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Posted: 4/19/2002 6:52:49 PM EDT
[size=4]The road to war in the Mideast[/size=4] By Jeff Jacoby, 4/4/2002 YOU CANNOT make sense of the Israeli-Palestinian war without first making sense of 1993. That year found Israel in reasonably good shape. Its economy was the most powerful in the Middle East. Its military power was respected and feared. Its enemies in the Arab and Muslim world, which for so long had dreamed of wiping Israel off the map, were at last coming to accept that the Jewish state was here to stay. To be sure, Yasser Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Organization still plotted to ''liberate'' Israel from the Jews, but they were in exile in Tunisia and their political and moral capital were close to nil. Things were not perfect, of course. The Palestinian intifadah of the late 1980s had petered out, but violence still flared in the West Bank and Gaza, where Israel's military presence - the result of the Arab's 1967 war of aggression - was resented. In Israel proper, Arab terrorism sometimes sent innocent civilians to terrible deaths. Israelis longed for a more normal existence, one that didn't involve such a heavy burden of military service or the onus of ruling another people. If these conditions weren't ideal, they were stable. Israel could have continued to shun the PLO as long as its charter called for Israel's extermination. It could have maintained indefinitely its tough policy of retaliating fiercely when attacked. But Israel chose a different course. In 1993, following secret negotiations in Oslo, it embarked on a ''peace process'' designed to elevate Arafat and the PLO to heights of power, wealth, and respect they had never before known. [b]In exchange for Arafat's promise of peace - ''the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence,'' he pledged in writing - Israel agreed to forget the PLO's long history of mass murder and to treat it as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians[/b]. The deal was sealed at the White House on Sept. 13, 1993, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave Arafat his hand and affirmed his new status as Israel's partner in peace. What followed was unprecedented in the history of statecraft. Arafat and thousands of PLO killers, now reconstituted as the ''Palestinian Authority,'' entered Gaza and the West Bank in triumph. In short order, Israel transferred virtually every Arab city and town in the territories to Arafat's control. It allowed the Palestinian Authority to assume full administrative power over the Palestinian people. It not only agreed to the creation of an armed Palestinian Authority militia, it supplied the authority with weapons. It began paying Arafat a multimillion-dollar monthly allowance and lobbied internationally for additional financial support. It permitted the Palestinian Authority to build an airport, operate radio and television networks, and deal with other countries as a sovereign power. See ramainder of article at:[url]http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/094/oped/The_road_to_war_in_the_Mideast+.shtml[/url] I thought some of you might [s]need[/s] want a lesson in Middle East history. Eric The(YouKnowWhoYouAre)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 7:33:24 PM EDT
Eric, Thanks for the lesson. I fully support Isreal in their attempt to eradicate The Terrorist Arafat and his minions by any means(nuclear warfare) necessary.
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