Conflicts continue in
This weekend, we had a few problematic
incidents in Israel and Palestine. Of course, it's all relative thanks
to the ongoing problems: Sept. 11 has
made it even more difficult for Americans
to identify with Palestinian terrorist groups. Arafat has proven how impotent
he is in his inability to stop
the terrorist groups from launching attacks,
and then managed to look like he was betraying the trust entirely as the
United States and Israel
accused him of knowing about plots to
smuggle weaponry into Palestine.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian gunman shot up
a bar mitzvah ceremony in Hadera, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade took
In response, Israel destroyed the headquarters
of the Voice of Palestine radio service and took control of the city of
Tulkarem to carry out the
arrests of suspected terrorists.
They're pulling out now, after the killing
of four Hamas leaders, another shooting in Jerusalem and Hamas' declaration
of war against Israel.
eliminate the Taliban and Al-Qaida forces.
It's difficult to blame Israel for cracking
down, since the United States and its allies responded to the terrorist
bombings of Sept. 11 by moving to
Efforts to safely move Al-Qaida prisoners
to our base in Cuba have been attacked for being inhumane, as have their
accommodations — which
are already far better than the accommodations
provided for them in Afghanistan. And in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks,
America watched time
and again as Middle Eastern leaders would
offer their condolences, then state that it was U.S. policy towards Palestine
that caused the tragedy.
In short, the region's leaders were ready
to blame the United States for what had happened.
Iran? Busy hoping we don't look into its
affairs and human rights practices. Saudi Arabia? The Saudi monarchy has
bought plenty of cheap
legitimacy financing the schools and Islamic
leaders who incite anti-U.S., sentiment and encourage youths to join movements
Egypt? Forget it.
Before Sept. 11, our sympathies tended
to lie with Israel. But now, our loyalties have shifted so that support
for Israel, facing terrorist attacks and
gunmen who choose to disrupt bar mitzvahs
and weddings, is assured.
Last semester, it was easier to blame the
situation on Arafat for being a bad leader whom the Palestinian people
couldn't trust. Now, it's not that
simple. Arafat has proven he can't be
trusted, but he's not acting alone, and anything the Palestinian authorities
claim to be doing to stop the
terror isn't going to happen.
As long as there are people willing to
use terrorist tactics in supporting Palestine, there's no hope of the United
States being truly neutral in the
It's time for those who choose to blame
U.S. policy in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to realize that they are
no better than terrorists themselves.
Ahlf, a senior electrical engineering major,
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.