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Terror's Missing Link By: Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, February 13, 2006

President George W. Bush’s most recent reminder that the U.S. needs to fight the worldwide terrorism of the Islamists, ignored a major target and victim of this terrorism – Israel.

In a February 9 speech at the National Guard Memorial Building, in Washington DC, the President noted many of the countries that have been the victims of Islamist terrorist attacks. As he had done repeatedly several times before, he mentioned: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Spain and England.  Conspicuously absent from the list is Israel. Yet, Israel was the first target of the Islamist terrorism, decades before this war started.  Moreover, Israel remains at the center of the Islamist Jihad.


The Israeli government official statistics put the number of deaths resulting from attacks by Palestinian terror groups at 1,084 since September 29, 2000,  alone. The number of injured since then is 7,633 Israelis. And this is not all;  thousands of Israeli casualties also suffered Palestinian terrorist attacks since the first Intifada in 1987.  Yet,  Israel’s plight seems to escape the President’s attention when he reminds Americans of the international atrocities committed by Islamist terrorists.


Israel is not only fighting this war on terrorism along with the U.S., it has been fighting the same war for decades. The Islamists opened their first front in Israel decades ago. But because they successfully misrepresented themselves as the “under dog,” they obtained from the West the leeway and the encouragement to expand their reach.


Indeed, the terrorists themselves have for years advertised that the war against Israel and the war on America are one and the same. In January 2001, the terrorist chieftains of Hamas, Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda, met at a conference in Beirut, Lebanon. The communiqué they issued said: "Destroy Israel ... Boycott America." It also called for "Jihad in all its forms and resistance" against Israel and urged a boycott of American goods, since "American products are exactly like the Israeli products." This was neither the first nor the last time such statements, supported by HAMAS and other Palestinian terror groups, were made.


Yet, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, remarked after her February 8 meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, “The Palestinian people have been through an election. They voted for change, but I don't think they voted to change their aspirations for a peaceful life.”


Considering the fact that the Palestinian majority elected HAMAS, a terrorist organization whose culture is death and who calls to annihilate Israel, take over Spain and impose global Shiite rule, clearly, the Palestinian understanding of “peaceful life” differs sharply from that of Secretary Rice.


Foreign Minister Livni stated the fact that, “Hamas is a terrorist organization.” She went on to state what should be obvious to the U.S. Administration, that if Hamas forms the Palestinian Authority’s next government ”this entity, this authority, this state, is going to transf[orm] into a terror state.”


However, judging by the Secretary’s remarks, the U.S. Administration is in desperate need of  a good Otorhinolaryngologist, since it is clearly deaf. HAMAS leaders repeatedly assert that they will not recognize Israel.  Most recently, on February 9, Khaled Mashaal, reiterated that “no matter what, HAMAS will not agree to the demand to acknowledge Israel.” It doesn’t have to. HAMAS will receive the financial aid it needs from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.


Nevertheless, Mashaal called upon the U.S. and Europe to continue their economic support for the PA, while also vowing that ”HAMAS will not trade its principles for money


Mashaal welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement in Madrid, that "Russia is maintaining contacts with the Hamas organization and intends in the near future to invite the leadership of this organization to Moscow." Mashaal commended Putin “for Russia’s brave position,” saying that “it will bring some balance” into international relations. Russia’s stand, according to the HAMAS leader, will help to decrease America’s influence at a time when the U.S. faces intractable international difficulties.


Could these difficulties be underpinning Secretary Rice’s’ insistence on sticking to the scripted “two-state-solution,” even when HAMAS so clearly remains committed to its Islamist terrorist agenda? While Secretary Rice states that HAMAS should recognize Israel first, HAMAS sources claim,  "There are signals arriving from the U.S. government that it does not reject the possibility of cooperating with a Hamas-led government."


If the U.S. is serious about winning the war on terrorism, dismantling HAMAS should be a priority. Legitimizing an Islamist terrorist entity would not assist in the U.S. war against terrorism, Moreover, it would weaken the U.S. standing and international influence in the world, fulfilling Mashaal wishes.


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Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It. She is director of the American Center for Democracy and member of the Committee on the Present Danger. Alyssa A. Lappen, Senior Fellow at the ACD, is a former editor for Forbes, Corporate Finance, Working Woman and Institutional Investor.

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