Diplomacy: New Year's Surprise

New Year's Surprise

The bespectacled figure with the scraggly beard and the checkered kaffiyeh headdress was familiar. The manner in which he smilingly addressed Jews around the world -- with their traditional New Year's greeting, shanah tovah -- was not. Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat, who earlier had spoken to a meeting of 165 socialist deputies to the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week, was clearly determined to make a good impression.

Arafat hinted at two possible courses of action for his organization: proclaim a Palestinian state in the Israeli-held Arab territories, or advocate a U.N.-backed mandate in them after Israeli withdrawal. But...

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