In the wake of Iraq's invasion
of Kuwait, the Jewish state is
looking better and better to
Congress and the Bush
JAMES D. BESSER
s U.S. forces took up defensive
positions in Saudi Arabia last
week, this is the way things
shook out in Washington:
Yassir Arafat and the PLO
were the big losers, Israel was the big win-
ner and U.S. participation in the Middle
East peace process is on hold.
But at the Department of State, despite
all evidence of Israel's strategic importance
and the fluidity of Arab allegiances, there
are few signs of a softening of attitude
toward the Jewish state.
Just two months ago, Washington was
seething with the debate over whether or
not the administration should break off the
dialogue with the Palestine Liberation
Only after strong pressure from the pro-
Israel community — and after the abortive
attack by a PLO faction on a beach near
ml Aviv — did the administration suspend
the talks in Minis.
Arafat And The PLO
Yassir Arafat may have sealed the fate
of the suspended peace talks by lining up
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 1990
squarely behind Hussein — a move that
should effectively end his two-year cam-
paign to portray himself as a legitimate
member of the international community.-
Last week, the PLO further estranged
itself from Washington by joining Iraq and
Libya in rejecting the Arab League's un-
precedented decision to send troops to
"The big losers in this may be the PLO,"
said Barry Rubin, senior fellow at the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"Yassir Arafat is Hussein's number one al-
ly in the Middle East. This will have a
definite effect on U.S. thinking, as well as
Israeli thinking. Arafat has, in effect,
thrown away the political capital of the in-
But Mr. Arafat's problems are - not just
political. The PLO may lose money
because of his embrace of Hussein.
"The PLO loses not just because of U.S.
and Israeli mistrust, but because Arafat
is making the Gulf Arabs and the Egyp-
tians very angry," Mr. Rubin said. "Frank-
ly, I don't see the Saudis giving the PLO
money any more. Plus, the PLO won't get