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Yasser Back in Control
It only took Yasser Arafat 100 days to force Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen, from power. Anyone surprised by this development hasn’t been paying attention to the political dynamics in Israel over the last three months. Abu Mazen, who was supposed to be the linchpin of the peace plan pushed by George W. Bush, formally conceded this weekend what people in Israel already knew: Yasser Arafat is The Man if you want to deal with the Palestinians.

For the record, during the 88 days from the June 6 Aqaba summit up until Saturday September 6, 64 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists and more than 1,000 wounded. That’s an average of 1.3 dead and more than 10 injured victims per day.

This means things between Israel and the Palestinians are back to square one. Frankly, things won’t move from square one until Yasser Arafat is out of power–which is a polite way of saying “dead”. And Arafat’s removal, when it finally comes, may not change things. This feud is bitter, and the hatred runs deep. Look to history: Jews and Palestinians have been fighting for about 3,000 years, since the days of King Saul.

That’s hard for we Americans to grasp. We have a habit of beating enemies and then turning them into friends: England, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Japan, for example, and even Russia doesn’t seem so bad anymore. We’ll hate another country for 40 or 50 years, tops. The concept of a 3,000-year blood feud is foreign to us.

Ultimately, people need to realize that no “road map” or accord will stop the killing in Israel. The only real solution is going to have to be imposed by force. And I don’t know that anyone in Israel or the West has the stomach for the kind of force it will take to force the radical Islamists to call it quits.

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