View Full Version : Arafat Should Step Down

07-30-04, 06:42 AM
Allan Topol: Arafat Should Step Down

There is an old expression: "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." This applies with precision to Yasir Arafat, the President of the Palestinian authority. He is now the single largest obstacle in the way of progress to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Arafat has blood on his hands from numerous suicide bombings that have maimed and killed thousands of Israelis. At one time, many Palestinians viewed him as a romantic revolutionary -- their hero -- willing to stand up to superior Israeli military force. In recent months, Arafat's support has taken a nose dive among his own people -- and for good reason.

At Camp David, in the closing days of the Clinton Administration, Clinton's pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Barak led the Israeli leader to offer terms for a settlement that was more generous than anyone could have imagined. Barak was proposing a reasonable territorial agreement, calling for extensive Israeli withdrawals from Gaza and the West Bank. In addition, Israel was prepared to yield ground on two of their previous non-negotiable points: the sovereignty of Jerusalem and return of Palestinian refugees.

The American negotiators believed Arafat would take the deal and with good reason. It gave the Palestinians the independent state they have wanted for so many years. The atmosphere at Camp David at that point was optimistic. Members of the Palestinian delegation flatly told the American negotiators that the parties had a deal.

Then the always mercurial Arafat left both Clinton and Barak at the alter. The former Nobel Prize winner for "peace" gave a resounding "no" to the Israeli offer. It was a travesty for the Palestinian people, who are more in need of a settlement than the Israelis.

Following Camp David, Arafat did something far worse. He launched the intifada, a fancy word for having Palestinian civilians, including teenagers and pregnant women, strap explosives filled with nails to their bodies. They slipped into Israel and blew themselves up on Israeli buses, in restaurants, and at busy intersections.

For several months, the intifada took a tremendous toll on Israel. Gradually, through superior intelligence, construction of a security barrier and assassination of terrorist leaders, Israel has gained the upper hand. Many of the assassinations have been perfectly timed and civilian deaths have been minimal. Their result has been significant. Once you cut off the head of the snake, it stops moving.

Thus, after so many long months of violence, it is clear that Arafat has led the Palestinian people into even more misery. Understandably, Palestinian jobs in Israel have been terminated with a devastating effect on the Palestinian economy. Gaza and the West Bank have become a virtual prison. Thank you Yasir Arafat.

But there's more to it than that. Arafat's rule has been characterized by enormous corruption, cronyism and indifference to what his people want. His pals line their pockets with cash. Friends and relatives, most recently Arafat's nephew, are appointed to key positions, regardless of their lack of qualifications.

As an apparent concession to internal critics, Arafat permitted the election of a Palestinian Prime Minister. Two have been chosen. Each time, Arafat undercut the Prime Minister's power. Arafat has refused to permit the organization of an effective security force, for fear he would lose control of the Palestinian military.

There are many intelligent, pragmatic Palestinians who are sick and tired of what Arafat is doing to their people. Increasingly, they are making their voices heard.

Prime Minister Sharon's decision to withdraw from Gaza has provided the catalyst for the Palestinian opponents of Arafat. They realize that they are being presented with a golden opportunity -- self rule in Gaza. It will be the beginning of a Palestinian state that will be joined by territory on the West Bank. But in order to govern, it will require institutions.

As long as Arafat continues to rule, there will be no development of governmental institutions. No dialogue with the United States. No international support. Even the Europeans, Arafat's biggest supporters in the past, are now fed up with him.

Arafat's people are in tatters. Their land is in ruins. Still, this seventy-four-year-old, who has outlived his utility, clings to power. There is only one good thing he can now do for the Palestinian people: resign.


Sgt Sostand
07-30-04, 01:35 PM
Arafat should be kill.

07-30-04, 02:23 PM
That's where all the terrorist BS comes from- Israel and the occupied territories.

07-30-04, 02:26 PM
There's only one thing Arafat and his band want and its not the Pallestinian territories - it's Israel. No amount of accomodation or negotiation will ever get over that hurdle. Hell, Palestinian maps don't even include the state of Israel.

07-30-04, 02:31 PM
Then let them fight it out and let's stay out of the way. Israel can take care of themselves. They have the best military in the region (besides our troops) and they have nukes.

07-30-04, 02:41 PM
terrorist BS?

Are you suggesting that there are no terrorists and Isreal is just making it up or are you suggesting that all terrorists are from Isreal? Or both?

Hey, did you get your Conpiracy Theorists Newsletter this month? Did you see the article on how the Mossad killed the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause while they were protecting Arafat? It's a great article!

(note: the preceding was just sarcasm that I give Eddie all the time. I, in no way, wanted to suggest that the article mentioned was a good one - I was kidding. It was poorly written and didn't have any pictures)

07-30-04, 02:58 PM
You misunderstood me. My point is that a lot of our problems with terrorism have to do with our relationship with Israel. The Arabs see the Israelis as an occupying force over the Palestinians and they see American made gunships blowing their people away. Of course there is going to be some blowback from how cozy we are with Israel. I don't deny the existence of terrorists. I just feel the root of it is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have also not been coming here with my conspiracy theories since I came back from my break from the forum. I know people here don't want to hear about that, so I just give my take on the issues now without hashing out conspiracy theories.

07-30-04, 03:41 PM
I agree with you wholeheartedly on this issue. However, I don't feel that we should have to turn our backs on an ally because two religions don't mesh well together.

Seriously, if the arabic population would leave Isreal alone and some sort of land agreement could be reached there would be peace. But if the Isrealis were to leave the Palestinians alone, they would just keep attacking.

This is not a give and take relationship. If America pulled out of Iraq and the middle east all together, do you really feel terrorists will just pack it up and go get real jobs somewhere?

You are 100% correct Eddie - Unfortunately

(note: I'll stop razzing you about the CTs)

07-30-04, 03:59 PM
Hopefully after Arafat is gone more moderate leaders will rise up. Leaders that are tired of all the bloodshed and want to see their children have a real future. And thanks for laying off me about the CTs. If in the future I ramble about CTs feel free to razz me. That will remind me that I'm just turning people off. I enjoyed this exchange between us. Take care.