Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - The big winner?
Photo: AFP

Iran wins at Annapolis

Like all other conferences, latest meeting will lead to more violence, regional instability

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been lashing out publicly the past few days at the US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, denouncing the meeting as a Zionist conspiracy and slamming fellow Arab countries for participating.


But if anyone is sitting happy after yesterday's events, it's the little man in Iran, whose country and its proxies have emerged more empowered.


First let's look at the Palestinian side. President Bush read a joint declaration that committed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to conclude negotiations by the end of next year aimed at an Israeli evacuation of much of the strategic West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, handing the territories over to Abbas' US-backed security forces.


The idea this can lead to peace is predicated on the false US notion Abbas is moderate when indeed his Fatah organization and its declared military wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is responsible for more terrorism than Hamas. Fatah terrorists took responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years and for thousands of shooting and rocket attacks.


Just days before Abbas departed for Annapolis, members of his security forces shot and killed a Jew in the northern West Bank, declaring their "resistance" will continue until "all territories" are liberated.

It is these terror-saturated security forces, whose members double as Brigades terrorists, that are supposed to crack down on terrorism once Israel evacuates the West Bank!


Abbas' Brigades regularly receives money from the Iranian backed Lebanese Hizbullah militia, and let us not forget the "moderate" Abbas was in a coalition government with the Iranian-backed Hamas terror group and has paid Hamas salaries.


But Abbas and his Fatah forces are largely irrelevant. Hamas has announced if Israel hands territory to Abbas, then Hamas will take over.


Earlier this month, Hamas' chief in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a frequent visitor to Iran, became the most senior Hamas terror leader to state this when he told a massive rally: "Israel thinks Fatah in the West Bank is there to serve it, but we will take over the West Bank the way we took over Gaza."


It was only five months ago al-Zahar's Hamas forces humiliated Abbas when in less than seven days they took complete control of the Gaza Strip, seizing all American-backed Fatah security compounds in the territory and even taking possession of weapons that our tax dollars provided to Abbas. America's Fatah paper tiger pathetically fell like a deck of cards.


One step closer to victory

This week, Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' so-called military wing, told me he is "very happy" with the results of yesterday's summit, explaining he hopes the US pushes through a peace accord with Abbas so Hamas can then take over the territory.


This isn't empty rhetoric from some Iranian-backed gunman. Hours before the start of yesterday's summit, the Israeli Defense Forces cracked down on a cell of leading Hamas militants suspected of setting up a Hamas executive force for the terror group to take over the West Bank.


Israeli security officials say they have specific information Hamas is quietly setting the stages for an imminent West Bank takeover attempt. The officials stress Abbas is not strong enough in the West Bank to impose law and order without the help of the IDF. According to the officials, Fatah's intelligence apparatus routinely hands the IDF lists of Hamas militants that threaten Fatah rule, requesting that Israel make arrests. What will Abbas do when Israel evacuates?


Iran must also be sitting happy since its proxy state Syria is exiting Annapolis victorious. Syria is in a military alliance with Iran and is accused by the US of supporting the insurgency in Iraq and generating instability in Lebanon, where the Syrian-backed Hezbollah militia has used its parliamentary veto power to paralyze the country.


Israel says Syria regularly ships Iranian rockets and weaponry to Hizbullah. The chiefs of the Hamas and Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terror groups are based in Damascus. Syria is also accused by Israel of holding Israeli soldiers missing in action, including Brooklyn-born Zachary Baumel, who was captured by Syrian forces 23 years ago.


Syria was invited to Annapolis without any preconditions or pledges to cease its backing of terrorism or its meddling in Lebanese affairs. Bush wrongly believed he could isolate Iran from Damascus by inviting Syria to Annapolis, but the egg is all over the US president's face.


Syria now has learned it can have its cake and eat it, too. It realizes it can support terrorism and generate regional instability and still get invited to prestigious US conferences without even having to make deceitful promises of moderation.


Not only that, but Syria gets to terrorize the region and win diplomatically, too – in exchange for its attendance, the US allowed Syria to put the issue of the Golan Heights on yesterday's agenda. The mere mentioning of the Golan by Abbas and by multiple Arab states now focuses international attention on the issue more than anytime the past 10 years and has brought more momentum in Syria's and Iran's favor.

Syria cannot breathe without Iranian permission, let alone decide to attend the Annapolis conference. This coup was coordinated. Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad played Bush for a fool.


And then we have Saudi Arabia, no friend of Iran, but its agenda regarding Israel jibes with Tehran. In his speech yesterday, Olmert recognized the importance of a Saudi-backed plan – termed the Arab Peace Initiative – widely criticized in Jerusalem as leaving Israel with truncated, indefensible borders. The plan, among other things, calls for Israel to give up the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in addition to the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip, eastern Jerusalem and the whole of the Golan, which Syria twice used to launch ground invasions into Israel.


Bush's and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's Annapolis adventure is poised to fail just as every single other US-backed Israeli-Palestinian conference before it from the Madrid conference through the

Oslo process through the Camp David summit in 2000 has failed. And just as all other conferences and summits – 100 percent of the time – led to more violence, terrorism and regional instability, so too will Annapolis. Only this time, it will be Iran that will advance on the chessboard, with its proxies one step closer to victory.


Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for and is author of the bestselling book "Schmoozing with Terrorists"


פרסום ראשון: 11.29.07, 09:12
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