Mid-East Realities, 19 October 2000

Little doubt indeed. It's rather transparent now that the main result of the Sharm el-Sheikh summit is increasingly close cooperation between the Israeli Shinbet, the secret services of Yasser Arafat's regime, and the CIA. That's how the violence is going to be stopped, and controlled.
Arafat was brought in years ago to extinguish the original Intifadah and autonomously police his own people -- with Israeli and American money, arms, and covert backing. Now Arafat is being used to do the same with the Independence Intifadah. But this time the American CIA is far more omni-present than was the case last time, partly because the Shin Bet has had to back off a bit with fewer direct collaborators and agents of its own. The Palestinian Authority and the CIA are there to fill the gap; the Palestinians are more controlled now than ever in their history. The double occupation we have detailed before, remains firmly in place...especially for use at such crucial times.
Meanwhile, certainly don't expect Israel's cold-blooded killers to ever be brought to justice -- the snipers with the high-tech silenced death guns who have been picking off not only rock-throwing demonstrators but totally defenseless school boys. The killers of Mohammed al-Durra and so many other Palestinians are not likely to be snatched, though the crafty Hezbollah may have gotten itself a ranking Mossad agent as well as a few ordinary soldiers.
And for that matter, the man who best fits the classic definition of war criminal, Ariel Sharon, is not about to be finally tried for all the Palestinian civilian blood on his hands over so long a time, including the horrendous events at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in 1982 when he was Defense Minister. Indeed, one way or another, Sharon may even be coming back to government again, more powerful than ever. And by the way, for those who don't know this, Sharon's comeback has been helped by the top Arabs themselves at a few crucial stages. In recent years both King Hussein, and his successor son King Abdullah, have met secretly with Sharon; and so has Arafat and his top assistants. Unconfirmed rumor has it that the same is true with the senior Egyptians, including Mubarah himself.
The Arab regimes, and the Palestinian Authority, have all in fact courted Sharon in recent years, though not in recent days, thus helping further legitimize and resurrect him in the eyes of the Israeli public.
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