It is hard to believe that under the Sharon government, after more than a thousand Israelis have been killed in the past five years of terrorism, opponents of the agreements with the Palestinians are forced to go back to the slogan: “Don’t give them rifles.”

On Friday, Yediot Ahronot revealed that the security establishment will recommend that Israel should give the Palestinians arms to help the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen. It reminds us of the well- known adage “Like a dog licking its own vomit is a fool repeating his folly.” Dozens of residents of Judea and Samaria were killed in the first years of the Oslo war, by those very rifles which Israel had given to the Palestinian forces so that the latter would fight terrorism. Then too we were told by the same Shimon Peres how important it was to strengthen the moderate elements in the Palestinian Authority, and how important it was for them to have weapons so that they could eliminate the terrorist infrastructure efficiently.

These weapons, in the end, were used to murder Jews, when those same Palestinian security elements turned out to be terrorists.

And now it is proposed that these weapons be given to the Palestinians at a time when terrorism in Judea and Samaria is increasing, just as security officials warned that it would, before the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and when there is a shooting incident almost every day, or two such incidents, which do not make it into the news media because, thank God, nobody is hurt.

The astonishing thing is that ten years ago, those warning against giving arms to the Palestinians were headed by none other than Ariel Sharon. That was when Sharon was still the real Arik, who was genuinely concerned about Israel’s security. That was the Sharon who did not yet award invaluable prizes to terror in the form of panic-stricken unilateral withdrawals.

When the prime minister has a meeting today with ministers Mofaz and Peres to discuss Israel’s position on the issue of the crossing points between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, it would be worth his while to listen once again to what Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom revealed yesterday in an interview with Israel Radio, that Egypt is not doing enough to halt the flow of weapons into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing point and therefore the weapons continue to pass through.

And this is when eight terrorist organizations have signed a Palestinian domestic “terrorism convention” in which they agree that “In spite of the route of Israel and its retreat from the Gaza Strip, Gaza has not left the cycle of the conflict.”

The war is not over. The State of Israel is the only country which supplies arms to its enemies while the fighting continues.

This piece ran in HaTofeh on October 9th, 2005