Friday, April 05, 2002

Nobel regrets
Members of the Nobel committee have expressed a desire to take back a 1994 decision, in which the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat. Fair enough, I'd say. About damn' time, I might add.

But wait. It's Peres' award they want to take back, not Arafat's. "One member said Mr Peres had not lived up to the ideals he expressed when he accepted the prize."

And Arafat has?

InstaPundit says, "Words fail me." I can hardly wait to see what the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web has to say: They haven't missed a chance to point out, as the Palestinian suicide bomber count rises, that Arafat (at whose command these bombers operate) is a recipient of the Peace Prize.

In light of what the European opinion-masters have had to say on the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict thus far, though, it really shouldn't be much of a surprise. I don't wish to blame the good people of Europe for the lapses of their pundits, but the more I read the more convinced I am that the anti-Semitism that reached its peak with the Holocaust didn't just come out of nowhere, and it didn't vanish when WWII ended. They haven't (quite) said that they think Arafat has the right idea, but they haven't said he doesn't, either.

I see three possibilities: (1) Arafat is in complete control of the Palestinian infitada. (2) Arafat is not trying to control it, attempting to maintain "plausible deniability" of actions with which he is in accord but dare not say so (in English). (3) Arafat cannot control it. None of these positions are that of a worthy recipient of a Nobel prize.

Some months ago, President Bush said "Israel has no better friend than the United States." Obviously this is true. Such criticism as Israel gets in America (and there is a fair amount of it) is nothing compared to its reception in the halls of European government, or the pages of the European press.

And now this fresh insult from Norway.

Just last night, all over cable news (well, Fox anyway), American interviewers were trying to get Peres (Israeli Foreign Minister, then and now) to answer provocative questions: Peres, in every instance, gave the right, statesmanlike answer. (I am paraphrasing.) Is Arafat a terrorist? It is not for me to say. I would say he has not done everything he could do to achieve peace. Should they take back his Peace Prize? It was given for good reason at the time. Should you even attempt to negotiate with him? It is for the Palestinians to choose who they wish to lead them.

Not to go Reuteresque on you, but I'm beginning to think we are overusing the word "terrorist". I have a feeling that's why the President didn't use it yesterday, choosing instead to say "They are not martyrs. They are murderers."

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