To get beyond the rhetoric of the “war on
terrorism” it would make sense to understand what that terrorism is
about and address it, rather than conduct more war. The two central
issues stated by Al-Qaeda are: (1) U.S support of a corrupt,
autocratic Saudi Arabia (for U.S. access to oil) and, (2) the U.S.
failure to force Israel to negotiate a Palestinian state. Working to
divide and conquer, Israel now seeks to prevent Palestinian unity by
withholding from the Palestinian Authority’s own money lest Hamas find
support in a unified government. That is, Israel seeks permanent
division, not negotiation. The U.S. could force Israel to abandon this
strategy, force it to negotiate statehood with a unified Palestinian
government and, more broadly, undermine a legitimate cause for
Al-Qaeda hostility toward the U.S.