Two seemingly unrelated events in the waning days and hours of 2006 pretty much summed up everything you need to know about the Arab-Israeli conflict.Their meaning can be characterized simply: The Arab world's obsession with eradicating the State of Israel and the West's willingness to deceive itself about the character of Arab leaders and their intentions both are based on lies.
The more famous of the two events was the hanging of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In his final moments before he got his just desserts, the doomed Iraqi once again played the card that he and other Arab despots have always used with impunity: Israel.
Thus, among his finalcomments on the gallows came this declaration: "Palestine is Arab!"
Why invoke this cause with his last breath? Because even at that moment he still
thought it worth a try to deflect discussion of his comeuppance to that of the
conflict with Israel.
Another event that was received with far less fanfare took place only days before Hussein's death. It was the release of a 33-year-old classified document by the United States State Department. It confirmed what had long been rumored: that the late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat personally ordered the murders of two kidnapped American diplomats in March 1973.
Members of a PLO-front group called "Black September gunned down the two, Cleo Noel, U.S. ambassador to Sudan, and the embassy's Charge d'Affaires George Moore, along
with Guy Eid, a Belgian envoy, in cold blood." The supposed separate identity of
the group —which was also responsible for the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli
Olympic athletes in Munich — from that of Arafat's Fatah was a cover
story intended to separate the Palestinian mainstream from its more egregious
Arafat denied any role in these murders to the day of his own death in 2004. Though he was the godfather of modern terror, he sought to burnish his mythical image as a statesman to the West. But this was nothing compared to the self-deception of Western governments who knew better, particularly the employers of Noel and Moore, the United States State Department.