by Yoram Ettinger
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is preoccupied with the attempt to establish a Palestinian state, as a means to advance peace and American interests. However, Congress -- which is charged by the constitution with supervising the administration -- has yet to conduct hearings on the impact of the proposed Palestinian state upon vital U.S. interests. Congress cannot relinquish its constitutional responsibility to probe, independently, the critical implications of a Palestinian state upon the U.S. economy, core values, and homeland and national security, as well as upon the stability of pro-U.S. Arab regimes in particular, and the Middle East in general.
Independent congressional scrutiny of this Palestinian state-driven policy is doubly essential against the backdrop of the systematic U.S. Middle East policy failures since 1947.
The U.S. administration track record
In 1948, the U.S. State Department opposed the establishment of a Jewish state. Assuming that Israel would be an ally of the Communist Bloc, and expecting Israel to be devastated by the invading Arab armies, the administration imposed a regional military embargo, while the British supplied arms to Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
During the 1950s, the U.S. administration courted the Egyptian dictator, President Gamal Abdel Nasser, in an attempt to remove him from Soviet influence, offering financial aid and pressuring Israel to "end the occupation of the Negev," internationalize Western Jerusalem and evacuate the whole of Sinai. Instead, Nasser intensified his pro-USSR policy, subversion of pro-U.S. Arab regimes and support of Palestinian terrorism.
During the 1970s and 1980s, until the invasion of Kuwait, the U.S. administration supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein through an intelligence-sharing agreement, the transfer of sensitive dual-use U.S. technologies and approval of five billion dollar loan guarantees.
In 1977, the administration, initially, opposed the Begin-Sadat peace initiative, lobbied for an international conference, and finally jumped on the peace bandwagon.
In 1979, the administration abandoned the Shah of Iran, facilitating the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which transformed Iran from a top ally of the U.S. to its sworn enemy.
From 1993 to 2000, the administration embraced Arafat as the harbinger of peace and democracy, elevating him to Most Frequent Visitor status in the White House.
In 2005 and 2006, the administration encouraged the uprooting of Jewish communities from Gaza and the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian election, deluding itself that both would advance the cause of moderation, stability and peace.
In 2009, the administration turned its back on pro-U.S. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, facilitating the rise to power of the anti-U.S., transnational-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. In 2011, the administration participated in the toppling of Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi's regime of terror, intensifying chaos in Libya, which has become an exporter of military systems to Muslim terrorist organizations. In 2013, the administration handed Russia an unexpected Syrian bonus. In 2014, the administration has managed to instill panic in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, which are concerned about the U.S. potentially transforming Tehran from a controllable tactical -- to an uncontrollable strategic -- threat.
Mahmoud Abbas' track record
The background of Palestinian Authority President and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Mahmoud Abbas -- ostensibly a moderate compared with Hamas -- sheds light on the likely nature of the proposed Palestinian state.
Abbas speaks fluent Russian as a result of his KGB training and his studies at Moscow's Patrice Lumumba University, where he wrote a Holocaust-denying doctoral thesis. He was the architect of PLO ties with the USSR and other ruthless communist regimes. In 1972, he oversaw the logistics of the Munich massacre of eleven Israeli athletes. In the late 1950s, 1966 and 1970, he fled Egypt, Syria and Jordan because of subversion. During the 1970s and 1980s he participated in the Palestinian plundering of southern Lebanon and the attempts to topple the central regime in Beirut, which triggered the 1976 Syrian invasion of Lebanon and a series of civil wars, causing some 200,000 fatalities and hundreds of thousands of refugees. In 1990, Abbas collaborated with Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, despite Kuwait's unique hospitality to 300,000 PLO-affiliated Palestinians. In 1993, he established the Palestinian Authority hate education system -- a most effective production line of terrorists.
The impact on the Middle East
During the October 1994 signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, top Jordanian military commanders urged their Israeli counterparts to refrain from establishing a Palestinian state, "lest it destroy the [pro-U.S.] Hashemite regime." Coupled with a terror-dominated Iraq, it would initiate a domino scenario, sweeping Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other oil-producing Arab regimes, causing havoc to the supply and price of oil and devastating the U.S. economy.
Abbas' PLO was an early ally of Khomeini. Moreover, following his 2005 replacement of Arafat, Abbas' first visits were to Tehran and Damascus. A Palestinian state -- whether controlled by the PLO or (most probably) Hamas -- would provide Iran, as well as Russia, China and North Korea, improved access to the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, at the expense of the U.S.
In 1994, the Palestinian Authority was established by PLO graduates of terrorist bases in the Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia, generating a robust tailwind to global Islamic terrorism. It has become a major terror academy, exporting terrorists to Iraq, Afghanistan, Latin America, Africa and Europe. Thus, the Palestinian Authority has sustained the legacy of Abbas' PLO, which has been the role model of international and Islamic terrorism, training worldwide terrorists in Jordan (1968-1970) and Lebanon (1970-1982). The PLO introduced commercial aircraft hijacking, carried out the 1973 murder of the U.S. ambassador to Sudan, and participated in the 1983 murder of 300 U.S. Marines in Lebanon.
A Palestinian state would reward a regime which is referred to by much of its population as "modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah," and has driven Christians away from Bethlehem. It would add another anti-U.S. vote at the U.N.
Both Hamas and the PLO follow in the footsteps of Palestinian leaders, who collaborated with Nazi Germany, the Communist Bloc, Khomeini, Saddam and bin Laden, and currently with Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other rogue regimes.
Hence, the proposal to establish a Palestinian state proves that policymakers are determined to learn from history by repeating -- rather than avoiding -- past dramatic blunders.
Thorough congressional supervision could spare the U.S. a blow to its economic and national security interests.
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