The World: The P.L.O.: Democracy Gone Wild

At private meetings with reporters and diplomats in New York, Farouk Kaddoumi, the de facto foreign minister of the Palestine Liberation Organization, has hinted strongly that his organization is prepared to recognize Israel's right to exist under certain conditions. But back in Beirut, Yasser Arafat's political adviser, Hani Hassan, still insists that "our response must be: no recognition of the state of Israel. Anyone who reconciles himself with the enemy and recognizes the enemy will be eliminated." This constant inconsistency has led U.S. diplomats to adopt what one jokingly calls the five-day rule:...

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