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A Dead Arafat: Good For Bush?


Lucky
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The Israelis already said Arafat can go to a hospital. So if Arafat doesn't choose to go, that's his decision.

 

Personally, I hope he dies. He has been a complete roadblock in the path to peace. I don't believe that whoever replaces him as leader of the Palestinians will be all warm and fuzzy. But any new leader won't have the degree of entrenched control that Arafat has, There will be a chance for other voices in the Palestinian community to be heard, and perhaps someone will emerge who understands (and can convince his fellow Palestinians) that making peace with Israel and achieving sovereignty is the best chance for a better future for themselves and their children. The Palestinians have what it takes to be a successful nation. They just have had atrocious leadership. Wish them luck with their next leader!

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"But all this year, Israeli officials have let it be known that if Arafat left his compound, they might destroy it to prevent him from returning. They also indicated that if he left the Palestinian territories, he would likely find himself in permanent exile."

 

LA Times

 

"Israeli officials said they would let Arafat seek treatment wherever he wanted at home or abroad, but the question of his return was "a separate issue after he recuperates".'

 

Reuters

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This is from an article about a leaked Israeli report in July:

 

"Several media outlets have published details of what is said to be Israel's plan to handle the death of the Palestinian leader, who is in his 70s.

 

The plan proposes a burial for Mr Arafat in Abu Dis, rather than the holy ground of Jerusalem.

 

But Israel has no intention of harming him at the moment, Israeli radio said.

 

It broadcast an interview with the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, who said Israel had "no personal plans" for Mr Arafat.

 

The document reportedly says the Palestinian Authority is likely to collapse and major violence would flare up in the West Bank and Gaza - beginning in the refugee camps - fanned by Hamas and other Islamic groups.

 

Israel would oppose any attempt by the militants to take control of Palestinian areas with "extreme measures", including launching a broad military operation in the Gaza Strip, according to reports on the document.

 

Steps would be taken to stop any rumours that Israel was in any way connected with a death by natural causes.

 

The document is said to anticipate that Palestinians will demand Mr Arafat be buried in the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), known to Jews as the Temple Mount, which houses the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.

 

But this is ruled out as "symbolically problematic".

 

The best eventuality, the document says, is that Mr Arafat be treated abroad if his health deteriorates and for him to die outside the Palestinian territories.

 

That would remove blame from Israel and make it easier to prevent a Jerusalem burial, the document says.

 

A more troubling scenario for Israel foresees thousands of Palestinians trying to force their way into Jerusalem with Mr Arafat's body.

 

The burial should take place in the suburb of Abu Dis, which overlooks the old city of Jerusalem but lies outside the land claimed by Israel as its capital, the document says.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3893655.stm

 

The Israelis have not guaranteed that Arafat could return to his compound or to the West Bank if he were t oleave for treatment.

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According to a radio report I heard earlier today, Sharon's office has issued a statement to the effect that if Arafat leaves Gaza for treatment elsewhere the Israelis WILL guarantee him safe conduct back to his compound when he wishes to return.

 

Bush's position on Arafat has been that Bush cannot negotiate with him because the discovery of the arms cache on board the 'Karine A' showed that Arafat had been lying to both the Americans and the Israelis about his involvement in the most recent intifada. The administration has tried, so far without success, to push one or another alternative Palestinian leader to the fore. Every time they try it, Arafat maneuvers himself back in front, like people who are elbowing each other aside to be in the front row of a group picture being taken. If he dies, I suppose he won't be able to do that any longer, but that doesn't guarantee that whoever takes his place after the resulting power struggle will be any easier to deal with.

 

Even if Arafat is replaced by someone more amenable to realistic negotiations with Israel, there is still Sharon to deal with. The fact that Christian evangelicals in America are smitten with Sharon means that Bush has very little room to pressure him or argue with him, unless he wants to get into an argument with one of the most powerful blocs in his own party.

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The power of the U.S. in all of this is vastly overrated, just as it was in the collapse of the Soviet Union. If there's ever peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, it will largely be because of their own efforts and initiatives. Neither side is intrinsically incompetent. Both sides know what it's going to take to reach an agreement. They just need to find the political will to move forward.

 

Sharon is taking some big risks right now. However, reality seems to have sunk in on him (too bad it never will with Bush). Sharon now acknoledges what most Israelis have already known for ages: in the long run, the Palestinian population will outstrip the Israeli population, and the occupation is doomed. So it's better to try to get out from under it sooner than later. That's what's behind the withdrawal from Gaza. If it goes OK, there will be further withdrawals. The religious crazies won't like it, but they're a minority in Israel (a loud and influential minority) and they'll fulminate and riot and life will move on.

 

The Palestinians will have big power struggles after Arafat, but there are no possible successors who have Arafat's influence, control and position in Palestinian history (for the Palesitinians he's their George Washington). The next leader won't have the same stature. And pressure will eventually build within Palestine to end the violence and misery so Palestinians can have a better life. What they've got now is a pretty close approximation of hell! But there is a way out of that, if they want change.

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>Personally, I hope he dies. He has been a complete roadblock

>in the path to peace.

 

Actually, it has been Israel who has consistantly been the road block to peace. Their dictatorial attitude in the region has only fueled arab frustrations. Bottom line.... The people of Palestine were kicked out of their own homeland to place a Jewish state in the region. While I understand the need for Europeans and even Americans to give the Jewish people a land of their own, the Israeli Gov. has been insensitive to the feelings of those they've displaced.

