The Arafat Problem
It’s been the misfortune of the Palestinian people to be stuck with Yasir Arafat as their founding father, a leader who has failed to make the transition from romantic revolutionary to statesman. All he seems capable of offering Palestinians now is a communal form of the martyrdom he seems to covet. Mr. Arafat should accept his limitations and retire as president of the Palestinian Authority.
They’ll get no argument from me on that point. Unfortunately, the rest of the column is based on the premise, for which I’ve seen no evidence, that the Palestinian people yearn for peace with Israel and would promply elect a decent leader if only given the chance. Sadly, all signs point to Arafat’s successor being more, not less, extremist.