Arafat Not Only Almost Has-Been

Arafat Not Only Almost Has-Been
Vol: 7 Issue: 22 Monday, April 22, 2002

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer reportedly held secret meetings in a Jerusalem hotel to work out a deal on how to carve up Israel’s political pie in the event current Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is removed from office.

Ben-Eliezer and Netanyahu met in three separate meetings over the last few months to work out a deal on establishing a unity government after the next national elections, assuming that both lead their respective parties at the time. Netanyahu reportedly went so far as to offer Ben-Eliezer the post of defense minister. The former prime minister does not currently hold the leadership of Likud, but internal polls give Netanyahu the edge over Sharon among party faithful, according to The Associated Press.

Netanyahu may be a bit premature; Sharon’s popularity is on the upswing despite — or perhaps due to — the Israeli military operations in the West Bank. A local poll two weeks ago gave Sharon a 62 percent approval rating, up more than 20 points from last month. The Labor Party pledged April 9 not to withdraw from the coalition during a time of war, while the next parliamentary elections are not scheduled until October 2003.

Operation Defensive Shield Over, Says Sharon

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said “the present phase of the battle against terrorism is over.” “We finished it,” said Sharon, referring to “Operation Defensive Shield.” But while Israel may have pulled back, saying it is over doesn t mean Israel is standing down. Sharon said “Defensive Shield,” which Israel said was intended to root out terrorists and their infrastructure in the West Bank, has produced “serious results, but the struggle against terror will continue.”


Israel is for the moment content to allow Sharon to act as their wartime leader but wartime leaders seldom last longer than the war. Winston Churchill was the UK s greatest living statesman in 1945. In 1946 he was a former government official.

Sharon will face a coalition crisis as soon as negotiations with the Palestinians begin in earnest. The right wing will walk out if it believes the prime minister is too conciliatory, but the left will withdraw if he stonewalls the negotiations. Either way, Sharon will likely find himself out of a job.

For now, however, negotiations are unlikely. The Palestinians have yet to respond for the three week Israeli incursion. Israel still has tanks and troops in harm s way, increasing their exposure and therefore the probability of attack.

To the north, Hezbollah has reined in, temporarily, but only until Syria and Iran feel sufficiently secure to unleash them again. Israel s confinement and isolation of Arafat was an unexpected move they had intended to coordinate with the Palestinian central authority an authority that no longer exists as a cohesive guerilla force.

Israel Objects To UN Personnel Choice

Following his vicious condemnation of Israeli conduct at Jenin before any facts were known Israel has rejected UN Envoy Terje Larsen as a participant in any subsequent UN investigative team. Larsen blasted Israel for the destruction wrought by Operation Defensive Shield, saying it was unwarranted by any military objective and created a human catastrophe “horrifying beyond belief.”

One Israeli lawmaker said Larsen disqualified himself by his one-sided comments. His words, she said, were “not worthy of an objective diplomat.”

Israel says Larsen has already made up his mind and therefore his investigation would simply be pro forma. Larsen’s relations with the IDF and the defense establishment have been strained since last year, when he denied the UN had a video of the kidnapping of soldiers from Har Dov – a video that later did emerge.

Israel says Larsen violated the UN Charter, which calls upon their diplomats to act in an objective manner. By going to the international press Larsen went beyond the accepted behavior of an international diplomat. There is strong support in the Knesset for having Larsen declared persona non-grata and unceremoniously booting him out of Israel. But that would just bring down more UN heat, as Larsen enjoys the title of under-secretary-general of the United Nations.

Robinson Can Stay Home, Too

Israel has also rejected the participation of former UN High Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson. Robinson presided over the UN Conference on Racism in South Africa last year that devolved into a racist conference of anti-Semites whose behavior was so egregious that many countries, including the US and Canada, simply walked out.


The Arabs are already painting Israel s rejection of Larsen and Robinson as evidence of an Israeli cover-up of dark deeds at Jenin.

The United Nations says Israel is overreacting to Larsen s comments and says it fully supports him .

According to Kofi Annan, “Throughout the many years he has worked to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Roed-Larsen has always behaved professionally, with objectivity and sympathy.”

Larsen s comments came without the benefit of any evidence, based solely on unsupported Palestinian allegations. And Larsen has been far less vociferous about the wave of Palestinian terror and suicide bomber attacks against innocent civilians in Israel than he has about the Jenin battle.

To date there s been no discovery of hidden mass graves. More than that, there is no list of names of those allegedly missing and believed massacred.

Larsen s comments made it clear he had already made up his mind. Israel would be insane to stack the deck against itself with Robinson and Larsen.

Kofi Annan continues to call for an international UN peacekeeping force to be deployed to the region, whether Israel wants one or not.

Larsen, who is also an official of the Norwegian government and the European Union, is a reflection of the overall global position regarding Israel and its right to defend itself.

The overt anti-Semitism of the international community is made even more astonishing by it’s own inability to see it. Providing even evidence of the supernatural nature of this conflict and the accuracy of Bible prophecy.

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About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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