One should not overstate the significance of recent gestures made by President Bush towards Israel and the Jewish People. At the same time, one should not ignore the unprecedently GLARING GREEN LIGHT to Israel’s counter terrorism effort, emanating – SO FAR – from the White House.
What makes President George W. Bush run (with Jerusalem)?
PRESIDENT BUSH – just like most of the US public and Congress – HAS NOT APPROACHED ISRAEL AS A TYPICAL FOREIGN POLICY ISSUE. Rather, he has viewed Israel as a unique ally, deeply rooted in the domestic American system of values and tradition. The Bible and shared Judeo-Christian values have played a major role in shaping the state-of-mind of President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura. They have also impacted the US Founding Fathers in the formulation of the US system of separation of powers and checks and balances.
PRESIDENT BUSH IS MORE OF A TEXAN THAN AN AMERICAN. He has reflected the legacy of The Lone Star State, which – just like the State of The Lone Star of David – has manifested patriotism and independence, can-do mentality, the right to bear arm and self-defense, defiance of the jugged-cutting-edge-of-nature and the battle between good (democracies) and evil (dictatorships and terrorism). Israel has been perceived as a MINI-TEXAS IN THE MIDEAST, while the PLO has been identified as a gunman who terrorizes the town. The President is aware of the Texas colloquialism: “FOOL ME ONCE SHAME ON YOU, FOOL ME TWICE SHAME ON ME.” Arafat and the PLO have fooled Presidents Bush and Clinton, Secretaries Powell and Albright, General Zinni, Senator Mitchell and Director Tenet on more than a few occasions. President Bush may forgive, but true to his “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS” tradition he shall not forget!
PRESIDENT BUSH RESEMBLES FORMER PRESIDENT REAGAN, realizing that there has been an inherent wedge between Western Democracies, led by the US, and radical regimes, as far as values and strategic interests. Reagan bombed Tripoli, Qadaffi’s palace and Libyan naval installations in retaliation to the murder of five US GIs in Germany. Bush has reacted in a more forceful manner to Islamic terrorism. While Israel is regarded as the role-model of counter-terrorism, the PLO is considered the role-model of international terrorism, hijacking and the murder of American soldiers and diplomats.
PRESIDENT BUSH IS SURROUNDED BY GRADUATES OF THE GULF WAR. Vice President Cheney, National Security Advisor Rice, Secretary of State Powell, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz and others remember distinctly Arafat’s betrayal of Kuwait and support of Saddam. On the other hand, they have often praised Israel for bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, which has spared the US a non-conventional confrontation in 1991, with its potential thousands of human loses and mega-billion dollar cost.
PRESIDENT BUSH – like most Americans and Congress – HAS ABSORBED THE LESSONS OF SEPTEMBER 11, which have highlighted the mutual threats facing the US and Israel: Islamic terrorism, Iraq, Iran and ballistic missiles. That which plagued the US on September 11, 2001 has haunted Israel since 1948! The President has learnt from the grave errors of 1991, realizing that a successful battle against terrorism must be concluded with the complete devastation – rather than with the supposed containment – of the terrorist infrastructure and regime. He has also acknowledged the futility of any hope for an effective anti-terrorism coalition with the Arabs. Finally, he has also been aware that pro-PLO US gestures, coupled with a brutal pressure on Israel in 1990/1 were reciprocated by PLO treachery and terror.
PRESIDENT BUSH HAS BEEN COGNIZANT OF THE ASYMMETRY between the justifiable US tactic in Afghanistan on one hand, and US pressure on Israel to refrain from employing the same tactic against the PLO, a collaborator with Islamic terrorism and the traditional ally of Iraq and Iran, on the other hand. He has also been aware of the lowest ebb of Arab image in the US, and the intense-than-ever anti-Arafat sentiments, characterizing Congress and constituents upon the launching of the November 2002 campaign for 435 House seats, 34 Senate seats and 36 gubernatorial offices.
ONE MUST BE COLOR BLIND TO MISS THE FLASHING GREEN LIGHT – for a comprehensive Israeli devastation of Palestinian terrorism infrastructure. One would be grossly reckless to miss the green light before it changes to yellow and then to red!