"Once Rabin came in and there was a secret channel for talks, Arafat preferred the secret channel in Oslo to the main Madrid talks." - Tosefta It is not as if the US didn't know. "Strangely, he agreed to a poor deal, including not having an explicit commitment by Israel to stop the settlement, not specifying the extent of Israeli evacuations. . . " - Tosefta He had a very weak position. I hate to 'defend" Arafat, but his position was very weak and he might well have been depending upon the Bush (41) administration continuing in power, and thus an end to settlement expansion. I think that the great mistake of Arafat was thinking that the appointment of George W. Bush would return the degree of pressure on Israel that his father had imposed. I think he did not understand that standing up to Sharon's provocation would be seen by Dubbya as 'Islamofascism" instead of a plea for greater pressure on an Israel that had reneged on Oslo.
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from the article: Abbas' only chance