February 7, 2005


Middle East truce announced (Guardian Unlimited, Monday February 7, 2005)

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed a truce to end more than four years of fighting, both sides confirmed today.

Negotiators from both sides finalised the agreement during last-minute preparations for tomorrow's summit meeting between the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"The most important thing at the summit will be a mutual declaration of cessation of violence against each other," said Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator. An Israeli government official, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, confirmed the agreement, adding that the deal would also include an end to Palestinian incitement.

What's that, about ten weeks since Arafat died? The Israelis did themselves terrible harm by leaving him in place.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 7, 2005 2:01 PM

The Israelis left him alive because the Americans and the EU insisted that they do so. That has been the case since 1982 when he was in the crosshairs of a Israeli sniper's gun and the sniper was ordered by his superiors not to fire, because the Americans wanted Arafat to get out alive.

Had they offed the bastard then, we would have reached the stage we're at now about 24 hours after the Berlin Wall fell and the money to Papa Assad got cut off.

Posted by: Bart at February 7, 2005 2:18 PM


No, they left him because as Realists and contemptuous of Arabs they disbelieved in the possibility of democratic reform and thought him uniquely able to control Palestine.

Posted by: oj at February 7, 2005 2:45 PM

OJ: I disagree. They had a lot of other work to do in the meantime. For instance, they had to send Sheik Yassin and the other Hamas leaders such as the Doctor of Death to paradise. Getting rid of Arafat was a necessary but not a sufficent condition. Ihey also had to convince the Palestinian people that they had lost the war and I do not think they had done that until last spring.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 7, 2005 4:46 PM

It's also far from clear that things would be going this well had Israel obviously killed Arafat. I think Bart has a good point in that had Israel just killed Arafat, it wouldn't have made that much difference. The liquidation of all of those other terror chiefs was as significant factor as well. If only Israel and done that and bumped off Arafat immediately after the failure of Oslo.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 8, 2005 12:45 AM


Why not do Arafat while doing Hamas?

Posted by: oj at February 8, 2005 7:55 AM