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French Appeasement Déjà Vu

The French intent to recognize Palestinian statehood in Judea & Samaria, if the Israel-Palestinian negotiations fail, reflects the French policy of appeasing Palestinian terrorism (since the 1960s) and Islamic terrorism (since 1978). Rather than sheltering France from terrorism, France’s appeasement policy – more than any other European country – has fueled anti-French and anti-Western terrorism. French policy has rewarded the 100-year-old systematic Palestinian hate-education, incitement and terrorism. It prejudges the outcome of negotiations and minimizes Palestinian incentive to negotiate.

While the November 13, 2015, and the January 7, 2015, combined slaughter of 147 people in Paris were committed by Islamic terrorists, much of the responsibility for enticing these heinous acts lies at the doorstep of French policy-makers, who have appeased Palestinian and Islamic terrorists, with the former facilitating the penetration of Europe for the latter.

Since the 1960s, France has tolerated the presence, on French soil, of Palestinian terror organizations, operationally, logistically and diplomatically. Notwithstanding – and due to – French hospitality and support of pro-Palestinian proposals at the UN General Assembly and Security Council, many acts of terrorism against French, Arab, American and Israeli citizens have occurred on the French mainland: the July 31, 1975 PLO hostage-taking at Iraq’s Embassy in Paris, the April 3, 1982 murder of an Israeli diplomat, the August 9, 1982 murder of six patrons (including two Americans) at the Chez-Goldberg Restaurant, etc. During the 1970s, France replenished the bank accounts of Palestinian terrorists, in order to avoid the wrath of terrorism, in general, and hijacking, in particular. In 1996, France prevented the addition of Hamas to the list of international terrorist organizations.

A new standard of appeasement was set in 1978, when French President Giscard d’Estaing, in collaboration with US President Jimmy Carter and the US foreign policy establishment, overruled severe opposition by the French Secret Service (DST), by providing political asylum to Ayatollah Khomeini, who was expelled from Iran and Iraq for incitement, subversion and terrorism. They embraced an arch anti-Western terrorist, stabbing the back of an arch pro-Western Muslim leader, the Shah of Iran, “the Policeman of the Gulf.” Those two presidents generated a very effective tailwind to the Khomeini Revolution, the most ferocious, megalomaniacal, supremacist, Jihadist threat to Western civilization, destabilizing the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and the rest of the globe, undermining US and French homeland security, national security and economic interests.

In 1978, France provided Khomeini with a unique organizational and operational platform in West Europe, which served as vital recruiting ground for Islamic terrorists, but became a key target for Islamic terrorism.

From his cushioned exile in France, Khomeini orchestrated the campaign to topple the Shah, while preaching Jihad (holy war) against Western democracies and the abode of the “infidel.” Khomeini leveraged French recklessness and gullibility in order to advance the 14-century-old Islamic strategy of subordinating humanity to Islam through non-violent and violent means, through straight talk and double talk (Taqiyyah) and through provisional “peace” (Hudna’) accords, destined for violation once the Muslim side is strong enough to overcome the “infidel.”

On February 1, 1979, upon the demise of the Shah, France provided a red-carpeted Air France plane to chauffeur Ayatollah Khomeini – an eventual world banker of Islamic terrorism and the most oppressive Islamic regime – from Paris to Teheran.

France was aware of Khomeini’s terror-driven worldview, and of his prescribed school textbooks, which brainwashed Islamic youth in France and other countries into hating the “arrogant great Western Satan.” However, France preferred to sacrifice long-term national and homeland security interests on the altar of short-term convenience/wishful-thinking, assuming that “protection money” would spare France the wrath of the Ayatollahs. France failed to realize that fear, concessions and appeasement fuel terrorism, signaling to rogue regimes that terrorism pays off, thus dealing a lethal blow to moderate Muslims and to the prospects of regime change in Iran.

According to Amir Taheri, a top expert on Iran and a veteran columnist of the leading Saudi daily, a-Sharq al-Awsat: “President Mitterrand launched his appeasement of the Ayatollahs weeks after his election in 1981, releasing 31 convicted terrorists and lifting the ban on pro-terrorist publications, and an illegal radio station, allowing Palestinian [terrorist] groups to operate in Paris, feting Yasser Arafat, then the godfather of terror…. The Iranian embassy in Paris became the center of [subversive/terrorist] operations for Europe…. In 1983, eighty three French paratroopers were murdered in a suicide attack in Beirut, and the French Ambassador to Lebanon was assassinated…. in 1985, General Rene’ Audron of France’s Defense Department was assassinated [by Muslim terrorists.] A few months later, Paris was hit by a series of bomb attacks. In February 1986, a major shopping arcade and a hotel were bombed…. and there was an attempt to blow up the Eiffel Tower…. Throughout the Mitterrand appeasement, 93 people were murdered and over 800 wounded by terrorists….” Amir Taheri adds: “Mitterrand agreed to release $1 billion of frozen Iranian assets… [and] expelled key figures of the Iranian opposition who were in exile in Paris…. Iranian agents murdered 17 Iranian opposition activists in France…. Young men and women born and raised in France, but brainwashed into a deep hatred of everything to do with France and the West by years of [Islamic] propaganda…. ”

In defiance of contemporary reality, and well-documented 1,400 year old Islamic terrorism, but consistent with appeasement, French President Francois Hollande stated following the January 7, 2015 terrorism at the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo: “Those who committed this act have nothing to do with Islam….” Hollande’s statements and policies on Islamic and Palestinian terrorism reflect his determination to learn from history by repeating – and not by avoiding – dramatic errors, dooming France and the West to exacerbated terrorism.




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The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

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