By William Markiewicz

The Rabin - Arafat negotiations were carried out in such a friendly climate that had Rabin lived there would be not only peace among the brave, but also, I suspect, genuine and enduring friendship among neighbours. On the TV broadcast of the Israeli - Arab open air encounter, we saw a Jordanian participant quoting a verse from the Bible in Hebrew with Rabin smiling in appreciation and bravos from the attending Jews and Arabs! Needless to say, the Palestinian terror was then practically nonexistent, rejected by the Palestinian population who, like everybody else, wanted peace above all. After Rabin's assassination by a Jewish terrorist, Arafat, perhaps fearing that the same might happen to him from an Arab enemy of peace, blew up the negotiations with Barak by posing impossible conditions for Israel. This fear would be acceptable for you and me, but not for a leader of a nation who must be as ready for death as any of his soldiers. Now, Sharon's turn to be afraid has come; I don't know if it's of death but certainly for loss of reputation. After practicing his philosophy of 'toughness', any change of attitude will be seen not as a pathway toward the peace of the brave, but as the defeat of a bully who got a bloody nose from Kamikaze and kids with stones.

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