|JENIN: MILITARY DEFENSE VS. TERRORIST AGRESSION
by Alan Keyes, WorldNetDaily, May 6, 2002
|After weeks of hyperbolic rhetoric about what happened in Jenin, and a determined propaganda effort to lend credibility to charges of Israeli massacre and massive atrocity, the United Nations decided that an investigation isn't necessary after all.
Why did the "neutral" United Nations lose its fervor for going into Jenin to get at the facts? Perhaps it is because emerging evidence refutes the Palestinian and European charges of war crimes and hundreds of civilian deaths For friends of Israel, it's
not hard to see that the U.N. has been a hotbed of anti-Israeli bigotry for decades, and has spent much of its energy in the past
few weeks adding to the slanderous fervor that was being generated against Israel.
I wish I could say that this frenzy stopped with the United Nations. But it didn't. Most European countries, and elements in our own State Department, including secretary of state, were stampeded by a campaign of propaganda and disinformation portraying Israelis as massive brutalizers. That campaign contributed substantially to the heavy pressure placed on Israel - pressure that directly led to Palestinian "terrorist-in-chief" Yasser Arafat's liberation in the deal struck a week ago.
So Palestinian claims that Jenin represented a "victory" for their side are actually correct, because their abuse of the truth for propaganda purposes scored a major political and diplomatic victory -- resuscitating Yasser Arafat, despite his continued use of terrorism as a negotiating tactic. "Big Lie" propaganda combined with terrorist violence has succeeded very well in advancing Arafat's objectives.
We need to realize that our acceptance of Palestinian truth-terrorism carries the same consequences as acceptance of physical terrorism. The success of the Palestinian campaign of disinformation raises the ominous prospect of facing the same tactics practiced over and over again. The gullible, feckless, fatuous response that has come from our own U.S. State Department, from Europeans and from others, leaves American policy based on the loudest yelping accusations instead of facts. That's what has happened over the course of the last fortnight, and it will prove to have momentous results for the entire region.
In treating Palestinian truth-terrorism and physical terrorism as equivalent with Israeli truth-telling, and legitimate acts of defense, we ignore the fundamental difference between terrorism and non-terrorism. Terrorism is the deliberate, conscious targeting of innocent life for political purposes, and its corollary in the realm of truth is the deliberate, conscious destruction of moral judgment -- by lying accusations against the innocent, among other things -- for political purposes.
The Bush administration's approach of "even-handedness" in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is creating a muddled and dangerous mess. Such moral equivalency will lead to deep moral confusion. For America will not be able to judge its own actions morally
and coherently unless we establish and respect the distinction between terrorist aggression and legitimate military activity.
We have declared war on those who practice terror to get what they want in the world, including influence over negotiations.
How, then, can we be "even-handed" between a Palestinian side that has openly, shamelessly and brazenly implemented a terroristic strategy, and an Israeli side that has been victimized by that strategy? If -- when the Israelis do what is necessary to defend against terror -- we acquiesce in the lie that their defensive actions are also terror, we will have set the stage for the application of the same false standard to our own deeds. Foolish "even-handedness" that denies the distinction between aggressor and defender is preparing a ground that we won't be able to stand on if we're going to fight terrorism successfully.
It is simply true that our actions in Afghanistan have not been substantially different from the Israeli incursion into the West Bank. If we fail to insist on this fact, we fatally undermine the moral legitimacy of our war against terror. Thus undermined, we will lose our ability to effectively prosecute this war. Telling the truth about the Palestinian terror machine is a matter of American national security.
Palestinian propaganda is banking on the Goebbels approach, the Communist approach -- telling a big lie loud and often enough
to make it practically true. It is a strategy that often works in a world of passion and violence. But it won't work with fair-minded Americans. We prefer to look at the hard facts, and to make our judgments in a fair and reasoned way on the basis of those facts. We must not be stampeded by emotional propaganda campaigns that manipulate the truth in order to achieve unjust political purposes.
Bluntly stated, all Americans -- and particularly our leaders -- have a duty to hold to the truth. If we fail in this duty, the final costs are beyond all reckoning.
Former Reagan administration official Alan Keyes, was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Social and Economic Council and 2000 Republican presidential candidate. Be sure to visit Alan Keyes' communications center for founding principles, The Declaration Foundation.