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

February 01, 2003

Arafat Panics

Today, the PA suddenly offered to enter into unconditional cease-fire talks with Israel. This follows a similar offer by Arafat to meet with Sharon right after the Prime Minister's re-election. For obvious reasons (Arafat has proven himself to NOT be a negotiating partner), Israel turned the first offer down, and probably will this one too. But the timing is revealing.

The PA is panicing.

With it looking unlikely at this stage that Sharon will be able build a coaltion government with the Labor party, Arafat fears the wrath brought by a right-wing government. In that scenario, he is almost certain to be exiled and the PA to be dismantled, meaning the end of his sputtering dictatorship. This has thrown Arafat into suck-up mode; his only chance is too appeal to the Labor party in order to entice them into a coaltion, hoping that Labor will temper the punishment he is due. He plays nice, they yield and join Sharon, thus buying him time.

This isn't to say that Labor shouldn't join Likud - only that they shouldn't fall for Arafat's deceit.