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Terrorism cannot be fought everywhere but Palestine

by Tashbih Sayyed, Ph.D. Saturday, Apr. 22, 2006 at 7:30 AM

Tashbih Sayyed, Ph.D. is editor-in-chief of Pakistan Today and Muslim World Today, California-based weekly newspapers, president of Council for Democracy and Tolerance and adjunct fellow of Hudson Institute.

One doesn't have to be terribly smart to appreciate why the war on terrorism is not going so well: Believing that Iraq is the main front, the war planners have dedicated a major portion of their resources to fight the insurgency in Iraq and have ignored the other power centers of the Islamist terror like Palestinian Authority Territories. This gross miscalculation on the part of the coalition strategists has enabled the other terrorist groups like Hamas not only to continue with their atrocities but has also allowed them a very valuable opportunity to learn from their partner's experiences in Iraq.

The United States of America that launched this campaign and took upon itself to mobilize and lead the international community against the Islamist scourge has to bear the responsibility for this failure. It is treating the enemy as if it has only one face -- Al Qaeda -- and one front - Iraq. Bush, who has repeatedly said that Iraq is ?our main front in our war against terror," is also seems to be convinced that the war on radical Islam will be won just by defeating Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

This simple-hearted approach has helped the enemy tremendously: The Arab terrorist group, Hamas, in the Jewish Palestine, Taliban in Afghanistan and fascists like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran have emerged as the immediate beneficiary of the U.S.'s misguided policies in the Middle East. Radical Islamists using their strongholds in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and PA territories have cast the U.S. campaign in Iraq as a crusade. That helped Hamas and Iran's President Ahmadinejad in winning their elections. They have not only won the elections but have also renewed their call for the destruction of the Jewish State.

Failure to fathom the true nature and reach of the Islamist threat by Washington prevented it from adopting a uniformed policy against all the different heads of a unified and universally connected Hydra. Even the post-September 11, 2001 awareness could not pull the only super power out of its pre-September 11, 2001 slumber. It remained selective in identifying the enemy and ignored some vital terrorist bases like Palestinian Authority territories, from where the terrorists operate with impunity.

The world has to understand that Hamas' agenda of destroying the Jewish State is part of the same Islamist ideology that has an unalterable objective to enslave the whole world. It has many faces and many fronts. And all of these faces and fronts are equally important in this war on terrorism. They have to be attacked simultaneously and with equal force. Just cutting off one head of the Islamist serpent and letting others to grow unimpeded will only result in the eventual victory for the enemy. Bush has to realize that in this war, saving Israel is as important as saving Iraq: Insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan is strategically and tactically linked with Hamas' terrorism in the Jewish lands of Palestine.

This doesn't surprise the observers that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran finds it appropriate to call for the annihilation of a member state of the United Nations. They also understand why Hamas continues to call for the destruction of the Jewish State. U.S. policies have created an international environment in which it is O.K. to be openly anti-American and anti-Semitic: Washington was quick in convicting Taliban and Al-Qaeda for the attacks on the U.S. interests but it didn't move with the same conviction against Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Martyrs' Brigade who have been murdering Israelis for a long time. It also did not do anything against countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria who have been funding the terrorist groups and homicide bombers as an article of their state policy.

The freedoms with which Islamists and Arabs have been allowed to carry-on their anti-Semitic activities inside the U.S. have also contributed in the increased confidence of organizations like Hamas. U.S. reluctance to move against the Arab terrorist fronts within the U.S. gives the impression that Washington doesn't find Arab anti-Semitic activities to be illegitimate. There is no effort to investigate the real objectives of various Islamist groups who have setup their shops in the U.S. as Islamic civil right groups. Despite the warnings by various patriotic organizations, these groups have been allowed to collect funds for the terrorists in the Jewish lands of Palestine.

Nobody realizes that all these so-called groups who present themselves as anti-Zionists are basically anti-Americans. The leaders of these so called Islamic civil right groups, who are inherently and intrinsically anti-Semitic and anti-American, thanks to the Arab money that is generously invested in financing various political candidates, do not encounter any difficulty in being invited by the U.S. Congressmen, Senators and even the White House. The visible presence of anti-Semitic groups on the hill and the U.S. failure to move with force against Arab terrorism in the Jewish lands of Palestine gives the impression that as far as Washington is concerned, the terrorism against the Jewish people is not terrorism.

The manner in which Islamist terrorism is being discussed and dealt with by the U.S. gives the sense as if it came into being only on September 11. 2001. No body wants to acknowledge that what happened on that black Tuesday in New York and Washington D.C. was the direct result of ignoring the Islamist terrorism in Israel. Arab terrorism in the Jewish lands of Palestine is still being considered as just an Israeli problem.

Homicide bombings in Israel, world support for the terrorist state of Palestine Authority and sponsorship of terrorist groups like Hamas by the world powers like European Union, Russia and China is a prove that the world is still susceptible to the anti-Semitic influences.

One has to understand that the real cause of the Islamist terrorism is anti-Semiticism. And no war on terror can be won without eliminating this ancient affliction. Washington will have to understand that the U.S. policy of imposing peace in the Middle East at the cost of Israel's security will harm the U.S. interests in the region in the long run. Awarding a state to Hamas will only empower the Islamists and U.S. demands for an end to the -- Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories -- will only embolden the enemies of our freedoms.

The latest homicide bombing in Tel Aviv has reconfirmed that the Palestinian State will always be a terrorist state. The creation of another Palestinian State will undo everything that has been achieved by demolishing Taliban's government. Al-Qaeda will gain in Palestine what it has lost in Afghanistan. Iran will have another base and Syria's influence will be further extended. That is why Iran and Syria are harboring and financing Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah group.

The most recent developments in the Middle East and the West Asia provide ample evidence that Washington's policies of appeasing Arab governments have created a very dangerous situation for the U.S. and its allies. The world has to understand that September 11 happened only because the world failed to realize that what Israel is up against is not just Israel's problem but a global problem. And without strengthening Israel's hand against Arab terrorism in the Jewish lands of Palestine no war on Islamist terror can be won.

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