President Bush’s visit this week with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Washington was presumably meant to offer Abbas some reciprocity following Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s warm reception at Bush’s Texas ranch last month – that and some U.S. support for Palestinian efforts to follow the so-called Road Map to peace.

But just what does Abbas represent? Is he the leader of a would-be state that wants to live in peace with Israel, or, like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, is he the head of a would-be terrorist state?

Bush once propagated a doctrine on terrorist states that said: If you aid or support them, then you are one of them. Leaving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict aside for a moment, has Abbas’ PLO supported the U.S. war on terrorism, or has it sent terrorists into Iraq to kill Americans? How can President Bush give red-carpet treatment to someone who, by his own definition, is the leader of a terrorist regime?

Two years ago, on April 30, 2003, the U.S. State Department released the text of the “Road Map” to a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The map specified the steps for Israelis and Palestinians to take to reach a settlement, and a timeline for doing so, under the auspices of the Quartet – the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. The first and most important stage of the Road Map was to be an end to terrorism.

Since the Road Map was announced, Palestinian terrorists have murdered 301 Israelis and wounded 1,156, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The PA under Abbas has done nothing to meet its obligation under the Road Map to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. The main terrorist members of the PA – Hamas and Islamic Jihad – are thriving.

President Bush says it’s all about giving democracy a chance. That’s what the democratically elected Nazi Party said to FDR – and Hamas just did very well in the Palestinian Authority local elections.

If the U.S. has placed Fatah and Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations, why is it pressuring Israel to give the Palestinian terrorists control of the Gaza Strip? How can President Bush look the Israeli families of Gaza in the face and tell them to give terrorist murderers their homes, schools, synagogues and livelihoods? This is truly the theater of the absurd, appearing in a festival of hypocrisy.

How can President Bush tell the world not to support terrorist regimes if he does so himself? How can he expect to win the war on terrorism while sending signals that the U.S. can support a terrorist regime if it’s a “moderate” one that promises to reform. If this is so, then why did we attack Afghanistan and Iraq? It would have been a lot easier just to give them aid and negotiate – as we’re pressuring Israel to do.

Arafat is dead, but his poisonous Palestine National Charter lives on, despite claims by former President Bill Clinton that it was amended in 1998 at his initiative. PLO “Foreign Minister” Farouk Kaddoumi has publicly acknowledged that the charter was never changed. He told the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab: “The Palestinian National Charter has not been amended until now. It was said that some articles are no longer effective, but they were not changed. I’m one of those who didn’t agree to any changes.” (The Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2004)

The charter, the “Palestinian constitution,” still calls for the destruction of Israel through unrelenting violence. It posits “armed struggle” as the only means for eliminating the “Zionist entity” and achieving Palestinian self-determination. Not surprisingly, it denies the Jewish people the right to self-determination.

The U.S. has suffered some painful terrorist attacks, but nothing on the scale of what Israelis have had to live through over the past four years. One difference between Palestinian terrorist murderers and, say, Oklahoma City terrorist murderers is the oil-rich, Jew-hating dictators who are determined to keep the Palestinian crisis alive, so the abused masses in their countries have someone else to blame.

Another difference is that the terrorist regimes are learning to stick together. While the ayatollahs of Iran are occupying the West with their nuclear shell game, their Hezbollah proxies in Lebanon are supplying Palestinian terrorists in Gaza with the rocket technology for their ongoing terror attacks on Israelis – both inside the Gaza Strip and in Israel itself.

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