What will happen with Arafat?

A great moment has started for Yassir Arafat. In the nearest hours, the time of the ultimatum given by the Israeli government to the Palestinian administration is expiring. Arafat must arrest all leaders of the Islamic extremists groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Therefore, Arafat’s task is not easy. As a matter of fact, he is being demanded to declare war on the terrorists among his own people, which hardly has a chance to be won. All the more, Israeli Prime-Minister Ariel Sharon’s policy does not make for Arafat risking so seriously.

Moreover, Sharon is satisfied with the strategy he has chosen. He drove his enemy into a corner and presented to him unrealizable demands. Not bad? All the more, the whole world community was shocked by the terrorist acts in Jerusalem and supports Sharon. The main thing, Israel is fully supported by the US.

Such an abrupt change of US position in the Middle East was surprising for many observers. Before September 11, the US new administration was not so active about settling Arab-Israel conflict. Only at the beginning of November, Washington sent its emissaries to the Middle East. However, they seem to have arrived too late. All the prepared plans should be thrown out, while something new must be immediately invented. Though, the guys from the White House had not too long to puzzle over the problem. Fortune itself decided everything. The terrorist acts in Jerusalem caused a chain reaction, and, as a result, the whole Middle East started to blaze. Washington had only to clear up against whom it was fighting and under whose flags it would sing Osanna. It choose Israel, which is clear. Israel is fighting against Arab terrorists in the Middle East, so America had nothing better to do than to support it. Otherwise, the world community and US citizens would not have understood the US.

Anti-Arab hysteria overwhelmed the US. As a result, US Congress even passed a resolution demanding from George Bush to break off relations with Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian administration.

On Wednesday, the Senate and Chamber of Representatives of the US Congress carried out separate sessions in which a special resolution was passed demanded from the US president to break off relations with Yassir Arafat if the Palestinian side does not immediately take measures for banning further terrorist acts against Israel.

In the Senate, this resolution was presented by Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph Biden, while in the Chamber of Representatives, it was presented by republican Henry Hide, the Committee on International Relations’ chairman.

The resolution was supported by the majority of the congressmen. In the resolution, the terrorist acts committed against Israel are characterized as “vile terrorist murders." It also contains a demand to Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian administration to immediately take measures for stopping new terrorist acts and for annihilating “Palestinian terrorist groups’ structures.”

Whether George Bush agrees with the senators’ views or not, we will get to know soon. If the Bush administration turns its back on Arafat, as Sharon did it, uncertain times will start in the Middle East.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/06/34579.html