Why the PLO is at war with the US
Refusing to condemn and remove Al Qaeda means Palestinian Authority is now a US enemy in the War on Terror.
Recent revelations in the news that al Qaeda has announced a new organization in Gaza in light of the Israeli withdrawal now means that the Palestinian Authority is technically at war with the United States.
Under international law, a neutral country not party to a war between belligerents is not allowed to harbor enemy combatants from one of the belligerents. Doing so willingly demonstrates the neutral party is now a party to the conflict. International law defines 'the rights and duties of neutrals and belligerents in time of armed conflict are not mere legalistic rhetoric——they represent a carefully balanced relationship in which neutrals do not interfere with the policy goals of belligerents in exchange for a broad immunity from the violence used to attain those goals by belligerents. Impartiality intends to prevent the actions of a neutral nation from giving unbalanced support to one belligerent at the expense of another. The law is the codification of sound policy decisions and the military principle of economy of force. Absent the law, the logical consequences would not be much different.'
But Hamas and Al Qaeda have both been very brazen in suggesting unity with Bin Laden's international terrorist group. Now it has been reported numerous times in world media that Al Qaeda is opening up a new cell in Gaza called the 'Jihad Brigades in the Border Districts.' Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has not once condemned Al Qaeda or forbidden it from creating such a cell in Gaza. No Palestinian police security apparatus has even warned Al Qaeda that its members will be hunted down and arrested whenever possible. In fact, Mahmoud Abbas is busy negotiating with Hamas and other terrorist groups to be part of his government.
Technically, given all of taxpayer support given by the US and EU to the Palestinian Authority, the Abbas government should openly declare itself at war with Al Qaeda, the same as the West.
If the Palestinian Authority CANNOT keep Al Qaeda out of Gaza, then Gaza's status is now like that of Belgium during the World Wars. The U.S. would be free to invade Gaza to fight Al Qaeda at any time just as Britain and France and the U.S. were entitled to enter Belgium to fight Germany. If the Palestinian Authority WILL NOT keep Al Qaeda out of Gaza, then it has just declared war on the United States. Belgium, of course, had no choice once the Nazis invaded. But the Palestinian Authority does have a choice and responsibility in the situation.
Of course, none of this is news. The Palestinian Authority routinely in its controlled media lends at least vocal and written support to the Ba'ath Party insurgents killing US troops in Iraq. It even encourages that support among US—based and EU—based supporting groups of the Palestinian—cause such as compose the International Solidarity Movement whose protests against 'occupation' cite not only Israel's presence in territories slated to become a Palestinian state, but US presence in the liberating and pacifying of Iraq from Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party control also. In other instances, Palestinian NGO's have all refused to sign agreements that their funds will not be diverted to terrorism or terrorists. And even worse, when four US security personnel were gunned down in Gaza by terrorists, the Abbas government refused to hand over their killers. The outcome that time was the US government put in for another 450 million dollars in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Do US taxpayers really want their hard—earned money sent as foreign aid to a county—to—be that allows Al Qaeda within its borders? US foreign policy has looked the other way as the Saudi royal family financed Al Qaeda and Hamas on multiple occasions. Many of the insurgents in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia. Given past experience, are we now to fund Al Qaeda while we are fighting them? Few Americans know Al Qaeda was not created by Bin Laden, but by a Palestinian Arab leader, Abdullah Azzam, who was also the historical leader of Hamas. The Palestinians know this.
If anyone tries to claim the Palestinian Authority is a victim of Al Qaeda and should be given a pass by the US, one has only to look at the aftermath of 9/11:The Taliban were required to hand over Bin Laden and refused. The US invaded (rightfully so) and,in addition to defeating Al Qaeda, also removed the Taliban from power who were shielding Al Qaeda Bases or at best allowing their presence in Afghanistan.
Other precedents exist regarding neutrals allowing belligerents in war within their borders. During the Second World War, a German battleship being pursued by British cruisers sought refuge in Montevideo in Uruguay. Per international law, the Uruguayans required the German vessel to leave within 24 hours, lest their country be perceived legally as a Nazi satellite. The Palestinian Authority does nothing to even verbally condemn Al Qaeda and even lauds it in their controlled press.
Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas will tell the United States which status he prefers, that of an enemy of the United States or its ally?
Lee Kaplan is Contributing Editor to FrontPageMagazine.