As the Clinton-Obama political slugfest rages on and John McCain awaits the winner, a fourth presidential candidate also remains in the race, aggressively distinguishing himself from his rivals as the candidate most eager to negotiate with terrorists.
A Massachusetts native who served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963-66 and in the U.S. Senate from 1969-81, Mike Gravel began his run for the White House as a Democrat but failed to gain any traction as such, thus he crossed over to the Libertarian line. Gravel’s previous claim to fame came in 1971 when he read, into the Senate record, some 4,100 pages of the “Pentagon Papers,” which Daniel Ellsberg initially had leaked to The New York Times in a move that unquestionably violated the Espionage Act’s explicit prohibition against the release of “any document … relating to the national defense which … could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”
Today Gravel is again prepared to injure the United States, this time by working to prevent America’s strongest Middle Eastern ally, Israel, from being able to defend itself against the onslaught of its jihadist, genocidal neighbors. Specifically, Gravel has denounced what he terms “the Washington establishment” for having “condemned and criticized Jimmy Carter for his latest attempt to make the world a safer place” by “meeting with Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas.” In Gravel’s view, Carter “should be praised” for his “brave gambit” which aims to “jump-start the peace process.” “When will we Americans learn that the only way to achieve true security is through diplomacy and negotiation?” says Gravel. “... [T]he only way to break the cycle of violence is a negotiated settlement.”
“Carter’s critics,” Gravel adds, “don’t know much about Israel’s real security situation -- nor do they really care about it. All they want to do is please AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] and hawkish members of the American Jewish community who don’t have to live under the daily threat of terrorism.”
But in point of fact, it appears that Gravel himself knows very little about those with whom he would “negotiate.” Consider, for starters, that Mr. Meshal commonly preaches a message of genocide to frenzied Arab audiences that interrupt his speeches with thunderous, approving shouts of “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!” Not long ago, Meshal declared that Israel “will be defeated with God’s help”; that “before Israel dies, it will not escape humiliation and surrender”; that “we [Muslims] will defeat them emotionally and mentally before we defeat them in the field of battle”; that “the army of Allah” will crush “Israel and America and all the abusers of this world”; and that Islam’s holy warriors are “people who care for dying for Allah, dying for honor and prestige more than they care for life itself.”
These hardly sound like the sentiments of a potential negotiating partner. But then, why would we expect Meshal to take a different stance? Indeed, to this day the founding Charter of the very organization he heads unambiguously states that “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur'an its Constitution, Jihad [holy war] its path, and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.” The Charter further says that Jihad “becomes an individual duty binding on every Muslim man and woman; a woman must go out and fight the enemy even without her husband’s authorization, and a slave without his master’s permission.”
“There is no other solution for the Palestinian problem other than Jihad,” the Hamas Charter elaborates. “All the initiatives and international conferences are a waste of time and a futile game.” This doesn’t appear to leave much wiggle room for negotiated settlements. Does Mike Gravel not understand this?
Moreover, the Charter is quite candid in declaring that it seeks to fulfill the Qur'anic scripture which reads: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” Exactly how does one have a “meeting of the minds” with a mindset like this?
Most notably, Meshal is by no means alone in expressing these sentiments. He speaks for a majority of his fellow Hamas leaders and for most of the Palestinian people. As Mahmoud al Zahar, the most senior Hamas member in Gaza, puts it: “We do not and will not recognize a state called Israel. Israel has no right to any inch of Palestinian land. This is an important issue. Our position stems from our religious convictions. This is a holy land. It is not the property of the Palestinians or the Arabs. This land is the property of all Muslims in all parts of the world.” “Let Israel die,” Zahar says succinctly.
Is Mr. Gravel unaware that whenever Hamas in the past has agreed to a “truce,” it was only for the purpose of buying time to rearm itself or to perfect its plans for Israel’s ultimate destruction? This has been candidly acknowledged by no less a personage than Abu Abdullah, a leading member of the Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’ nominal military wing. In April 2007 Abdullah said: “We don't recognize Israel’s right to exist. We will never allow Jews to remain in our lands.... We have thousands of rockets ready to be shot…. We are preparing a major cemetery for them. We will step up attacks, including dispatching suicide bombers to Tel Aviv.”
When Hamas in 2007 suddenly announced that a “truce” it had made with Israel five months earlier was “officially over,” the terror group promptly fired 39 Qassam rockets and 79 mortars from the Gaza Strip into nearby Jewish communities on the very day that Israelis were celebrating their country’s Independence Day. But of course, Hamas “truces” and “cease fires” always have been shams. During those preceding five months of nominal “peace,” for instance, Hamas had simply passed its weaponry to other likeminded organizations which, in turn, launched hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel.
After his organization had fired some 150 missiles into Israel during one particular week in mid-May 2007, Hamas official Nizhar Riyah toed the party line, declaring that “Hamas is determined to wipe Israel off the map and replace it with the state of Palestine.” He vowed to persevere “until the last Jew is expelled” from “all of Palestine.”
Hamas is utterly unimpressed by gestures of “goodwill” such as those which Gravel and his hero Jimmy Carter endorse. Naïve to their core, men like these believe that by the force of their own good intentions, they will be able to somehow penetrate the stone hearts of the Hamas fascists who publish a children’s magazine that regularly characterizes Jews as “murderers of the prophets”; lauds parents who encourage their sons to kill Jews; and, according to the Middle East Media Research Center, incites youngsters to “jihad and martyrdom and glorification of terrorist operations and of their planners and perpetrators.”
More Hamas filth is disseminated every day on television. For example, a documentary aired on Hamas Al-Aksa TV on April 18, 2008, claiming that Jews have exaggerated, for propaganda purposes, the “alleged numbers” of their people who were killed by the Nazis. “The Satanic Jews,” the narrator explained, “thought up an evil plot [the Holocaust] to be rid of the burden of the disabled and handicapped, in twisted criminal ways. While they accuse the Nazis or others so that Jews would seem persecuted and try to benefit from international sympathy, they were the first to invent the methods of evil and oppression.” The program further featured Amin Dabur, head of the Palestinian Center for Strategic Research, referring to the Holocaust as “a joke” and as “part of the perfect show that [Israel’s first prime minister David] Ben Gurion put on.” Added Dabur: “[Ben Gurion] focused on strong and energetic youth [for Israel], while the rest -- the disabled, the handicapped, and the people with special needs were sent [to die]. They were sent [to die] so there would be a holocaust, so Israel could ‘play’ it for the world sympathy.”
The creators of this program are the same people who embrace the murderous dictates of the aforementioned Hamas Charter. They are also the people with whom Mike Gravel would have the U.S. and Israel negotiate. Tragically, Gravel has plenty of company among the political left, which clings tenaciously to its dearly held belief that no monster or barbarian on earth is impervious to its powers of persuasion and its good intentions.