Arafat: Victim of His Own Strategy
Arafat and the PA have run up against the law of diminishing expectations. First, the Oslo expectations. From the 1993 White House lawn handshake in until the 2000 Camp David walkout, the expectations of the Arabs in the PA areas grew as they increasingly looked forward to a better life, politically, economically, socially. Then the Intifada expectations. After Arafat threw away Barak's offer he had to give the people something, so he replaced their 'official' Oslo expectations of co-existence with the Intifada expectations of total victory and absolute redemption. Instead of a Peace for Something he gave them a War for Everything.
Nearly 4 years later, this has ended. Now, having rejected peace and failed at war, what does Arafat have to offer the Gazans? Functioning infrastructure? Security? An economy above subsistence level? No, nothing tangible. Just the opposite. Life was better under Israel occupation before Arafat and his corrupt henchmen arrived from Tunis. He had escaped the wrath of the population he rules over by promising them the Dream of a Palestinian Homeland free of Israelis and Jews, a utopia outside history that undoes the past 57 years and negates Israel's existence.
This political con game probably could have continued indefinately if it weren't for the ubiquitous corruption, nepotism, and outright crime of the PA. He gambled that he could get something with the Intifada and all he got was destruction and isolation for himself and the Arabs.
Arafat and his mafia cadre were forced out of Jordan and Lebanon after estabishing mini-crime states based on murder and robbery. Could the Islamists now be filling the role that Sharon and King Hussein played 20 and 30 years ago? Is the beginning of Arafat's Black July?