America can learn from Israel is how to manufacture a continuing supply of embittered enemies decade after decade.

Neither Israel nor the United States, nor any other government, can ever rationalize an injustice by killing the people who protest the injustice. People will endure a lot, but not an injustice. Itís like white phosphorous burning a manís soul.

The best thing for the American people to do is to end all aid to Israel and withdraw the protection of the U.S. veto. If Israel is indeed a viable state, then it can survive without American taxpayers contributing nearly a tenth of its gross domestic product.


Charley Reese is a columnist for The Orlando Sentinel.