Arafat: why the concern when nature will solve the prob?

This seems mighty obvious–as people are wont to say in speaking of Israel v. Palestine.

Banish Arafat? Arrest him? Kill him? Cut out his tongue?

Hasn’t anyone noticed that this guy is IN HIS 70s and not exactly in the world’s most cushy job?

Why don’t those for whom the “final disposition” of Arafat is an issue just wait 5 years or so?

Has the Sharon government given a reason why action must be undertaken NOW? Is it some kind of rule about getting one’s revenge while the revengee is still there to experience it? Is it proposed that “doing something about Arafat” will lead to a better resolution than just letting him shuffle off this mortal coil?

Or, gee, is it all about politics and image and electoral advantage?

That’s not the mystery, though. What I don’t understand is why no one ever raises the issue in these terms, not our talking-head pundits, not our free press, not the Arabs, not ANYONE! What obvious element am I missing here?

Well, in five years, the people on both sides will be even more pissed off. A hell of a lot more pissed off, I’d guess.

C’mon, you just KNOW he’s gonna be one of those guys who lives to be 92.

Five years is a long time to wait for someone like Arafat to croak while various terrorists are hell-bent on killing people left and right.

Yeah, Mehit and Atreyu. That’s what I was getting at.

You can’t just say, “Oh, only 950 more suicide bombings until he’s dead. No biggie.”

Both sides are wrong in this conflict. I don’t care what variation of what compromise gets implemented. I just want the conflict to ** end.**

I dunno. Sure, a lot of people want to kill him, but a lot of people support him, too. And besides, stealing millions from the people you swear you represent seems like a way to make a comfortable living.

And five years is too long. Hell, even a few months is.

His family is famous for it’s longevity IIRC. Many lived till their 90s.

Incidentally: It always kind of annoyed me how Arafat complained about not being made a martyr when Isreal put him under siege for a few days.

“They let me live! Those bastards!

Yeah, like killing him is going to end the terrorist attacks. If anything, it would increase them.

Waiting sounds like a great idea to ME. I mean, it worked with Fidel Castro, didn’t it? :rolleyes:

I wasn’t trying to suggest that killing Arafat would bring a cessation to terrorist attacks.

I was suggesting that merely sitting around and waiting for Arafat to die in order to see a change in Palestinian leadership is an extremely impractical approach.

But, is it more impractical than martyring Palestinian leadership? That’s another crucial question.

Just like a rich relative lives forever, so will Arafat cling to his bloodsoaked bully-pulpit for longer than anyone would expect.

The Middle East may not be able to withstand even another five years of Arafat’s presence on the political scene. His deceit and betrayal sows the seeds of ultimate doom for Palestine and Israel alike. He promotes an endless cycle of violence that will only cease when he is absented. The “roadmap to peace” will never direct anyone towards that end until Arafat is wiped off of it like a mustard stain.

You know how long we’ve been waiting for Castro to croak?

If Arafat dies, the suicide bombings will increase.

But then, if he lives the suicide bombings will increase.

Arafat is irrelevant.

What about Sharon… how long for him to get pushed out of office. People talk a lot about Arafat killing Israelis and forget that Sharon has been nicknamed the “butcher” before. Both have a lot of blood in their hands and while BOTH are in power no peace will be acheived.

5 years in politics is an eternity… and like someone said Fidel Castro is still kicking. JFK is long gone in comparison.

Only the good die young , or so its been said.

In the 82 war , after the conflict the Israeli’s had stated that several times their snipers had him in their scopes ,but were under orders not to cancel him.

But time moves on ,and he is an obstacle. Its problably a propaganda or py-ops campaign to send him a message.

If the Israelis wanted to cancel some one , they would and damm the consequences, if they thought it was in their national interest , not just talk about it.


So, is the STMB consensus that “5 years is too long to wait, and besides what if he lives a lot longer, and look at Fidel”?

My sympathies are about 9-sympathies Israel vs. 1-sympathy Palestine, but–

(a) Absent an outright public declaration of war (or at least something that is well understood to be the equivalent thereof, since the US no longer declares war), killing a foreign leader sounds a little too close to murder for my tastes;

(b) There is no guarantee that killing today’s main enabler will, in the long run, curb the enablee’s bad behavior;

© Nor does there appear to be a way to remove Arafat from a position of influence short of putting him in true solitary confinement–an alternative that for some reason isn’t discussed;

(d) Many people do not regard vengeance, however deeply felt and well-deserved, an appropriate thing for governments to engage in;

(e) The long wait for Castro to die began decades before he was in his 70s;

(f) To say that the next 5 years will be definitely better re terrorism with Arafat gone seems a stretch. It might be better, might be worse, or might be a wash. Who knows? At least letting him die a natural death removes some of the (slightly) more definite (possible) consequences of the alternatives.

Note that I am putting this in terms of Israel’s interests–not apologizing for Arafat or sympathizing with Palestinian idolization of terrorism.

And my sort of snuck-in-at-the-end question remains: why does no one bring up this “natural approach” in speaking of how to deal with Arafat? The arguments against it, so far, don’t seem obviously stronger than the arguments for. Is my blind spot the simple fact that most people DO, after all, think that vengeance is OK if the acts are horrible enough?

No your blind spot is your lack of knowledge:

a) There is no real indication that Arafat is responsible for the suicide bombers, infact the general indication is against this. On what charges would you have him killed? Compared to Sharon’s adventures in the past

b) Arafat has always been a comparitive modertae and has certainly shown much more inclination to negoiatte than the current Likud government. Infact the PLO were willing to negoiatte with Israel as early as 1970’s, but it wasn’t until the early 90’s that Israel would even reciognize them, despite the fact they have been recognised as the legitmate leaders of Palestine by the UN since 1974.

c) He is the only leader currently who can enjoy the popular upport of the Palestinians.

Arafat is only a moderate in English. Try translating the messages he gives the people in Arabic.
This is not to say that Arafat should get sole credit for the bombings in Israel. It has long been my contention that the main culprit is the Palestinian education system. When you teach a 5-year-old child that his starving family will be supported and forever honored and that he will go to heaven for blowing up “evil occupyers of his homeland,” then he will grow up to blow up (and be blown up).