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Arafat is Dead Man Walking
March 29, 2002 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Arafat is Dead Man Walking Looking grim here in the Old USA. Wonder what the future holds?
posted by Niahmas (32 comments total)

 
dead man rotting, hopefully.
posted by quonsar at 12:27 PM on March 29, 2002


Check this out!
posted by Niahmas at 12:38 PM on March 29, 2002


That was a refreshingly balanced piece. Thanks for the link, Niahmas.
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:38 PM on March 29, 2002


Its also a few weeks old, and therefore out of sync with the fast-paced changes in these
Games Without Frontiers.
posted by BentPenguin at 12:44 PM on March 29, 2002


War without tears
posted by Niahmas at 1:05 PM on March 29, 2002


I never understood one of the Palestinian demands mentioned in this link, that of the right of return of refugees. Maybe somebody more knowledgeable can help out?

Why in the world would Israel allow this? Doesn't it make mockery of the whole idea of national borders? Especially with Israel being the one state on the planet surrounded by neighbors pledged to its destruction.

Is this something that's ever been seriously negotiated, or is it a blowhard rallying cry for the "Arab Street"? It's so bizarre that I'm sure I misunderstand it.
posted by luser at 1:35 PM on March 29, 2002


wow, did anyone see the interview with him a few minutes ago? he told amanpour to shut up, then hung up on her... she said he was probably under a lot of stress (being bombed)
posted by rhyax at 1:54 PM on March 29, 2002


what were the specifics, rhyax?
posted by mapalm at 2:14 PM on March 29, 2002


Why in the world would Israel allow this? Doesn't it make mockery of the whole idea of national borders? Especially with Israel being the one state on the planet surrounded by neighbors pledged to its destruction.

They'll never, ever allow it, because they know it means that Israel would eventually become a Palestinian state through sheer population alone. It's just a way to destroy Israel slowly from the inside instead of through war.
posted by aaron at 2:17 PM on March 29, 2002


Why in the world would Israel allow this? Doesn't it make mockery of the whole idea of national borders? Especially with Israel being the one state on the planet surrounded by neighbors pledged to its destruction.

They'll never, ever allow it, because they know it means that Israel would eventually become a Palestinian state through sheer population alone. It's just a way to destroy Israel slowly from the inside instead of through war.
posted by aaron at 2:17 PM on March 29, 2002


Did anyone check out the index page of that site...

NYTimes

Seniors USA

Maybe they should have an article called "Editor page design stealing" instead?
posted by srboisvert at 2:23 PM on March 29, 2002


but surely, aaron, you understand the emotional attachment the palestinians must feel to their ancestral homeland?
posted by shylock at 2:48 PM on March 29, 2002


Arafat's not just a dead man walking, he's been for some time now a man trapped in a corner with no way out. If Israel ever wanted peace, they want peace on their terms, which includes Israel never being a Palestinian state, and as Aaron pointed out, if they don't segregate, Israel will lose its independent status by sheer numbers. The people Arafat claims to lead also want peace on their terms, which includes the dissolution of Israel as it existed. Arafat wanted to play peacekeeper and appease the world, but if he went home after signing papers that did not give the palestinians what they wanted, he'd still have been a dead man - killed by his own people.

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

I would say the only way to resolve this is to let them escalate their violence unimpeded. However, they've been fighting over that part of the world for millenia, and violence hasn't solved it. We could only hope that all those who choose to carry their banners of blood would kill one another off and end this absurd "Hatfield & McCoy" feud once and for all. We can't ignore their enmity though. We've seen many times when their hatred bleeds onto our shores. Nine Eleven being just the most obvious and recent example. This thing's gonna get worse before it gets better, and the death of Arafat will not improve things.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2002


Informed observers will long debate whether Arafat may have handled things differently, but they know that he has never had much room for manoeuvre over his ultimate objective: a sovereign Palestinian state, within all pre-1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as a capital, plus a fair solution to the refugee problem - which was ruled out by the Israelis at Camp David. This is not a starting position which can be negotiated, it is the minimum the Palestinian leader can sell to his people. Arafat may be flexible over interim solutions, but when it comes to strategic questions he is unyielding.

From this page at the Institute For War And Peace Reporting that Fat Buddha linked in this post.
The minimum he can sell to his people being the operative phrase... Both sides seem hamstrung by the internal politics of having to throw raw meat to the hotheads on their side after each new escalation. Sharon has been hellbent on eliminating Arafat from the gitgo but then what? Talk about exchanging the devil you know for the devil you don't... It's depressing to watch, hear or talk about.
posted by y2karl at 4:44 PM on March 29, 2002


ZachsMind:

I would say the only way to resolve this is to let them escalate their violence unimpeded.

Just one more reason you have never been nominated for Sec. of State :-)
posted by billman at 4:50 PM on March 29, 2002


I respect Colin Powell, but it's very naive to think anyone can resolve this issue. Had you read further, Billman, you would have seen that I even disagree that violence will resolve this isuse. Only one thing can resolve this issue, and that one thing is patently impossible.

