"THE GREATEST MISTAKE"

By William Markiewicz

-- Thus a Palestinian speaker described Israel's decision to attack Arafat for the recent serial kamikaze killings. Israel empirically decides who is responsible just as the USA does now, blaming Iran for Al-Qaida. The USA does it for oil, and Israel -- for what? During negotiations with Rabin, Arafat proved that he's the best among the potential Palestinian negotiators. Later, during negotiations with Barak, he made mistakes, which he has admitted. He has since dropped his exaggerated requirements but it didn't help him; the extremists on both sides took advantage and the momentum for negotiations was lost.

Arafat is the most prestigious Palestinian leader; his people are proud of him as he led them on the international stage. The Palestinians will take his loss personally -- for them he is father, brother -- and the avalanche of protests to follow may transcend the Palestinian and Arab world. The Christian fundamentalists that Sharon calls "Judeo-Christians" will remain Israel's only friends. Nobody should have fundamentalists as their only friends; you may know the saying: "Everybody was negative about him, only Wassermann positive."

The people of Israel didn't know how to build a safe haven in the Diaspora for over 2,000 years. Now, on their own land, they sin, like the USA, by excessive use of power and greed. But they are not Americans and they cannot reject diplomacy from their life. The Americans don't need to grab Iraqi and Iranian oil. Israel doesn't need settlements squatting on a few miles of Palestinian territory in open violation of the Oslo agreements. When Arafat is gone, the terror will not diminish but increase. Then whom will Israel attack next? The Martians?

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