What have the Palestinians done for the USA?
Put simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own. — Barack Obama, March 21, 2013
Here I go again. But this time I do not intend to discuss all the reasons that a Palestinian state carved out of the historic homeland of the Jewish people would be a bad thing for what would be left of Israel.
No, today I want to talk about what the Palestinian Arabs have done for America — and what a Palestinian state might do.
Let’s start around the time the ‘Palestinian people’ were invented by Yasser Arafat and the KGB, 1968. On June 5, Palestinian terrorist Sirhan Bishara Sirhan murdered Senator Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles, an act that arguably changed American history. Kennedy had just won the California Democratic primary election, and many believe that he would have been elected President that November. Paul Kujawsky explained,
Sirhan blamed America for his lack of success and hated the country for its support of Israel. His anger gradually fixed on Robert Kennedy, who promised to send 50 fighter jets to Israel if elected president. He wrote in his notebook: “Kennedy must die by June 5th” — the first anniversary of the Six-Day War. …
According to [Mohammed T Mehdi, secretary-general of the Action Committee on American-Arab Relations], Sirhan’s act had a rational rationale: “The one and only reasonable explanation for Sirhan’s decision is to bring the tragedy of Palestine to the attention of the American people so that the people of the United States would not continue the strange policy of helping Zionist Jews of Europe and elsewhere go to the home of Christian and Moslem people of Palestine.”
Mehdi concluded that Sirhan had acted in justifiable self-defense: “[W]hen Robert F. Kennedy supports Israel against the Arabs, he is assuming the role of an Israeli high ranking official… Sirhan was defending himself against those 50 Phantom jets Kennedy was sending to Israel.”
I recall the event well, and I also remember that the political aspect of it was not widely discussed. Sirhan was described as a “mentally unstable Jordanian.” But his statements and writing before and after the murder clearly evidenced his political motive: the Palestinian Cause.
Another well-known case was the 1973 murder of the US Ambassador to the Sudan, Cleo Noel; his deputy George Moore, and Guy Eid, the Belgian Ambassador. They were killed by the Black September faction of Fatah. The terrorists took ten hostages, and interestingly, one of their demands was that the US release Sirhan. In 2006, the State Department declassified a report indicating that the ‘father of Palestine’, Yasser Arafat, was personally responsible. Joseph Farah wrote at the time,
The document, released earlier this year, with no fanfare, makes it clear the Khartoum operation “was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval” of Arafat, a frequent visitor to the White House throughout the 1990s who died in 2004. …
The admission comes 33 years after James J. Welsh, then the National Security Agency’s Palestinian analyst, saw a communication intercepted from Arafat to his terrorist commandos in Sudan.
There were also many ordinary Americans who lost their lives as a result of Palestinian terrorism. Here is a page that lists American terror victims. Other than those who died on 9/11, the overwhelming majority —hundreds — were murdered by Palestinian Arabs or by other terrorists on behalf of the Palestinian Cause.
Palestinians did not invent the airline hijacking. There have been hundreds of hijackings going back to at least the 1950′s, by criminals, political dissidents, mentally ill individuals and simply desperate people. But beginning with the Dawson’s Field hijackings of 1970 by the PFLP, carefully planned hijackings to achieve political goals became one of the favorite tactics of the Palestinian Arabs, and the idea seized the imaginations of terrorists and would-be terrorists, especially Arab and Muslim ones.
Neither did the Palestinians invent suicide terrorism, but in recent times, their exploits in this area have been remarkable. Between 1989 and 2008, there were at least 160 suicide attacks by Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and other Palestinian gangs, causing more than 800 fatalities and countless injuries. The much-vaunted Tamil Tigers (137 suicide attacks between 1987 and 2009) come in second.
So what do you get when you combine hijacking and suicide terrorism? Of course, the Palestinians didn’t do 9/11, much as they cheered the perpetrators on that day (and yes, the footage of Arabs dancing in Gaza streets was real). But isn’t it likely that the success of these techniques in the hands of the Palestinians served as an inspiration for the architects of 9/11?
Leaving all of this aside, could a Palestinian state possibly become a valuable ally or trading partner for the US (like, for example, Israel)? Hardly. For one thing, Palestinians don’t like us. In a survey of attitudes toward the US in 39 countries, the Palestinian Authority came in tied for third from the bottom with Egypt (only in Jordan — which has a majority of Palestinians itself — and Pakistan were we liked less). Israel was second from the top, slightly behind the Philippines, despite the recent pressure from President Obama.
The Palestinian Authority is non-democratic, without an independent judiciary or most of the institutions required for an even partly free country. Freedom house rates both Gaza and the PA as “not free.” Its ‘president’ has overstayed his term by 5 years. It is ridden by crime and corruption, and home to an alphabet soup of terrorist gangs. Palestinians have been the largest recipients of international aid for decades, and much of this aid is simply stolen or used for weapons and explosives. What kind of state could it become?
Rather than try to bring ‘Palestine’ into being despite the cost, the US should is oppose the creation of yet another oppressive failed state, a base for terrorism and an economic and human rights disaster.