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March 24, 2004
Bush Clarifies Position on Yassin, Israel

George Bush clarified his position on Israel after a press release from the White House left some doubt as to the administration's position on the fate of terrorists:

President Bush yesterday defended Israel's "right to defend herself from terror," one day after a spokesman said the administration was "deeply troubled" by the assassination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin and concerned it could derail efforts to jump-start the peace process.

Bush made his remarks to reporters shortly before the U.N. Security Council began a debate on the Israeli action and as a group of Israeli officials met with White House officials to discuss Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to unilaterally separate from the Palestinians. Bush announced that next week a team of senior U.S. officials will likely make their third trip to Israel in two months to continue discussions on the Sharon plan.

What peace process? You cannot have a peace process where only one side is willing to allow the other to live. The various collection of terrorist organizations in Gaza and the West Bank have never for a moment suggested that they would be willing to allow Israel to continue its existence in any form. Only the Palestinian Authority has said that, and their al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (a subsidiary of Arafat's own Fatah faction) has made it clear that the PA talks out of both sides of its mouth on this issue.

Once again, the world has a double standard for Jews, and unfortunately that applies in the US in some circles. Yassin was no different than Osama bin Laden, except that he was easier to find and that he was confined to a wheelchair. Israel had tried arresting him, and after other nations interceded on Yassin's behalf, they tried releasing him. Neither of those approaches worked as he continued to kill and maim Israeli civilians by the score.

I suspect that my fellow Americans would have no trouble with blowing up Osama, even if he were hooked up to that apocryphal dialysis machine he supposedly needs at the moment of impact. In fact, we're having Congressional hearings this week to find out why it hasn't happened yet. Other nations who decry our action in Iraq accuse the US letting Osama off the hook while we chased Saddam. Damned few people anywhere argue for Osama's capture or for the West to negotiate with al-Qaeda.

Given that this approach works just fine for America and the rest of the world, why is it unacceptable for Israel? Because from where I sit, the answer looks pretty ugly.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 24, 2004 6:11 AM

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