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March 08, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-03-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Shattered

rm. sr—

1.111.

The Opposition Grows

What Can Arafat Do?

The voices of calm are overwhelmed by anguish,
anger and calls to take the offensive.

He can harass, arrest and extradite terrorists
which he has so far refused.

LARRY DERFNER ISRAEL CORRESPONDENT

n the night of tie Dizen-
goff terror bombing, Prime
Minister Peres announced
that Israeli forces "will go
to any corner where this terror
has taken root." Likud Knesset
Member Tsachi Hanegbi, one of
the most vocal members of the
right-wing opposition, replied the
morning after, "I do not believe
the prime minister."
Demonstrators in Tel Aviv
were chanting, 'War!" "Revenge!"
and "Death to the Arabs!" Out-
side Dizengoff Center, a young
man stood atop a car, surround-
ed by the seething crowd, and
shouted, "Any minute we'll be go-
ing into Gaza, any minute!"
The name of Mr. Peres is a
curse word on the right-wing
street these days. The heroes
there are Likud leaders
Binyamin Netanyahu ,and Ariel
Sharon. "We don't want peace,
we want security!" was the chant
that summed up the demand not
only of the demonstrators, but of
much of the public.
The opposition had been call-
ing on Mr. Peres to hit the ter-
rorists where they live — in
Gaza, in the West Bank, without
concern for how it would affect
the peace process. For the right-
wing, Yassir Arafat is lumped in
with the guilty along with
Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
"We must say with honesty and
courage that this policy has failed,
that this conception has fallen
apart, that the idea that Arafat
would fight (terrorists) was an id-
iotic idea," said Mr. Netanyahu.
`There is a way to wage war on
terror, but first we must change
the policy. First we have to take
the initiative in our hands."
After the Dizengoff bombing,
that was precisely what Mr.
Peres promised to do. But the
right wing was unconvinced. "He
will not attack Hamas in the au-
tonomous area because that
would mean the end of his whole
conception," said Mr. Hanegbi.
He meant the Oslo Accord and
for Israel to pull out of the terri-
tories, it would entrust the bat-
tle against terror to Mr. Arafat.
Now, though, that policy has
changed. "If the Palestinian Au-
thority helps us fight Hamas,
that's all to the good. If they don't,
we will do it ourselves," said
Health Minister Ephraim Sneh.
Ariel Sharon's was the most
furious voice in the land. "The
time for talk is over," he said.

ERIC SILVER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

He called for a government of
national emergency, and, like
Mr. Netanyahu, spelled out a
number of measures: retaking
control of vast areas now under
Palestinian rule, deporting ter-
rorists and their aides, destroy-
ing their houses, and generally
treating Arafat's forces as ene-
mies, not allies or potential allies.
Mr. Peres, in contrast was
talking quietly, and preparing
the military to go into Gaza and
the West Bank. But given the
public mood, the angrier, more
threatening voices were the most
popular. ❑

or the first time since Is-
raeli troops pulled out two
years ago, armored per-
sonnel carriers rumbled in
earnest through the streets of
Gaza on Sunday. Force 17, Yas-
sir Arafat's crack personal secu-
rity unit, was showing its muscle.
On Sunday, a furious Shimon
Peres had telephoned the Pales-
tinian leader and delivered an
ultimatum: Either Mr. Arafat
stopped the Hamas attacks, or
Israel would do the job for him.
This time Mr. Arafat seemed to
get the message. If there was no
peace for Israelis, there would be

no peace for the Palestinians.
And then, Monday afternoon,
yet another deadly suicide
bomber attacked in Tel Aviv. Mr.
Peres established an emergency
headquarters to fight terrorism,
but it — and he.— will be judged
by the grim test of results.
Israel ministers have ac-
knowledged that it is almost im-
possible to stop a human bomb
once he has reached his target.
If he is challenged, he will press
the button. The focus, they ar-
gued, had to be on the infra-
structure of terror — the
commanders and the preachers,

.

3

)

1

4F

who recruit, train, arm and dis-
patch the naive yqung suicides.
What, then, can Mr. Arafat
do?
* First, he can make an ex-
ample of Hamas military lead-
ers by jailing them for long
terms. Since the Feb. 25 bus
bombing, Israel has presented
him with a list of 43 key Hamas
planners. A week later, only two
of the 43 had been picked up,
though he has since arrested the
alleged planners - of the
Jerusalem bombings.
Israeli security experts are
convinced that Palestinian in-

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