Ten years ago, the Israeli peaceniks resurrected Yasser Arafat. Now, in death, he resurrects them. If the results are similar, untold numbers of Palestinians and Israelis will go to early graves.
The crowd that delivered Arafat up from the dung heap back when he was stuck in Tunis and persona non grata in the Arab world for his backing of Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War is now off life support.
Brave again, the usual suspects like Yossi Beilin, the architect of the Oslo "peace" accords, and Yossi Sarid are urging their countrymen and the world to embrace Arafat's successors, the "moderates" who will make peace with the Jewish state.
The Free World has heard that song before, but never without Arafat as bandleader. So now, new is good, as in sex, and once again on to Jerusalem, where all that needs to be done is to make Israel understand that peace is at hand on Arafat's grave.
The two men set to take over for Arafat Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qureia were, respectively, the underboss and consigliere for his terrorist enterprise. They were with him on the mattresses, they were there when he killed the Olympic athletes in Munich, they were in the siege of Beirut, and they lived with him in Ramallah at the end.
To say that these guys are moderates, that they are the hope of the future, is to say that when Carlo Gambino died, John Gotti was a peacemaker.
In my hometown, Passaic, N.J., we had Pop's Restaurant, where we loved the apple turnovers. Every August, for two weeks, Pop's closed for "redecoration" but all they ever did was shave the waiters.
Abbas and Qureia do a little better. They wear Brooks Brothers suits, trim their beards, manicure their nails, maybe get pedicures. But check their words. They won't touch Hamas, they promote hatred against Jews and they plead with Tony Blair to correct the "historic mistake" that Britain made with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that was the start of Israel.
Speaking of Blair, he came to Washington to urge President Bush to push Israel around. He apparently considers this his marker for supporting us in the Iraq war.
Blair has plenty of backing from peaceniks in Israel and America who apparently think that John Kerry was elected. They hope that Bush, no longer needing the so-called Zionist Christians as his base, will go along with the Brits and the United Nations and his own State Department.
Bush, after all, got no more than 25 percent of the Jewish vote, so what does he owe Israel?
I don't think he looks at it that way. This is the guy who once said, "It doesn't matter whether the Jews vote for me, I will stick with Israel."
Even if I'm wrong and Bush tries to push Israel into a deal with the Palestinians, it won't matter because it can't work.
Ariel Sharon won't deal unless and until the Palestinians destroy their terrorists. Arafat never let it happen he was behind the whole operation, top to bottom. Had the Israelis left him in exile, he'd have died in Tunis, just an old hit man, no Kaddish.
Twenty-five years ago, I asked Egypt's Anwar Sadat what he thought of Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization. "The PLO," he said, "is an umbrella with holes in it. One can't do business with that."
Nothing has changed.