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U.S. vetoes Arafat vote in U.N.

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Yet another veto in support of Israel.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/09/16/mideast/index.html

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution Tuesday that would have demanded Israel halt threats to expel Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

Eleven Security Council members voted for the resolution and three members abstained. The U.S. veto killed the resolution.

The Israeli security Cabinet decided in principle last week to remove Arafat, calling him an obstacle to peace, but it provided no specifics about possible action.

The Arab League -- which proposed the U.N. resolution through Security Council member Syria -- has called Israel's decision to remove Arafat the equivalent of a declaration of war on Middle East peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government blames Arafat for not stopping terrorist attacks that have killed dozens of Israelis in recent weeks.

Arafat remains confined to his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, surrounded by supporters.

At the outset of council talks spread over two days, Terje Roed-Larsen, the U.N. Middle East envoy, said Arafat "is democratically elected, and as such, the legitimate leader of the Palestinians. He embodies Palestinian identity and national aspirations. He is now far from irrelevant."

Israel and the United States have both declined to deal with Arafat in the peace process.

After the council's first session Monday, John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States is "not prepared to support the resolution in its present form."

"It doesn't contain the explicit condemnation of terrorism that we think ought to be in there," Negroponte said.

The resolution demanded "that Israel, the occupying power, desist from any act of deportation and cease any threat to the safety" of Arafat.

It also reiterated the cessation of all acts of violence, "including all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction," and supports efforts of backers of the peace plan.

Sharon senior adviser Ra'anan Gissin said Tuesday that the United Nations "has shown time and time again its duplicity and hypocrisy" on the Middle East.

"There hasn't been one resolution condemning the killing of 860 Israelis through suicide and homicide bombing," Gissin said. "One hundred and twenty suicide bombers penetrated Israel in the past three years -- not one condemnation of that."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat urged Israel to get back to the negotiating table and said the finger-pointing must stop.

"The 'road map' cannot be dead," Erakat said. "You want to make peace, Mr. Gissin, with the people from New York and San Francisco and the Congress? You should look at me in the eyes and tell me, 'I want to make peace with you, I am your neighbor.' "

Erakat also urged the backers of the road map to send international monitors to the region to prevent the peace process from slipping out of control.

Gissin and Erakat appeared on CNN via satellite, with the Israeli in Jerusalem and the Palestinian in Ramallah.

The road map -- backed by the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia -- calls for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state by 2005.

Terrorism against Israelis by Palestinians and Israeli military attacks on Palestinian militants continue despite international pressure on both sides to end the violence and proceed with the Mideast peace plan.

The road map has suffered a series of blows during an upswing in violence. Two Hamas terrorist bombings September 9 killed 15 Israelis, followed a day later by an Israeli airstrike that wounded Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar. The attack also killed Zahar's son and a bodyguard and wounded at least 20 others.

Palestinian security sources told CNN high-level discussions are under way between Palestinian militant factions and the Palestinian Authority for a renewal of a truce against Israeli targets.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a military offshoot of Arafat's Fatah movement, declared a temporary cease-fire in June, but it fell apart last month. All three are on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

In violence Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces shot and killed Majid Abu Dosh, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, in the West Bank village of Dura near Hebron, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

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Excellent...I am glad the US is standing up and calling Arafat what he is...a terrorist who offrs NOTHING for the Palestinian people....

It is a shame that other nations do not have the backbone to stand up to Arafat and his terrorism.....instead they legitimize this cancer who gives peace zero hope.....

This is my favorite:

"The Arab League -- which proposed the U.N. resolution through Security Council member Syria -- has called Israel's decision to remove Arafat the equivalent of a declaration of war on Middle East peace. "

I was just wondering why the Arab league did not think suicide bombings, Arafat's undermining of Abas and support for Hamas, Arab textbooks calling for the destruction of Israel, religious clerics indoctrinating children on the hate of Israel, and the failure to recognize Israel as a state as a war on ME peace..

what a fucking joke

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Igloo - you DO realize that Arafat, while once a terrorist (as was Sharon), is extremely popular in the Palestinian territories and a forceful removal by Israel would lead to an all-out "war". Thus, regardless of what anyone thinks of him, right now, the forceful removal of him would plunge the whole area into chaos.

But, maybe, thats exactly what Sharon hopes for, huh? Then, Israel could take total control of all the occupied areas, and ruthlessly crush any rebellion.

Why not, as Erakat requests, send in international monitors? If Israel has nothing to hide, why not let in an international force?

Since you bring up the "doctrine" of denying the right of Israel to exist as being the problem...let me ask you, what do you think of the Zionist/ultra-religious claim that all that land belongs to the Jews, effectively denying the right of Palestine to exist?

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Originally posted by raver_mania

Igloo - you DO realize that Arafat, while once a terrorist (as was Sharon), is extremely popular in the Palestinian territories and a forceful removal by Israel would lead to an all-out "war". Thus, regardless of what anyone thinks of him, right now, the forceful removal of him would plunge the whole area into chaos.

But, maybe, thats exactly what Sharon hopes for, huh? Then, Israel could take total control of all the occupied areas, and ruthlessly crush any rebellion.

Why not, as Erakat requests, send in international monitors? If Israel has nothing to hide, why not let in an international force?

Since you bring up the "doctrine" of denying the right of Israel to exist as being the problem...let me ask you, what do you think of the Zionist/ultra-religious claim that all that land belongs to the Jews, effectively denying the right of Palestine to exist?

Yes, I am aware that the removal of Arafat bears the strong possibility of all out war......but maybe that is what is needed....

