Arafat's refusal of peace and his support of terrorism prevents the creation of a Palestinian State

The Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that the US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, is disappointed in Arafat's handling of Palestinian terror. Arafat has done nothing to stop the Islamic Jihad, the Hamas, and his own terrorist groups, such as the Al-Aqsa martyr's brigade and the Tanzim, from killing unarmed Israeli civilians.

"Disappointing sounds like too weak a word... It has been abysmal in terms of using the resources at his disposal the PA's police, security forces, and intelligence apparatus to stop this kind of activity," he said.

He also made very clear his disappointment with Arafat's performance the fact that Arafat has not met the kind of requirements of leadership of his own people in providing for a peaceful pathway to an independent state," he said.

"Instead, by not clamping down on the terrorism and the violence, we think that Arafat has pushed the date of independence off, rather than move it forward. There is great disappointment in his performance, but we will continue to work with the PA and Arafat even as we pursue reform of the institutions and the security services.

Yesterday's homicide/suicide attack that killed a Grandmother and her 1.5 year old granddaughter was perpetrated by the murderers of the Al-Aqsa's brigade, a Palestinian terrorist group that directly reports to Arafat.

The official US position still is that Arafat is not a terrorist, but even though I disagree, at this point it doesn't really matter. In either scenario (Arafat is a terrorist or an incapable buffoon) Israel's military response to stop Palestinian terror is completely justified. In both cases Islamic fundamentalists who are only interested in killing unarmed civilians and destroying the State of Israel should be stopped.

I copy the full interview below.





US envoy: Arafat's performance 'abysmal'
By DAVID RUDGE - May. 29, 2002
http://www.jpost.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/Full&cid=1021813261699

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's performance in tackling terror is nothing short of abysmal, US Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer told The Jerusalem Post yesterday.

"Disappointing sounds like too weak a word... It has been abysmal in terms of using the resources at his disposal the PA's police, security forces, and intelligence apparatus to stop this kind of activity," he said.

"There are going to be some cases where that capability has probably been diminished over this past period, but that does not excuse the absence of performance in places where the capability has not been diminished.

"There is no excusing this. It is only a reason to intensify efforts to get them to do what they have to do." Kurtzer, who spoke to the Post during the inauguration of the University of Haifa's new Center for the Study of the United States, said America is putting pressure on Arafat and the PA to fulfill their obligations in this respect.

He said this would be one of the issues that would be raised in no uncertain manner with Arafat and the PA by Assistant Secretary of State William Burns and CIA Director George Tenet during their upcoming visit.

Kurtzer denied reports Tenet had deferred his visit due to uncertainty over the success of his mission. He said Tenet's "is going to come when he, the president, and the national security team in Washington think it makes the most sense... there hasn't been a change in schedule.

"I spoke to him just a few days ago. He knows how challenging this mission is going to be, and he wants to be prepared for it. He has had some meetings in Washington with people and I think he will be out here relatively soon."

Despite its growing criticism of Arafat, the US administration continues to adhere to the position that he is the elected head of the Palestinian people and, as such, the sole partner for negotiations.

"We have made very clear from the beginning of the intifada that Arafat as the elected leader of the Palestinians has a responsibility to what he can and is able to do to stop the violence and the terrorism," Kurtzer said.

"That has been a constant theme and has certainly been at the center of what President [George W.] Bush has maintained since he came into office. That has not changed at all. In fact since September 11 and since the wave of terrorism in March, our own efforts [have been] to get Arafat, the PA leadership, and the security services under his control to do their job to root out the infrastructure of terrorism, to stop the incitement, to stop the financial flows, to deal with the legal questions that have to be pursued. That doesn't change.

"One of the issues that Mr. Tenet is working on is not simply the structure of a reform effort, but how you get the Palestinians to do what they are supposed to do which is for their own purposes."

Kurzter noted that Bush had made clear during Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recent visit to Washington that the US would continue to deal with Arafat.

"He also made very clear his disappointment with Arafat's performance the fact that Arafat has not met the kind of requirements of leadership of his own people in providing for a peaceful pathway to an independent state," he said.

"Instead, by not clamping down on the terrorism and the violence, we think that Arafat has pushed the date of independence off, rather than move it forward. There is great disappointment in his performance, but we will continue to work with the PA and Arafat even as we pursue reform of the institutions and the security services."

Kurtzer said the US is also adhering to its expectation that Arafat be allowed to travel freely within the PA and to be able to return from any trips abroad. "That's our view and we continue to stand by that," he said.

He roundly condemned Monday night's terror attack in Petah Tikva, saying: "Our hearts go out to all the people affected by this those killed and the families of those wounded. It really underscores the urgency of working together with Israel, as we have been trying to do now for many, many, months to find an answer to the terrorism and the violence.

"Both we and Israel recognize that military means alone are not going to solve this, which is why, when he was here, Secretary of State [Colin] Powell talked about an integrated approach security, political, economic, and humanitarian.

"We have been trying since his visit to put together workable ideas... all of these efforts are dedicated to finding an answer to the kind of things that happened in Petah Tikva and in Rishon Lezion."

He stressed, however, that "I don't have a magic formula today, but you have a lot of people very hard at work, trying to put together a workable program to accomplish that.

"I think it is going to require a lot of hard work in five or six areas the area of reforming Palestinian security institutions; of having Palestinians actually perform their security responsibilities; of reforming Palestinian political institutions to try and build more democratic, transparent, pluralistic, and open governance; trying to establish an agreed political horizon of what we are looking toward and if there is a time frame in which we can achieve that; the area of economic growth and providing jobs for people when the unemployment rate in the Palestinian areas is over 50 percent; what to do about a growing humanitarian problem that may be developing.

"There are a number of pathways that have to be operated on in parallel and in tandem in order to see progress. It is just going to take a lot of hard work and effort."

The ambassador's residence is in Herzliya, not far from the Pi Glilot fuel storage facility which was the scene of an abortive strategic terror attack last Thursday.

"We are very concerned, as is everyone who lives in this country, over an effort to commit what would have been mass murder in that way," Kurtzer said.

"I think the State of Israel provides excellent security for us, although it is obviously as much a concern of the American Embassy as it is of the government of Israel. We are part of this environment, but the very strong relations between the embassy and the government give us a lot of confidence."

Posted by David Melle
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