EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece appears in the April 10, 2006, issue of National Review.
If I were a Palestinian, I’d occasionally wonder what I had to do to get a bad press.
Elect a terrorist government explicitly committed to the destruction of Israel? No, no, no, don’t jump to conclusions, explains Bill Clinton. It’s just a vote for better municipal services. Send my daughter to explode in an Israeli restaurant? Oh, well, shrug the experts, it’s an act born of “desperation” and “frustration.” You have to remember Palestinians don’t have any tanks, so they have to make do with what the mayor of London’s favorite imam calls “the children bomb.”
So the events of March 14th are no surprise. Under something called the 2002 Ramallah Agreement, various Palestinian prisoners were being held at a jail in Jericho under the supervision of American and British monitors. The jailbirds were wanted by Israel for the murder of a cabinet minister in 2001, but in order to keep “the peace process” “on track” Ariel Sharon had been prevailed upon to agree to this carefully brokered international agreement permitting the men to remain under the care of the Palestinian Authority.
Then Hamas gets elected and decides it’s not going to honor this agreement and, with the prisoners’ day of liberation at hand, things get a bit sticky at the jail for the Anglo-American supervisors. So one Tuesday the British team on duty tell the Palestinians they’re off to get the car fixed, and no sooner have they gone than an Israeli team swoop in, seize the men, and announce they’ll be tried back in the Zionist Entity . . .