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Who can trust Yasser Arafat any longer?

Reader comment on item: Will Yasser Arafat try to stop suicide bombings?

Submitted by David M. Dastych (Poland), May 16, 2002 at 12:41

Dear Sirs,

Dr. Pipes is right: Arafat wants to destroy Israel. He always has supported the same goal but failed to reach it. He's certainly the master of the double-talk. He usually speaks of "making peace" and makes war. His position, his fortune, his leadership is based on the confrontation with Israel. Having failed to destroy Israel in 1948, 1967 and in 1973 the hostile Arab states have chosen a tactics of harrassment (of which an example could be the war waged from Lebanon in the 1980's) and also failed. The last choice is a terrorist war waged from the P.A. against the heartland of Israel.
What can Chairman Arafat do now? Can he stop the terror? No. He has no power to do it. He is being outmanouvred by Hamas and by other more radical Palestinian formations, eager to control the P.A. and to lead the Palestinian people to a "final victory" (read: final destruction!).
Yaser Arafat is fabulously rich due to the decades of receiving financial and other help from the Arab and other countries. He's still very popular in the P.A. He's still one of the top World's public figures (owing his popularity mainly to his enemies: the Jews). But he has no idea how to reform the mess he's created himself. Making deals with Yaser Arafat is a big mistake. These deals will not hold water and will produce nothing positive.
Why should the U.S. Government and the Government of Israel be bound to choose Hamas instead of Arafat? The only reason could be: to destroy them. If anybody still wants a really peaceful Palestinian State as Israel's neighbor, he should search for moderate Arab leaders who are bold enough to tell the Palestinian public: you have no choice, make peace with your Jewish neighbor and build a democratic state! No democracy under Arafat's leadership. His leadership is as "democratic" as that of Saddam Hussain in Iraq!


journalist in Warsaw, Poland
May 16, 2002

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