 

Without question, Europe owes Jewish people BIG TIME for what happened in WWII, but since they were giving people's homelands away, I noticed they didn't offer any of their own. What do you think would have happened if They decided to put Israel sqare in the middle of France or England?

 

 

I don't believe that whoever replaces

>him as leader of the Palestinians will be all warm and fuzzy.

>But any new leader won't have the degree of entrenched control

>that Arafat has, There will be a chance for other voices in

>the Palestinian community to be heard, and perhaps someone

>will emerge who understands (and can convince his fellow

>Palestinians) that making peace with Israel and achieving

>sovereignty is the best chance for a better future for

>themselves and their children. The Palestinians have what it

>takes to be a successful nation. They just have had atrocious

>leadership. Wish them luck with their next leader!

 

Frankly, I hope who ever replaces their ill leader maintans his fight to maintain their existing boarders unoccupied. Israel continues to build settlements in Palestinian territories. That must stop.

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a dead arafat would be good for the palestinian people. he has been corrupt, stolen millions from his people (forbes magizine estimated his wealth at over $400 million dollars), supported terrorism, and turned down peace chances for his people.he has used his own private security force to keep his people down.

 

it takes two sides to make peace. arafat has never wanted peace as it would weaken his hold on power.why are there no second tier leaders to take over? because arafat has eliminated anyone who would challenge him.

 

my personal guess (from the oliver stone school of history) is that arafat is working with israel to eliminate the hamas leadership in gaza; it is amazing to me that israel sends a missile from time to time to hit a car with some hamas leader inside; how do they know that information? could it be that arafat's secret police are supplying the information? it works to the benefit of both sides to eliminate hamas leadership.

 

the palestinians were not "kicked out of their homeland" to create israel in 1948. the united nations divided the former turkish terrority between the jewish and arab parts; trouble had been going on for decades between the two populations. the jews there in 1948 were on lands purchased over the years; no government had ever given them any land; the land they were on was owned by them and at that point no one had been "kicked out" from anywhere. when the lines were drawn, there were jewish owned land in the arab parts and arab owned lands in the jewish parts. in the 1948 war, jews were forced/fled from the western parts (including jerusalem) and arabs were forced/fled from the jewish parts. if anyone was "kicked out" it was the turks after the first world war from lands they had controled for centuries.

 

this same attempt about the same time to divide an area between fighting ethnic groups could be seen in the indian subcontinent. there the split was between hindu and muslim but large populations found themselves on the "wrong side" of the drawn lines (people do not realize that india has one of the world's largest muslim populations).

 

today, the united nations is still dividing areas into new countries by ethnic lines as seen in the balkins. at least this beats the 19th century european method of drawing lines ignoring tribal/ethnic populations as seen in africa where troubles today are caused by these old lines. the kurds are still suffering from nonethnic drawn lines after the first world war.

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The establishment of a "Jewish state" goes back to the Balfour Declaration of the 1920s at a time when Trans Jordan was a protectorate of the UK under a League of Nations mandate. The proposal to allocate the extreme western part to what became Israel was forced on the British after a terrorist campaign by the Jews. One proposal immediately after the war to solve the problem was in fact an offer by the Australians to allocate part of Westen Australia for a Jewish homeland.

 

Land was confiscated from the Arabs who despite farming it for centuries had no formal system of land titles. Israel's borders were expanded by occupation in 1948 to the line that is now currently accepted by most as the international border. Further expansion occured in 1967 and if you want proof that further forced appropriations of land took place then you only have to look at pictures of the Western or "Wailing" Wall. Now there is a broad plaza in front of it. This was created by clearing a whole area occupied by Arab traders.

 

Sharon is proposing a pull-out of illegal settlers from Gaza which was never part of modern Israel. Despite this about 3,000 settlers occupy about one third of the land area surrounded by about a million Palestinians. There are strong indications that the only reason Sharon pland withdrawal is that providing military protection for this small group has become too expensive.

 

The previous corruption in the Palestinian Authority has been significantly reduced and the allegations are a diversion promulagated by its opponents. Strict audits are carried out by the EU as a condition of their handing over the taxes collected by the Israelis and grants given for development by the EU. Resentment of corruption by "the Tunisians" have increased support for both Hamas and the "stayers" in Fatah. This link gives a list of possible succesors. In any election it is probable that Marwan Bhaghouti would become President of the PA despite his serving life sentences in an Israeli jail.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1362216.stm

 

You should never forget that the current Intifada was started after Sharon sromped his way into the mosque that occupies the Temple Mount along with armed bodyguards. This was a deliberate provocation during an election.

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>The power of the U.S. in all of this is vastly overrated,

>just as it was in the collapse of the Soviet Union. If

>there's ever peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, it

>will largely be because of their own efforts and initiatives.

>Neither side is intrinsically incompetent. Both sides know

>what it's going to take to reach an agreement. They just need

>to find the political will to move forward.

 

I agree our power in affecting sweeping change in the Mid-East conflict is over rated. However, our influence, as is true in every corner of the globe is truly key.

 

We cannot force change or reform directly without miltary action, but we do shape the balance of power and stabillity with our dollars. It bothers me to see year after year our country give 2, 3, as much as 4 times more dollars to Isael each year then under developed countries where famone, starvation, lack of any form of health care and adequate housing are common in countries with 3 times larger populations.

 

Israel would not be nearly as cocky and defiant at the negociating table if they did not continue to receive huge amounts of supeior weapons and military support from the USA. If the Israeli Gov. had the same military power as the Palistinians, the comflict would have been over decades ago.

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