- The Washington Times - Friday, October 6, 2000

Palestinian provocation: Who is to blame? The answer is unequivocal: Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Clinton admin-istration.
There is nothing new in Mr. Arafat's strategy of violence as an instrument of diplomacy. He learned long ago from the Viet Cong and other Marxist guerrilla revolutionaries. It is necessary to alert the liberal and reasonable international community to violence on television and to secure international support. The Albanians did it successfully in Kosovo. Mr. Arafat hopes that violence will provoke international intervention, and that what he failed to achieve at Camp David can be achieved now.
The liberal media the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Ted Turner's liberal CNN have put the blame on Ariel Sharon's aggressive and unsuccessful demonstration of Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
But we know this is not so. The green light for the beginning of violence in Jerusalem was given by Mr. Arafat to the Palestine Liberation Organization faction called Tanzim, which is totally under his domination, hoping the riots will turn into a mini-intifada and he regains two constituencies: the Palestinians who are horrified about his corrupt regime and the pusillanimous international community.
Also,the president of France, Jacques Chirac, who, like the New York Times, faulted Mr. Sharon to gain some kudos with Arab oil and out maneuver the Americans when it comes to Middle Eastern oil politics. There is nothing innocent about Mr. Chirac who is now under the shadow of a corruption investigation, and certainly not the New York Times or The Washington Post.
But for Mr. Arafat to ride on liberal elite support is a serious matter essentially legitimizing a terrorist who is oblivious to Palestinian blood (50 Palestinians killed; 1,000 injured), and swim in Palestinian blood to the presidency of a new Palestine State.
What does he have to lose? Mr. Arafat already dominates 80 percent of Palestine. His fingers are found in every corrupt deal from construction at the Gaza Airport to abuse of Palestinian taxes returned to him from the Israelis. Like all modern tyrants, from Josef Stalin to Slobodan Milosevic, he uses security services to destroy the opposition, to consolidate power, in the name of liberation. Unfortunately, this is Israel's partner for peace.
The Clinton administration emissary to Israel, Ambassador Martin Indyk (who has been removed temporarily), gave a very significant speech a few weeks ago before the Hebrew Union College. He proclaimed unashamedly, and contrary to what has been perceived in American mediation policy, "There is no other solution but to share the Holy City… . It isn't, and cannot be, the exclusive preserve of one religion, and the solution cannot come from one side challenging or denying another side's beliefs. Here, too, mutual respect is the foundation of any agreement." This is quoted from the Wall Street Journal editorial (Oct. 3, 2000). What stands behind this proclamation by President Clinton's emissary? It is, for all intents and purposes, an American legitimization of a divided Jerusalem, which stands contrary to every Israeli government from David Ben-Gurion to Ehud Barak.
Maybe the reason behind the ambassador's proclamation is that during Camp David a Clinton "creative paper" approved by Mr. Barak on the condition that Mr. Arafat would accept it. According to Palestinian sources, this document provided the United Nations would be in charge of the Jerusalem issue. This was a terrible American error. First, it clearly violated (with the tacit support of Prime Minister Barak) the firmly held Israeli position on the role of the United Nations in the Palestine conflict.
From the 1950s, the United Nations has been an instrument of Third World politics. In the name of neutralism and anti-colonialism, and with the help of the Arab-Afro-Asian bloc, they passed a vicious and pernicious resolution in the General Assembly that equates Zionism with racism.
The pusillanimous liberal intellectuals of the West never challenged the Hitlerian resolution. In fact, at the time it was supported by the Soviet Union (obviously), China, and other dictatorships in the United Nations. It should be mentioned here that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan courageously defied the resolution, its sponsors and the racist ideas that helped concoct this oxymoron of a resolution. Since 1949, the U.N., under the domination of Third World kleptocrats, presidents for life, ethnic cleansers in Africa, has continued to defend any Arab or Palestinian terrorist activity, and they continue to do so.
Thus, the Clinton administration, shorn of historical wisdom, has elevated the idea of a United Nations Security Council role in the future of Jerusalem. The Palestinians and Arabs understood the implications immediately, and called for bringing the issue of Jerusalem before the United Nations Security Council. So we are back to Square One.
The Wall Street editorial of Oct. 3 continues, "Despite subsequent U.S. denials that nothing has changed and the marked failure of Camp David, the remarks [Mr. Indyk's] were fully consistent with an administration that sees itself as succeeding in bring Israelis and Palestinians within inches of a peace agreement. In fact, their stewardship of foreign affairs has brought the Middle East to the brink of war."

Amos Perlmutter is a professor of political science and sociology at American University and editor of the Journal of Strategic Studies.

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