Case vs. Arafat even stronger than one against Saddam
October 15, 2003
BY JOEL J. SPRAYREGEN
Israel has at least as much justification to oust Yasser Arafat as the United States did to oust Saddam Hussein. Saddam was understood, even by France, to be attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction. Those who supported the ouster of Saddam knew he was a corrupt despot and mass murderer (of Iraqis and Kuwaitis) who had initiated two bloody wars.
How does Arafat compare with Saddam? On Sept. 9, 1993, Arafat delivered to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn a letter stating: "The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security." On Sept. 11, 2000, Al-Sabah, official publication of the Palestinian Authority, declared: "The time for Intifada has arrived; the time for Jihad has arrived." Seventeen days later, the Palestinians initiated their latest war. The result: almost 900 murdered Israeli civilians and more than 5,000 seriously injured.
Some foolishly argue that Arafat can not control the "radicals." Barry Rubin, co-author of a new biography of him, points out: "What many foreign observers have failed to understand is that for more than two years Arafat himself has been firmly in the radical camp."
Arafat's actions follow a pattern. David Brooks observed in an article in the Atlantic: "Arafat and his army have brought disorder wherever they have settled. In 1969 they based themselves in Jordan, where they soon began terrorizing the local people, running extortion and undermining the Jordanian regime; as well as Abu Mazen's successor, leading to expulsion of Arafat and his army. The same thing happened in Lebanon a decade later, with Palestinian thugs looting banks and destroying local government. Arafat has survived his many crises, and each time, instead of being held even partly responsible for the suffering, he has been lionized as the figure who will someday bring deliverance." Arafat ordered the murders of two U.S. ambassadors.
The Oslo Accords allowed Arafat 30,000 armed "policemen," vastly outnumbering Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Arafat has not deployed his "police" to prevent terrorism; instead, his own Fatah (who last week shot a Palestinian suspected of "collaboration" in his hospital bed) are part of the terrorist infrastructure.
This writer is abashed that in the false springtime of Oslo, he attended three meetings with Arafat during which liberal Americans fawned over him as a "peace partner."
The world failed to heed what Arafat told Palestinians. In a 1996 speech, he said: "We know only one word: Jihad, Jihad, Jihad!" He reiterated that Oslo was a temporary truce, like Muhammad's treaty with Koreish, so he could amass strength.
Continued incitement by the Palestinian Authority is integral to the "suicide factory" that produces suicide bombers. It is a measure of the kind of law established by Arafat that the latest suicide bomber was a lawyer.
If Arafat's words don't expose him as an opponent of peace, consider the ship, intercepted by Israel, carrying 50 tons of heavy arms paid for by the Palestinian Authority. Arafat removed his prime minister who recognized that Arafat's war is disastrous to Palestinians. Mohammed Khodr, Palestinian physician, wrote: "Arafat is responsible for the arrogant weapon-wielding occupying PLO force that led to disasters and more ill feeling toward Palestinians."
Arafat received more than $2.5 billion in aid, yet Palestinian standards declined. Michael Kelly, brilliant Washington journalist who died in Iraq, commented: "Arafat has established in Gaza and the West Bank a nasty, thuggish little kleptocracy run by and for the benefit of President Arafat and his gunsels and cronies."
Corruption may not justify ousting a politician, but instigation of aggressive war certainly does. No country can tolerate a neighbor, like Arafat, who blows up buses and restaurants and praises the murderers as "martyrs."
Arafat announced he was launching a terrorist war against Israel, and he has done so, with horrific results. Saddam did not attack the United States, yet we ousted him. The right to self-defense against attack is enshrined in international law. Israel can exercise that right by removing Arafat, thereby vindicating the principle that employing terrorism to achieve political ends is unacceptable.