Kudos to the New York Times for inviting Benny Morris (mentioned in the book list posted yesterday) to outline the case for the prosecution:
"Whatever deluded Westerners might believe, Mr. Arafat was no liberal, taking account of others' views and feelings and seeking solutions through conciliation and compromise. In Mr. Arafat's eyes and those of his people, there is only one justice: Palestinian justice. Only what the Palestinians believe and seek is just. That is why, according to Dennis Ross, former chief American negotiator in the Middle East, Mr. Arafat insisted at Camp David in July 2000, to President Bill Clinton's astonishment and chagrin, that there had never been a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The small, walled hillock, called the Noble Sanctuary, with its two mosques, was an Islamic Arab site. That alone. And so there had to be sole Palestinian Arab sovereignty over the site.
"Of course, Mr. Arafat was actually making a more comprehensive point - that all of Palestine belonged rightfully to the Palestinians and that Jewish claims lacked any legitimacy. That was why he turned down the peace proposals of Mr. Barak in July 2000 and the proposals from Mr. Clinton the following December. It was not because Mr. Barak had declined to kiss both his cheeks or because the Palestinians wanted an additional sliver of land here or there."
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/11/assessing-arafat-kudos-to-new-york.html|||11/12/2004 01:02:00 pm|||||||||