Let Israel destroy the terrorist organizations and let the Palestinian people who have been oppressed by Arafat, yes Arafat, stand up for themselves........that is if they truly want peace and believe in living side by side with Israel....

If they do not want peace, and they do not recognize Israel's right to exist, and truly believe Arafat is their answer for their own state.....then all out war, as repulsive as that is, may be necessary.......because this endless cycle will never cease..

I do not agree with the extreme Jewish right either, but can you really compare them with the extreme actions of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Arafat, and Muslim fundamentalism.........not even remotely close....not even worth mentioning in the same sentence...

Yes settlements are an issue that must be addressed, and I actually posted an article that Israel is cracking down harder on their extreme elements (which the PA certainly could never say).......but to compare the two is ludicrous......

Back to you

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Just saw this, and thought you would find this interesting..

Exit Arafat?

What removing Yasser Arafat would mean.

by William Kristol

"We think it would not be helpful to expel him because it would just give him another stage to play on."

--State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, after the Israeli government threatened to exile Yasser Arafat, Sept. 11, 2003

ALL THE WORLD'S NOT A STAGE, the melancholy Jacques of "As You Like It" to the contrary notwithstanding. All the world's real, and too many Israelis' and Palestinians' exits from it have been tragically premature, and horribly violent.

There are of course many, far too many, individuals and groups who bear responsibility for the violence that has afflicted the Holy Land. But in the long Middle Eastern roster of ignominy one name stands out: Yasser Arafat. The virtual embodiment of modern terrorism, the main instigator of its resurgence against Israeli civilians in the last three years, the indirect cause therefore of the deaths of innocent Palestinian bystanders as Israel struck back, Arafat certainly deserves exile--or worse. And the people of Israel, and the Palestinians, deserve better, far better, than to be bedeviled by his presence.

Whether it is prudent to remove him is of course another issue. We are inclined to believe it is. But that is admittedly a complicated question, involving on-the-ground calculations of the risks of harm to Arafat, and how damaging that harm would, or would not, turn out to be. But this is clear: Arafat, in Ramallah, has succeeded in torpedoing one peace process after another. He scorned Secretary of State Colin Powell's rather pathetic August 21 plea to work with Prime Minister Abbas and "make available" to Abbas the security forces Arafat controlled. We believe Arafat's ability to deny peace a chance would decrease if he were far away, especially if he were deprived of control of the Palestinian Authority's treasury, its money-making monopolies, and the security services.

But the State Department disagrees. For them, the world is a stage, and the applause of the "international community"--or rather, of other governments, including ones who do not themselves permit the free expression of their own people's opinions--tends to be everything. Expelling Arafat would undoubtedly cause a raucous few days in the territories and in Arab capitals, and much disapproval elsewhere. European chancelleries would be the stages on which Arafat would cavort for a little while afterwards. But then we would all move on. Indeed, there would be, we suspect, much quiet eagerness to do so--much quiet approval--among the Palestinians who have suffered so much as a result of Arafat's disastrous leadership. And there might well be--we think there would be--less death, and more hope for peace, in the Middle East.

The government of Israel will decide whether and how to follow through on its threat to remove Arafat. The American government can and should give the Israeli government our best counsel in private, and perhaps in public as well. But the administration's professed reasons for opposing the removal of Arafat are unimpressive. And they seem altogether de-linked from any underlying moral and strategic judgment of what the war on terror requires, and what those who support and sponsor terror deserve.

Right now, to take just one example, Mullah Omar is hiding in the wilds of Afghanistan or Pakistan, subject to being killed if and when we find him. In what way is Yasser Arafat morally distinguishable from Mullah Omar? Is he less complicit in terror? For a decade, Israel bent over backwards to try to engage in a peace process with the chief terrorist of Palestine. Arafat has succeeded in sabotaging the hopes of peace. Justice demands that he be removed. Prudence may well concur. America is engaged in a war against terror. Surely the honorable course is to be a sympathetic counselor of, not a supercilious lecturer to, an embattled fellow democracy that has suffered more terror--and, yes, has borne it with more forbearance--than even we have.

We suspect Arafat will be removed, sooner rather than later, by the government of Israel. When that happens, the negative consequences can be minimized, and the positive opportunities maximized, only by unequivocal solidarity between the two terror-opposing democracies.

--William Kristol

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Guess we'll have to agree to disagree here...I don't think removing Arafat will be the solution, or even part of the solution here. Killing him would ingite a massacre, not all out war (tell me, what weapons do the Palestinians have?).

The Jewish religious right has quite a bit of infuence in the government. Why has the expansion of settlements not been halted? Maybe to stall the peace process long enough to take over enough land to make the creation of a Palestinian state impractical?

There are two sides to the way this situation is viewed - one side believes its all the Palestinians' fault, and they are entirely to blame for this, and the other view is that Israel is at fault, and instigates matters to achieve its own ends. I fall in the latter category.

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with arafat in place, the other palestinian prime minister resigned. Palestine can't form a true representative government as long as Arafat is sitting there usurping the authority of other government officials.

Yeah, if they remove him there will be attacks, and people will probably fight. Guess waht though - the fact is, he's REMOVED. You anger EVERYONE over there whenever you do something, no matter what it is. Yanking arafat out might be a painful process but I think it's necessary if a true representative palestinian government wants to get anywhere and be respectable in the process.

if they yank him out and get bloodshed, what does it matter? There's bloodshed with him in there. IMO, the situation will either improve or stay where it is. Can't really get much worse.

