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OP-ED
Integrity USA Leaders–Where Art Thou?

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
August 17, 2005

Posted with the permission of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

News Headline/Flash

"In response to a failed Middle East policy, Great Britain has just announced that it has joined the United States in the largest joint operation of the 20th and 21st centuries. Nearly 12,000 Arabs will be forcefully removed from their homes of over three decades and sent back to their native country. Regardless of the locals' wishes and negating the majority of the native countrymen's wishes, these Arabs will be removed by force if necessary. The entire Western world is hopeful that the evacuation will proceed peacefully; however, force will be used on anyone offering resistance. This is being done as a good faith demonstration by the Arab home country to help move the region toward everlasting peace."

Let this scenario sink in, just for a moment. Can you imagine the immediate out-cry, the international condemnation and the behavioral response of the Arab world were the preceding to be true? Yet, this is precisely what has happened in Gaza and soon in the West Bank. We are experiencing a historical moment: the world's largest and most successful democracy, in collusion with other Western Democracies, together with select fascist Arab nations are executing what three great wars could not accomplish. Yes, the only Democracy in the Middle East has forcefully removed its citizens from what is considered at worst, disputed lands (lands legally occupied after a victorious defensive war). In other words, we are witnessing neo-democracy at work.

In time of national despair, citizens turn to their elected leaders for information, motivation, and inspiration. Millions of US citizens did just this after 911 and most of us were inspired for a select period of time! Americans are told that we are fighting in Iraq to help the Iraqi people and that the best solution for peace in the entire Middle East is to adopt some form of democracy. Jumping across the ocean to the Middle East, on a lesser scale, Israeli citizens also turned to a man they thought would help stop the killing of Israeli citizens, someone who would "right the ship." They exercised their democratic rights and elected a prime minister they knew would be tough on terrorism.

Democracy in practice, as well as in principle is the answer, or so we are told. However, we have just witnessed one democratic country, with its allies in support, interfering with another democratic nation's international affairs. Why? The answer is simple, because the USA can! The strange thing is that the USA uses two distinct applications of moral and ethical judgment to address the problem of international terrorism. For itself, the USA permits significant military intervention on foreign soil, blanket bombing, use of cutter bombs, targeted assassinations, application of its most current and lethal technology and shouts to the world, "we will not give one inch to terrorists." The USA further states that it will never appease the world's terrorists because this only invites and rewards terrorism. On the other hand, the USA is willing to transform its integrity, a polite way of indicating that it is fine with being out of integrity when it comes to Israel's ongoing historical battle with the same international terrorists. In case anyone has forgotten, President Bush gave his word; yes, he gave his word publicly, that the conflict must be settled by the two parties involved, without outside interference. It seems that Mr. Bush's war on terror ends on the banks of Israel's shores.

In the face of over a decade of complete and total failure of terror policies, including the policy of appeasement, we have reaped first hand the inevitable consequence of said policy: death and destruction within our Israeli borders, our homeland. We have been constantly attacked and are required to continue with the same general principle that has had murderous impact upon thousands and thousands of Israeli civilians. When the USA was attacked in September of 2001, it did not hesitate, it did not seek permission from others; it went to foreign soils and responded in kind to those who murdered thousands of Americans. We thought, finally, the standard had been set, the bar of behavior had been changed.

When Israel took the same action, we were admonished by most in the international community. I ask Americans, the British and all others who have been attacked post 911 the following questions and wonder if this had happened in your country or was currently happening, would you not wonder about the government's integrity?

Do you accept the policy of appeasement as the method to deal with terrorism? Contrary to media reports, Israel has been under daily terror attacks since February 2005-the month in which the PA agreed to cease same, the attacks intensified during the early summer to levels greater than a year ago. If this happened in America would you stand for it?

Senior PA leadership has said that Israel's withdrawal is due to terrorist success. Would you have us believe that peace will now result?

The PA Prime Minister said as recently as a couple of days ago that this is only the beginning, peace will not be possible until Jerusalem and the entire West Bank belongs to the Palestinians. Would you accept this if Al Quaeda leadership said the same?

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two internationally labeled terrorist groups have said that attacks will continue inside Israel proper (this means more civilians murdered) even after Gaza is under control of Palestinian leadership. Would you accept this if said by Al Quaeda?

Hamas continues to launch rockets into Israel proper, even as I write during the evacuation. Hamas has also continued with homicide attacks inside Israel proper. Would you hold your fire and not demand that the government take appropriate action if the "shoe" was on the other foot?

In spite of one's politics, in spite of your like or dislike of Israel or its leadership, can you in your heart of hearts, in good conscience, not see that a double standard exists in the application of the war on terrorism response patterns? Daily, we face attacks by international terrorist groups who have stated publicly that they want Israel gone from the Middle East, and who will continue the terror until this occurs.

Some of you believe in the Palestinian cause and you are entitled to those beliefs. How do you, though, reconcile that it is permissible for them to attack a sovereign nation, but it is not okay for the nation under attack to defend itself? Is this not complicit with a double standard? Who then is not of integrity? Who targets the Achilles heel of democracy to support actions of egregious human indecency upon a democratic nation? Do you disagree that the Arab and Muslim world needs to be held to the same standards of morality, decency, and justice as every other citizen of this planet? Any thinking, caring, human being knows the truth and if you are not willing to stem this tide, I fear for the future of your grandchildren.




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