Sunday Palestinian Hamas Authority Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar was in Teheran meeting with his boss, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad reportedly devoted the meeting to reminding Zahar that jihad is the only path for the Palestinians, and demanding that Hamas redouble its attacks against Israel.
This report tells us little we don't already know about Hamas and Iran. Since last year, Hamas leaders Zahar and Khaled Mashaal have been traveling to Iran to meet with Ahmadinejad and commanders of Iranian intelligence and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards units on a monthly, twice-monthly and even weekly basis.
This meeting merely served to remind us what has been clear for months, namely, that Iran today is the leader of the global jihadist axis. More interesting than the meeting is how Iran and Hamas's chief enemies – the United States and Israel – have responded to the war the Iranian-led jihadist axis is waging against them. Two words aptly describe the Bush administration and the Olmert government's responses to the escalating war. They are respectively: appeasement and capitulation.
The Bush administration's decision to negotiate directly with Iran over the genocidal mullocracy's race to achieve nuclear capabilities represents the White House's clearest renunciation of everything that President George W. Bush claims to have been fighting against since the September 11 attacks.
The Iranian regime, with its openly stated intention to annihilate Israel; its active participation in the war against US-led forces in Iraq; its support and sponsorship of other terror forces fighting US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan; its active subversion of pro-Western regimes throughout the Middle East; its support for anti-US regimes and political forces throughout the world; and its race to acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of attacking the continental US, represents everything that Bush pledged to bring down in the aftermath of the attacks on the US five years ago.
THERE HAVE been many attempts to rationalize, justify and excuse the move. Some say it is a result of political distress. It is hard to see why Bush would think that attempting to appease America's worst enemy will placate his political support base. But more important than the reasons for his policy reversal are the content and consequences of his new position.
In providing an opening to Teheran, the Bush administration has adopted the policy that former president Jimmy Carter forced down the throat of the Clinton administration in its dealings with the North Korean Stalinists in 1994. Twelve years ago, Carter invited himself to North Korea to "defuse" the crisis the North Koreans had fomented by openly developing nuclear weapons. Since then-president Bill Clinton had no policy for dealing with North Korea, he allowed Carter to negotiate the deal that Bush is now offering Teheran. As then, today in exchange for a "pledge" to stop enriching uranium, the US is willing to give Teheran nuclear fuel, airplanes, spare parts, light water reactors, World Trade Organization membership and US acceptance of the mullocracy as a legitimate regime.
There can be no doubt that Carter's deal effectively caused the US to facilitate North Korea's development of nuclear weapons. And now, after refusing for five years to adopt an Iran policy, Bush has been convinced by the likes of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to follow the Europeans' lead in appeasing the mullahs.
For all that the nuclearized Pyongyang threatens its neighbors, North Korea is still less dangerous than Iran. Unlike Pyongyang, Teheran sees itself as a contender for global supremacy. It has terror cells all over the globe capable of striking Western targets at a moment's notice. Aside from that, Iran has already committed itself to using the nuclear bombs it is now building to destroy Israel and bring America and Europe to their knees.
AFTER RICE announced Washington's adoption of the EU's appeasement policy, Iran wasted no time repeatedly humiliating America. Last Thursday Ahmadinejad bragged that the US offer showed America had been defeated. The IAEA revealed that since the US made the offer, Iran intensified its uranium enrichment operation. The Sunday Telegraph reported that Iran has yet another secret nuclear site which is dedicated to military grade uranium enrichment.
To all this President Bush has responded with more appeasement. He says that Iran has weeks to decide whether to accept the US offer. The administration is backing Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar's refusal to bring an Iran sanctions bill – already passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives and sponsored by 61 senators – to a vote. So rather than fighting Iran, the administration is fighting its most loyal supporters while advancing the policy of its most ardent detractors.
THE OLMERT government in Jerusalem similarly refuses to recognize that a war is being actively waged against Israel. Olmert's refusal to accept the reality of war is even more unjustifiable than the Bush administration's because while Americans haven't been attacked where they live since September 11, every day Israelis are attacked in their homes.
Against the backdrop of the intensification of the Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel, Sderot's Mayor Eli Moyal showed the absurdity of the government's willful blindness when Sunday he presented Olmert with the only choice he has. As Moyal put it, Olmert can continue to ignore the war and so turn the bombarded town of Sderot into a ghost town, or he can fight the war and turn Beit Hanoun in Gaza – from which the rockets raining down on Sderot and surrounding communities are being launched – into a ghost town. That is, it is us or them, as simple as that.
To this the government responded with denial and surrender declarations. Olmert and his equally inexperienced, weak-kneed, ideologically blinded Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni claim that they are sending Hamas a clear signal by doing nothing. And what are they signaling? That if Hamas doesn't shape up, Israel will give it Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem.
AS TO Iran, according to a report over the weekend in The Forward, in his recent meetings with the American Jewish leadership, Olmert urged them to lower their profile on Iran because his government doesn't want the issue to be perceived as an Israeli issue. And so, most Jewish groups, including AIPAC, have not publicly criticized the administration's adoption of Europe's appeasement policy. As Jess Hordes, the Anti-Defamation Leagues Washington affairs director, told the Forward, "Looking down the abyss at the choices, which, in their starkest terms, are either accepting Iran as a nuclear power or attacking militarily, I think people are looking to see whether or not a third way can be found to achieve the same purpose."
By the same token, Israeli diplomats in New York and Washington have admitted that their activities today are largely dedicated to convincing American Jewish leaders to support the Olmert plan to surrender Judea and Samaria to Hamas.
In 1943 when the evidence of the destruction of European Jewry became incontrovertible, some strident Zionists in the US – most notably Peter Bergson and Ben Hecht – launched a massive campaign to try to force the Roosevelt administration to do something to save the Jews of Europe. The organized Jewish leadership, led by Steven Wise, did everything it could to delegitimize their efforts. According to the copiously documented account of these events in Rafael Medoff's history, Militant Zionism in America, Wise, like the leaders of the Labor Zionist movement, didn't want the war to be seen as a Jewish issue and didn't want to alienate the
White House by crying out too loudly for European Jews.
Today, as Iran moves closer to committing a second Holocaust, how are American Jewish organizations spending their time? Aside from supporting the administration and the Olmert government, leading American Jewish organizations including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation of New York and the Joint Distribution Committee have joined forces with the far-left New Israel Fund and announced their intention to fund Israeli Arab organizations.
There is no doubt that as the leadership of Israel and the US lose their collective will to reconcile themselves to the reality of war, it falls on the shoulders of private citizens to tell them that they are wrong. Iran has been at war with the US and Israel since 1979 and today it has a leadership committed to advancing this war by destroying Israel and bringing America to its knees. In light of this danger, and in view of the clear lessons of the Holocaust, it is an act of cowardice and immorality for those who recognize the dangers to take a back seat to leaders who refuse to stand up for their countries.
As Moyal said, it is time to face the facts. There is no middle way. You cannot nuance genocidal foes bent on your destruction and defeat.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.