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Originally posted by raver_mania

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree here...I don't think removing Arafat will be the solution, or even part of the solution here. Killing him would ingite a massacre, not all out war (tell me, what weapons do the Palestinians have?).

The Jewish religious right has quite a bit of infuence in the government. Why has the expansion of settlements not been halted? Maybe to stall the peace process long enough to take over enough land to make the creation of a Palestinian state impractical?

There are two sides to the way this situation is viewed - one side believes its all the Palestinians' fault, and they are entirely to blame for this, and the other view is that Israel is at fault, and instigates matters to achieve its own ends. I fall in the latter category.

I wish it was just you and I disagreeing, instead of decades of disagreement between those much smarter than us (and some dumber than you and I, I am sure too!)....

Now I did say I agree that settlements are an issue....BUT at the end of the day nothing, absolutely nothing is more powerful and has more influence than the ideology of Israel has no right to exist....

It is the charter and underlying principles of the existence of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc, it is preached in religious schools, and it is written and taught in textbooks...........

Unless this changes, there will never be a peaceful co-existence......and I feel that the terrorist organizations and their support structures need to be completely destroyed before that culture can ever have a chance of changing for the better....

Arafat is a terrorist....bottom line. He has done NOTHING to forward the cause of peace, and improve the plight of the Palestinian people.......and let's not forget that he blew the best offer and chance for a Palenstinian state ........

I think the days are gone when we need to stop worrying about if the "Arab street" is going to erupt or it will escalate the fighting between Israel and Hamas or native Muslim populations will be unhappy......

Terrorism needs to be confronted in all its forms, once and for all....especially in a part of the world where power in the only thing that is respected, and weakness and appeasement is preyed upon....

The international community has been paralyzed too long from acting because of fear of this, and fear of that, and the "arab" street"..etc, etc

Meanwhile, while the elitists and "civilized" world debate until their balls turn blue, the terrorists keep kicking the shit out of everyone, murdering innocent people all over the globe, and their movement and structure continues to grow more dangerous....

Killing Arafat, or removing Arafat is exactly what should be done....inaction caused by fear that violence would escalate simply equals appeasement, which is exactly what the terrorists want, and is exactly why the terrorists are being rewarded.......

And do you really think that if ISrael gave up the settlements, Hamas and the rest of the murderers would apply for career changes?

Like I have always said, the Israeli's have made their share of mistakes, but if there is one clear entity one can point a finger of blame---it is Arafat and his $1.7 billion net worth.

I apologize for being redundant, but the "root" cause is the failure of the Arab world to recognize the state of Israel, and their continued support of the terrorist groups....

.....everything else is background noise

If you and I can't agree, I guess it is not too hard to understand why the real players can not as well....let's only hope one day they will

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Why Not Kill Arafat?

Joel Mowbray (archive)

September 18, 2003 | Print | Send

A decade after the Oslo peace accords, the new Middle East “solution†being floated is the expulsion of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat—but that discussion misses the point. The debate should not be whether or not to kick out the master terrorist, but whether he should be locked up in complete isolation or simply killed.

Yasser Arafat has had 10 years to stop the torrent of terror attacks that continue to claim the lives of innocent Israelis (and Americans) to this very day. He hasn’t. In fact, he hasn’t even tried.

But why should he risk a civil war and tumult within his own “mainstream†Fatah by actually clamping down on the terrorists? Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon long ago promised the United States that he would not harm Arafat. At least to this point, Arafat hasn’t even faced the threat of being kicked out of the West Bank.

Let’s assume for a moment, though, that the current talk of possible expulsion becomes a reality. Arafat might have a tricky time finding a new home—Syria and Jordan wouldn’t want him, and his old friend Saddam no longer has a country—but once he does, he has untold sums in numbered bank accounts that would cushion his fall.

As long as Arafat is in the picture, things can only get worse. Now-departed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas proved a miserable—and inept—failure. He couldn’t even consolidate control over the security services; Abbas’ longtime boss decided against relinquishing the reins of the real power. International pressure may have been enough to force Arafat to name Abbas as Prime Minister, but it wasn’t enough to prevent him from acting as Abbas’ puppetmaster.

The only path to peace is one paved with the complete removal of Arafat from the Palestinian equation. His mere presence dominates; he is incapable of playing a supporting role or becoming a marginalized outcast.

If he is in a foreign land, he will simply use his money and his left-behind thugs to maintain his heavy hand. Trapped in his Ramallah compound, as he is now, may have hobbled him politically, but it has not even affected him operationally. With a cell phone in his hand and his lieutenants dotting the landscape, he is able to conduct or allow terrorist attacks just as he always has.

That’s why killing Arafat must at least be discussed. It is not the only option—or maybe even the right one—but it has to be a potential one.

The European Union could arrest Arafat and try him for crimes against humanity—but only if the master terrorist starts murdering non-Jews. But that shouldn’t stop Israel from taking its own action. What’s preventing the Sharon government from arresting Arafat and placing him in solitary confinement? After a year or two of Arafat living in a ten-by-fifteen foot cage, charges of the intentional slaughter of innocent civilians could be brought against him. At least in Israel, the murder of Jews still counts as murder.

The only other viable option to placing Arafat in solitary confinement is the question more and more people are finally starting to ask: why not kill Arafat? That’s not to say that that is necessarily the answer, but why is it not even a question? In the words of Ariel Sharon, Hamas’ leaders are “marked for death.†How is the man responsible for at least as many murders—directly through al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Fatah and indirectly by allowing attacks to occur—different than Hamas terrorists?

