Sunday, November 14, 2004

Caroline B. Glick on Arafat's Death

Caroline B. Glick: Plus ca change?:

"When Hamas and Islamic Jihad came out with their warning that they would not tolerate Arafat's lieutenants trying to tell them what to do, they were essentially making the same statement as Screamin' Suha. Arafat, they claimed, had legitimacy with their organizations because of his importance as a 'symbol' of the Palestinian people. Since none of Arafat's cronies has been elevated to the level of 'symbol,' they have no reason to listen to them or accept their leadership. So all of Arafat's men in the PLO, again, began a mad dance of explaining that Arafat's legacy is their legacy and that they won't depart from his path.

And here we get to the crux of the issue. Arafat's men, from Qurei to Abbas to Farouk Kadoumi and even to Israeli Arab leaders like Knesset member Ahmed Tibi owe their positions in the world to the fact that they were integral parts of Arafat's kingdom. It wasn't just Arafat that Israel insanely brought into Judea, Samaria and Gaza (and Israel) in 1994, but the entire terrorist and corrupt regime of the PLO. Though Arafat's death has finally been announced, his kingdom remains intact.

In their usual vacuous and ridiculous style, pundits, experts and politicians in Israel and from around the world have been mouthing off over the past week about Israel using the opportunity of Arafat's death to strengthen the 'reformist' elements in the PA. Fat chance of that working. There are no 'reformist' elements in the PA. And anyone inside the PA who would dare speak of making changes to the way things are done would immediately be attacked, if not murdered, for daring to question Arafat's legacy.

We have only to look to Nabil Amr, the PLO member and former PA propaganda minister who dared to attack Arafat in July for the PLO's corruption. He was shot in the leg and is now getting fitted for a prosthetic limb in Europe. And this happened while Arafat was still in charge. Imagine what will happen now that the "Martyred President" has finally been buried. ...

There is only one glimmer of hope in all of this. And it comes from Washington.

In his first press conference after being reelected, US President George W. Bush referred not to the road map, but to his speech from June 24, 2002, as the basis of his Middle East policy. In that speech, Bush said, "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty."

The president went on to call for economic transparency and an end to official corruption of the PA. If Bush intends to stand by his statement now that Arafat is dead, then so long as Israel's Left doesn't wreck his plan, there is for the first time an opportunity to change the way things are done around here. The only chance this has, however, is if there is a true Palestinian regime change and the PLO goes the way of Arafat."


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