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What does it mean for Arafat to be irrelevant? From the mouth of an important Middle East analyst (Ariel Sharon), courtesy of his interview with William Safire in today's New York Times...

"We are fed up with false promises and lies," Prime Minister Sharon said. "What is important is not declarations but deeds. Your General Zinni — a serious professional we hope to see again — provided to Arafat a list of terrorists we knew were plotting attacks. No steps were taken. Soon after, two of the names on that list bombed a bus killing 10 of our people. Therefore, because our government cannot trust Arafat, we will have no more contact with him. That is how he made himself irrelevant."

.....

Sharon's point that Arafat no longer counts seems to be hitting home. To regain relevance — to become a player again — the man who in the past has been the embodiment of Palestinian hopes must first turn against members of the terror coalition he formed. That is the significance of Arafat's newsworthy line in yesterday's speech: "We will not accept more than one authority on this land."



http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/17/opinion/17SAFI.html

--ETurkey
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