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October 1998 
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ARAFAT RISES AND SALUTES SHARON

MER - Washington - 10/20: At the White House on September 13, 1993, Arafat knew very well what he was really doing -- surrendering. Indeed Arafat intended to wear his trade-mark holster and unloaded gun, as he had done at the U.N. in 1974, and to symbolically hand it over to the President of the United States at the signing ceremony. He was convinced not to do so not by his own people, but by both the Americans the Israelis. True, they wanted Arafat to sign on the dotted line and surrender to their will. But no, they didn't want a de jure out-front photo surrender for all the world to see.

They very much wanted a political smoke-screen to camaflouge what was really happening; hence Arafat's little gun turnover was side-tracked. Even so Arafat knows what's up at this point in history. He has become near totally dependent on the worst historic enemies of his own people in order to save himself and his circle of Westernized cronies and businessmen.

So when Ariel Sharon, essentially the victorious General in this case, finally managed to make his way to the Wye Plantation over the weekend Arafat knew what to do: Rise and Salute. The following AP article tells part of the tale, but so much is admitted. After all Sharon is widely known for his butchery of Palestinians going back to the 50s, his masterminding and oversight of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres, his literal bulldozing of Palestinian land into Israeli settlements, his imposition of his home in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem with a huge Israeli flag and menorah flying boldly on top for all to see, etc., etc.

ISRAELI MINISTER SNUBS ARAFAT

JERUSALEM (AP - 10/19) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon snubbed Yasser Arafat during their first face-to-face encounter, while the Palestinian leader stood up and saluted his one-time nemesis during U.S.-brokered Mideast peace talks.

President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Arafat were holding talks Monday night when Netanyahu announced: "General Sharon has arrived," Israel radio said.

Arafat got up and saluted Sharon, but the Israeli minister strode past him, then pointedly shook hands with Clinton and Arafat's deputy, Mahmoud Abbas, it said.

The U.S. organizers tried to break the ice between the two by seating them across from each other, to no avail.

Arafat's adviser, Ahmed Tibi, said Sharon's refusal to shake hands was inappropriate for a diplomat. "This is superfluous and petty," Tibi said of Sharon's behavior.

As defense minister in the early 1980s, Sharon invaded Lebanon to drive Arafat's PLO guerrillas out and succeeded in forcing the Palestinian leader and thousands of his fighters to leave Beirut.

Sharon has labeled the Palestinian leader a "terrorist" and insisted even after being named Israel's foreign minister earlier this month that he would not shake Arafat's hand.


 

 

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