What is missing from the news that
used to be a weekly topic? The answer is suicide bombers in Israel. Although it was a costly victory, Israel has put an end to the Palestinian
intifada, and done so on their terms. Israel is definitely calling all the shots and holding all the good cards. Arafat has led the Palestinians down
the path to defeat, and his promises of victory have now been shown to be nothing but false hopes. There will always be the occasional bombing, but
groups like Hamas are now spending more time hiding and running than attacking.
The Washington Post - Israel's Intifada Victory
While no one was looking, something historic happened in the Middle East. The Palestinian intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost.
For Israel, the victory is bitter. The past four years of terrorism have killed almost 1,000 Israelis and maimed thousands of others. But Israel has
Arafat failed, spectacularly. The violence did not bring Israel to its knees. Instead, it created chaos, lawlessness and economic disaster in the
Palestinian areas. The Palestinians know the ruin that Arafat has brought, and they are beginning to protest it. He promised them blood and victory;
he delivered on the blood. Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The intifada began in September 2000 after Arafat refused the offer by Israeli Prime Minister
Ehud Barak. President Clinton had put intense pressure on both parties to come to an agreement, and settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for good.
Both parties met at Camp David in July of 2000 to discuss an offer that was being extended by Barak to Arafat. If Arafat accepted he would have to
accept Israel as a nation, and could not make claims in the future for Israel's land. What was the offer that Arafat refused?
- Israeli redeployment from 95% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip
- The creation of a Palestinian state in the areas of Israeli withdrawal
- The removal of isolated settlements and transfer of the land to Palestinian control
- Other Israeli land exchanged for West Bank settlements remaining under Israeli control
- Palestinian control over East Jerusalem, including most of the Old City
- "Religious Sovereignty" over the Temple Mount, replacing Israeli sovereignty in effect since 1967
Arafat completely rejected this offer, and did not even propose a counter offer. Instead of negotiating, the Palestinians began an effort to drive the
Israelis out with systematic bombings and attacks on Israeli settlements. Israel's response to the Palestinian efforts have crushed the Palestinians
hopes of removing Israel, and have only strengthened Israel's grip on the region.
Israel's counter attack to civilian bus bombings was targeting the leaders of the organizations carrying out these attacks. Although heavily
criticized, these attacks have been highly effective. The most recent head of Hamas is not even being named for fear of Israeli attacks.
Israel's other attack plan was more passive, but just as effective. The separation barrier, although still under construction, has almost completely
halted the weekly suicide bombings. In a stroke of genius, Israel has sealed off the border, and redrawn the green line with the same plan. Obviously
there can be no negotiation over land rights anymore. The wall stands in the way of the Palestinians gaining any ground.
Israel is now sealing off the last holes in their defenses. The Israeli Defense Ministry is now accepting bids to dig a 15-20-meter deep trench along
the Philadelphia Route on the Gaza Strip-Israeli border with Egypt. This would put a stop to the illegal tunnels that Hamas uses to smuggle in
weapons. Bullets will be harder to come by than gold in Gaza after this trench is finished. Israel has already successfully blockaded the sea route
from weapons smugglers.
The Palestinians have no choice but to accept Israel as a state, and try to negotiate a peace agreement with them. Sharon's tough stance and often
criticized plans appear to be quite effective. Arafat has nothing now. Hamas and the PLO are powerless, and hiding. Sadly the Palestinians are the
ones who suffer the most from his plans. Hopefully both sides can reach a negotiation, and help restore some dignity to the people of Palestine.
Related ATS Discussions:
Israeli/Palestinian Research Project
30 Years Of U.S. UN Vetoes (did you know?)
Palestine Facts - What took place at Camp David in 2000?
[edit on 18-6-2004 by dbates]
[edit on 6-19-2004 by Valhall]
[edit on 21-6-2004 by dbates]