Source Pravda.Ru

Israel Thinks Cooperation With Palestine Does Not Mean Cooperation With Arafat

Israeli politicians think it is not appropriate to confine the cooperation with Palestine to a dialogue with Yasser Arafat. Israeli Minister of Infrastructure Natan Sharansky stressed at a Moscow press-conference that all funds invested into the Palestinian autonomy go through Arafat's personal account. According to Sharansky, Israel thinks that cooperation with a leader, who is not indeed interested in his own people's welfare, does not make any sense. According to the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Arafat is a dictator, and his policy is based on control over his nation through mobilization against a common enemy. That is why Arafat has rejected virtually all plans of Israel and the West which could increase the Palestinians' welfare. According to Sharansky, cooperation would be more efficient if the world community carried out the dialogue on political settlement with a leader who is "objectively interested in arranging the life of his people". At the same time, Sharansky refused to name Arafat's possible heir. He said Israelis might have many opinions on this issue. "There are 5 million Jews in our country, which means 10 million opinions, however that does not matter", Sharansky said. He pointed out that it was up to the Palestinians to solve the problem. "The mission of the West and the whole international community is creating conditions that would give the Palestinians a chance to make the free choice".