In Need of a New Abbas

(Washington Post) Charles Krauthammer - The fall of moderate Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas - systematically destroyed by Yasser Arafat - represents a spectacularly missed opportunity. Abbas wanted to end the terror and cash in on the American promise of an independent Palestinian state. Arafat, whose unswerving objective is a Palestinian state built on the ruins of Israel and who will not put down the gun until he gets it, undermined Abbas from the very beginning. He now has chosen a puppet as his new prime minister. Abbas's fall is only the latest chapter in the tragic story of the Palestinians' repeated decision to refuse the dignity of independence if it meant accepting Israel. Every peace plan, every road map, every truce is bound to fail until the Palestinians make a historic collective decision to accept half a loaf and build their state within it. The administration should reconsider its puzzling opposition to the Israeli security fence. The fence not only will save lives by preventing suicide attacks, it will change the strategic equation by neutralizing the terror weapon. If the fence is built, yes, some Palestinians will be cut off from their fields. On the other hand, if the fence is not built, innocent people on the other side will be blown to bits. Which of these two misfortunes is the more morally compelling?

2003-09-12 00:00:00

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