]]]]]]]]]]]]         THE ANOINTING OF ARAFAT       [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ 
        Pressuring the Israelis to risk national existence (12/22/88)  
          By A.M. Rosenthal (New York Times 12/20/1988)

             [Kindly uploaded by Freeman 07656GAED]

  It is just beginning.  The pressure will now increase for Israel to 
risk its very existence.
  The purpose will be to force Israelis to agree to the creation of a 
new country that would have a deep political, religious and  national 
drive to expand over the years into all of Israel.
  Few  countries  have been asked to do that --  risk  nationhood  by 
carving out a piece of territory and handing it to an enemy without a 
fight.   Czechoslovakia  was pressured into doing that in  1938.   To 
this  day it has not regained its freedom.  Not many  nations  return 
from the graveyard of surrender.
  The Reagen Administration prepared the way for the pressure to come 
by its stunning turnaround on the Palestine Liberation  Organization.  
Only  a  few weeks ago, Secretary of State  George  Shultz  denounced 
Yasir Arafat as a terrorist not even fit to visit this country for  a 
speech to the U.N.
  Suddenly Mr. Schultz anointed the P.L.O. as a negotiating  partner, 
after 13 years of American refusal to do so, making Mr. Arafat a vic-
torious international hero.
  The  decision to legitimize Mr. Arafat came after he read aloud  an 
American-prepared  statement  that differed little from what  he  had 
said before about recognizing Israel and denouncing terrorism.
  No  further  price was asked of Mr. Arafat.   Like  renouncing  the 
death-to-Israel convenant -- as Mr. Bush himself demanded in  Septem-
ber.   Or proving over a decent amount of time that he  had  actually 
given up terrorism.  Or, most important, acknowledging the right of a 
Jewish homeland to exist in the Middle East, not simply the fact that 
it was there.
  The  frantic  haste with which Mr. Schultz  accepted  the  parroted 
words of Mr. Arafat and ordered P.L.O.-U.S. negotiations to start was 
perhaps understandable.  He did not have many weeks left to carve out 
a niche in history.  He certainly did that; his name and Mr. Arafat's 
will now always be connected.
  Just as astonishing was the speed and gentleness with which leaders 
of  American Jewish organizations announced that  despite  misgivings 
about  what  he was doing they trusted Mr. Schultz.   Privately,  the 
reason thay gave has little to do with trust of Mr. Schultz --  which 
will  not be of paramount importance after Jan. 20. It is  that  they 
assume  President-elect  Bush  is delighted not to  face  the  P.L.O. 
decision himself, and they are in no hurry to take him on.
  Let's  clear  away  some of the camouflage  thrown  up  around  the 
  The State Department says Mr. Arafat fulfilled American  conditions 
for  dealing  with  him  -- recognition  of  Israel's  existence  and 
renouncing terrorism. But those conditions were supposed to be essen-
tial  for  even considering a U.S.-P.L.O. link and were meant  to  be 
tested -- not a cooked-up maneuver for instant recognition.
  The  P.L.O.  is already warning that its  definition  of  terrorism 
willl  not  coincide with Washington's or Israel's and says  that  is 
just too bad.
  More nonesense:  Opposition to recognition of the P.L.O. means  op-
position  to peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian.   Actually, 
Mr. Reagen and Mr. Schultz did two things likely to delay peace.
  They  made  the P.L.O. the sole Palestinian representative  on  the 
West Bank with whom Israelis might have dealt.  [Because of the  con-
forming tribalism of the West Bank Palestinians, no other representa-
tive  would have appeared, regardless.  This tribalism is  reinforced 
-- by P.L.O. terrorism.  BG.]  And psychologically they have made the 
concept  of  another Palestinian state acceptable before  talks  even 
  Until  Mr.  Arafat proclaimed the Palestinian state,  the  form  of 
government  of any territory given up by the Israelis was assumed  to 
be one of the things that negotiations were supposed to be all about.
Should  there be another Palestinian state?  Or should any  territory 
given  up  by the Israelis be governed otherwise -- perhaps  by  West 
Bank Palestinians as part of a union with Jordan, a largely Palestin-
ian state itself?
  Will  the men who run the P.L.O. and have been fighting  all  their 
adult lives for the destruction of Israel be satisfied with a  sliver 
of a state?  Will Mr. Arafat be content to be mayor of Bethlehem?
  No speculation is needed.  A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that  after 
the  American recognition, Abu Iyad, Mr. Arafat's deputy,  said  that 
establishment  of a Palestinian  state on part  of  Palestinian  land 
would be a stage toward a Palestinian state on all of it.
  The only question at a "peace conference" now would be how much the 
P.L.O.  gets,  how  fast.   Then, how long  before  Israel  became  a 
vulnerable sliver -- 10 years, 20?
  Israel will not commit suicide.  It is reasonable to hope that  the 
new President of the United States will decide that it is immoral for 
one country to suggest that any other nation do so.   

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