World News from World Newspapers

About Us Archives   Classroom Use  
World News from World Newspapers
Africa
Americas
Asia
Europe
Middle East
World Newspapers World Maps
World Newspapers
World Maps

News from Latin America and Canada African News Middle Eastern News European News Asian News Click an area of the map for world news.
Africa
Americas
Asia
Europe
Middle East






:











From the February 2002 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 49, No. 2)

Israel

Fighting Fire with Fire


Elisa Ben-Rafael
World Press Review Correspondent
Jerusalem, Israel

As 2001 drew to a close, the deadly wave of Palestinian terror attacks against Israel’s civilian population, which escalated during U.S. special Mideast envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni’s visit to the region, led Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to declare Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat irrelevant.

Picking up the chorus, the editors of Hatzofeh wrote in their Dec. 13 editorial: “Arafat explains to the world that he cannot be held responsible for terrorist attacks of this type, that those behind these actions are from abroad. In other words the hapless Arafat announces that he doesn’t control the situation and that he cannot prevent these attacks.”

After the Israeli security cabinet’s decision to label Arafat irrelevant, Hatzofeh’s Dec. 14 editorial declared: “From now on Israel does not see itself bound to the Oslo accord. A pity that the government of Sharon did not arrive at this conclusion from the moment that it took power.” The editors conclude: “If the Palestinians are interested in renewing negotiations with Israel they must disengage from Yasser Arafat’s fetters and designate under him a reliable man who has the power to project his complete mastery over the PA and to ban the terror organizations.... As long as the people of blood run free, Israel has no other choice but to hit the terrorists who are there.”

The commentators at Ha’aretz had a different view of the crisis. Amos Harel (Dec. 13) wrote: “Israel is not pinning any real hopes on the American pressure. PA Chairman Yasser Arafat is not rushing to accede to the American demands. Also, if a temporary remission in terror emerges, the violence will ultimately become stronger, and the next time it erupts, it will be with even greater force. The attacks at the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel and in Gush Katif, which occurred almost simultaneously, confirm this forecast. The 48 hours of quiet that Gen. Zinni requested just two days ago have been forgotten as if they never existed.”

Former deputy mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti, an author and columnist for Ha’aretz, took a bolder view (Dec. 13): “Humiliating Palestinians at checkpoints is a serious matter, but might be excusable because of the need to crack down on the movement of terrorists. But humiliating, denouncing, and calling for the blood of the national leader, father of their nation, and symbol of their nationhood is another thing entirely. What pressing security need was there in the destruction of the chairman’s helicopters—piles of junk already out of commission—if not the urge to humiliate Yasser Arafat?”

In Yediot Aharonot (Dec. 14) senior columnist Shimon Shefer quoted Foreign Minister Shimon Peres as saying, “Arafat isn’t finished yet.” Peres, the only cabinet member opposed to cutting off contact with Arafat, stated: “It is entirely possible that the military actions against Arafat will make him stronger.”

Yoel Marcus, Ha’aretz senior columnist, echoed the foreign minister’s concerns, predicting (Dec. 14): “If Sharon becomes tempted to do to the Palestinians what Bush is doing in Afghanistan, he will discover very quickly that the current anger at Arafat will not make the slightest dent in the world’s basic support for a Palestinian state and the termination of Israel’s 35 years of occupation.”


 
Daily News War on Terrorism


International News and International Freedom of the Press




  Back

Home About Us Privacy Notice Jobs