And if the “international community†protests—which it no doubt will—Israel should simply point out that when the United States bombed Tora Bora in Afghanistan and the Baghdad restaurant before Operation Iraqi Freedom in a “decapitation strike,†the U.S. was not trying to injure or scare Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.

But one thing is for sure: if Israel threatens Arafat with his possible demise (behind the scenes—his reputation cannot be challenged publicly if Israel wants to respond appropriately), terrorist activity could quickly decline to its lowest level since the start of the intifada. That would finally mark the kind of progress that Oslo should have sought

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Let's ship Arafat to France

Emmett Tyrrell (archive)

September 18, 2003 | Print | Send

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In history, one man can make a difference. This is the insight that has provoked historians to confect what is called the Great Man theory of history.

For instance, had there never been a Napoleon Bonaparte, Europe would have remained an eighteenth century theme park far into the nineteenth century. Had there never been an Adolf Hitler, Europe would have remained a nineteenth century theme park far into the twentieth century or at least until Josef Stalin made his move on Central Europe.

Incidentally, who would have stood up to Stalin in, say, 1940? I suppose the challenge would have fallen to Winston Churchill, but without Hitler's remilitarization of Germany to provoke Churchill's resistance in the 1930s, there might not have been a Churchill in the British government. Would the French have stood up to Stalin? Would the Germans under one of their postwar liberals?

I doubt it. Great men of evil character spread evil, and great men of good character oppose them. Yasser Arafat is a man who has made a difference, and the difference has led to violence and carnage, anarchy and war. He is the great man of evil character, and he has yet to run up against a great man of good character equal to the task of eliminating him. Possibly Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can rise to the occasion. Last week, Israel's Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggested killing Arafat as "one of the options" in dealing with him.

There is no doubt the Israelis could kill him. In response to Palestinian terrorist organizations' murder of civilians within Israel, the Israeli military has been killing terrorist leaders. The chief terrorist leader is Arafat, and his whereabouts is never a secret. A surgical strike with missiles would end Arafat's mischief.

The Israelis have been contemplating another option. For over a year, they have considered grabbing Arafat and shipping him out of his West Bank headquarters to another country. This would not be the first time Arafat's penchant for mischief and mayhem has led to his reluctant departure from a country. Since 1967, he has been forcibly removed from five countries, all of them Arab. Jordanians, Lebanese and Syrians have all forced him from their country, and he has always landed in another Arab jurisdiction. Now the Israelis contemplate shipping him abroad. But where to send him?

Allow me to offer a solution. There is another Arab country where Arafat has yet to reside and where the large Arab population unquestionably would welcome him. I suggest Prime Minister Sharon rise to the challenge, demonstrate that he is one of history's Great Men and send Arafat to France.

The Palestinian has a wife in Paris and a friend in Jacques Chirac. The two could have long lunches together. They could even negotiate. Both love to negotiate. Over the years, as Arafat has "negotiated," thousands have died. Not as many people will die if Arafat is out of the West Bank, but in Paris negotiating can be very agreeable nonetheless, especially with so suave a negotiator as Chirac. Possibly the two might also invite Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder into their negotiations.

For 40 years, Arafat's leadership in the Middle East has been a bloody string of murders and insurrections. From the massacre of Israeli athletes in the 1972 Olympics to the shipment last year of arms from Iran to the Palestinian territories on the ship "Karin A," Arafat has been a leader of terror even as he has presented himself to the civilized world as a serious statesman.

With his recent ambush of Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen, he has revealed himself to be anything but a serious statesman. He is a fanatical opponent of peace in the Middle East and of Israeli nationhood. The Israelis should send him to Paris. Then let us see what Chirac will do with him.

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Originally posted by raver_mania

Yet another veto in support of Israel.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/09/16/mideast/index.html

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution Tuesday that would have demanded Israel halt threats to expel Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

Eleven Security Council members voted for the resolution and three members abstained. The U.S. veto killed the resolution.

The Israeli security Cabinet decided in principle last week to remove Arafat, calling him an obstacle to peace, but it provided no specifics about possible action.

The Arab League -- which proposed the U.N. resolution through Security Council member Syria -- has called Israel's decision to remove Arafat the equivalent of a declaration of war on Middle East peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government blames Arafat for not stopping terrorist attacks that have killed dozens of Israelis in recent weeks.

Arafat remains confined to his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, surrounded by supporters.

At the outset of council talks spread over two days, Terje Roed-Larsen, the U.N. Middle East envoy, said Arafat "is democratically elected, and as such, the legitimate leader of the Palestinians. He embodies Palestinian identity and national aspirations. He is now far from irrelevant."

Israel and the United States have both declined to deal with Arafat in the peace process.

After the council's first session Monday, John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States is "not prepared to support the resolution in its present form."

"It doesn't contain the explicit condemnation of terrorism that we think ought to be in there," Negroponte said.

The resolution demanded "that Israel, the occupying power, desist from any act of deportation and cease any threat to the safety" of Arafat.

It also reiterated the cessation of all acts of violence, "including all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction," and supports efforts of backers of the peace plan.

Sharon senior adviser Ra'anan Gissin said Tuesday that the United Nations "has shown time and time again its duplicity and hypocrisy" on the Middle East.

"There hasn't been one resolution condemning the killing of 860 Israelis through suicide and homicide bombing," Gissin said. "One hundred and twenty suicide bombers penetrated Israel in the past three years -- not one condemnation of that."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat urged Israel to get back to the negotiating table and said the finger-pointing must stop.

