Tuesday, June 18, 2002
U.S. first lady Laura Bush, who rarely comments on foreign policies, told American Urban Radio Networks, "I don't know that a fence will be some long-lasting sign of peace."
Perhaps I can explain to Mrs. Bush. 1) The Arab world misinterpreted Israel's withdrawal from a strip of Lebanese territory as a sign of weakness in the face of terror attacks. 2) Arafat et al. chose to forego peaceful negotiations over the Clinton/Barak plan in favor of ratcheting up terror attacks in the West Bank. 3) There is no reason to expect them to stop until they recognize that such terror attacks will not work, or until the cost and/or difficulty of making those attacks becomes prohibitive. 4) A fence around Gaza appears to have made it nearly impossible for Palestinians to launch suicide bombing attacks from there. 5) Hence, a fence around the West Bank may do the same thing. 6) Which essentially makes the difficulty of such attacks closer to being prohibitive. 7) And, when such attacks abate due to the increased difficulty of undertaking them, negotiations toward a peaceful solution might begin again. 8) Although this last part would occur faster if, say, the Palestinian government actually tried to discourage rather than encourage terrorism, rabid anti-Semitism, and fantasy-land dreaming about a Greater Palestine.