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  •  Arafat's long-standing feud with Ariel Sharon... (0+ / 0-) into his head.  When Sharon returned to the public eye, it rubbed Arafat the wrong way.  When Sharon decided to throw his hat back into the fray, instead of Arafat taking the high road and trying to work things out despite his personal beefs with Sharon, he decided to wash his hands of everything and let the chips fall where they may.  Things might have been a bit different if Yitzhak Rabin had lived.  Arafat was able to work with him, and they were making progress (however slow), but he could not bring himself to work with Sharon.

    •  Whatever the truth of all that may have been... (0+ / 0-)

      Arafat is not a shining moment in Peace Prize history.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:20:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Arafat Honors (0+ / 0-)

        Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize as part of a group, with Peres and Rabin, who had together negotiated what we call the Oslo Accords in secret at a Norwegian Labor Party retreat outside of Oslo, and initialed on the White House lawn a few weeks before the award was announced.  The Oslo Accords are not a settlement, rather they are an agreement to continue in the open negotiations that would hopefully lead to a two state solution of the Israeli-Palestianian conflict.  The Nobel award that year was an aspiration for successful outcomes for the process.  Without Arafat, you cannot honor Peres and Rabin, because as we know, any PEACEFUL solution to a conflict actually requires the engagement of those on both sides of a conflict.  

        In the Oslo Accords, Arafat moved one major step forward toward any productive negotiations.  He accepted the State of Israel, with actually borders to be negotiated, and renounced the rejectionist stance that had previously characterized the PLO position.  Today, that remains the beginning assumption of PLO negotiations, even though Arafat is long gone from the scene.  Hamas, of course, does not accept the legitimacy of an Israeli State, and this is one major difference between PLO/PLA and Hamas.  

        Peace is rarely built through great bursts -- it comes after a step following step process on the part of all sides to a conflict intentionally taking those steps in recognition that a state of Peace is better than a state of continued conflict.  Arafat, love him or dislike him, did take a major step necessary to any serious negotiations, and it still stands.  We await further steps if there is to be a two-state solution that works.  If not, they probably will continue killing each other.  

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