Jewish World Review Sept. 18, 2003 / 21 Elul, 5763
Send Arafat to Paris!
In history, one man can make a difference.
This is the insight that has provoked historians to confect what is called
the Great Man theory of history.
For instance, had there never been a Napoleon Bonaparte, Europe
would have remained an eighteenth century theme park far into the nineteenth
century. Had there never been an Adolf Hitler, Europe would have remained a
nineteenth century theme park far into the twentieth century or at least
until Josef Stalin made his move on Central Europe.
Incidentally, who would have stood up to Stalin in, say, 1940? I
suppose the challenge would have fallen to Winston Churchill, but without
Hitler's remilitarization of Germany to provoke Churchill's resistance in
the 1930s, there might not have been a Churchill in the British government.
Would the French have stood up to Stalin? Would the Germans under one of
their postwar liberals?
I doubt it. Great men of evil character spread evil, and great
men of good character oppose them. Yasser Arafat is a man who has made a
difference, and the difference has led to violence and carnage, anarchy and
war. He is the great man of evil character, and he has yet to run up against
a great man of good character equal to the task of eliminating him. Possibly
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can rise to the occasion. Last week,
Israel's Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggested killing Arafat as "one of
the options" in dealing with him.
There is no doubt the Israelis could kill him. In response to
Palestinian terrorist organizations' murder of civilians within Israel, the
Israeli military has been killing terrorist leaders. The chief terrorist
leader is Arafat, and his whereabouts is never a secret. A surgical strike
with missiles would end Arafat's mischief.
The Israelis have been contemplating another option. For over a
year, they have considered grabbing Arafat and shipping him out of his West
Bank headquarters to another country. This would not be the first time
Arafat's penchant for mischief and mayhem has led to his reluctant departure
from a country. Since 1967, he has been forcibly removed from five
countries, all of them Arab. Jordanians, Lebanese and Syrians have all
forced him from their country, and he has always landed in another Arab
jurisdiction. Now the Israelis contemplate shipping him abroad. But where to
Allow me to offer a solution. There is another Arab country
where Arafat has yet to reside and where the large Arab population
unquestionably would welcome him. I suggest Prime Minister Sharon rise to
the challenge, demonstrate that he is one of history's Great Men and send
Arafat to France.
The Palestinian has a wife in Paris and a friend in Jacques
Chirac. The two could have long lunches together. They could even negotiate.
Both love to negotiate. Over the years, as Arafat has "negotiated,"
thousands have died. Not as many people will die if Arafat is out of the
West Bank, but in Paris negotiating can be very agreeable nonetheless,
especially with so suave a negotiator as Chirac. Possibly the two might also
invite Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder into their negotiations.
For 40 years, Arafat's leadership in the Middle East has been a
bloody string of murders and insurrections. From the massacre of Israeli
athletes in the 1972 Olympics to the shipment last year of arms from Iran to
the Palestinian territories on the ship "Karin A," Arafat has been a leader
of terror even as he has presented himself to the civilized world as a
With his recent ambush of Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen,
he has revealed himself to be anything but a serious statesman. He is a
fanatical opponent of peace in the Middle East and of Israeli nationhood.
The Israelis should send him to Paris. Then let us see what Chirac will do
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