Where Have You Gone, Yasser Arafat?

July 16, 2006 12:40 by

Arafat_4NY Times columnist David Brooks explains why the current Hamas/Hezbollah violence marks a signficant change in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

In all other crises, the Palestinians, thanks to Yasir Arafat’s strenuous efforts, owned their own cause, but now the clerics in Iran are taking control of the Palestinian cause and turning it into a weapon in a much larger struggle….

The core issue is that just as Israel has been trying to pull back to more sensible borders, its enemies have gone completely berserk. Through some combination of fecklessness and passivity, the Arab world has ceded control of this vital flashpoint to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar al-Assad. It has ceded its own destiny to people who do not believe in freedom, democracy, tolerance or any of the values civilized people hold dear.

And what’s the world’s response? Israel is overreacting.

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