September 10, 2003
Is Arafat about to be whacked?
As I read between the lines of today's Ha'aretz online, I wonder whether Israel might be on the verge of finally killing Yasser Arafat.
This column, by cabinet minister Yosef Paritzky, explains why the oft-discussed proposal to exile Arafat is not a good idea:
The expulsion would bestow upon Arafat status as an exiled ruler, as a kind of martyr cast out of his homeland by a cruel conqueror. There would be no better way to confer to Arafat such vaunted international status, precisely the image he so badly craves. The elite corridors in Europe would open up to him; international media would regularly interview him; and such success would be nothing, compared to the way Arafat's stock would soar in the Arab world. Have we become so witless that we would, on our own initiative, grant Arafat such lofty stature?
On the other hand, unnamed senior Israeli officials say
Israel's response to the bombings would be harsh and swift. The source said that a response was expected during the course of the coming weekend.
Asked to respond to the growing calls for the expulsion of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, a senior member of the Israeli delegation to India said that "a decision will have to be made about him. Arafat is the main hindrance to the peace process, and we have seen how he brought about the resignation of Abu Mazen. Arafat continues to advocate a strategy of terror as a means of exerting pressure during negotiations, and he will not be allowed to succeed."
So keeping Arafat under virtual house arrest has not worked and exiling Arafat will not work. What would be the other options for removing him from the scene?
Please, no wagering.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 10, 2003 12:26 PM
Araft has not really been kept under house arrest. There are more comings and goings at the Mukata than at a 1/2 price Las Vegas brothel.
A true house arrest where no phones, no cameras, no Adam Shapiros and no European well wishers are allowed -- where he is left their with his baby wipes, dannon water, stack of paper work and smelly socks -- would be the most effective method short of hauling him into court for a Eichmann trial.
He will not be killed, and he may never die. But he can at least truly live a life of isolation. Away from the media, away from his billions.
I mourn the loss of life in Israel, but no matter what happens, Arafat is the safest person in the middle east, his life guaranteed by ariel sharon, the strongest party. I assume the calculus of keeping him alive is to not martyr him and have him there as a demon which prevents a shift in the status quo of near war but not total war. If he were gone, the left would probably argue that now a pali who we could negotiate with must be dealt with, and the right would say, now they are all hamas, let's kill em all. No sane israeli leader wants to take the risk (the former one of a sane pali leader being a joke anyhow, but the hamasification of the entire populace being a bigger problem).
Whatever problems attend exiling Arafat, they are many times greater for killing him. Were that to happen, Arafat's radical chic status would be greater than Che Guevara's, greater than Castro's, perhpas even greater than Malcolm X's.
It would be a PR disaster. That said, it could come to that anyway. I'm a big believer in severing the Gordian knot with a clear and unmitigated military victory over the forces arrayed against Israel, whatever the cost in lives and political capital. A new set of facts must be established on the ground to which people can accomodate themselves, on terms dictated by the Israelis. The status quo is entirely unacceptable for everyone concerned, and since the principal power in the conflict is Israel, they ought to do what they can, while forcing the Palestinians to endure what they must, until Israel is free from their barabarism.
The PA needs to be forced into a position wherein they are willing to accept practically anything other than the present condition. That means creating a very nasty present condition for them. When they're prepared to beg Israel for quarter, peace will be given free reign. Not before.
Peace without victory is a farce, and Israel has mastered the art of guiltily snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Killing Arafat might just be the key. I suppose we'll see.
Wagering?! Let ME pull that trigger!
I am an excellent shot, just send me the tickets, have a gun provided and the ammo....
(.308, please!.........50 cal. splatters well! ;o) )
Anyone know where I can find more information?
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Finally someone may have gotten Arafat to eat some soup! I have said for years this day may come, hope it is sooner than later. If Isreal poisoned the soup, lets hope peace will soon follow. Rejoice!