'Rewarding Terrorism'
Jude Wanniski
June 24, 2002


Memo To: Trent Lott, Senate Minority Leader
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Just Do What is Right

Trent, I see you are now parroting the line that we cannot do this or cannot do that because to do so would be to “reward terrorism.” This is a bunch of baloney. There should be zero consideration on how our policies are shaped in the Middle East to the question of whether the terrorists will like what we do or not like what we do. We should do what is right and let the chips fall where they may. The fact that doing “right” might not be what the Israeli government wants should not bother you, because if you do not do what you think is right, you will only be contributing to a problem that has been going on for 54 years.

The Israeli Lobby, which owns Richard Perle, the chairman of the Defense Policy Council, came up with this formulation and as a result we hear it coming out of practically every mouth on Capitol Hill. Do you favor a Palestinian state, Trent? Because the Palestinian terrorists favor a Palestinian state, does it mean you are rewarding them by doing everything you can to move the forces of history toward a Palestinian state? The Israelis who have NEVER wanted a Palestinian state, but have ALWAYS wanted to delay movement in that direction – for 54 years – will insist that only when suicide bombing stops will they be amenable to, ahem, negotiations. Otherwise, Trent, we will be rewarding terrorism!!! Don’t you see how you are being snookered? If the Israelis had only been throwing sand in your eyes for the last 18 months, I would say you had a point. But they have been throwing sand in your eyes for 54 years. FIFTY FOUR YEARS!!! The Palestinian people have been living on the Israeli plantation all this time – again and again asked by Uncle Sam to be patient and the government in Tel Aviv will be ready to make a deal. Can’t you see, Trent, that Ariel Sharon has no intention of negotiating with that goal in mind? If you can’t, you are kidding yourself.

Forget the concept of “rewarding terrorism,” Trent. Young Palestinian men and women who are willing to blow themselves up to redress a 54-year-old injustice can only be viewed as antibodies fighting a cancer, with no other means of adjudication. I’ve called them “Muslim McVeighs,” as they are driven by the same kind of furies that led McVeigh to make his point about our government’s killing of the Branch Davidians.

You’re from Mississippi, Trent, so you know better than almost any modern politician at the national level of the legacy of plantation slavery. If it was bad throughout the Old South, it was at its worst in Mississippi. If you would think of the Palestinian people who have been living like slaves for 54 years in their hovels and refugee camps, you might think twice about those slaves who tried to break out, and you would think again before you said we cannot end slavery because that would be rewarding terrorism. You wouldn’t, would you?