President George W. Bush lands in Israel today to continue the Annapolis process and issue a directive: to expel Israeli Jewish communities from parts of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem and to establish in their stead a Palestinian state.
A precedent looms from three years ago, when 21 thriving Jewish communities were expelled from the Gaza Strip. Their assets were handed over to a Palestinian Arab entity that now pummels Sderot, Ashkelon and the western Negev with daily missile barrages. Following that Gaza model, an independent Palestinian entity in the hills of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem will likely share power if not hand it over to Hamas.
Mr. Bush genuinely sees himself as a friend of Israel. Mr. Bush even sees a Palestinian state this as a gesture to Israel.
On the eve of his journey to the Middle East, Mr. Bush invited Israeli reporters to the Oval Office and spoke in lofty visions of a democratically elected Palestinian Arab state that would live side by side in peace with the state and people of Israel.
This is what he has learned from his trusted confidante, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who often compares the Palestinian struggle, based on the Fatah ideology, to the American civil rights movement, as if Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas follow the legacy of Martin Luther King.
Mr. Bush seems to know nothing of the Fatah demand for the right of return to lands lost in 1948; the Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which continues to try to murder Jews at random; the Fatah-inspired school curriculum that inculcates the next generation to make war against the state of Israel; the Fatah constitution, which is based on Islamic law; the Fatah refusal to ratify the Oslo “declaration of principles”; or the Fatah refusal to cancel its covenant to exterminate the Jewish state.
Instead, Mr. Bush told the Israeli reporters that Mr. Abbas is a man of peace and integrity, while Ms. Rice nodded her head.
To sweeten the taste of his decree, Mr. Bush paid for 100 Jewish American citizens to accompany him to Jerusalem.
Amidst the pomp and circumstance of the Jerusalem visit, President Bush’s selected Jewish constituents may choose to ignore the lethal directive that Mr. Bush has come to serve on the state and the people of Israel while they imagine how they will tell their grandchildren that the leader of the free world had dined with them in Jerusalem with a vision of peace in the Middle East.
The question remains: Will any member of the entourage of Jewish Americans stand up to the president of the United States and warn that the Palestinian Fatah ideology represents a toxic danger to the people of Israel?
What unfolds this week in Jerusalem is the classic motif of the Purim story, as related in the book of Esther.
President George Bush plays the role of Achashverus, who had a positive disposition to Jewish subjects who swooned at the very thought of feasting at his banquet.
Ms. Rice plays Haman, or “Hamanette,” as she scolds the Jews who demand their right to dwell in Judea. She counsels her king to sharpen his decree of Juden Rein, while she compares any Jew who settles in Judea to Arab terrorists who carry out wanton acts of murder.
Meanwhile, some of the Jews who fly the friendly skies of Air Force One depict those who rejected the independent Jewish pride of Mordecai.
Then there is the mystery guest. Who, in this delegation of proud Jews, will portray Queen Esther? Who will feel the internal call of Mordecai to approach King Achashverus to warn him that Hamanette has ill advised her king? Who will advise the kind that his decree represents a threat to the life of every Jew in the land of Israel? Who will confront the president of the United States with the reality that a Palestinian Fatah state would be an anti-Semitic state?
Will at least one member of Mr. Bush’s Jewish delegation emulate the message that Mordecai said to Esther that she beseech her king to save the Jewish people: “Who knows why you have come into the palace of the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 5:14).
All this depends on whether one Jewish constituent who accompanies President Bush to Jerusalem will heed an inner voice of integrity to save the people of Israel from disaster.
David Bedein is Middle East correspondent for The Bulletin.
©The Bulletin 2008