Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Shevat 5761 - January 31, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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News Analysis
Official Palestinian Terror

by A. Yitzchaki

The discovery that the terrorist who placed the bomb in bus no. 51 in Tel Aviv two weeks ago was sent by the Palestinian Authority doesn't surprise anyone. The attempt to draw a line between Palestinian terror elements and official people of the Palestinian Authority, has long ago proven futile. The Palestinian Authority is a full fledged terror organization. All of its top ranking members are terrorists, and it functions like all of the terrorist organizations throughout the world. There is no difference between the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Tanzim or the Fatah. All of them or agents of Dahlan, Rajoub and of course Yasser Arafat.

This week this was again thrown in our face with the arrest of "soldiers" of Force 17 for participation in a number of shooting incidents, including the murder of Binyamin Kahane and his wife. Force 17 is an elite unit that is under the direct command of Arafat, and no one else.

In Arafat's eyes, terror is a primary weapon in the war against Israel. Already in the days of Rabin's government, after the signing of the first agreements, Arafat made use of the terror organizations for squeezing concessions from Israel. On the one hand, he negotiated with the State of Israel, and on the other hand he overlooked the activity of the terror organizations. Officially, he was repelled by terror, but it was clear to all that if he wanted, he could reduce the terrorist attacks to a minimum. Since the Oslo agreement, there have been only very brief periods in which Arafat took substantial measures against the terror organizations, and even then he exerted caution, in order not to totally eliminate the terror option.

However during that time, at least outwardly, Arafat was careful not to be identified with terror. He knew that the Israeli government has a red line on this issue, according to which one does not negotiate with a terror organization. Arafat's fear of the reaction of the United States, which as is known uses strict means including rigorous sanctions, against terrorist states such as Libya, Iraq and Syria, caused him to dissociate himself from terrorist attacks, even though it was obvious that he derived benefit from them.

However this red line has been totally violated during the past few months Arafat uses terror in an official and declarative manner in his struggle against Israel. His men don't distinguish between the two sides of the green line, and as far as they are concerned, wherever there are Jews, preferably women and children, is a good place for a terrorist attack.

Arafat's fears of a sharp Israeli reaction have already been stashed away. The Israeli government continues negotiations as if there was no terror. Its top ranking officials don't dream of stopping the deliberations or of freezing their far- fetched promises until the terror ceases. Even the American government totally ignores the role Palestinian Authority in the organizing of terrorist attacks against civilians. Clinton thinks that if the Israeli government doesn't see that as a reason for stopping the negotiations, than why should he? The fact that the United States is struggling against governments that are havens for terror, did not bother Clinton from receiving Arafat as an honored guest in his office, without sternly and unequivocally demanding that he stop the terror. He doesn't have to be any more firm than Israel, the main victim of the terror. If it doesn't bother the government of Israel, why should it bother Clinton?

Now we have to see what the new president will do.


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