Arafats Dilemma

It was Colin Powell who urged Yasser Arafat to take firmer control of Palestinian streets wracked by a year of Aqsa intifadeh violence. But it was Osama bin Laden who provided the Palestinian leader with the cover he needed to do so. As the first U.S. strikes went into Afghanistan, bin Laden warned Americans they wouldn’t be safe until the Palestinians were free of Israeli oppression. It was a cunning move to gain Arab support by making it seem that Israel, rather than the U.S., is at the heart of bin Laden’s battle, and it stirred many Palestinians — just enough...

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