Arafat Next Target?

MSNBC: Arafat brushes off Israeli threats

Addressing thousands of cheering supporters Saturday, Yasser Arafat dismissed the latest Israeli threats against him, referring to himself as a “mountain†that will not be moved.

But confidants of the Palestinian leader said he was taking the warnings seriously and was preparing for the possibility of his death.

Arafat delivered his public comments after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he was no longer bound by a promise to Washington not to harm the Palestinian leader. Sharon̢۪s remarks Friday were seen as his strongest threat against Arafat yet.

Sharon̢۪s remarks were criticized by Russia, Germany and the United States, which all urged him to leave Arafat alone. Angry Palestinian officials accused the United States of encouraging the Israeli leader̢۪s tough line.

In new violence, meanwhile, Israeli troops killed four Palestinians, including three militants, near the West Bank town of Jenin.

While the conventional wisdom is that killing Arafat would only inflame the situation, I’m no longer sure of that. Arafat has been, at best, useless in stopping terrorism against the Israelis and, more likely, directly responsible for it. It may be time to remove Arafat from the equation.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Robin says:

    “It may be time to remove Arafat from the equation.”

    It may be years past time to remove Arafat from the equation.

  2. PJ says:

    The Palestinians (and most of the world, for that matter) have effectively placed Israel in the position that their actions have no consequences. Inflame the situation? To what exactly, suicide bombers? Broad world condemnation?

    Take out Arafat. We’re already at the response level.

  3. ibejo says:

    Arafat is long over due. He does nothing but exacerbate the current situation. IMHO, Sharon is well within his rights to remove Arafat from the equation.