the past and present day leaders of Hamas. And you might assume the story ends there. And you would be wrong.
The United Nations issued a unanimous resolution condemning Israel's deportation of "civilians" and demanding that Israel immediately bring them back, or face sanctions. The United States voted for that resolution, along with three others condemning Israel. Thomas R. Pickering, the American delegate warned that the deportations of Hamas terrorists "do not contribute to current efforts for peace." Of course we now know, just how much the Hamas terrorists that the Bush and Clinton Administrations forced Israel to accept "contributed to peace".
Lebanon refused to officially accept the terrorists. The Red Cross brought them tents and blankets and the media swarmed to take photos of them "shivering from the cold" while drinking coffee outside their tents. Newsweek accused Israel of "Deporting the Hope for Peace". The LA Times ran a tearful interview with the wife of Mohammed Taamari, a future member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, who was terribly lonely without her husband. Much as after the flotilla raid, the Israeli media condemned the clumsy mishandling of the deportations.
Finally after enough browbeating by James Baker and Warren Christopher, Rabin agreed to take the Hamas terrorists back. In a bizarre charade that would serve as a tragic foretelling of events to come, Rabin agreed to return 100 terrorists immediately, and to take the remainder back in a year. 18 years later, the Hamas terrorists that Israel took back control all of Gaza, and have been responsible for an untold number of murders.
The terrorists that Israel was forced to accept included current Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh and Hamas' religious figurehead, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. They included Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, who last year proclaimed; "They have legitimised the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people". They included Mohammed Taha, another co-founder of Hamas. They also included Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, another Hamas co-founder, who was responsible for numerous murders of Israelis, who would proclaim, "By Allah, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine". They included his son Ayman Taha, who commanded the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which carried out numerous attacks on Israel, including the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
And that is how a failure to drive out those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of one Israeli sergeant in 1992, led to the capture of an Israeli corporal in 2006. It is also the story of why Gaza was turned over to Hamas in the name of "peace." It is the story of how the United Nations, the UK and two US administrations pressured Israel into accepting the leaders of Hamas in the name of peace. It is also the story of how the media conducted a propaganda war on behalf of an Islamist terrorist organization, not just today when it publishes false stories about starvation in Gaza, but 18 years ago, when the only people supposedly starving were adult male Hamas terrorists.
One of the more cynical left wing talking points is that Israel was responsible for Hamas. Looking back to 1992, when the current Hamas leadership were sitting outside their Red Cross tents in Lebanon and the left was pounding on Israel's door, demanding that they be let back in-- it is all too clear who was and is responsible for Hamas. The people who saved Hamas 18 years ago, are responsible for it today. The media and the diplomats who 18 years ago were claiming that deporting Hamas would somehow "radicalize" the Palestinian Arabs insured that the Hamas leaders would return to radicalize all of Gaza and the West Bank.
After the deportation of the Hamas terrorists, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin delivered a speech in the Knesset in which he said;
"I have no pity in my heart, nor do I shed tears (for the Hamas terrorists). I see the media whining their hypocritical speeches - and I think instead of Nissim Toledano's orphaned children, the widow of Shmuel Biran, and the bereaved parents of Shmuel Geresh."
Rabbi Shmuel Biran was a schoolteacher in Kfar Darom, an Israeli village in Gaza. He was murdered by Hamas terrorists while crossing a two lane highway. The UN did not condemn the murder of Rabbi Biran. Newsweek did not write any piteous pieces about how much his widow missed him. Instead they called Kfar Darom a settlement, even though it was part of a history going back over 2000 years, and the land it was on had been bought and paid for, fair and square. But the same diplomats and reporters who wailed for the lonely Hamas terrorists in Lebanon, pitied not the family of Rabbi Biran. Instead they demanded his family and all the Jews of Kfar Darom be expelled from their homes.
|Kfar Darom being burned by its new occupants|
Now the vultures keep on circling. Once they said there would be peace if only Israel let the Hamas terrorists back in. Then they said, there would be peace if only Israel ethnically cleansed Jewish communities in land claimed by the terrorists. Now if only Israel will lift the blockade and give Hamas access to unlimited weapons-- perhaps then there will be peace. No, there will be no peace. Only more murder. When you bring a snake into your pocket, you will be poisoned. The closer you bring him and the less you restrain him, the worse he will bite you. As with snakes, so it is with terrorists.
After his death, it has become fashionable to selectively quote some of Rabin's speeches. But this speech is rarely quoted. And you don't have to work too hard to understand why.
Our struggle against murderous Islamic terror is also meant to awaken the world which is lying in slumber. We call on all nations and all people to devote their attention to the great danger inherent in Islamic fundamentalism. That is the real and serious danger which threatens the peace of the world in the forthcoming years.
But why quote such a speech? In 1992, America and Europe were not terribly worried about Islamic fundamentalism. It was after all 1992, not 1692. And Islamic terrorism was one of those things that would surely go away if Israel would just compromise with the terrorists.
Two weeks after Rabin agreed to take back the Hamas terrorists-- the World Trade Center was bombed by a group led by the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, under Omar Abdel Rahman, the "Blind Sheikh" who led al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, which like both Al Queda and Hamas, emerged out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Rahman's message to Muslims was very simple; "cut the transportation of their countries, tear it apart, destroy their economy, burn their companies, eliminate their interests, sink their ships, shoot down their planes, kill them on the sea, air, or land." And that was exactly what they went on to do. The World Trade Center bombing in 1993, set the stage for the more successful attacks of 2001. Just as the Hamas atrocities of 1992 set the stage for the bigger and more horrifying attacks to come.
UN aid convoys were being ambushed and massacred. Tourists were being murdered in Egypt. Hamas killed two traffic cops in Tel Aviv. But no one worried. Peace just was just on the horizon. And so Israel was forced to submit to Islamic terrorism. Hamas' path to victory was paved by two US administrations and a press corp always eager to turn terrorists into victims, but never interested in hearing from the victims of the terrorists.Islamic terrorism had won not on its own terms, but with the unified support of the United Nations standing behind it.
That is how Islamic terrorism always wins. That is the template behind its victory. And Rabin's speech of that winter of 1992, which warned the West of what was to come, was ignored. Today Rabin is remembered as the man who compromised with terrorism. It is the only thing he is remembered for anymore .But compromising with terrorism did not bring peace. Not in Somalia, where US troops were brutally murdered next year. Not in Afghanistan, where the Taliban slaughtered aid convoys. Not in Indonesia or New York or Paris or Egypt. And certainly not in Gaza. The Islamic Fundamentalists had won a battle with the backing of the US and the UN. They have won many more since then. Now they are trying to win the war.
(Spanish language translation at REFLEXIONES SOBRE MEDIO ORIENTE Y EL MUNDO)