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Remove Arafat’s Veil

Posted June. 24, 2002 08:22,   


Chairperson Ross pointed that out in his essay featured in the recent issue (July, August) of the bimonthly international politics journal Foreign Affairs, and said President Arafat had a weak support base among Arabic leaders and the international community did not have any ‘obligation’ to recognize him as the leader of Palestine.

Mr. Ross was deeply involved in the Middle East policy of the Clinton administration and his assertion contradicted the image of Arafat known to the international society, but it is noteworthy because it supports the pro-Israel policy of George W. Bush administration. And the following is the summary of the essay.

President Arafat has built his political foundation by fostering the antagonism between Israel and Palestine. While concluding the Oslo Peace Treaty in 1993, he devoted himself to get his share instead of peace.

He propagated to Palestinians that the Oslo treaty was the one to bring them whatever they wanted and hinted that he would respond with force if the Treaty were not honored. And he promised the international society to wipe out violence. This promise of his was not kept. He is a double-faced person.

President Arafat blew away the chance to build the Palestinian country by rejecting the proposal of former President Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Barak in 2000. The proposal suggested that it would recognize the 97% of the west of Gaza and Jerusalem as Palestinian territory.

The entourages of Arafat repute it saying it does not exist on paper. However, I heard this proposal of President Clinton and record it without missing a single word.

Unlike known to the outside world, all Arabic leaders distrust President Arafat. They express their disappointment against him whenever they have chance. The reason why they do not go against Arafat is because there is no one to substitute him, not because they support him.

Most of all, he did not keep his promise to wipe out violence. Palestinians have right to choose their leader, but the international society has no obligation to recognize him as the leader of Palestine.

What is worse, President Arafat even used radical Islamic organizations politically. That is why he does not disorganize armed terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Jihad, and so on. The reason why he suppressed Jihad in 1996 was not because he wanted to wipe out suicide terrorism but they challenged his authority.

The answer is clear. It is not time for the US to intervene in the Middle East crisis. A feasible peacemaking is not present at this moment, and even if there is one, President Arafat will try to derange it.

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com