Originally created 02/11/02

PLO chairman doing best he can



Recently, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat was placed under virtual house arrest in his headquarters on the West Bank. Humiliation like this will give the radical segments of his followers the upper hand, and they may think that the Palestine Liberation Organization is powerless, therefore violence is the only way to gain independence.

Mr. Arafat is a realist. He recognizes Israel has agreed to two states in Palestine, but he has no magic words to stop the terrorism. Mr. Arafat has no control over the hawks among his followers and others who operate outside Palestine.

The most effective way to fight terrorism is to know its sources, to listen to the people's complaints and then devise a plan to resolve the issues. Killing one terrorist creates 10 others to take his place, so the cycle will continue.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is not a peace-loving man. He is responsible for massacring 2,000 Palestinians. ... Today he is facing charges on those war crimes in a Belgian court. He provoked all Muslims by entering Muslim holy places of Harm-il-sharif, and sending tanks and airplanes to demolish Palestinian towns and to assassinate suspected sympathizers in their homes and in the streets. Now, he says he is sorry for not killing Mr. Arafat when he had the chance 20 years ago.

U.S. foreign policy on Palestine draws major criticism from the Middle Eastern people. Shunning Mr. Arafat is not wise. On occasion, we hear voices advocating two states for Palestine, and they leave it to the warring parties, the Palestinians and the Israelis, to negotiate their differences. For over half a century, these negotiations have continued without result.

The United Nations passed several resolutions to deal with the Palestinian problem; sadly, it was not successful due to the conflict of interest of the big powers ...

Hassan Al-Hashimi, Augusta