Disappointing an Understatement
Vol: 8 Issue: 29 Wednesday, May 29, 2002
America s ambassador to Israel explained to the Jerusalem Post why CIA Director George Tenet deferred his visit to the region. It wasn t that he stayed home because there was no point, Daniel Kurzter explained. He said that it was just that he wouldn t come until he thinks it makes sense to do so. Gee, that clears things up, doesn t it?
Kurzter was asked if he was as disappointed with Arafat as President Bush was.
Kurzter immediately dropped the traditional diplomatic double-speak . “Disappointing sounds like too weak a word… It has been abysmal in terms of using the resources at his disposal the PA’s police, security forces, and intelligence apparatus to stop this kind of activity,” he said.
“There are going to be some cases where that capability has probably been diminished over this past period, but that does not excuse the absence of performance in places where the capability has not been diminished.
“There is no excusing this. It is only a reason to intensify efforts to get them to do what they have to do.
Kurzter was unusually blunt in his criticism for an ambassador. Maybe it was his frustration with the situation. While denying Tenet wasn t coming because he saw no hope of success, he admitted Tenet was at a loss to figure out how you get the Palestinians to do what they are supposed to do which is for their own purposes.”
Pendulum Swinging Away From Palestinian Statehood
Kurzter also let slip an important clue regarding the redeveloping US policy concerning a future Palestinian state.
Buried inside all the US talking points about continuing to deal with Arafat because he is the legally elected representative and so forth, Kurzter said, “Arafat has pushed the date of independence off, rather than move it forward.
Arafat s Reform Plan
We reported some weeks ago that President Bush and Ariel Sharon worked out an agreement whereby Arafat might be side-stepped by the creation of a prime minister, allowing Arafat to continue as a figurehead. Of course, that was the Bush/Sharon best case scenario.
The London daily al-Hayat outlined Arafat s best case scenario.
Yasser Arafat will retain control of the key post of Interior minister in charge of Palestinian security services.
The Deputy interior minister would be Muhamad Dahlan, who currently runs Palestinian terrorist operations in the Gaza Strip,
Four new organizations would be established:
Internal security: Under Rashid Abu Shbak, Dahlan s deputy and senior terrorist.
The two preventive security services in Gaza and the West Bank will be united under Shbak and Dahlan.
External Security: Amin al Hindi. He was a bone tossed in the hope of distracting the Israelis and Washington. He had been previously stripped of real authority in the course of the Intifada because he was regarded as too pro-American.
[External Security is irrelevant anyway, since Arafat would directly control his mechanism through other interlocking directorates.]
Police: Hajj Ismail, current West bank General Security chief, who is completely under the thumb of Arafat and Dahlan.
General Security: This would be equivalent to a Palestinian army. The Oslo Peace Accords expressly forbid a Palestinian army. Oslo only recognizes an eventual demilitarized Palestinian state. Arafat is trying to sneak this violation through in the guise of reforms .
The infamous Force 17, a key element of the Palestinian terror machine, will absorb Arafat s two other private terrorist groups the Fatah suicide killers arm known as the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Tanzim militia.
That way, Arafat bypasses the demand to dismantle al Aqsa Brigades, who have claimed responsibility for the unrelenting and ongoing wave of terror.
Tawfiq Tirawi is currently the commander of the al Aqsa Brigades and super-controller of Fatah suicide killers. According to al Hayat, Tirawi is slated to command the new consolidated security organization.
It is unlikely that the Israelis will be taken in by the token moderates in Arafat s reformed Palestinian Authority. Neither will Washington. Not that it really matters. Arafat s proposed official operational government will simply move underground and operate behind the scenes anyway.
The only way to stop them is to eliminate them. That means continuing Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank until Israel finally cuts the head off the snake.
The world s attention is distracted at the moment by events in South Asia, but not enough for Israel to engineer Arafat s exit from this mortal plane. But unless and until that is accomplished, reform is just another word that loses something in the translation.