"The 'road map' cannot be dead," Erakat said. "You want to make peace, Mr. Gissin, with the people from New York and San Francisco and the Congress? You should look at me in the eyes and tell me, 'I want to make peace with you, I am your neighbor.' "

Erakat also urged the backers of the road map to send international monitors to the region to prevent the peace process from slipping out of control.

Gissin and Erakat appeared on CNN via satellite, with the Israeli in Jerusalem and the Palestinian in Ramallah.

The road map -- backed by the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia -- calls for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state by 2005.

Terrorism against Israelis by Palestinians and Israeli military attacks on Palestinian militants continue despite international pressure on both sides to end the violence and proceed with the Mideast peace plan.

The road map has suffered a series of blows during an upswing in violence. Two Hamas terrorist bombings September 9 killed 15 Israelis, followed a day later by an Israeli airstrike that wounded Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar. The attack also killed Zahar's son and a bodyguard and wounded at least 20 others.

Palestinian security sources told CNN high-level discussions are under way between Palestinian militant factions and the Palestinian Authority for a renewal of a truce against Israeli targets.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a military offshoot of Arafat's Fatah movement, declared a temporary cease-fire in June, but it fell apart last month. All three are on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

In violence Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces shot and killed Majid Abu Dosh, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, in the West Bank village of Dura near Hebron, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

I wish I had time to get into this right now but you & I already know where each of us stands on this....

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September 19, 2003, 10:25 a.m.

U.S. vs. Arafat

A necessary policy.

By Rachel Ehrenfeld

f "failure is not an option" in the war on terror, and if we are determined to win this war "to make our kids and grandkids…and our nation safer," as Vice President Dick Cheney stated on Face the Nation last Sunday, then the U.S. should support Israel in her quest to remove Arafat. Now that President Bush has clearly declared that "Arafat failed as a leader," leaving him in place is dangerous and counterproductive to U.S. national-security interests, the war on terror, and the effort to stabilize the Middle East.

More than a year ago, the Bush administration called on the Palestinians to change their leadership. But now the U.S. has joined the U.N.'s warning to Israel not to remove Yasser Arafat. How does this correspond with President Bush's statement that "You can't negotiate with these [terrorist] people, you can't try to talk sense to these people. The only way to deal with them is to find them and bring them to justice"?

Yasser Arafat has been the terrorist prototype since the inception of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the mid-1960s. Both he and the PLO served as a model and a precedent for other terrorist organizations. It is reasonable to assume that they inspired Osama bin Laden when he set out to create the infrastructure of al Qaeda.

The PLO was the first and, until al Qaeda established itself in Afghanistan, the only terrorist organization that had its own territory for a base of operation (first in Lebanon and later in the West Bank and Gaza). Even the use of "martyrdom" as a tool of terrorism was incorporated into the PLO agenda as early as 1978. And the PLO, like al Qaeda later, enjoyed multistate sponsorship.

Despite continuing terror attacks, the U.N. embraced the PLO in 1974 by granting it observer status. This legitimization — which was accompanied by financial backing — allowed the PLO not only to continue its terrorist and criminal activities with impunity, but also to fund a worldwide propaganda campaign, win great popularity, and increase its influence.

The PLO opened offices worldwide, obtained financial backing, and significantly increased its assets and income between 1974 and 1981.Two months after the Camp David agreement of September 1978, which ended the state of war between Egypt and Israel, ten Arab heads of state met in Baghdad and agreed to provide $3.5 billion annually to aid the PLO, and countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan; the money was meant to help fuel anti-Israel activities. Of a total of $250 million allocated annually to the PLO, $10 million was designated for the "families of the martyrs."

Like al Qaeda, the PLO received financial and political support from many countries, not all in the Middle East. The money came from the Soviet Union and its satellites in Europe (until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991), and from Latin America, Africa, and members of the Arab League, third-world countries, and the U.N.

In 1987 the U.S. finally declared the PLO a terrorist organization, a 1988 presidential waiver was issued that "permitted contact" with it. The PLO used this waiver to increase its influence, fundraising, and propaganda capabilities as well as their cooperation with other terrorist groups, international criminal organizations, drug cartels, and rogue states.

Nor did the PLO's transformation into the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1993, as a result of the Oslo Accords, impede the organization's illegal activities. On the contrary, lead by Arafat, it accelerated them. Now granted legitimacy by the entire world, the PA abused this status to expand its illegal activities and to rob the Palestinian people of their money and their lives.

For decades, the West turned not only a blind eye to the PLO's and PA's terror activities, fundraising endeavors, and hate propaganda, as they did with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, but it continued to negotiate and fund them. Arafat even supported Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. The more concessions were made, the bolder their demands and their terror activities. The PLO/Arafat "martyrdom" strategy set the tone and became the leading weapon in their terror arsenal.

The Palestinian example did not escape al Qaeda, Hezbollah, or Hamas as their new terror networks organized and strategized. Concessions and appeasement have only one interpretation for Middle East terrorists: weakness.

Arafat made his own roadmap clear in a June 6, 2001, interview on Radio Palestine: "War is a dream, peace is a nightmare," he said. Everything that Arafat did and continues to do proves that he meant what he said. Since September 2000, close to 900 Israelis and other — including Americans — have been killed by Palestinian terrorists and about 6,000 have been wounded. How many more dead Israelis and Americans will it take for the U.S. to understand that as long as Arafat and his henchmen control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, he serves as inspiration to all other terrorists?

