By Aaron Klein, president of Internet Television Network, March 23, 2002.
At this point, no one debates that Yasser Arafat strategically chose the path of
terror after turning down Barak’s offer of a Palestinian state on 97 percent of
the land Arafat told everyone he wanted. There’s been much theorizing as to
why. It’s time to drop all the Mideast pretenses, and just tell it like it is.
Current thinking has it that Yasser launched Intifada II to squeeze more
concessions out of Israel. But this makes no sense.
Besides the right-of-return request for millions of so-called refugees (also
kwown as Arafat’s recipe for the destruction of Israel through population
genocide) which he knows will never be granted, what further concessions
could Arafat possibly have wished for that couldn’t have been settled through
negotiation with a very willing Prime Minister Barak?
If Arafat wants peace or a state, he would have both by now. But he doesn’t
want either, and it’s important that we understand why.
The Palestinian Authority itself has little power. If it weren’t for the
PLO’s coalition – full support from every Arab state, and from the EU because of
that Arab support – America would pay little attention to Arafat. Arab countries
thus hold Arafat’s legitimacy and power in their hands.
Our government’s contempt for Arafat is not even disguised anymore. Cheney
wishes aloud for Arafat’s demise. Bush won’t invite Arafat to the White House,
and basically outright backs Sharon’s confining him to his headquarters in Ramallah.
So if Arafat didn’t have Arab backing, a Palestinian state would even be
against American interests – the last thing we need, especially now, is to create
a state led by a man who openly supports terrorism, preaches murder on his
state-controlled media, and includes in his government members of Hamas and
Arab leaders support Arafat passionately because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
is labeled the “Mideast conflict” – as if it were the only thing happening in the
entire region. It keeps the spotlight off their own abusive leaderships, and it
supplies enough propaganda to foment hatred into their citizens so the nation’s
anger is turned toward Israel and away from their leader’s own corruption.
Arab countries can’t stand foreign journalists and Western governments
doodling in their “private affairs.” The constant soap opera of Arafat vs. Israel
conveniently fills the international news pages to capacity, and keeps Western
governments busy and distracted.
A Palestinian state, which is supposed to “end the conflict,” would destroy all
of this. If the biggest show in town were to close, the Arab leaders would have
nothing to distract the world from smelling their dirty laundry.
Think Arab rulers actually give a lick about the Palestinian people?
100,000 Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait. Arab nations have
almost never complained about rampant PLO corruption or its many human
rights abuses. Oil-rich Arab states have done nothing to dismantle the
despicable, inhumane refugee camps that Arafat insists on maintaining.
(Millions of refugees were absorbed by Western countries after World
War II. It is mind boggling that in 50 years, Arab countries couldn’t take in
600,000 refugees – who fled because the attacking Arabs warned them to.)
To Arab leaders, the Palestinians are mere pawns in a dirty game to keep a
distracting conflict burning for as long as possible. They would never allow
Arafat to accept a peace plan, even if he wanted to. A Palestinian state would
end all the drama.
If this happens, the West might see that there’s a bit more to the Middle
East than Israel. And the Arabs simply cannot afford that.