24 August '10
In the midst of reading "Arafat's War" by Efraim Karsh (2003), I was struck by the following incident and conclusions not learned. Have we moved beyond this? Time will tell.
At a closed meeting with South African Muslim leaders on May 10, 1994, Arafat claimed that the Oslo agreements fell into the same category as the Treaty of Hudaibiya that was signed by the Prophet Muhammad with the people of Mecca in 628, only to be reneged upon a couple of years later when the situation tilted in Muhammed's favor. Unknown to him, his words were recorded by a member of the Jewish community who managed to infiltrate the meeting disguised as a Muslim.
The Israelis were stunned. A week earlier they had signed the Gaza-Jericho Agreement (also known as the Cairo Agreement) on the establishment of a Palestinian Authority in these territories as a preliminary stage in the DOP's implementation, and here was their cosignatory presenting these agreements as a tactical ploy, that could be discarded at the first available opportunity. Rabin angrily demanded that Arafat "re-affirm his commitment to his agreement with us." So did the left-wing minister of the environment, Yossi Sarid, one of the most dovish members of the Israeli government."Arafat has to announce that his grave words at the Johannesburg mosque are null and void,"he said. "He should pronounce his complete adherence to the agreement with Israel and prove this abidance through an open and determined struggle against terrorism. Should he fail to do this, the crisis of confidence will persist and Arafat will be able to choose between being a mayor of Jericho or the ruler of Gaza. In such circumstances, Gaza and Jericho will be the end of the process" (but Gaza and Jericho will remain turned over to Arafat and the PA. Y)
Arafat remained unperturbed.
(Efraim Karsh, Arafat's War, p.60-61)
If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.