Israel has opened a sort of second front in the current global counter-terrorist operation, having announced a “total war” against terror. There has been a lot of things said about the USA regarding a possible attack on Iraq, Somali, or Sudan. As it is clear now, the turn has not yet come for those countries. Israeli premier Ariel Sharon stated that Israel was going into action against world terrorism on the side of the United States. “We will use all possible means we have to struggle with terror, like the brave American leader does,” – Sharon declared.
The Americans have already declared that Israel has a right to protect itself. There was information in the Western press, saying that Ariel Sharon received America’s agreement to carry out tough actions against the Palestinians. It seems the United States does not have any arguments to press on Sharon after the new acts of terrorism. The USA has put itself in a very difficult position after the country “allowed” Israel to join the anti-terror war: the Americans risk earning more hatred from the Muslims.
They say that Sharon discussed Yasser Arafat’s fate in Washington. Israel blames him for all the recent acts of terrorism, but on the other hand, Israel claims that Arafat does not have any influence on the situation. The Israeli leaders realize that if there is going to be someone else instead Arafat, it will be a lot harder to negotiate with that person. That is why Israel chose an interesting strategy: not to acknowledge Arafat and not to give time to the Arabs to solve the question with their new leader. It will be easier for Israel to win in a short war than to lose civilians in the long conflict.
It seems that it is almost impossible to establish peace in the Middle East. What can they offer each other? It is either a war or “peaceful co-existence," with constant acts of terrorism. Israel discussed the opportunity to build a wall that would separate the Jews from the Arabs. Will it protect Israel? If the current birth rate is preserved on the level it is now, then there will be nine million Arabs living on the West Bank and in the Gaza strip instead of the current figure of 4.2 million. This figure will grow up to 15 million by the middle of the next century. The population of Israel will grow by only two million people during the coming five years, and a half of this figure will fall on the Arab minority. At the same time, the Arabian countries of the Middle East will gain 62 million more people.
Sharon probably knows this sad statistics. The prolongation of the conflict is only good for the Arabs. Will the second front result in peace in the Middle East?
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
AP photo: Palestinian protesters chant anti-Israel slogans as they wave the red flags of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine during a protest
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.