With much fanfare, the people of Israel were told "there's someone to talk to." But the talk isn't the problem. Even Yasser Arafat is ready to talk with Israel and, immediately after every grave terror attack, offers a "dialogue of the brave." The problem is the ability of the Palestinians to fulfill what they promise to do in their talk.
Israel has succeeded in keeping the conflict confined within the boundaries of the Land of Israel and has even been able to persuade Arab states such as Egypt and Jordan that Arafat is posing a threat to their stability, too.
By the time the world war drew to a close, the major democracies, Britain and the United States, deliberately destroyed a fifth of the homes in Germany. Some 7.5 million Germans lost their homes. But their fate was better than some one million German civilians who were killed or gravely wounded in the "carpet bombing" of their country.
With the bombing of the Palestinian terrorist organizations' training camp near Damascus, Israel has signaled to Syria and others that it has decided to expand the war against terror to states giving asylum and assistance to terrorists and their commanders who harm Israel and its citizens.
A discussion about the fate of Yasser Arafat will almost automatically begin in the cabinet following the suicide bombing yesterday in Haifa that wiped out entire families.
One of the mistakes made after the Yom Kippur War was a decision by Military Intelligence (MI) not to investigate the events that took place on the eve of the war. The new head of MI, Major General Shlomo Gazit, decided to focus on ongoing work, which he thought would heal the scars.
There is no chance of the government of Israel agreeing to conduct negotiations with a leader that Washington, several European states and even some Arab states (albeit not publicly) consider the heart of the problem.
Protecting Ben-Gurion is not the same as the security fence that breaks eastward as far as the settlement of Ariel, nor is it like the fence that stretches eastward near Abu Dis and Ramallah.
Arafat's current hudna proposal is no different from previous offers. At best, it is a general declaration of intentions, which in the past were crudely violated. Such a declaration can no longer be a basis for agreement, certainly not with Arafat.