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

April 30, 2003

Deodorizing Dahlan

When I was in 7th or 8th grade, I remember my teacher referring to Kurt Waldheim as a "deodorized Nazi." Back then, about 30 years ago, Waldheim's wartime record was not yet known, so we were befuddled as to why the teacher was criticizing Kofi Annan's predecessor. About 10 years later, the stories came out and Waldheim was disgraced. My teacher was right.

In order for the peace process to work there's a need to do the same with the members of the PA.

Ted Belman noted earlier that Mohammed Dahlan is getting a free ride despite his involvement in terror in the past 6 years. Here's the New York Times:
A chain smoker, Mr. Dahlan is a dapper figure who is always impeccably groomed. With his expensive suits and luxury home, he can come across as a wealthy businessman rather than a security chief. He is seen as extremely ambitious, and he has been willing to criticize Mr. Arafat.

In an interview last month with The New York Times, Mr. Dahlan said he quit his post in November 2001 "because I didn't feel the Palestinian Authority had a political vision." He added, "I hope the new prime minister will make a difference."

Since his resignation, Mr. Dahlan has remained visible, presenting himself as a moderate, conciliatory figure ready to resume peace negotiations with Israel.
But it's not just Dahlan who presents himself as a moderate; the Times is perfectly willing to do the work for him:
Many of those same militants were released shortly after the current Palestinian uprising began in September 2000, and Israel says its security forces moved into Palestinian cities and towns, killing and capturing suspects because Palestinian authorities refused to do so.
Actually Amos Harel reported in Ha'aretz in Mid-September 2000 (roughly ten days before the intifada "officially" started) that most of the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad had been released. In other words, it's not as the Times suggested that the PA released terrorists as a result of the breakdown of the peace process, but the terrorist leaders were let out so that they could organize attacks against Israel.
Michael Freund will have none of the phony Dahlan PR and does a nice job of skewering the fawning coverage:
What the guardians of the public's right to know neglected to mention is that Dahlan has a nasty habit of trying to blow up schoolbuses full of Jewish children. On at least three separate occasions in the past six years Dahlan has reportedly been linked to such attacks.

Update!! Debka has more on Dahlan's CV including the plausible charge that he helped organize the Karine A.
Cross-posted on IsraPundit and David's Israel Blog