24 January, 2021

The Peace Wears Thin

Netanyahu and Arafat blame each other for a failing peace process, both refusing to budge an inch

The Peace Wears Thin

EVEN for a nation used to violence, the two catastrophes over the 'black weekend' came as a shock. On September 4, three Hamas suicide bombers, disguised as a girl and ultra orthodox Jews, blew themselves up in a span of a few seconds near three coffee shops in a Jerusalem shopping mall during rush hour. Five civilians were killed, more than 170 were injured. Just a day later, 11 Israeli elite marine commandos were killed in an abortive raid on southern Lebanon.

Israel was in a bind. It could do two things: either declare 'total war' on Yasser Arafat's Palestinians—as Avigdor Kahalani, minister for internal security, hinted in an interview with Israeli TV—or hold the "rope edge" that American diplomacy offered during US secretary of state Madeleine Alb-right's maiden visit to the region.

Albright landed in Tel Aviv on September 10 where angry protesters waved banners asking her to either "save the US-mediated Oslo accord or bury it". Later, at a press conference with prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu,...



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