Provisional Palestinian State is a Trap

(New York Times) William Safire - Recognizing a state on West Bank and Gaza land now occupied by Palestinian forces unwilling to control suicide bombers is a lose-lose idea. Statehood, even if qualified as provisional or interim, confers a degree of sovereignty. That means control of borders, the ability to make treaties, and to import arms from Iraq and Iran. Partial statehood would give Arafat control of an airport. A plane loaded with fuel or explosives could hit a major Tel Aviv building within three minutes, too quickly for Israeli jets to scramble. Any form of statehood would limit Israel's ability to search out bomb factories and arrest terrorist leaders. Such Israeli actions would be denounced in the UN as invasion, triggering European economic boycotts and drawing Arab allies into a wider war. Why offer Arafat's autocracy a prize? Recognition of an unreformed PLO will offer a taste of triumph to jihadists from Netanya to New York

2002-06-17 00:00:00

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