After the killing of the appointed Hamas "leader" Dr. Abdelaziz Al—Rantisi, three weeks after his predecessor Sheik Ahmed Yassin, it is apparent that Israeli leaders such as Shimon Peres, a Nobel peace prizewinner, have finally realized that there is no peaceful way to deal with terrorists. Peres told Israeli TV: "Whoever deals in murder will pay the price, and it will lead to his own death."
Ironically, Mr. Peres continues to believe that Yassir Arafat is a "Partner for Peace' with whom the Israelis can negotiate. However, Peres knows that Arafat is both the founder of modern terrorism and continues to support, fund and direct everyday terrorism against Israelis and Americans.
If perchance Mr. Peres is not aware that Arafat is the main driver of Palestinian terrorism, then he should read what Farouk Kaddoumi, the PLO's hard—line "foreign minister,' had to say on April 22, 2004. In an interview with the Jordanian newspaper al—Arab (as reported by the Jerusalem Post), Kaddoumi said that Arafat means 'armed' when he says 'struggle'.
Additionally, Kaddoumi revealed that the PLO has given him the "portfolio" of supporting the Iraqi resistance against the U.S.—led coalition forces in Iraq. In the same interview Kadoumi was quoted as saying:
"There is no doubt that the Palestinian revolution supports the Iraqi resistance, and we have seen demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories backing the intifada and resistance in Iraq."
He also admitted that the PLO Charter, which denies Israel's right to exist, has never been changed.
Mr. Peres was one of the leaders who claimed that Arafat did in fact change the charter as a result of the Oslo accords.
Unfortunately, Mr. Peres' statement on targeting terror leaders comes eleven years too late —— after the murder of over 1300 Israelis, the maiming of thousands of people, and tens of thousands of Israeli and Arab/Palestinian lives shattered.
Arafat's minions, who include al—Aqsa Brigades, Tanzim and other factions of Fatah, and even elements of the Palestinian Authority police, are the main perpetrators of terrorism against Israeli and American civilians. Even the EU, which continues to bankroll Arafat, knows that he is directing the war against Israel.
In fact, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, along with other splinter groups, have carried out fewer attacks than the groups under Arafat's personal control. Therefore, one can only conclude that Arafat deserves the same fate as the late leaders of Hamas if the Western world is serious about eradicating worldwide terrorism. Proportionately, Arafat has done much more damage to Israel than Osama bin Laden has done to the United States.
Arafat's Palestinian Authority is now in close cooperation with Hamas.
After the killing of Rantisi, Arafat repeatedly phoned senior Hamas officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and attempted to persuade them to resume inter—Palestinian talks about establishing joint leadership.
According to a senior Fatah official in Gaza, his organization supports giving Hamas and Islamic Jihad a key role in the PA decision—making process:
"We can't ignore the role of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the resistance against Israel,"
The newly appointed Hamas leader, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, told Matthew Kalman (The Toronto Globe and Mail April 24, 2004) that the assassination of Rantisi by the Israelis
"is new fuel for our movement."
He also said,
"Our motto is very simple: either to achieve martyrdom or to liberate our land.'
In addition, he reiterated that Hamas will continue to struggle for the elimination of the State of Israel:
"We are not willing to accept Israel as a legitimate state in this area.'
The same message was sent to Western leaders who back Israel, and to the coalition forces in Iraq. He threatened that President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair would suffer the same fate as the victims of the Madrid train bombing.
Now, Hamas is in the process of regrouping and cooperating even more closely with Arafat than ever before.
Diana Buttu, a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiation team, told UPI that the Palestinian leadership firmly believes that Israel now intends to force Arafat out of the Palestinian territories and exile him to Egypt (where he was born). She added that Hamas restrained its people from retaliating for the deaths of its two high—ranking officials, but she believes the Islamist group is waiting out the 40—day mourning period, as demanded by Muslim tradition.
So, more Hamas and PA terror is imminent.
Israel, along with the West, is fighting global terrorism. In its modern form, terror was first utilized by the Arab Palestinians. But we now know that for decades Arafat has been financed and armed by Islamic countries, such as Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Arafat has been the pioneer and the point man in the emergence of global terror.
Mr. Peres, isn't time to see the reality that Arafat deserves the same fate as the previous leaders of Hamas?
Must we wait for more deaths to understand that Israel and the West should have long ago sent Arafat to the dustbin of history?
The fact is that it will take all freedom—loving peoples, including those in the Arab/Muslim World, to wake up to the reality of who Yassir Arafat really is.
George Jonas understood what needs to be done when he said:
'To put the genie of anti—civilizational ruthlessness back into its bottle, to defeat terrorist despotism from the nuclear labs of North Korea to the alleys of Falluja and the caves of al—Qaeda in the Hindu Kush, America will need to reconsider decades of ultra—liberalism and political correctness, and revert to earlier models of national purpose.'
And this applies to Israel, too. We will have to become as ruthless as our enemy is, and a lot less reluctant to kill its leaders if we ever want to see an end to the war on terror.
The enemy is ruthless and has a heart for the fight. Do we?