>>> Arafat's goals are relevant only if we are engaging with him.
Engaging with him? You have just crowned him as the Palestinian's one and only, official, legitimate leader, with whom you want Israel to reach a deal with at all cost and all price, even if it jepordizes oue lives. How come Bin Laden isn't negotiable? How come Saddam Hussein isn't negotiable? How come the US goes around calling for the beheading of terrorists whenever you find it suitable to your needs (bin-laden, Saddam, any other who attacks the US) but in the case of the most dangerous terrorist in the world today, Arafat, you want us to sit down and talk? How come Powell is resurecting him from the dead? giving him an official stamp of quality and validity? don't you see the double standards?
I hate hypocrisy.
>>>US involvement is motivated by stability, and "oil price" is a small part of this.
And hooray to that, but Israel is motivated by the need to stay alive. The US would've long ago carpet bombed the territories with B-52s, daissy cutting them wherever they grow. Can you imagine 18 months of continous, daily attacks on New York, Washington, LA? You wouldnt stand this for 2 straight days.
>>>3) Israel cannot fight a war on too many fronts.
Let us worry about that.
>>>4) categorizing Palestinians as "simple people" just won't do.
I'm sorry that's what you feel about the level of my posts. I was under the impression that they were of more value.
1) Hypocrisy and diplomacy are sometimes confused. I do not believe that Powell has any serious expectation from his talks with Arafat. I think the visit simply shows regard for general Arab sentiment that the Palestinians should be heard from directly. If there were similar sentiment toward Iraq, the US would speak with Hossein. 2) I agree with you that the current state of war in Israel is entirely justified and absolutely necessary. I also agree that no specific time table for withdrawal can be given now. 3) If it were not for the US, the level of conflict would be much greater. Syria, Iraq and others would be more blatant in sending arms and perhaps even troops. As many people on this board have attested, there are hoards of anti-Semites, and if you think that the US is not inhibiting them, think again. 4) I do appreciate you thoughtfulness, honesty and passion for your country. If I didn't, I wouldn't bother writing. Ultimately, however difficult it is now, we must find something to respect in the Palestinian culture.