The Conditions in Which Terrorists Thrive

Enough is enough. We've had enough of terrorism and we've had enough of Yasser Arafat.

Al Gore uttered a memorable phrase at the Democratic Convention in 1988: "It's time for them to go," he said. Gore's ditty is now apt for Arafat and his henchmen in the Palestinian Authority.

Middle East "experts" warn that Arafat's replacement might be worse. It's an odd warning, given Arafat's duplicitous behavior and winks-and-nods at those terrorizing civilians in Israel and beyond in free countries.

It's also a standard warning from area "experts." Soviet experts in the early 1950s warned President Truman that he had better deal with Joseph Stalin. Otherwise, a real tough guy could exercise power from the Kremlin.

We'd have "no more Mr. Nice Guy" went the warning then, as now. Given Stalin's record of murdering at least 20 million of his own citizens and the establishment of his reign of terror, that warning seems ludicrous now.

Likewise, Arafat is hardly Mr. Nice Guy, a fact evident to all those but Middle East dreamers. With this month's 25 Israelis dead and 200 wounded — mostly civilians going about the life of free people everywhere — the warning seems nearly as ludicrous.

Middle East experts also speak of more Western aid to help alleviate "the conditions in which terrorists thrive." That's the phrase a British official used Monday to justify the U.K.'s yearly $20 million contribution — on top of the $160 million the European Union also gives — to the Palestinian Authority. Since 1994, the EU has handed Arafat just shy of $2 billion.

But the real "conditions in which terrorists thrive" consist not of material poverty but in the romanticism of terrorism by Arafat's gang. As Ron Csillag reported in the Toronto Star this week, Arafat's "Palestinian Authority (PA), since its establishment in 1994, has used its official media, education system and religious institutions to foment a pathological hatred of Israel and Jews and to inspire its citizenry, including children, to rise up in violence for the sake of Palestine."

Arafat twists the minds of his people, especially young men, to embrace suicide missions and thereby become martyrs for Allah and The Cause. No heroic martyrs come from aiding the "peace process" of the Oslo accords or the sundry U.S.-led peace initiatives.

Mr. Csillag describes how the mosques under Arafat's appointed preachers fuel hatred in the name of Islam. One cleric sermonized two weeks after Sept. 11: "Our belief is that this war, between us and the Jews, will continue to escalate until we vanquish the Jews and enter Jerusalem as conquerors, [and] enter Haifa [Jaffa] as conquerors. We are not merely expecting a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital; we are heralding [the creation of] an Islamic caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital."

In Arafat-supported schools, textbooks appear with no representation of Israel on the maps. New textbooks were introduced for the youngest Palestinian kids last year — some 8 years after the Oslo accords mandated Palestinian recognition of Israel's existence. These new textbooks for children in grades one to six, labeled even pre-1967 Israel as "usurped Palestine." And textbook discussions of Israel use the vile phrase the "Zionist enemy." One textbook equates Zionism with Nazism.

The other "conditions in which terrorists thrive" include Arafat's publications. These glorify martyrdom, encouraging young students to die for Palestine. Those killed by Israeli authorities are deemed not terrorists, but shahid, or martyrs.

As Csillag reports, "Incessant programming on official Palestinian television extols the dead and entices young people to sacrifice themselves." Arafat's TV spots and press pieces urge them to trade their toys for rocks to fight the enemy.

"A Palestinian Ministry of Information film seen on official TV summons children to seek death with one scene showing Muhammad al-Durra, the symbol of the uprising, calling on his peers to join him in Paradise."

Ideas have consequences. Arafat's spewing of hatred, and not poverty itself, shapes the real "conditions in which terrorists thrive."

It's past time for him to go — before yet another generation of innocent Palestinian youth becomes brainwashed by his warped romanticizing and promoting of terrorism.

Kenneth Adelman is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News, was assistant to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977 and, under President Ronald Reagan, U.N. ambassador and arms-control director. Mr. Adelman is now co-host of