Arafat Has the Capability; He Lacks the Will

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer has called Yasser Arafat's performance "abysmal in terms of using the resources at his disposal -- the PA's police, security forces, and intelligence apparatus -- to stop this kind of [terrorist] activity." Nevertheless, while expressing “great disappointment in [Arafat’s] performance," the ambassador stated that the U.S. "will continue to work with the PA and Arafat...the elected leader of the Palestinians." What Arafat Can Do: Crush terrorist cells and shut down bomb and mortar factories. He has the capability -- Arafat’s security forces remain intact in the West Bank. They may have lost some of their facilities, but the command, communications, and intelligence structures remain intact. None of the Gazan security forces were targeted in Operation Defensive Shield. Confiscate terrorists' weaponry. Arafat’s security forces have the "firepower" to take on Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Tanzim/al-Aqsa Brigade. They retain the weaponry permitted under the Oslo Accords (as well as considerable amounts of smuggled weapons). Stop incitement. Arafat sends mixed signals when he "denounces" terrorism but in the same speeches refers to treaties that were broken by Mohammed when it was convenient. Adopt a culture of coexistence. To the foreign media, Arafat may publicly express sorrow over murdered Israeli civilians, but Palestinian schools, mosques, and media continue to extol suicide bombers. Arafat has the capability. Does he have the will?

2002-05-29 00:00:00

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