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Jewish World Review / May 8, 1998 / 12 Iyar, 5758

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas Terms of dismemberment

THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION is attempting to pressure Israel into giving more land to the Palestinian Authority than Israel believes prudent to maintain its security needs. During meetings in London with Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Netanyahu that easing America's insistence on Israel's pull-back from an additional 13 percent of land captured in the 1967 war is "not in the works." Albright hinted that if the Israelis don't cave, the United States might publicly disclose its entire "peace package," which promises additional pressure on Israel.

Netanyahu As we have come to expect from the State Department and its chief apologist for the Palestine Liberation Organization, Dennis Ross, the formula for a peace settlement is all wrong. It isn't Israel that is threatening its enemies with extinction. It isn't Israel that has failed to live up to the Oslo accords. Israel asks only that the Palestinian Authority abide by the accords in order for confidence to be built and peaceful coexistence to be established.

If only American "pressure cookers" would examine Arafat's words to his Arab colleagues, they would see the folly of believing what he tells them.

In an interview on April 18 with Egypt's Orbit Satellite Television Channel, Arafat compared the Oslo accords to the broken truce Muhammad signed with the Koreish tribe 1,300 years ago. All options are open to the Palestinian people, Arafat said, and he likened his orders to cease terrorist attacks against Israel to those of Muhammad, who agreed to a 10-year truce with the Koreish tribe, which was opposed by one of his top aides, Omar Bin Khatif. Khatif called it the "inferior peace." In the interview, Arafat said, "I do not compare myself to the prophet, but I do say that we must learn from his steps and those of Salah al-Din (the Arab leader who drove the Crusaders out of Jerusalem 800 years ago). The peace agreement which we signed is an "inferior peace.'"

Arafat suggested "we remain quiet. We respect agreements the way that the prophet Muhammad and Salah al-Din respected the agreements which they signed."

A reasonable person might conclude that Arafat has no intention of living up to the Oslo accords and will use the techniques of Muhammad and modern "diplomacy" to extract as many land concessions as he can from Israel and then launch a war, perhaps with the aid of his Arab neighbors, to grab the rest, including all of pre-1967 Israel and all of Jerusalem, which he has declared many times is his ultimate objective. Based on his history of attempting to keep that promise, why should Arafat's pledges not to strike Israel if he gets 13 percent more land be believed?

It is an outrage for the U.S. government to impose a peace settlement on a sovereign nation in light of Arafat's clear objectives and his stated unwillingness to honor the Oslo accords. Albright and Dennis Ross should be questioned about why they believe Arafat's nice words to the international community but not his comments to his own people. They should also be asked why Israel should not believe Arafat wants all the land and every Jew out of it, including Jerusalem.

The United States can afford to be wrong about Arafat's intentions. Israel can't.


5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.