— Rachel Ehrenfeld is the author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed — and How to Stop It, released earlier this week. She is also the director of the Manhattan-based American Center for Democracy.

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Settlements are and will be a problem. Even if the Palestinians do everything required of them, including dismantling the terror organizations, do you really believe that all the established settlements will be removed? This race to build more and more settlements (along with that wall) is nothing but a land grab. Israel has done as much to stall the peace process as the Palestinians.

Isn't Zionism taught in schools in Israel? And does Zionism not state that all that land rightfully belongs to Jews? Thus, in essence, that implies that a Palestinian state cannot exist. I'm not sure if this idealogy is taught in all Israeli schools, but it sure as hell is taught in the settlements. And how is that different from Palestinian children being taught that the state of Israel should not exist. (BTW, this is speculation on both our parts...neither of us has first hand experience in whats taught in these schools...and any references we might cite is going to be heavily biased toward one side or other).

maybe I'm mixing Zionism with Orthodox Judaism, but the idea that all that land belongs to Jews is extremely prevalent - it cannot be marginalized.

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Isn't Zionism taught in schools in Israel? And does Zionism not state that all that land rightfully belongs to Jews? Thus, in essence, that implies that a Palestinian state cannot exist.

you are yet another victim of european/arab media slant. unfortunately you, like many other people do not have the slightest clue as to what Zionism actually stands for. Ill give you a brief definition and heres a good site that explains just what is Zionism.

www.wzo.org.il

Zionism isnt taught in Israeli schools, its not something that can be taught, because Zionism is an idea and a way of thinking, rather than a structured ideology like communism. Israel today is very much un-Zionist and very American-like, unfortunately. The early Zionist pioneers in Judea and later Israel believed in working the land through a both modern and religious conviction, and a centuries-old belief in the return from the Exile. Zionism is not a form of racism as some arab states have propagaded, but is a belief in self-sufficiency, sacrfice and personal spiritual growth.

the link has more and better explanations. PS - just to remind you, arab terrorism did not start after the jewish settlements, it started in mid 1890's, with the massacre of 29 jewish citizens of Trans Jordan. since then, there has been thousands of documented attacks on jews in the area, even before the inception of Israel. the belief that there was complete harmony between the arabs and jews prior to Israel is a myth.

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Originally posted by tribal

Isn't Zionism taught in schools in Israel? And does Zionism not state that all that land rightfully belongs to Jews? Thus, in essence, that implies that a Palestinian state cannot exist.

you are yet another victim of european/arab media slant. unfortunately you, like many other people do not have the slightest clue as to what Zionism actually stands for. Ill give you a brief definition and heres a good site that explains just what is Zionism.

www.wzo.org.il

Zionism isnt taught in Israeli schools, its not something that can be taught, because Zionism is an idea and a way of thinking, rather than a structured ideology like communism. Israel today is very much un-Zionist and very American-like, unfortunately. The early Zionist pioneers in Judea and later Israel believed in working the land through a both modern and religious conviction, and a centuries-old belief in the return from the Exile. Zionism is not a form of racism as some arab states have propagaded, but is a belief in self-sufficiency, sacrfice and personal spiritual growth.

the link has more and better explanations. PS - just to remind you, arab terrorism did not start after the jewish settlements, it started in mid 1890's, with the massacre of 29 jewish citizens of Trans Jordan. since then, there has been thousands of documented attacks on jews in the area, even before the inception of Israel. the belief that there was complete harmony between the arabs and jews prior to Israel is a myth.

Thank you. Finally someone who knows what they are talking about

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So, wait, the settlers pushing into Palestinian territories, and claiming all that land belongs to them, do not really exist right? I dreamt them all up?

I qualified my previous post by saying I might be wrong, it might not be Zionism...but these people are definitely teaching their young, whether through formal education or otherwise, that its their god-given right to live there.

Though the settlers might be a small part of the Israeli majority, its still the responsibility of ALL Israelis to elect someone into government who does not support the expansion of settlements.

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Read an interesting article today, which indicated that 83% of the Israelis settlers would move tomorrow as long as the Israeli's govt assisted them in finding new digs......83% is a big number, and is a telling number.....

DO you think 83% of the world's terrorists would apply for new jobs if their were no Jewish settlements?

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Originally posted by igloo

Read an interesting article today, which indicated that 83% of the Israelis settlers would move tomorrow as long as the Israeli's govt assisted them in finding new digs......83% is a big number, and is a telling number.....

DO you think 83% of the world's terrorists would apply for new jobs if their were no Jewish settlements?

I have no idea if the 83% of the world's terrorists would or not, but I can guess a large majority of the Palestinians would once they got their land back, and the Israelis completely and absolutely pulled out. The reason you have such an abundance of suicide bombers(IMO) is because these people have nothing, absolutely nothing, to live for. Give them land, education, economic freedom, etc and you'll suddenly find a lot fewer people willing to lose their lives, since then it'll actually be worth something.

BTW, I'm curious what article that is that you read...on the Haaertz and jpost papers, its been said that a large portion (not sure if majority or not) refused to move out, even if the govt resettles them.

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Originally posted by tribal

the link has more and better explanations. PS - just to remind you, arab terrorism did not start after the jewish settlements, it started in mid 1890's, with the massacre of 29 jewish citizens of Trans Jordan. since then, there has been thousands of documented attacks on jews in the area, even before the inception of Israel. the belief that there was complete harmony between the arabs and jews prior to Israel is a myth.

At this point its hard to say who started the fighting, as there are many instances of Jewish terrorism against the Arabs in the early days.

