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Rewarding evil

Support Saddam Hussein? Check. Support Hamas? Check.

Not known to a younger generation, Sept. 13, 1993 was a signal date in the history of the Israel-Arab conflict. On that date on the White House lawn, Israel’s prime minister at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, shook hands with the local Arab leader of the time, Yasir Arafat. They signed a “Declaration of Principles.”

Its most lasting impact was the recognition of a new entity called the Palestinian Authority, headed by Arafat. 

This was an act of rewarding evil. Arafat and his henchmen had been exiled in Tunisia because they had backed Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War of 1991. A coalition of democracies, headed by the US, went to war against Hussein for invading Kuwait and for threatening the entire Middle East with war, much as Iran does now.

Arafat backed an evil man, Saddam Hussein. Despite this, Arafat was rewarded. He was brought out of exile in Tunisia to head a Palestinian entity — all this, under pressure from President Bill Clinton and other leaders in the West. They thought they were making peace.

What they made, besides the Palestinian Authority, was a massive increase of Arab terrorism against Israeli civilians. In the ultimate Orwellism, their deaths were called “sacrifices for peace.”

Terrorism under the PA has never stopped. Nor has pressure on Israel to reward the PA by ceding more authority to it. 

Fast forward 30 years, from 1993 to 2023. The act of rewarding evil continues. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas, entrenched in Gaza, unleashed its hatred and barbarism against Israel. What is Hamas’ reward? Pressure on Israel to let the PA govern not only the West Bank but Gaza. 

The PA saluted Hamas’ invasion and barbarism. Its current leader, Mahmoud Abbas, called it “self-defense.” Opinion polls show that a majority in the West Bank supports Hamas. The PA itself is afraid to hold an election because it knows  it would lose to Hamas.

1993. 2023. Different time, different leaders, same idea: rewarding evil. Now we have small  anti-Hamas demonstrations in Gaza. Opposition to Palestinian leadership has emerged in the past. The result? It was assassinated by the leadership. This time, will good, rather than evil, be rewarded?

Copyright © 2023 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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