Robert Manis, The Manis Report April 4, 2002
Two events in the last few days have revealed much about the Middle
East crisis and whose victims
the Palestinians really are.
First, the raid on Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah which produced
documentation of the financing of
weapons and bombs for attacks on Israelis, at the very time when Arafat was denouncing the 9-11 attacks in
America. These documents are a revelation on the order of the capture of the vessel Karine-A in
January, which proved both Iranian support of terrorism and Arafat’s complicity in it.
The second event: Saddam Hussein yesterday raising the reward for suicide
bombers from $10,000 to
$25,000. Few Americans were aware what a lucrative financial enterprise suicide bombing is for the
bomber’s family. Saudi, Iraqi, and Palestinian agents compete to award each family with money and other
benefits. The reward for the benefactor? Esteem and allegiances.
These events together prove again the cynical manipulation of the Palestinian
people by their leaders, for
political power and territorial gain.
This is not to argue the right of Palestinians to self-determination.
But Arafat and the other Arab players
have consistently sold out that right, preferring to use Palestinian suffering and violence to defeat Israel
rather than make peace with it.
Long before Arafat walked out of the peace negotiations in 2000, he
was making warlike speeches in
Arabic to his constituents, while talking peace in English. American audiences complacently assumed he
was telling Palestinians “what they wanted to hear” while negotiating with us in good faith. Now it
becomes clear he was telling us what we wanted to hear, while making sure the embers of Palestinian
hatred did not die out. It is now well documented that the Palestinian media and schools participate in the
lifelong indoctrination of Palestinians into hatred. What has not been pointed out clearly enough was who
had the ultimate authority and responsibility.
It is often questioned whether Arafat had the power to control terrorists.
The question is a naive one.
While Arafat demonstrated he had ample control in December by stopping attacks for 3 weeks, the real
issue is not controlling their own extreme elements but suppressing them. This is what all new governments
must do, just as the Israelis themselves did in 1948, the Soviets in 1918 and the Americans during Shay’s
Rebellion in 1786. Arafat has never been willing to crack down on the extremists. Now for the last year at
least, he has sided with them.
When sixteen year old girls blow themselves up, when there are five
bombings in five days, people should
ask themselves how have explosives themselves, and the desire to use them become so common in a
society? The answer, now revealed, is that their government itself has provided them, both the will and
the weapons, too .