'Fate' and faith in peace

March 08, 1996|By CAL THOMAS

WASHINGTON -- The widow of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was asked about the recent rash of suicide bombings in Israel that produced nearly 60 funerals in a 10-day period. She chalked the events up to ''fate.''

One of the dangers of secularism is that it does not give a person sufficient insight to explain what to a secularist seems unexplainable. So, Leah Rabin sees the murder of innocent Israeli citizens as an unpredictable act of, what? Nature? No, kismet!

Secularism also gives people false hopes and false dreams. The Muslim extremists hate secularists almost as much as they hate Jews and Christians. They understand what their battle is about.

No one suggests the secularists are not good-hearted, but the hell Israelis now face has been paved with nothing except good intentions. Secularists have believed in the basic goodness of man, though the Jewish people, of all people, should know better. Secularists have falsely believed, in Israel and in America, that if they do something nice for evil people, then evil people will reciprocate and either stop being evil or stop doing evil things. This is the ultimate in wishful thinking and denial. And it plays into the hands of evil.

Stubborn faith

Despite mountains of evidence, including documents and covenants in which radical Palestinians and radical Arabs call for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews, there are people in high places who exhibit a faith greater than some people's faith in God. They believe that all Israel must do is to continue to forfeit land taken for its own security, and if its forfeits enough, Israel's enemies will be persuaded as to Israel's good intentions and will let the Jewish people live in peace.

It is as crazy as the unilateral-disarmament crowd that wanted America to throw down its weapons to persuade the Soviet Union we meant them no harm.

Like the Palestine Liberation Organization, the radical Hamas terrorist group has a covenant. It runs 34 pages and is a plan not for peace but for war. Among the revealing statements is this one: ''Israel will exist until Islam will obliterate it. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. . . . The day of judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews by killing the Jews.''

Or this one: ''The PLO is the closest to the heart of the Hamas. It contains the father and brother, the next of kin and the friend. Hamas stands toward the PLO like the son toward his father, the brother toward his brother and relative to relative.''

So much for attempts by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and others to persuade people that the PLO has no connection to and is not responsible for Hamas.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres has declared ''war'' on Hamas and vowed to neutralize the terrorists. Good. But better to destroy the secularists' faith in a ''peace process'' that isn't working and the false hope that defines ''peace'' in a far different way than it's defined by Israel's enemies. For them peace begins when not a single Jew is left in the land.

Prime Minister Rabin told me during one of his Washington visits shortly before his assassination that if things go badly during the ''land for peace exchange'' with Palestinians, Israel has a number of built-in safety valves and the process can either be stopped or reversed. Now is the time to employ that safety valve.

A Jerusalem Post editorial Wednesday said this: ''There is, then, no solution except to roll back the Oslo agreements. This does not necessarily mean returning the army to the Arab towns and villages -- although the distasteful scenes of soldiers chasing rock-throwing youths in Arab towns are far more palatable than the sights of carnage in Dizengoff Center [in Tel Aviv]. But it does mean the full restoration to the Israeli security services of complete freedom of action in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.'' r rTC Perhaps such a program could best be administered by a new prime minister. The Israeli people will decide that question in their national elections in May.

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.

Pub Date: 3/08/96

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