Skip to comments.Cabinet: State Dept. report whitewashes Arafat's terror role
Posted on 05/20/2002 6:15:38 AM PDT by scratchgolfer
Cabinet: State Dept. report whitewashes Arafat's terror role
By HERB KEINON
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is "up to his neck in terror," cabinet secretary Gideon Sa'ar said yesterday, taking sharp exception to a US State Department report which said there is no evidence that the senior PA leadership planned or approved acts of terror.
"Arafat funds terror, encourages terror, is interested in terror," Sa'ar said after yesterday's cabinet meeting, a few hours before the suicide bombing in Netanya. "There is no doubt about it." Sa'ar was responding to questions about the semi-annual State Department report on PLO compliance with Israeli-Palestinian accords, released last week.
The report said that although there is evidence that elements affiliated with the PLO are involved in terror, "there is no conclusive evidence that the senior leaderships of the PA and the PLO were involved in planning or approving specific acts of violence."
Sa'ar pointed out that this document covered the period from June 16, 2001 to December 15, 2001, before Operation Defensive Shield uncovered scores of documents, some linking Arafat directly to terrorism.
Sa'ar said Israel disagrees with the State Department's findings, but believes that when all the material is studied by the administration, there will be no doubt about Arafat's direct involvement in terrorism.
"It appears to me that there is a plethora of evidence to prove that our position is the right one," Sa'ar said.
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer referred to the State Department document in the cabinet meeting, saying he hopes the documents uncovered during Operation Defensive Shield will convince the US administration of Arafat's direct involvement in terror.
Ben-Eliezer related to Arafat's call for reform last week, saying Arafat performed a well-known trick when he positioned himself as head of the reformist camp.
Ben-Eliezer said that Arafat's call for reform was a result of pressure from the international community, the Arab world, and the Palestinian street. "We will judge him by deeds, not words," he said, referring both to Arafat's call for reforms and his statements last week that he opposes terrorism.
Ben-Eliezer, speaking before the Netanya bombing, said although the number of attempted terror attacks declined last week to less than 10 a day there are still "a large number of attempts."
He said the IDF continues to intercept suicide bombers, arrest wanted terrorists, and uncover tunnels used to smuggle arms from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.
Ben-Eliezer also related to the IDF killings over the weekend of an Israeli Arab doctor near Hebron and an Israeli Arab woman in Shuweika, and the wounding of an Israeli Arab near Oranit.
"Each of the foregoing events involved Israeli citizens who had entered PA areas in contravention of the order by the OC Central Command, and in ways which aroused suspicion. In each case, the IDF has expressed regret and is investigating the events," he said.
Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit said after the cabinet meeting that there is no reason to believe Arafat will implement reforms, "since to this day Arafat has thumbed his nose at law and order." At the same time, he said, "it seems that someone is starting to understand that the way [Arafat] operates is bringing a disaster on the Palestinians. Let's hope that the Palestinians will elect someone rational who will lead them and work for their benefit, not someone who has lost his way, like Arafat."
Sa'ar said none of the peace proposals publicized last week, including that of Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, were discussed in the cabinet.
Peres yesterday defended his proposal calling for the creation of a unified Palestinian security service, followed by the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Peres said, had accepted parts of the plan, but disagrees with the time line.
"I prefer negotiations to shooting," Peres told Israel Radio. "I realize these issues cannot be resolved overnight. I also know that the prime minister doesn't think two years is long enough. But in my eyes it is preferable to immediately begin negotiations rather than to put them off to an unknown date."
Peres's plan calls for negotiations to begin after mutual Palestinian-Israeli recognition, while Sharon says he will not begin negotiations until there is quiet and the PA has instituted reforms. Peres said he plans to ask Chief of General Staff-designate Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon, whether he made comments attributed to him in the American press criticizing Secretary of State Colin Powell for letting Arafat off the hook after the Karine A weapons-smuggling affair.
Ya'alon also reportedly said there is no real value in a visit by CIA director George Tenet, who is expected here soon, to help unify the PA security forces.
Ya'alon reportedly said strengthening the PA will only provide cover for a another wave of terror.
US STATE DEPT TERRORIST APPEASEMENT (AGAIN)
Saudi Minister: "Constantinople."
State is off the hook for now but the next report will have to cover the period to June 2002 - let's see how they wriggle out of the new evidence.
STATE DEPT MEMO: DEATH OF US SAILORS DOES NOT COMPARE TO PALESTINIAN TOLL
The United States State Department believes the "17 or so dead sailors" on the U.S.S. Cole "does not compare to the 100+ Palestinians who have died in recent weeks" in Mideast violence, a stunning government memo reveals.
Perhaps a loss of 17 or so State Department wonks would not be considered a comparble loss either ?
While the gall of this statement is appalling, if we are going to do calculus with human lives, I would agree with the statement as written, though not in a way that the Snake Department would approve. I'd say that one GI for 1000 dead Palesterrorists is much closer to parity.