The folly of Mideast chicken game

August 24, 2005|By Cal Thomas

ARLINGTON, Va. - In the James Bond movie Live and Let Die, 007 encounters a nest of crocodiles bent on having him for a meal. Armed only with pieces of chicken, he tosses the fowl at the crocs to hold them off until he figures out an escape plan. The crocs quickly consume the chicken but keep pressing toward their ultimate objective.

Which brings us to Israel's forced removal of residents from Gaza. Israel is Bond. The pieces of chicken represent land. The Palestinian/Arab/Muslim side is the crocodiles.

Get it? Most Westerners do not. Israel tosses pieces of land at the Palestinian side, but once it is consumed, the Palestinians only want more until their real objective - the consumption of Israel - is reached and their hunger satiated.

Reading and listening to the reaction of Muslim clerics, Palestinian leaders and others throughout the region to Israel's unilateral act offer little comfort to anyone with faith in a two-state "solution" consisting of Israel and a Palestinian entity living side by side in peace and harmony. But that does not deter apostles of this false political doctrine from continuing to promote their flawed plan.

An editorial in London's Daily Telegraph represents this thinking: "The onus is now on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas. ... Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Fatah Martyrs' Brigades and others of their ilk must be persuaded or compelled to abandon their arms in favor of peaceful political engagement."

That is unlikely to happen. Among the chants heard as Israeli soldiers forced their fellow Jews from their Gaza homes was, "We will continue with the rest of Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, until we control all of Israel."

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, in an interview with the Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, said, "We do not and will not recognize a state called Israel. ... This land is the property of all Muslims in all parts of the world. ... Let Israel die." That's not the rhetoric of someone who yearns to live side by side in peace and harmony with an Israeli state.

The new president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has rejected democracy as un-Islamic. In a 7,000-word document presented to his parliament detailing his "short- and long-term programs," Mr. Ahmadinejad said that in a Muslim country, power belongs to God. He said that not only will he fight any form of democratization in Iran, he would mobilize the nation's resources to prevent the United States from imposing its plan for self-determination on nations in the region.

While the United States has tried to avoid statements about a culture war, Mr. Ahmadinejad has no such reluctance. He speaks of a "clash of civilizations" between Islamic republics such as Iran and Western "ideas and concepts of government" that he says have no place in Islam. The United States is a "sunset" power, he says, while the Islamic Republic is a "sunrise" one.

That's a pretty clear ideology, matched by an agenda. It says that nothing Israel does to pacify or mollify these religious fanatics will deter them from their "God-ordained" goals, which consist of the elimination of Israel and the domination of all other nations under Islamic rule.

These are not secret records kept from the world. They are published documents that are part of government policies and religious doctrine. To pretend people who say such things don't really mean it is to be guilty of self-delusion in the extreme.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government says it won't negotiate with extremist organizations such as Hamas, but only with elected leaders of the Palestinian Authority. But what if Hamas supporters win seats in the announced Palestinian parliamentary elections in January? Even if they don't, the objectives of the Palestinian Authority are the same as organizations with which Israel will not negotiate.

They are all crocodiles. Tossing pieces of chicken in their direction will never satisfy them. They want it all. They say so, and their actions prove they are serious.

Cal Thomas' syndicated column appears Wednesdays in The Sun.

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