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November 11, 2004

A New Jewish Holiday

So it's afternoon, and I can finally have a drink.

Look, this was a horrible excuse for a human being. He began his career by trying to start a war, and he ended it at war. Along the way he murdered children in Maalot, American Diplomats in Sudan, American tourists at sea, and accomplished virtually nothing.

Virtually nothing. Yes, his people have a sense of identity. But is it an identity you'd wish on anyone? It's one of perpetual victim, whose most creative means of complaint is to use their children as living bombs. Despite all the carping, probably the only real injustice the Israelis inflicted on the Palestinians was bringing Arafat back from exile.

Everywhere he went, destruction followed. Jordan kicked him out after he created a mini terrorist state-within-a-state. Lebanon tried to do the same, but he was so deeply entrenched in southern Lebanon that the Israelis had to do the job. Cornered in Beirut, Arafat arranged to be sent to Tunis, under the watchful eye of the Tunisian authorities.

The only people who didn't kick him out where the Israelis, who weren't allowed to, and the French, who didn't have him that long. I'm sure that if he had recovered, within a couple of years he would have been smuggling arms into Marseilles and agitating for an independent Muslim state in the south of France.

The culture of death that has evolved on the West Bank and in Gaza won't dissipate with the passing of one man. And the BBC and AP seem determined to hold him up as a man that the Palestinians not only do revere, but should revere.

While Abbas and Qurei may indeed turn out to be men we can deal with, let's wait a little while and make sure they're actually in power in a year or so. Hamas still has its eye on power, and the various non-Islamic factions have been arming their members in anticipation of this day, too.

If the only unifying forces in Palestinian society remain hatred of Israel or Islamofascism, Israel would be ill-advised to make a deal right now. And they'd be particularly foolish make a deal with Abbas, only to find that Hamas was using land they had ceded to launch more attacks.

Certainly one argument sure to be made, if it hasn't already, is that Israel should make concessions to Abbas and Qurei to strengthen them internally. Note that it was only when Israel abandoned exactly that strategy that it managed to make any progress in its own war.

In the meantime, the speed with which the Europeans want to resume the dismemberment of Israel is a little - unseemly - don't you think? The abject faliure of European and Western meddling over the last 30 years has been a result, in no small part, of trying to force a settlement before one of the parties was ready for it. Let's have a little patience, see how it all plays out, and then see what to do next.

Posted by joshuasharf at November 11, 2004 01:22 PM | TrackBack
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