Magazine article Newsweek

Arafat: No Way Out: The Mideast in Deepening Chaos

Magazine article Newsweek

Arafat: No Way Out: The Mideast in Deepening Chaos

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Wolffe and Dan Ephron

Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, is a time of deep reflection and symbolism about the challenges that life presents. In the midst of another cycle of violence in Israel, that symbolism rarely felt heavier. A suicide bomb in the northern port city of Haifa left at least 19 dead on the Sabbath before Yom Kippur, and pushed the Israeli government another step closer to removing Palestinian Chairman Yasir Arafat.

In public, the Bush administration recited the usual condemnations and offered the familiar condolences. But between the lines of the statements, and in private conversations with the region's leaders, there is a sense that the United States has reached the end of the line. The White House is stuck with an Israeli leader it will not oppose and a Palestinian leader it cannot abide. The White House used to talk about peace in the Mideast. Now the talk focuses on how to stop the region from falling into the abyss.

In a written statement, President Bush never mentioned Arafat by name, focusing instead on "the responsibility of Palestinian authorities to fight terror." But in private, it was all Arafat, all the time. White House officials called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's aides, urging them to hold off their official government policy of expelling, or even killing, Arafat. They also called Arab leaders, pressing them once again to persuade Arafat to crack down on terrorism.

It's a refrain that has grown stale to many in the region. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.