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What about the Europeans?

Reader comment on item: Bush on Israel: Heartburn for All

Submitted by TL (United States), Mar 5, 2003 at 01:21

Sharon is in a difficult position. Before I go on, it is important to note that Sharon does not want to see a Palestinian state next to Israel. Just take a look at footage of him speaking at mass demonstrations protesting the 1993 Oslo accords (i.e. permitting Arafat to return and rule the territories, and transferring control of most of Judea and Samaria and Gaza to the Palestinian Authority). Sharon spent his life resisting Arab aggression and staying one step ahead of thugs like Yassir Arafat.

Sharon realizes that what's done is done. The Labour party committed Israel to accept a Palestinian state. The pressure on Israel is especially heavy from Europe. While Bush Jr. can't seem to make up his mind about American foreign policy with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Europeans (themselves being pressured by Arab states) insist that a Palestinian state be established as soon as possible. There's much at stake here for Israel. Unlike the US, Europe is Israel's main trade partner. Crush Arafat and the Europeans will undoubtedly put economic sanctions in place that will further devastate Israel's (currently) fragile economy.

Sharon is trying to be practical given the current situation. He knows that a Palestinian state will be created one way or another. So, instead of resisting the Americans and Europeans by denying the Palestinians their own state (even though they already have one and it's called Jordan) and complicating things by putting Israel at odds with its allies, Sharon put together a list of requirements that must be met before a Palestinian state exist next to Israel. The way he sees it, if a Palestinian state will be created, it might as well be created on his terms.

Israelis can thank Rabin and Peres for this wonderful arrangement. Not only did the Oslo accords they signed commit Israel to accept a Palestinian state led by one of the world's most beastly terrorists, it also made the world see Arafat in a completely different way. Before the Oslo Accords, Arafat was seen by many as a terrorist, a leader of an Islamic militia if you will. Now, the world regards Arafat as a "head of state", the so-called "President" of the Palestinian people. You can kill a terrorist and the world may look away, but kill a "President" and you'll need to answer some pretty tough questions.
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