It looks as if the gloves have come off. Israel is now openly talking about the possibility that Arafat may be killed in the process of attempting to exile him. My own distance from the situation makes it far too easy to think that Arafat is a has-been terrorist thug who is out of the loop. Obviously, with Arafat’s continuing involvement in selecting Abbas’ replacement, he is not entirely out of the realm of movers and shakers.
I see Arafat as having impeded the peace process from day one. His lies and routine two-facedness has obstructed any chance of reconciliation. Killing him may not improve chances for reconciliation, but it will remove an important cog in the Palestinian terror network. With the recent wounding of Hamas founder Yassin, Israel is sending an unmistakable message to all terror leaders that their days are numbered.
My own detestation of terrorists makes it difficult not to see certain advantages to snuffing Arafat. I know this will galvanize the Palestinian population for a while, but getting rid of this impediment to peace may prove a really good idea. I’m hoping for some solid non-froth-at-the-mouth sort of input here. Maybe we can analyse this without it deteriorating into a shouting match.