Somewhere on A1A...

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Arafat and Cowardice

I usually agree with David Warren, but not today. His charge of cowardice is misplaced.

As much as I believe that the world will be a better place when Arafat leaves it, I also believe it to be wrong for Israel to target him and take him out. But killing him would be infinitely better than exiling him. If they want to act strongly against Arafat, they should arrest him, try him and imprison him in isolation until the end of his days. Exiling him is no real option... he's already proven he works just as effectively from Beirut and Tunis as he does confined to the Mukhata

Unlike David Warren, I do not think the strike in Syria was cowardice, and unlike David Warren I don't think the raid into Syria was a substitute for action against Arafat. And I think he's mistaken in his thought that the raid was meant to deter Arafat.

I applaud the strike into Syria for the exact reason that Warren criticizes it. It widens the conflict. In reality it's a signal that Israel recognizes that the problem is NOT merely with Arafat. The Israelis are defending themselves against the entire Arab world, not just a criminal confined to a semi-demolished office building.

Mr. Warren is just wrong to charge Sharon and Israel with cowardice for not killing or exiling Arafat. Real cowardice would be ignoring the role the wider Arab world plays in threatening and attacking Israel. By eliminating Arafat and even the PA, the problem still remains: Millions of Arabs want Israel destroyed, and are trying to do it.


free hit counter