A MIX OF IDEAS
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Israel Over P.A. Aid
crack Obama continues to put
the terrorist-laden Palestinian
territories on the same political
plane as Israel — doing a grave disservice
to Israel and America.
Following a meeting with Palestinian
Authority (RA.) President Mahmoud
Abbas on June 9, the American president
announced he would budget another $400
million to improve conditions in the Gaza
Strip and the West Bank while not calling
out the terrorist leadership in the Gaza
Strip and the terror-tolerating leadership
in the West Bank.
Obama called the situation in the
Gaza Strip "unsustainable but was more
inclined to call for Israel to ease its block-
ade of the Hamas-run strip than condemn
llamas for keeping its citizens in forced
poverty. The blockade is aimed at prevent-
ing weapons and bomb-making materials
from being smuggled to llamas under the
guise of humanitarian aid.
Abbas had the chutzpah to call the nine
deaths aboard the Turkish-flagged Mavi
Marmara trying to run the blockade on
May 31 "a massacre despite evidence that
the Israeli sailors acted in self-defense
after boarding the ship and being con-
fronted with violence precipitated by
supporters of IHH, a Turkish group with
proven ties to Hamas and Al Qaida.
In their meeting, Obama and Abbas
discussed what Obama called "a better
approach to Gaza." Abbas, a founding
member of the P.A.'s Fatah party, made
sure he got a slice of the booty for the
West Bank. Obama pledged $400 million
"for housing, school construction, busi-
ness development — not only in Gaza,
but also in the West Bank:' The increase
is on top of Obama's 2009 pledge of $900
million to the Palestinians. Gaza disburse-
ments go through international agencies
vetted against ties to Hamas.
Helping lift innocent Palestinians from
poverty is one thing; doing so while see-
ing Israel's defensive acts in the same
light as violence perpetrated on Israelis by
Palestinian terrorist factions is something
Fatah's terrorist wings, the Al Aqsa
Martyrs Brigades and Tanzim, have killed
more than 600 Israeli civilians over the
past 10 years. Fatah itself, meanwhile,
has rejected all of its obligations under
the 1990s Oslo Accords and the 2003
Roadmap for Peace.
Abbas said he would consider direct
peace talks once U.S.-brokered proximity
negotiations with Israel had "progressed"
on the "core issues" of borders, Jerusalem
GO BACK TO
and refugees. Given his and llamas'
approach to all three issues, direct peace
talks aren't in the cards.
Obama gave direction to both sides.
He pressed Israel to curb settlement
growth and recognize "some of the prog-
ress that has been made by the Palestinian
Authority when it comes to issues like
security" On the Palestinian side, he said,
"I was very frank with President Abbas
that we have to continue to make more
progress on both security as well as incite-
As a precondition for continued U.S. aid
to the P.A, however, Obama should have
demanded an immediate end to incite-
ment against Israel in P.A.-controlled
mosques, news media, schools and youth
camps. Abbas told Obama that he is the
only Arab leader to centralize Friday
sermons and remove imams who incite
against Israel and that the P.A. has dis-
missed hundreds of teachers and preach-
ers who peddled anti-Israel invective.
But Abbas whitewashed that he has
barely dented the Palestinian armor of hate,
reinforcing the seeming P.A. strategy to win
a Palestinian state alongside Israel as stage
one toward eliminating the Jewish state.
By awarding humanitarian aid to the
Palestinians without tough demands for
changed behavior, President Obama in
effect is rewarding unmitigated hatred of
Collapse Of The Tax Man
t is rather difficult to catch a politi-
cian in reflection, or even in mild
I had the chance to do that, however,
several years ago. I had been chosen by
the Detroit News to accompany Shiawassee
County Drain Commissioner Robert Tisch
on his rounds for the day in the Republican
gubernatorial primary of 1982.
He was vehemently against any new
taxes and called himself "Tisch, the Tax
Cutter." He referred often to his son who
had moved to South Carolina because he
couldn't afford the property taxes here
His attitude was ebullient as we met at
his office in Corunna. A quick stop near
Lansing at Mickey D's for lunch and we
were on our way.
Then it was on to Kalamazoo and anoth-
er, more formal meal at a downtown hotel.
Tisch counted the house and I
could tell it was nowhere near
what he had anticipated. Still, he
soldiered, hoping the day might
yet bring better things.
We made our way eastward
on 1-94 across the state until we
came to a bowling alley in one
of the Downriver towns. The
parking lot was jammed. You
could almost see Tisch and his
tiny entourage perk up as we
pulled in. This was it. They had
been out there the whole time,
just waiting for the man and the
message to show up together.
We were ushered through the alley por-
tion of the building and taken into a back
room. And it was like we had never left
Kalamazoo. In a room holding 10 tables,
barely three were filled.
I watched his face crumble.
He answered a few questions
about the evils of taxation, but
I could see his heart wasn't in it
anymore. This was not the day
he'd had in mind.
We drove back across the
metro area to Channel 7. There
was dead silence in the car. No
doubt Tisch was trying to figure
out who had asked me along on
this fool's errand.
More perfunctory answers
from the candidate on a local
interview show, as he was just
starting to understand that he
had absolutely no chance.
The two of us climbed into the back seat
as his driver pulled out of the lot and start-
ed back to Corunna. He closed his eyes for a
moment and then waved towards the skies.
"I was in Algeria during the war',' said
Tisch. "There were nights out in the desert
when it looked exactly like this. Stars from
horizon to horizon, and you get an idea of
how really tiny we are.
"What was I back then? A teenager. I
made up mind that I wanted to accom-
plish something important when I finally
got home. When the tax issue came along,
I said to myself, 'This is it."
But no, as it turned out, it wasn't. The
years kept rolling along and all he had to
show for them was appearances at local
bowling alleys. He dropped me off at my
car in Corunna. We waved our goodbyes,
and I never saw him again.
Tisch died in 1997. Maybe he deserved
better. Maybe not.
George Cantor's e-mail address is
June 24 • 2010