Michael Freund and Aluf Benn point out that Abbas’ effectiveness in curbing terrorist violence over the past week demonstrates that Arafat never lacked the ability to do so himself — he lacked the will. Says Benn:
Abbas’s recent actions against terrorism prove that his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, indeed led the armed intifada and supported attacks against Israel. Arafat enjoyed greater political power and legitimacy than Abbas, and the PA security forces were better organized early in the conflict than they are now. Yet Arafat never took even the minimal steps that Abbas has now taken.
Yet the media were always ready to accept Arafat’s claim, for years, that the terrorists were ‘out of his control.’