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End of the Intifada?

Good news from Gaza — Yasser Arafat is not merely losing political support, but some are rising in open rebellion:

Gunmen burned down offices of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority in Gaza Sunday, as anger spread over the Palestinian leader's overhaul of his security forces that many saw as falling short of genuine reform.

Read the whole article. This violence comes after Arafat refused to accept the resignation of the Palestinian prime minister (in his words "I totally reject your resignation and consider it nonexistent") whose attempts at reform have been stifled by Arafat.

The Palestinian Authority needs reform, and Arafat is blocking it. Almost simultaneously, Arafat nepotistically appointed his cousin to serve as chief of security:

… members of Arafat's own Fatah movement were infuriated, accusing Moussa Arafat of symbolizing the corruption and cronyism of the Palestinian Authority.

Arafat is the problem, and increasingly even the Palestinians know it. I look forward to the day Arafat is killed or otherwise removed from office. He must go. And when he does, and the PA corruption is squelched, there will at last be an opportunity for a genuine solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But not before.


It's worth adding that I believe two recent strategies of Israel have added considerable value.

The construction of the security wall contributes directly to safety, of course, but it also creates a psychological context of there being, in fact, two distinct areas: Israel and Palestine. This separation allows Palestinians to increasingly recognize that most of their problems are "over here" and not "over there" — they see that their own government is culpable.

The direct targeting of terrorist leaders has led to a decrease in Israeli deaths at the hands of suicide bombers. It isn't true that fanatical terrorism is a hydra and that you only inflame passions and produce more terrorists when you kill one. The passions are already inflamed. Killing the leaders stirs people up for a very short period of time, but the damage to the organization's ability to carry out operations is long-term.


UPDATE 2004-07-18 23:09:16 UTC: I should remember to check Israeli UN website before posting about Israel. Ambassador Gillerman spoke about the security fence on July 16th:

… one thing has become abundantly clear: the fence works. In those places where the fence has been erected it has succeeded in making it far more difficult for terrorists to take innocent life and sabotage the peace process. Scores of suicide attacks have been thwarted the latest just two days ago. Hundreds of lives have been saved. There has been a dramatic reduction of over 90% in successful terrorist attacks, a 70% reduction in citizens killed, and an 85% reduction in the number of wounded - all of which can be attributed directly to the security fence. [source]

Tiny Island