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The Bush Speech: A More Global View

28 June 2002

By Yisrael Ne’eman

No doubt President Bush’s speech was the most pro-Israeli pronouncement ever made by an American president.  It is clear the US administration views the Palestinian leadership as hopelessly infected with terrorism, especially when led by the master terror criminal Chairman Yasir Arafat.  Bush has called for his replacement apparently even before the Palestinian elections of early 2003 for fear of Arafat’s reelection.  With hard evidence that Arafat is funding terrorism (just of late $20,000 given to the Fatah Tanzim el-Aksa Brigade for their attack at French Hill last week) Bush was willing to confront the other members of the G –8 nations meeting in Canada with the demand for the chairman’s removal.

Many believe the Bush actions are directed at Israel and the Palestinians and of course they are, but this is only a small part of the story.  Up until now terror leaders were targets for the US security services, except for Yasir Arafat, he was immune under the flimsy State Dept. explanation of  “the democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people” a definition cherished by the Europeans and others.  That has all changed now, as far as the Americans are concerned a terrorist is a terrorist.  Let us not forget, Adolf Hitler was the freely elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933.  Neither he, Arafat, nor anyone else is absolved of responsibility for their actions because they were elected.

The ramifications of the Bush speech are a clear message to the American people and the world.  The US will fight terrorism, even if it is Palestinian, and no one, not even Yasir Arafat is immune.  World leaders will have to choose whether they are for or against terror and that includes the Europeans and the Arab world.  Negotiating with terrorists is out of the question, even if they are Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority.  The State Dept. and Colin Powell are put on notice. 

Bush added later that he does not rule out military measures concerning Palestinian terror, but he did not mention whose military.  The implied message is US force will be implemented wherever necessary to crush terrorism, meaning Americans and their allies should be prepared for war.

On the local front, Israel may finally get the ‘green light’ to remove Arafat.