Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Arafat, the wrong choice again

I wrote about this over the weekend and a few weeks ago. The idea of a foreign force, or a multinational force, to keep order in the Palestinian lands once(if) the Israelis leave, is appealing to me. Guest blogger Danny at The Head Heeb says that Arafat is reluctant to let the Jordanians into the West Bank.

Danny Rubinstein writes in yesterday’s Haaretz (Hebrew edition only) about PA resistance to the possibility of Jordanian troops being sent into the West Bank after the coming disengagement (in contrast with greater willingness to accept Egyptian troops in the Gaza strip).

I should say flat out that I regard the elimination of the Jordanian option as a major, and tragic, 'road not taken'. To put it simply, even if Israel will ever be sufficiently generous to the Palestinians and grant them a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza, this will not be a state with which the Palestinians will be happy with. It will be completely dependant economically on Israel (not a good thing), and will certainly not be able to accommodate the return of the Palestinian refugees into its own very modest borders. It will leave many of the conflict’s issues unresolved – it may pretty soon deemed to be a Bantustan by bein-pensants everywhere, putting on the agenda demands for more concessions, the creation of a bi-national state, i.e. suicide.

[. . .]

After the collapse of Oslo, in large part of because of, well, Arafat had a rather blasé attitude about achieving an independent state in the West Bank, it seems that the PLO option isn’t looking that good either. With Arafat discredited and locked up in his lair, Rubinstein reports that the Palestinian leadership fear growing Jordanian involvement in the West Bank. Much of this is of course a power struggle between PLO and Amman, of course; but Palestinian fear may also be a result of what they perceive as a return to the “Jordan is Palestine” attitude. He quotes opposition politician Hassan Khraisheh saying that “there is an essential difference between the planned Egyptian involvement in Gaza and possible Jordanian involvement in the West Bank. The difference is that Israel plans to retreat from Gaza, whereas in the West Bank it intends to stay”.

This is the crux of the matter; if Israel wishes to bring in the Jordanians, and I think that it should, it must convince Palestinians that it does not mean to stay in the West Bank. We are of course still very far from that point, which is why I don’t think we can see Jordanian involvement for some time to come.

Entire post.

Isn't there someone who can untraceably make Arafat die in his sleep? Jesus H. Christ! The Israelis can blow that Hamas guy out of his wheelchair with a Hellfire missile, you'd think they could kill Arafat and make it look like a fucking accident. Then we could probably get on with it, with a little leadership from Washington, of course.

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