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Originally posted by raver_mania

I have no idea if the 83% of the world's terrorists would or not, but I can guess a large majority of the Palestinians would once they got their land back, and the Israelis completely and absolutely pulled out. The reason you have such an abundance of suicide bombers(IMO) is because these people have nothing, absolutely nothing, to live for. Give them land, education, economic freedom, etc and you'll suddenly find a lot fewer people willing to lose their lives, since then it'll actually be worth something.

The Palestinians have nothing to live for because the PA has failed them, Arafat has failed them, Hamas and gang has failed them, Arab govts have failed them,........because they wish to destroy Israel, not live in peaceful co-existence.......that is the bottom line......you keep ignoring the core of this conflict......this needs to change

Like I said, if Arafat donated his personal wealth, and Arab govts and Saddam Hussein used their funding on education, economy, housing, infrastructure, and the teaching of TRUE ISLAM instead of the destruction of Israel, the Palestinian people would be better off........

And perhaps these "occupied" lands that Israel captured after getting attacked by three countries would be more easily negotiated back instead of waves of suicide bombers forcing Israel's hand...

Also, let's not forget, Arafat rejected 95% of these lands back.....95%

Settlements are an issue, and they throw fuel on the fire, but to blame settlements and Israel for this conflict is an extreme stretch and a discounting of the fundamental problem: Israel's right to exist

I will get ya the link for the article....need to find it...one of the NY papers

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Some Settlers Willing To Move

83 percent of Israelis say they would relocate if compensated

By Andrew Metz

STAFF CORRESPONDENT

September 22, 2003

Neve Tsuf-Halamish, West Bank - The names of this remote settlement in the heart of the Palestinian territories are like the two rope ends of a tug of war: Neve Tsuf, oasis of nectar, was the vision religious Jews had for their home on the frontier; and Halamish, or flint, which is more what it turned out to be.

Eighteen years ago, Yohi and David Sharon chased Eden here with their three daughters but even the flourishing mint and sage in their herb garden, the forest and stream a few paces away, cannot make an oasis of a rock.

"We just wanted a house to raise our kids, to be able to live in the quiet with a garden, around nature," Yohi Sharon, 55, said on a recent morning. "But no stone house, no garden with flowers is worth a man's life."

"If they tell me that this is the way to achieve peace then I would say 'OK, we'll build another house in another place.'"

"In short," this Orthodox Jewish settler said, "we are in Palestine."

There may be no more caustic issue in the Middle East conflict than the fate of Israeli settlements on land that is widely recognized as Palestinian. But even as Israel continues to sustain and enhance the controversial communities at a high cost to its ailing economy and in spite of violent opposition by the Palestinians, withdrawing from the West Bank and Gaza Strip may be a far more realistic option than the government's actions suggest, according to recent polls and interviews in several different settlements.

A large majority of the roughly 200,000 settlers - 83 percent in a recent poll - would agree to leave in exchange for financial compensation or relocation to comparable homes inside Israel.

"If you give settlers a house for a house, the majority of them will move," said Sharon, one of a small number of Israelis in the territories willing to speak publicly about a possibility that challenges the influential settler movement and could dramatically reshape the geography of the Middle East. "There are people from the main core of this place that have said they would cry terribly, but they would leave."

Whether in remote, besieged or well-established settlements, some families who can afford it have already left, while more and more appear to be resigning themselves to the same eventuality.

"Usually the Israeli government presents the situation as if it was a sort of a hostage to the settlers, that if they attempted to evacuate settlements they would have a civil war on their hands," said Dan Jacobson, a political psychology professor at Tel Aviv University, who helped conduct the most recent poll for the anti-settlement group Peace Now as well as one a year ago that reached similar conclusions. "It turned out, in fact, many of the settlers are hostage to the Israeli government, which is not willing to leave the territories."

This surprising finding, which has received little attention amid the ongoing violence, is vigorously disputed by the settlers' elected leaders and undermined by continued settlement growth - more than twice the rate inside Israel - and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual government spending to encourage it.

"Maybe there are a few people in very small communities that are suffering and wish to leave and I don't blame them," said Pinchas Vallerstein, mayor of a regional council representing 32 settlements. "But the majority have not even thought about it."

Vallerstein said his region had seen 8 percent and 9 percent growth for the past three years. "They believe that this is part of Israel."

"Anyway," he said, "there is no chance that anyone would pay for this."

Experts, activists and some settlers themselves, however, have already begun to quantify the price of relocation.

According to calculations by Haim Ben Shahar, one of Israel's leading economists, it would cost the Israeli government at least $2.4 billion for housing alone, less than the average annual U.S. aid to the country and a little more than half a month of American spending in Iraq. Even twice or three times this amount could be raised as part of an internationally backed peace accord, he said.

"The economic aspect is not a deterrent," said Shahar, who has acted as an adviser to Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

His estimates, which were never formally published or presented, were based on peace proposal parameters from two years ago and assumed that only 80,000 people, or 16,000 families, would be asked to leave. The calculations assumed that each family would receive $150,000 for new home construction and that Israel would provide land for free.

Academics and Israeli politicians who have studied the idea estimate the country would save billions of dollars a year by forgoing tax breaks, housing subsidies, infrastructure projects and defense missions in the settlements. And they say new construction inside Israel would help rejuvenate the country's economy.

A successful relocation effort might also deliver a strong message to the minority of settlers expected to resist, said Dror Etkes, who monitors settlements for Peace Now. The group's poll, released in August, said about 1 percent of the settlers would use violence and 7 percent would otherwise break the law expressing opposition.

