Joined: 24 Feb 2003
|Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 4:55 am Post subject: Arafat's Heir - By Charles Krauthammer
By Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
January 7, 2005
Has no one learned anything?
On Sept. 13, 1993, I was on the White House lawn watching the signing of the Oslo accords. I also watched the intellectual collapse of the entire Middle East intelligentsia -- journalists, politicians, "experts" -- as they swooned at the famous handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin and refused, that day and for years to come, to recognize what was obvious: that Arafat was embarking not on peace but on the next stage of his perpetual war against Israel, this one to be launched far more advantageously from a base of Palestinian territory that Israel had just suicidally granted him.
Why was this so obvious? Because Arafat said so -- that very night (in an Arabic broadcast to his own people on Jordanian television) and many times afterward. The Middle East experts refused to believe it. They did not want to hear it. Then came the intifada. Thousands of dead later, they now believe it. The more honest ones among them even admit they were wrong.
Now Arafat is dead, Mahmoud Abbas is poised to succeed him and the world is swooning again. Abbas, we are told, is the great hope, the moderate, the opponent of violence, the man who has said the intifada was counterproductive.
The peacemaker cometh. Once again, euphoria is in the air. Once again, no one wants to listen to what is being said.
What do you think?