The UN’s Security Council recently voted to condemn Israel for the murder of innocent Palestinians and for perpetrating crimes against humanity. Arafat readily denounced Israel’s actions as “mass killings and barbarian bombings.”
The Clinton administration, keeping faith with its appeasement strategy, and admittedly in fear of terrorist retaliation, chose to abstain from vetoing the UN’s resolution.
The casual observer, bombarded by the media with countless images of dead and injured Palestinian children, would reasonably interpret the global condemnation of Israel, and the veto of the US, Israel’s greatest ally, as a sign of Israel’s deep guilt on the matter.
The higher count of deaths among Palestinians was taken by many as evidence of Israel’s gratuitous use of violence. But it should come as no surprise that Israel, being military stronger than the Palestinians, would naturally impose more casualties than it would take in any conflict with them.
Arafat claimed that the cause of the new wave of violence was Ariel Sharon’s attempted visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Sharon, the present Likud Party leader, was stoned by Palestinians, as were other Jews praying not far from there, at the famous Western Wall.
The site visited by Sharon is generally open to the public and visited by tourists. It corresponds to the place where the Temple built by Solomon stood, about three thousand years ago — it was, and still is, the holiest patch of land on earth for many Jews. The site is, however, controlled by the Palestinians, who believe their prophet rose to heaven from there.
The attacks on Sharon and on other Jews did nothing but demonstrate that the Palestinians should have no right to, or sovereignty over, that piece of land. Arafat demonstrated the same point in relation to all of the occupied territories, when he ordered the release of terrorist prisoners held by his police force into the streets.
Voice of Palestine, the official radio network, played war songs as their TV stations broadcasted scenes of past conflicts with the Israelis, inciting their audience to violence. Sheik Ahmad Abu Halabaya, in a live broadcast from a Gaza city mosque, was fairly eloquent about the idea: “Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them and those who stand by them