Dispatches > The Buzz

Flashtraffic: a silver lining to the war with Iraq?

Might there be a silver lining to the dark storm clouds of war now gathering-a new chance for peace in a post-Saddam world? Mr. Netanyahu hopes so.

Issue: "Attacking the future now," Feb. 22, 2003

Might there be a silver lining to the dark storm clouds of war now gathering-a new chance for peace in a post-Saddam world? Mr. Netanyahu hopes so. He advises the Bush administration to continue refusing to deal with Yasser Arafat and go one step further by supporting Arafat's exile. "Arafat is a terrorist, not a partner for peace. The sooner he is removed [from this area] the better."

Isn't there a danger of getting someone worse than Arafat. "Who?" he asks. "Who could be worse than Arafat? He's financing and encouraging suicide bombings, terrorism. The key is not so much deciding who should lead the Palestinians. But we [the U.S. and Israeli governments] should be clear about who we don't want in power."

Mr. Netanyahu praises the White House emphasis on promoting democratization of Palestinian society: "That will take time. But supporting the process of democratization is absolutely critical. Democracy is not simply about voting. It's about setting up the institutions of a free society, reforming the education system, protecting the right of Palestinians to speak freely, gather together peacefully, start new businesses and, of course, the freedom of the press."

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That's a message echoed by Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky. "There is a growing Palestinian opposition to Arafat," Mr. Sharansky told WORLD during a 30-minute exclusive interview in his Jerusalem office. He points to Omar Karsou, a Palestinian businessman from Ramallah who last year launched a grassroots group called "Democracy In Palestine" but had to flee with his family to London because of threats from the Arafat regime. Such opposition leaders "hate the corruption. They support democracy and human rights for all Palestinians. They're willing to live beside Israel. The best thing the White House and the Western media could do is make heroes out of these people. Tell their stories. Let the world know who they are."

Joel C. Rosenberg
Joel C. Rosenberg

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