N400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 6 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 738 times:
QUIETING THE STREET
Who Needs Arafat?
The world could hardly be worse without the PLO chairman.
BY CAROLINE B. GLICK
Monday, December 17, 2001
TEL AVIV--Last week, in the wake of yet another massacre of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists, the Israeli security cabinet announced it was severing relations with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Although it has been obvious for some time that Mr. Arafat is an obstacle, not a means, to peace in the Middle East, most policy makers have been loath to voice this simple truth. The main concern is that while Mr. Arafat is clearly a source of instability, his replacement could be even worse. Many argue that the Palestinian Islamic terrorist group Hamas, which overtly rejects Israel's right to exist, is the most likely successor to Mr. Arafat's leadership.
Given the Palestinian Authority's public complacency and private cooperation with Hamas in its attacks against Israel, a growing number of Israelis now greet the possibility of a Hamas takeover with the unblinking response of "so what?" As retired Israeli general and terrorism expert Meir Dagan explained to me some months ago: "In a way it would be better if the Hamas takes over. Then there would be no ambiguity. Today, Arafat conducts a terrorist war against us and still enjoys international legitimacy as a peace partner. If the Hamas takes over, our goal will be clear--to defeat them. No one will argue that we have to negotiate with these people."
Yet while the prospect of a Hamas-led regime may have the positive feature of clarity, it is also highly unlikely. Although Palestinian support for Hamas has risen over the past 15 months, this public backing is due mainly to increased hatred for Israel rather than a swelling of support for Hamas's political or ideological agenda. A source from Israeli military intelligence explains the seeming contradiction: "Hamas is now supported by 30% of Palestinians in contrast to 9% of Palestinians who declared support for Hamas before the outbreak of violence in September 2000. However, it is very unlikely that in the event of Arafat's removal, this support will be translated into political backing of a Hamas regime. Palestinians are far from interested in establishing an Islamic state."
If not Hamas, then who can replace the chairman? Mr. Arafat, who has personally symbolized Palestinian nationalist aspirations for over a generation, has no single replacement. When Mr. Arafat goes, he--like Stalin--will be replaced by a junta. Israeli experts concur that the most likely successor regime will be a quadripartite coalition comprised of two political leaders and two military commanders who together possess the necessary resources to assume the helm.
The two political leaders, Mahmud Abbas, Mr. Arafat's No. 2 in the PLO, and Ahmed Queria, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, have risen to international prominence in their roles as lead negotiators with Israel over the past eight years. Mr. Abbas (a.k.a Abu Mazzan) is viewed as a statesman by Palestinians and Westerners alike. Last summer Mr. Abbas ran into trouble with Mr. Arafat when the Palestinian media reported that during meetings in Washington with Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice he discussed prospects for a successor regime to Mr. Arafat. After a few months in Mr. Arafat's doghouse, senior Palestinians prevailed upon their chief to bring his deputy back into the leadership fold. While acceptable politically to the Palestinians, Mr. Abbas lacks Mr. Arafat's charisma, and commands no military forces of his own.
Mr. Queria, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Ala, rose to international prominence as the chief Palestinian negotiator with Israel--a position he has held off and on since 1993. In this post, he cultivated good relations with the State Department and the European Union and built up the international bona fides to consolidate his position next to Mr. Abbas. More important for his future in a post-Arafat coalition is Mr. Queria's economic power. He has controlled and managed the PLO's finances for the past 20 years and has the economic muscle to ensure his place at the table.
The military commanders who will stand beside Messrs. Abbas and Queria are Jibril Rajoub and Mohamed Dahlan--the heads of the Palestinian preventive security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While Mr. Arafat has 13 separate security forces, the preventive security forces in both areas are the undisputed masters of their realms. Whereas all the other militias are comprised of officers and troops who came into the region with Mr. Arafat in 1994, the preventive security forces consist chiefly of locals. This distinction is crucial, for the main bone of contention between the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza and Mr. Arafat's PA has been the feeling among the majority of Palestinians that they replaced one foreign occupier--Israel--with another foreign occupier--Mr. Arafat's forces and cadres from abroad. Mr. Rajoub and Mr. Dahlan's men--the best trained and most disciplined forces in the PA--are the only ones considered to be "of the people."
Both Mr. Rajoub and Mr. Dahlan are charismatic local commanders who joined Mr. Arafat in Tunis after Israel deported them in 1988 for their leadership roles in the Palestinian uprising. Both have cultivated relations with the U.S., the EU and the Israeli military, and neither has assumed a direct role in the attacks against Israel over the past 15 months. Mr. Rajoub has prohibited his men from participating in terrorism and Mr. Dahlan has charged his deputy, Rashid Abu-Shabah, with taking command of the terrorist attacks his forces carry out in order to maintain a semblance of plausible deniability before the Israeli and U.S. governments.
These four men--and not Hamas--are the likely face of the Palestinian leadership in a post-Arafat era. Will they have more of an interest in ending the violence than Mr. Arafat?
The sense among the experts is that the four will be motivated to end the violence against Israel. One well-placed Israeli military source explains: "These four are going to need quiet from Israel and the United States to consolidate their power. To achieve this quiet they will have to put an end to the fighting."
Boaz Ganor, director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel, believes that even if the four are unable to end the violence, the situation under their leadership will be no worse than the current one under Mr. Arafat. In his view, "Even if Arafat is assassinated, the violence will not worsen. Today the Palestinians are hitting Israel with everything they have. Arafat's departure will not impact their capabilities so even if their motivation to attack Israel rises, their ability to do so will remain constant."
