Editor, Daily Nexus,
This past week, after five Palestinians blew up scores of Israeli civilians in terrorist attacks, members of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government were calling for the expulsion of Yasser Arafat due to his involvement in the terror. Sharon issued a statement in response, saying that now is not the time. I could understand his fear, as any decision that affects the lives of millions of people being placed on one’s shoulders must be difficult to make. However, this is exactly what leaders must do, where they must not falter and it is why not everyone is the prime minister.
The world openly agrees that Arafat is a terrorist and even called for recalling his Nobel Peace Prize. But now Sharon has decided to treat him as a political rival, as if they simply had a difference of opinion (Arafat’s opinion being that it’s OK to send brainwashed Arab youth to blow up innocent civilians in shopping malls). Sharon is treating Arafat the way two diplomats in disagreement would politely quarrel, or how Republican and Democratic senators would treat each other. If Sharon deems Arafat a terrorist he should treat him as he would any other terrorist: Arrest him, expel him or kill him.
If Israel did expel him, it would not be the first time. Arafat has been expelled five times from many countries, including Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon twice. However, because of its yearning for peace, it was only Israel that made the unfortunate mistake of inviting him back in 1994, thereby legitimizing his past terrorist actions, including the horrific murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes. But even expelling him would be giving him special treatment; would Israel do that with a normal household terrorist?
What kind of leader lets an arch-terrorist responsible for a lifetime of planning, sponsoring, funding and encouraging attacks against his nations’ civilians roam free? I know one man who didn’t. New York City’s former mayor, Rudy Giuliani had the balls to kick Arafat out of his city in October of 1995. At a private function for the U.N.’s 50th anniversary, uninvited Arafat and his entourage had showed up, and Giuliani very simply told him that though he may be welcome in Clinton’s White House, he is not welcome in New York City, and Arafat got up and left.
That is the kind of leader that Israel needs. What is Sharon trying to prove by letting Arafat stay? Is Sharon trying to show his enemies that he is not as strong as they make him out to be? If Abu Mazen is the new leader of the Palestinian people, let us see him crack down on the terrorists. If he turns out to be just another one of them, let him be dealt with likewise. Terrorists should not be allowed to walk my streets with impunity, regardless of how much CNN or Nancy Gallagher likes them.