The only true solution is this: every individual in that part of the world is going to have to stop hating. Now pardon me while I go hold my breath until my skin turns the color of this website.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:15 PM on March 29, 2002


Meanwhile, the real Sec'y of State sure could be more statesmanlike. The current NYT headline is refreshingly honest: Powell, While Urging Restraint, Seems to Back Israeli Operation.
posted by Zurishaddai at 5:42 PM on March 29, 2002


ZachsMind: I'm just having fun :-)
posted by billman at 7:06 PM on March 29, 2002


There was a great article I read in The Oregonian that lamented the Palestinian lack of a true, honest leader. It seems to me that Arafat has no options because he has made no effort to educate his "constituency" (for lack of a better term.) Sooner or later, someone is going to have to the concept of political compromise to the common Palestinian people.

Which, by the way, assumes that the average Palestinian person actually does want to destroy Israel and all it stands for. Anyone have poll numbers, something like that, that conclusively show that they do?
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:47 PM on March 29, 2002


Drop a white settlement in the middle of a native american reservation lets see what happens.
posted by yertledaturtle at 7:06 PM on March 30, 2002


Yelling: does it matter if the "average Palestinian person does, so long as no one is able to control the suicide bombers, et al?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:24 PM on March 30, 2002


A poster over on Metatalk writes:

In 1919 there were half a million Muslims, 75,000 Christians, and 50,000 Jews in Palestine. Whether this is a matter of taking back a country or creating one, under the principle of self-determination, in the last 80 years the disputed region of Palestine should have been allowed to become a Muslim state -- at the very least, a significant portion of it should have become a Muslim state.


Well, they were offered one, and rejected the 194? partition, because they needed it all. They also have Jordan.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:18 AM on March 31, 2002


When a people are so desperate to be heard that sixteen-year-old girls blow themselves up to gain attention to their dire situation, one simply must question the actions of the ruling state.

Israel holds all the cards, and has backed the Palestinian people into a corner. It regularly goes overboard with revenge, wiping out dozens of civilians in blind retaliation. Israel is led by a bloodthirsty madman who seems intent on provoking full-out war.

World opinion is changing, Paris. Israel is going to be bitchslapped by the world community if it continues to bully the people it has displaced.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:30 AM on March 31, 2002


Friedman (NYT) has it right.
posted by semmi at 10:34 AM on March 31, 2002


Indeed, Friedman does.

When a people are so desperate to be heard that sixteen-year-old girls blow themselves up to gain attention to their dire situation, one simply must question the actions of the ruling state.

Or, perhaps, the blow up-er is the victim of brainwashing.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:04 PM on March 31, 2002


Does the Osama 20 prove that "one must question the actions of the..." United States?
posted by ParisParamus at 4:06 PM on March 31, 2002


Israel has displaced few-to-no-one. On the other hand, it has fed and provided economic life to the Palestinians; something none of the neighboring Arab nations can say.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:10 PM on March 31, 2002


Israel has displaced few-to-no-one.

Are you in a contest with yourself to see how many brain-dead things you can post on this site?
posted by chaz at 4:29 PM on March 31, 2002


When a people are so desperate to be heard that sixteen-year-old girls blow themselves up to gain attention to their dire situation, one simply must question the actions of the ruling state.

Just to show how confusing this Israel-Palestine mess has become: When I read this, I thought fff was referring to the actions and statements of Arafat, until I read fff's next paragraph. If ever a situation has truly gotten to the point where it's impossible to have a calm, rational, reasoned discussion of the issues, it's this one.

World opinion is changing, Paris. Israel is going to be bitchslapped by the world community if it continues to bully the people it has displaced.

By who? The EU, the UN, etc can issues all the proclamations and condemnations it wants, and Israel won't care one bit, because words without the ability to back them up with some kind of force mean nothing. "World opinion" has been overwhelmingly anti-Israel for decades, and all it's done is made Israel more strident, just as the EU's wishywashiness over the post-9/11 war has made the US start to ignore them almost totally, except for Britain. No matter what, Israel will still get help from the US, and since we're the only superpower left, that's the only thing that matters to Israel.

By the way, news is now breaking that someone's distributing leaflets in Bethlehem claiming that Hamas and other Palestinian groups, with Arafat's blessing, are to start going after "US targets" in the Middle East because of what they perceive as a pro-Israeli, anti-Palestian bias on the part of the US government. If this turns out to be true (still a big if at this point), things are about to get a lot more interesting.
posted by aaron at 4:30 PM on March 31, 2002


Aaron: what do you use as a news source? I find the ticker of Ha'aretz about the best.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:29 PM on March 31, 2002


FreeRepublic. They post everything from everywhere. Whether it's NBC News or the Xinhua News Agency (the state-run Chinese propaganda wire service), if it's about the Mideast mess, somebody will post it.
posted by aaron at 8:12 PM on March 31, 2002


Thanks. Drudge is reporting that AP is reporting that the Israeli government now have conclusive proof in the form of intercepted phone calls and faxes that Arafat has been funding and directing the suicide bombers.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:19 PM on March 31, 2002


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