Thursday, June 12, 2003
Roadmap to nowhere: Ever since last week's naive summit meeting in Jordan between prime ministers Mahmoud Abbas, Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush concluded, Arab terrorists have have been doing their best to make peace look impossible to achieve.
In other words, reality has reared its ugly head.
Over the past few days I've heard talking heads on the news channels opine that the "vast majority of the Palestinians want peace" and that they have to deal with the "minority" who are committing terrorist acts. President Bush is encouraged to "stay the course" and push the parties toward peace.
Ain't gonna happen.
The simple fact of the matter is that the West Bank and Gaza Strip have become home to a death cult. In Palestinian schools and media, children, teens, adults are brainwashed into believing that best thing they can hope for is to be a shahid. In America, we say that any child can grow up to be president. In the West Bank and Gaza, they can grow up to be a homicide bomber. Mothers crow about their dead sons who walk on to buses and blow themselves -- and as many Jews as possible -- to kingdom come. Slickly produced music videos praise the "sacrifice" of martyrs. Glossy, four-color posters are plastered on every streetcorner.
The Palestinian society is not prepared to make peace. The indoctrination of their youth is so complete, that they could not possibly create an atmosphere in which peace could take hold.
Some pundits hoped, with the quick fall of the Iraqi regime and the cessation of the $25,000 checks to the families of suicide bombers, that the U.S. would have increased political capital to force wholesale changes in the disposition of the Palestinian society. There was some effect -- Abbas is the one Israel and the United States are talking to -- but he has little real power.
How can the Palestinian side be taken seriously when Abbas' denunciation of terrorism is immediately followed by propaganda likening Jews to swine?
What must occur in the West Bank and Gaza is a cultural shift. It needs to start in the Palestinian media and in the schools. Until the rhetoric in those places is moderated to allow for the existence of the state of Israel, there will never be peace.