- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Secretary of State Colin Powell imposed upon Yasser Arafat to apologize to Israel for the latest terrorist bloodshed and bring an end to violence. As he has in the past over the past nine years, Mr. Arafat agreed. He cannot be trusted.
Regicide is the act of assassination of a bad ruler by his own people. It was recognized by 16th century international law. The bad rulers of this century are revolutionaries charismatic and popular who mobilize the nations they lead to achieve their own goals, which end in ruination of their people, their states, their cultures. Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, Saddam Hussein, the Khmer Rouge are most memorable instances of fallen utopias and revolutionary extremism in this century.
The question is why the people did not challenge these rulers. The popularity of Hitler was second to none. No German chancellor in the 20th century until now has surpassed Hitlers popularity. Stalin was certainly not popular, but he was a symbol of the false socialist utopian revolution.
Both Hitler and Stalin kept their nations, their ruthless rule, concentration camps. Gulags, extermination camps, gas chambers, etc. under totalitarian control. The people accepted, and in fact could not resist these ruthless regimes because of their utopian promises.
So is the story of Palestine. Mr. Arafat promises not only a pitiful Palestinian Authority; he promises a dream: a Palestine State from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River made up of 6 million Palestinian people. How can they resist such promises?
Mr. Arafat himself is the most impoverished little peanut, a ruthless one. Sometimes, he looks like a bagman in New York City. Do not underestimate him. He is the least significant of modern revolutionaries. He is an incompetent military commander. However, he surpasses even Hitler with his skillful use of propaganda, and this accounts for his success. He promises a Utopia beyond fantasy, and fantasy is the currency in the Middle East. The Palestinian people are so desperate that they accept Mr. Arafats leadership, even though they know what happened in Germany.
Mr. Arafat continues to feed his people with falsities: the right of return, domination of Jerusalem, a respectable Palestine State from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. This is Mr. Arafats poison. As a revolutionary, he will not cease to fight in blood and fire until he achieves his cause. Thousands will be killed in the name of his utopia. Hitler fought the war to the last moment of his life, killing millions of Germans and allies. Stalin died trying to kill the Jews of Russia. Once they died, the bleeding stopped and the utopian dream disappeared. Mr. Arafat must go.
It is not up to Israel, but to the Palestinian people to remove Mr. Arafat from power. Israel must call for a policy of dividing the Palestinian people from Mr. Arafats security services and killers, and making amends with the Palestinian people by providing financial aid.
Rather than giving the taxes collected from Palestinians to the PA, Israel should give the tax money back to the Palestinian people; they should help rebuild ruined buildings and allow the Palestinians into Israel for work. A great international effort should be initiated by the U.S., the EU and the international community for economic aid to the Palestinian people.
Simultaneously, Israel must demonstrate to the Palestinians that it does not want to destroy them, but only Mr. Arafats corrupt security arsenal. It must be done with a statement by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that Israel has no intention to reoccupy the territories. Why would Israel want to reoccupy? The Israeli people have overwhelmingly supported the return of territory to the Palestinians in exchange for Israels security. Palestinian propagandists will interpret an Israeli policy of destroying Arafats arsenal as an effort to destroy Palestine.
Once Mr. Arafats arsenal and his policemen and gulagists have gone, Israel and Palestine will come back to where they were in 1993. After all, what happened in 1993? It was an idea for partnership; for living together. There was no discussion of right of return or Jerusalem, and some discussion of limited settlements. Mr. Arafat changed everything from the first day after the signing of Oslo. He had no intention to cooperate. His intention was to be president of the failed state: He would be the revolutionary leader of all the Palestinian people. The only thing he was concerned with was the growth of his arsenal, not the growth of the PA. He must fall on his own sword. Once he goes, like Hitler and Stalin, there will finally be a chance to stop the killing. But some Israelis, utopian Osloists, will ask: what is your political plan? The plan is to get rid of Mr. Arafat, and then develop a political plan. First we defeated Germany, then democratized it.
The Palestinian people deserve wiser and greater leadership. This will not happen unless Mr. Arafat is removed. It is up to the Palestinians to remove him. That is goal one of an Israeli and Palestinian policy. Only if Israel is wise enough to accommodate while the Palestinians are hurting, to assure them of independence and security, will the old dog of war go.
The Palestinian people are wise people. They should not ruin themselves in the name of Mr. Arafats hallucinations about their world and become his bloody terrorist assassins. They cannot be proud of a state like this that will never bring an end to war. To finally end the terrible violence fueled by lies and carefully nurtured hatred, the terror, the false utopian dreams and move on to a peaceful reality, Mr. Arafat must go like his predecessors in Germany, Russia, Cambodia and elsewhere. Let me caution the Yossi Beilins of Israel that so long as they consider Yasser Arafat a partner, there will never be peace.

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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