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FDR once remarked of Nicaragua’s dictator, “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”. President Bush could very well say the same thing about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, “he is a terrorist bastard but he is OUR terrorist bastard.”

I don’t understand what Abu Mazen has done to earn this “most favored terrorist” status. He has come to the negotiating table quite begrudgingly, constantly announces that he will not make ANY concessions and has continued to order terrorist attacks throughout Israel. Just yesterday he threatened to unleash additional terrorists against Israeli civilians. Yet our government and those around the world continue to call this murderer a “man of peace!”

“Our people in Jerusalem are under an ethnic cleansing campaign. They are suffering from a series of decisions like tax hikes and construction prohibitions. [Palestinians] are facing a campaign of annihilation [by Israel].” Those were the words of Mahmoud Abbas last week to the summit of Islamic countries in Dakar, Senegal. And what a crew it was; Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad chimed in, using rhetoric about the same as that of Abbas, with “[Israel] just kills innocent women and children, but the UN Security Council stays silent.” Sudanese genocide president Omar al-Bashir was there, too, among the roster of heavies. For Abbas—given tremendous credit by the U.S. and Israeli governments as a man of peace—vilifying Israel before this crowd was like pouring oil on flames as he confirmed the world’s darkest fantasies and designs about Israel. Nor is he on record as saying a single more conciliatory word about Israel, the “conflict,” or resolving it. Yet, asked about Abbas’s reference to “annihilation,” all State Department spokesman Sean McCormack could come out with was “we would not use that term to describe the situation. I think it’s probably an example of some overheated political rhetoric.” Meaning that Abbas was once again protected, whitewashed, and coddled—this time by taking the specificity out of his act of deadly incitement and putting it in a broad category of “overheated rhetoric” that, by clear implication, is supposed to be bilateral. McCormack could not, of course, have pointed to remotely comparable statements by Israeli leaders like Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, and Shimon Peres as they traipse through the world heaping praise on Abbas’s “moderation” and “pragmatism.” But the U.S. has big plans for Abbas and there’s no use getting bogged down in details. As Ellen Knickmeyer and Glenn Kessler reported in the Washington Post on Saturday, since late January U.S. and Jordanian instructors have been training about 600 members of Abbas’s National Security Force and 425 members of his presidential guard in Jordan. Knickmeyer and Kessler mention some minor snafus and equipment shortages but, more significantly, that “Because of Israeli concerns, the group of…Palestinian trainees has not been outfitted with pledged body armor or light-armored personnel carriers”: The Israeli government has insisted that the Palestinian…forces be trained and equipped as a police force rather than an army that could threaten the Jewish state…. Israeli officials have blocked delivery of body armor to Palestinian forces of a grade capable of stopping rounds from the M-16 assault rifles used by Israeli troops, American officials said…. “You never know when these things are going to be used against you,” Shlomo Dror, spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry, said of armor and weapons. Dror added that Palestinian forces don’t need the kind of armor requested and that “we are the ones fighting the terror. Dealing with Hamas is what we do.” Indeed, an earlier U.S.-trained contingent of Fatah forces didn’t do very well against Hamas in Gaza last June when they were routed in five days and by many accounts didn’t fight at all. For that and the other reasons Congress shares Israel’s misgivings: Knickmeyer and Kessler note that, while last summer Congress approved $28 million out of $86 million earmarked for the Palestinian security training, since then it has approved no further money. But with the Bush-Rice pro-Fatah juggernaut impervious as ever to empirical concerns, on Sunday the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the administration has gone ahead and asked Congress to fund a new PA battalion to be trained in Jordan while eventually planning to create five such battalions to serve under Abbas in the West Bank. Although critics of the juggernaut know that pointing to mere facts about Abbas and his Fatah has no effect, still it is worth citing a few of these facts that are of recent vintage (some of the material is taken from relevant web pages of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center): * January 29, 2007: Three Israelis were killed in a suicide bombing in a bakery in the southern city of Eilat. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed joint responsibility with Islamic Jihad. * October 21, 2007: Israeli Security Agency chief Yuval Diskin revealed that the PA had released three terrorists from a squad that had planned to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during a planned visit to Jericho in June (the other two squad members were arrested by Israel). Two of those detained by the Palestinians belonged to the National Security Force and the third served in General Intelligence. Two of the three were also members of Fatah-Tanzim. Nevertheless, all three operatives held by the Palestinians were released on September 26 when their investigation ended. * November 19, 2007: Ido Zoldan, 29, was killed in a shooting attack in the northern West Bank when terrorists opened fire from a passing car. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility as “an act of protest against the Annapolis conference.” * December 28, 2007: Cpl. Ahikam Amihai (20) and Sgt. David Rubin (21) were killed by Palestinian terrorists while hiking in the Hebron area. That same day, the two terrorists turned themselves in to Palestinian General Intelligence in Hebron to avoid being apprehended by Israeli security forces. Statements to the media by Palestinian security elements to the effect that the incident was of a criminal, not security, nature were contradicted both by information in Israel’s possession and the confessions of the terrorists themselves. Apparently, these statements were designed to obviate the Palestinian Authority’s responsibility for the incident mainly because the murders were perpetrated by Fatah and security-apparatus members. In January the PA sentenced the two killers to 15 years in prison as Israeli security sources decried the PA’s known “revolving door” policy; most recently there are reports of an “escape” or “furlough.” * January 24, 2008: Border Guard Lance Cpl. Rami Zuari, 20, of Beersheva was shot and killed at a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Shuafat, north of Jerusalem. The Battalions of Struggle and Return, a previously anonymous offshoot of Fatah’s Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack. Abbas, who presides over terrorist forces and engages in terroristic incitement—not to mention the genocidal-hatred-saturated official media, education system, and religious establishment of his PA—has been (as he proudly acknowledged) a terrorist since the 1960s and remains one. America’s backing for him has put it in conflict even with a weak-kneed Israeli government that is eager to play along with the pro-Abbas game but not at any price. It’s a shameful chapter for America.

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