Under Condoleezza Rice, U.S. foreign policy continues to veer in the direction of the “Arabism” of her mentor Brent Scowcroft and James Baker. Diana West points to the latest evidence. First, according to West (who cites worldtribune.com), the Bush adminstration snubbed Israel’s efforts to provide aid in the early aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Then, once it finally accepted Israel’s aid, the State Department apparently omitted Israel’s name from the list of countries participating in the relief effort, a list that touts Arab aid-givers. These affronts may be less the work of Rice than of Karen Hughes, to whom President Bush has assigned the task of “presenting an image of a benign America sensitive to the Arab and Muslim world,” in other words sucking up to Arabs at Israel’s expense.
But snubbing Israel is never going to be enough to convince Arabs that we’re benign and sensitive. We have to back up our gestures with funds that can be used to attack Israel and (until we’ve sufficiently established our bona fides) the U.S. itself. Thus, West reports, the U.S. will double its payments to the Palestinian Authority, even as the PA’s “Voice of Palestine” exhorts the Muslim faithful to attack Americans in Iraq, and the PA’s Ministry of Culture releases a collection of poetry honoring a bomber who killed 29 Israeli Jews and Arabs in 2003.
Which brings us to the synagogue burnings in Gaza. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas justifies this horror as his people “expressing their emotions.” But if their core emotion is hatred of Jews and their religion, why are we subsidizing their would-be representative? Especially when that representative fuels these murderous emotions at every turn. As Ariel Cohen puts it:
The Palestinian Authority leadership has done nothing to disarm Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or its own terrorist Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. It instead promotes genocidal hatred and then steps aside while synagogues burn or Jews and Christians are attacked. Not much at all has changed since Yasser Arafat failed as the leader of a would-be new state, but the stakes are getting even higher. If a Palestinian state is founded on the lethal mix of Arab chauvinism and radical Islam, it will serve as a base for international terrorism against Israel, Europe and the U.S., with al Qaeda and Hezbollah calling the shots. Burying our heads in the sand will simply not bring peace one step closer.
Nor will subsidizing the terrorists.