The settler movement has long been presented as a fervent Zionist enterprise, but many Israelis also were enticed to the land captured in the 1967 war by generous government subsidies that offer a way of life unaffordable inside Israel. Now the allure of frontier living is fading.

"Sitting here you can see why I chose this place," said Moti Minha, as he and a neighbor, Yossi Ashkenazi, talked on his deck in the settlement of Beit Areye.

"I came here for quality of life but what kind of quality of life is it if someone is shooting at me, or throwing stones at me?" said Minha, 48, who moved here from a Tel Aviv suburb in 1994.

In the background, bulldozers cleared ground in the largely secular settlement of 2,500 people a few miles over the 1967 borderline. Ashkenazi, 47, a retired grocer, shook his head at the contradiction. "We are living on borrowed time," he said. "In the end we must leave... .

"I'd prefer to stay, but we won't reach an agreement otherwise .... Everyone thinks about this, but they don't speak about it."

Even in the most comfortable settlements there is a sense that a reckoning is approaching.

On a recent day in Ariel, a settlement of roughly 20,000 people, Haim Dahan shuddered at the prospect of leaving.

"Right now it is not comprehensible," he said, as he served customers in his falafel and hummus restaurant. The city currently is not inside Israel's ongoing security fence project that is further fragmenting the territory. And there is U.S. pressure on Israel to bypass Ariel, one of the largest settlements.

"I would make this difficult decision for peace," Dahan, 43, said. "But just thinking about it makes me want to die."

In Neve Tsuf, population 1,300, the Sharons have already made one attempt to leave. But selling their house and overcoming government hurdles to relocate proved too much.

"Alone we cannot do this," Yohi Sharon said. "It has to come from above, from the government."

Rethinking The Settlements

While Israel continues to sustain its West Bank and Gaza Strip settlements at a high cost, recent polls suggest many Israelis believe a more realistic option is withdrawing from them.

West Bank (estimate)

2 million Palestinians

206,000 Israelis

Gaza Strip (estimate)

1.2 million Palestinians

7,000 Israelis

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.

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Originally posted by igloo

The Palestinians have nothing to live for because the PA has failed them, Arafat has failed them, Hamas and gang has failed them, Arab govts have failed them,........because they wish to destroy Israel, not live in peaceful co-existence.......that is the bottom line......you keep ignoring the core of this conflict......this needs to change

Like I said, if Arafat donated his personal wealth, and Arab govts and Saddam Hussein used their funding on education, economy, housing, infrastructure, and the teaching of TRUE ISLAM instead of the destruction of Israel, the Palestinian people would be better off........

And perhaps these "occupied" lands that Israel captured after getting attacked by three countries would be more easily negotiated back instead of waves of suicide bombers forcing Israel's hand...

Also, let's not forget, Arafat rejected 95% of these lands back.....95%

Settlements are an issue, and they throw fuel on the fire, but to blame settlements and Israel for this conflict is an extreme stretch and a discounting of the fundamental problem: Israel's right to exist

I will get ya the link for the article....need to find it...one of the NY papers

Have to disagree here...though the other Arab countries haven't done much to help the Palestinians, the simple fact why the Palestinians don't have any meaningful lives is because of Israeli occupation, killings, curfews, and land grabs.

Regarding the right of Israel to exist, the PLO has stated that Israel has a right to exist as long as a Palestinian state is also allowed to exist. Israel was founded a Zionist state(read their declaration of Independence), which claims the whole area their own - does that mean that the government is pursuing such a course of action?

The problem is a lot more complex than just a few Arab countries (namely Syria and Iran) and groups not recognizing the right of Israel to exist.

Here's a solution that, if it works, would solve the problem, and if not, gives Israel proper justification to launch a full fledged assualt on the Palestinians.

Pull out of the occupied territories and let the Palestinians form their own state. Let international monitors in, to monitor the situation and police either side, if necessary. If the Palestinian terror organizations still continue their policies, then they have nothing to hide behind, and Israel would be well justified in launching a war.

Also, its very suspicious when the Palestinians are begging for international monitors/peacekeeping force and the Israelis don't want any...what have they got to hide?

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It seems like more and more settlers are seeing the need to move. I think this would be a big first step on the long road to peace. Wonder why the government does not want to support this.

It seems like Sharon and the various militant organizations really do not want peace. Sometimes I wonder if they hold high level meetings, conspiring on how to launch the next round of violence!

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At this point its hard to say who started the fighting, as there are many instances of Jewish terrorism against the Arabs in the early days.

this is utter non sense. it is completely obvious to me that you dont know your history nor do you understand the situation on the ground. take a flight to israel and visit the land because you are talking utter non sense.

do you want to know why peace in mid east isnt dependent on Israel? i will tell you why. Israel does not exist in the minds of most of the arab countries. if you go to any arab country, except for perhaps Morocco, you will not see Israel on a world map. Israel is not excepted as a nation because they are Jewish. this racist view did not begin post 1967, but post 1948. on any arab map, you will not see Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, you will only see Palestine, overlapping any boundaries that are currently part of the Jewish state. Peace will never happen until the arabs realize that Israel isnt some temporary stage of existence, but that Israel is a real country, with a real tradition, real people and real hopes and dreams. the vast, vast majority of israelis would kick all the settlers out of the territories tomorrow if only they would be assured of future security, end of cold blooded terrorism and end to the nazi-like encitement of palestinian children. but that hope does not exist because people like arafat are in power.

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