One Minute to Midnight
Hamas has been enjoying Arafat's support and protection for quite some time. Hamas training camps, where the suicide-bombers receive their instructions and preparation, have been operating freely in PLO-occupied territories. Hamas members openly stroll about, never fearing that they will be arrested or disarmed by the PLO police.
A token handful of Hamas members are periodically arrested by the PLO and detained for a few weeks as "proof" that the PLO is cracking down on terrorists. But then they are quickly set free. The few Hamas members who have been prosecuted in PLO courts (on various charges--but never for murdering Israelis) know that even if they are convicted and sentenced to jail terms, they will soon be pardoned or given an opportunity to "escape" from prison.
No Hamas member has to worry that he will be extradited to Israel, as the Oslo accords require. After all, Israel has already filed 31 extradition requests, all of which the PLO has ignored. Senior PLO officials have repeatedly vowed that they will never hand over a single terrorist to the Israelis.
So yes, the photo of Arafat kissing Rantisi was revolting, and it's a good thing that the world saw a glimpse of the truth about the Arafat-Hamas alliance. But it was just the latest in four years of hugs, kisses, and open collaboration--and that's the point that needs to be stressed.
Americans for A Safe Israel
1623 Third Ave. (at 92nd St.) - Suite 205
New York, NY 10128
Outpost - 12 - September 1997