Placing blame on the relationship between Israel and the United States for last month’s terror attacks on New York and Washington in “Shift Policy?” (Oct. 4, p. 4) is irresponsible, lacks historical backing and clouds the realities of the current global environment. GW deserves better.
Let us say hypothetically the United States were to declare unconditional support for a Palestinian state consuming all of Israel’s territory. Osama bin Laden and his radical terror network would still continue to terrorize America’s innocent civilians and troops worldwide. America would likely remain in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to protect global interests and continue imposing sanctions upon terrorist states. In other words, if Israel were not to exist, bin Laden would still continue to terrorize us. Blaming Israel for this tragedy is irresponsible. Arguments blaming the American-Israeli relationship for the tragedy are false.
In these troubling times, the partnership between the United States and Israel must remain unbreakable. As strong allies sharing the same moral and democratic values, this relationship remains vital to achieving peace and stability in the region.
Following the senseless murder last month of nearly 6,000 innocent civilians of many nationalities, some have attempted to correlate the tragedy with American support for the Jewish State. Those who make this argument slam the hammer that drives the wedge between these two peace yearning peoples. Before the recent intifada began, peace between the Israelis and Palestinians had never been closer. Yasser Arafat’s silence about – and even tacit support through his Force-17 security circle – for the dozens of horrific, calculated suicide bombings carried out by young impressionable Hamas and Islamic jihad pawns has caused further problems.
To protect innocent people from this onslaught, Israel is forced to maintain a strong security presence. Unfortunately, this security threat extensively damages the Palestinian and Israeli economy, but security must come first. Israel and the world would like nothing more than for Arafat and his leadership to police their communities and establish an economic interdependence for the benefit of all peoples in the region. This means arresting and rooting out those responsible for terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians. Until this occurs, both groups of people miss out on an opportunity to achieve peace.
America’s support for Israel is not a catalyst for the tragic events that took place on Sept. 11. American involvement in the Middle East peace process has brought more good than bad. Egypt and Jordan both made peace with Israel with America’s help. Once radically opposed to Israel, nations throughout the region turned to peace and negotiation over terror.
As more countries adopt shared values and a belief in democracy, the better served the people in the region will be.
-The writers are GW alumni and past presidents of the GW College Democrats.