April 21, 2004


Fenced in, frustrated Arafat speaks out: Palestinian leader talks to The Monitor about Bush, Sharon, and the
struggle for peace. (Jane Lampman, 4/22/04, CS Monitor)

In a tumultuous 40-year odyssey, Arafat has gone from armed revolutionary steeped in a violent struggle against Israel; to found Fatah, a militantly nationalist Palestinian organization, in the early 1960s; to peacemaker and 1994 Nobel Prizewinner; to the first elected Palestinian president; and now, to semisidelined leader.

A decade ago, Israel and the US considered him a terrorist who was trying to reform and lead his people to statehood. Now they consider him a failure in that, and blame him for igniting and fueling the intifada that broke out in 2000. Israel insists he is directly involved in terrorist actions, unable or unwilling to stem violence that has killed more than 900 Israelis and more than 2,000 Palestinians over the past four years.

An October 2003 poll by Palestinian researchers found that a majority of Palestinians said that they do "not feel the presence of the PA after three years of Israeli reoccupation of most of the West Bank and Gaza Strip." When asked to evaluate the performance of the PA, 61.4 percent said it was bad to very bad.

Indeed, since the second intifada, the suicide bomber, considered a martyr in Palestinian society, has challenged Arafat as the ultimate representation of the Palestinian people.

A society that considers the suicide bomber the ultimate representation of its people is truly deranged. It badly needs shock therapy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2004 11:29 PM

A death cult is not a society.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 22, 2004 12:29 AM

When the fence is finished and the Palestinians have their own state, you get the feeling that all the factions within their movement are going to start suicide bombing each other in order to try and gain total control over the new state. If and when that happens, maybe the general public in Gaza and thew West Bank will come to their senses.

Posted by: John at April 22, 2004 8:00 AM

After the fence/wall goes up, we are going to see the biggest, bloodiest gang war since the days of The Five Families and Al Capone, but one that doesn't have to worry about its effects on civilians or the police The IDF is just making sure the groups are run by Fredo and that mobster always bested by Bugs Bunny.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 22, 2004 12:06 PM