Saturday, May 04, 2002

Watch Your Back, Yasser

Yesterday, The New York Times reported Yasser Arafat’s response to the news of the desecration taking place at the Church of the Nativity. In my opinion these are by far his most cogent and perceptive comments to date on the situation:

Mr. Arafat exploded in rage at the news from Bethlehem, shouting: "This is a crime! This is a crime!" and calling those who committed it "terrorists, Nazis and racists."

Finally the truth!

Well, not really. Arafat wasn’t talking about the scores of Palestinian gunman who have flaunted international law by turning a UNESCO-recognized cultural site into a heavily armed bunker for more than a month. No, he was talking about the Israelis, of course.

I guess he’s got to show some support for the death squads under siege. After all, he was under siege himself until he traded six of his associates for his own freedom.

What are the Palestinian true-believers to make of this sell out? After sending their sons and daughters on pointless kamikaze missions, after listening to Arafat beg to be martyred rather than set free, after a highly suspect “trial” of the assassins of the Israeli Tourism Minister in which Arafat himself served as both judge and jury, now comes the news that he threw in two of his own people who had not even been kangaroo-tried.

As a condition for lifting the siege in Ramallah, Israel demanded the handover of the leader of the PLFP, Ahmed Saadat and Fuad Shubaki who was behind the smuggling of 50 tons of weapons from Iran.

Arafat completely caved. Anything to get out of the house. I particularly love the official talking point that explains this betrayal.

"There is an agreement that we will send them to the jail, and then to the court, and then we will see if they are guilty," said Mr. Abdel Rahman.

That’s a nice succinct description of justice, Palestinian style – jail time first, then a trial, and after that we’ll determine your guilt or innocence. Presumably after that you’ll be forced to commit a crime.

Don’t get me wrong. Having these six in prison is a giant step toward a more peaceful world of chirping birds and frolicking puppy dogs.

But if I were Arafat, I’d watch my back.

Heck, if I were Arafat the very first thing would be to replace the lousy Norelco I got for Christmas in 1973. After that I’d take one hell of a long shower. Might even talk to a decent dermatologist about those troubling red spots.

But after all that, I would definitely be on the lookout for disgruntled martyr wannabes who realize it’s a fuck of a lot easier to blow up a hypocritical Nobel laureate right in the neighborhood than an encampment of Israeli border guards.

Behold the great Arab defect . . . they can’t trust each other.

Praise Allah for that.

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