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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 11, 2003

I stole this Maariv article from Imshin.

It has two opposing statements from two Arafat advisors. One is Abu Sharif, who is, as the author says, known to be moderate. In his statement he advocates a two-state solution, but he also deems the "right of return" unpractical and not serious. The second one is someone who's last name is Habash, who says: "For us, the refugee issue is a winning card, because it means the destruction of the state of Israel".

The author thinks that Arafat prefers the latter, which I have no doubt about. But then he goes on analyzing Arafat's subtle endorsement of Mitzna as the next Israeli PM. His theory is: Mitzna is bad for Arafat, since he will be making some generous offers to Arafat, which Arafat knows he will have to refuse, thus exposing himself as the no-good SOB that he is. And since Mitzna is bad for Arafat, Arafat has to hint that he favors him, since most Israelis will not vote for someone whom Arafat favors. This is a stupid theory. Anyone who does not keep his head in the sand for most of the day already knows who Arafat really is. No more evidence is needed. And then there are people who will support him no matter what, for all kinds of idiotic reasons. No evidence will bother them any more than it did so far.

It is true that Arafat might be hoping that Mitzna will help him regain at least some of the legitimacy that he had lost. But I think what really is happening is that deep down Arafat knows that Mitzna's chance to be elected is very slim, if any, with or without his endorsement. So this endorsement is there largely to show that he, Arafat, is always willing to negotiate, and it is the evil Sharon who would not. I think it is one of his last pathetic efforts to float, by grabbing however small piece of wood he can find. I think Arafat is as good as gone. And I think that we will soon find out whether he was the real problem, or just a symptom.