Although Mr. Arafat's removal will not be a panacea to the region's woes, and while the unabated Palestinian terrorist attacks of the past 15 months make it difficult to look to the future with optimism, a future without Mr. Arafat will scarcely be worse that the present with him. And, with the proper management, it could be far better.
Iainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 668 times:
Sharon is just as bad as Arafat! If he wanted peace, he would not go and attack Palestine! Especially getting their police stations and complain how they are not arresting enough people! Well duh they hardly have a police force left!
You need to get rid of these old guys who have so much hate, and the young purists, and get some middle aged eevryday people to run the regions, then there would be peace!
N400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 654 times:
>If he wanted peace, he would not go and attack Palestine
Hey, the USA wants peace. That is WHY we are attacking. You are so blinded by your pacifism that you don't realize that war is the only way to peace in these situations. You cannot negotiate with terrorists, nor should you.
>Well duh they hardly have a police force left!
Yeah, all the Palestinian police are being killed by Israelis... for shooting into crowds of Jews and killing them.
LY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 11 Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 641 times:
Considering the fact that the Palestinian Police force is not in proportion to the Palestinian population (about 4-5 times greater than necessary), I wouldn't worry about Arafat being left without armed goons. He has more than enough of them, and its no excuse for not preventing terrorist attacks.
Avi From Israel, joined Sep 2001, 922 posts, RR: 6 Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 638 times:
It is amazing how all of you are forgetting that Sharon was NOT Israel prime minister when Arafat started the violence and he did it because Barak (Israel P.M at the time) was not ready to do a collective suicide.
Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 633 times:
Hey, the USA wants peace. That is WHY we are attacking. You are so blinded by your pacifism that you don't realize that war is the only way to peace in these situations. You cannot negotiate with terrorists, nor should you.-You are deluded if you think you can fight terrorism on a long term scale.
Iainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 625 times:
400QX fighting back without goals (like Israel) will not solve the problem. The attacks will just go back and forth. About shooting the jews, the number of jews that have been shot are minimal compared to the murder of the palestinians by the Israelie police.
Cba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4530 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 623 times:
Just when I think that N400QX can't possibly post anything more biggoted and conservative, he starts a new thread.
"Everyone that wants peace for the Jews. Everyone that wants their country theirs again. Everyone that wants them to have the Promised Land again."
This is the biggest load of bullshit I've ever read. The "Promised Land"? In case you haven't noticed, the so called "Promised Land" is Palestine. By your knowledge, just because Israel is the birthplace of Judaism doesn't give us the right to just kick out the Palestinians.
Say that you live in Texas, California, or any former Mexican terrority, and your family has lived there for generations. Then one day, out of the blue, it is agreed that the US will cede Texas to Mexico, as Mexico claims that the land rightfully belongs to them, and the land is ceded to Mexico. Mexican troops occupy your town, take your home, and force you out. What would you do? This is what happened to the Palestinians.
According to N400QX, Palestine should just bend over and take it without complaining, or doing anything. I know damn well that you wouldn't do this if your home was taken. Admit it QX, you'd be one of the first terrorists if your home was taken in the same unfair manor that Palestine was. Now, if you support Israel, but say that you'd fight to the death to defend your homeland, then maybe you need to have your head examined.
I'm not saying that I support the Palestinean terrorists, and I don't have anything against Jews, or Israelies. Some of my best friends are Jewish, and have family living in Israel. The problem with this conflict is that we have a very difficult situation, and two hot-heads on opposing sides. Sharon is a butcher, and it doesn't look like Arafat is much better.
N400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 604 times:
>By your knowledge, just because Israel is the birthplace of Judaism doesn't give us the right to just kick out the Palestinians.
It is much more complicated than you'd like to make it seem. The Jews were given the Promised Land thousands of years ago and have inhabited it for nearly all of it. Of course they were subject to Muslim occupation for some of that time (Islam has been around for... 1400 years?). I wonder if you knew that when the Muslims came in, they tried to find the EXACT location of the old Temple so they could place their mosque on top of it.
>This is what happened to the Palestinians.
That is not what happened to the Palestinians. The Palestinians (a) haven't lived there nearly as long as the Jews, and (b) aren't really Palestinians-- they are a big group of Muslims from other Arab areas that migrated there.
>According to N400QX, Palestine should just bend over and take it without complaining
Well, Palestine doesn't exist, but the Palestinians aren't bending over to take anything! What they are 'taking' is retaliation for their sensless and barbaric murder of innocent civilians on busses, stations, malls, and streets.
>you'd be one of the first terrorists if your home was taken in the same unfair manor that Palestine was
More crap... "unfair manor"? Give me a break. And I don't think I'd ever stoop so low as a Palestinian terrorist. You just DON'T target civilians for your cause. It is cowardly and barbaric.
>Now, if you support Israel, but say that you'd fight to the death to defend your homeland, then maybe you need to have your head examined.
You're not making much sense. Of course I'd fight to the death to defend Israel. I'd do the same for America. Why would I need my head examined?
>I'm not saying that I support the Palestinean terrorists
Cba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4530 posts, RR: 3 Reply 19, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 601 times:
In case you haven't noticed, one of Islam's sacred sites is located in Jerusalem. The Palestinians lived their almost as long as the Jews did. Just because the Jews believe that God revealed Israel as their promised land does not give them the right to kick out Palestine. It would not have happened either had the US and the Brits written off Palestine. Just another example of poor US foreign policy.