The idea of reforming the Palestinian autonomy has seized the minds of many politicians of the Middle East. At first, there was Ariel Sharon, who claimed that there would be no peace negotiations with Palestinians until the Palestinian autonomy introduced fundamental reforms. Sharon said in his address to the parliament that there could be no peace with the corrupted, terrorist, decayed, and dictatorial regime.
The prisoner of Ramallah has not made any comments regarding Sharon’s statements. Arafat preferred to keep on giving his precarious promises. As soon as he was released from his residence, he stated to foreign journalists that he would not stop looking for opportunities for peace with Israel, in spite of the current military actions of Israel on the Palestinian territory. It was a direct hint for the West that he was ready for a compromise, but, this time, the hint did not work. The West asked for something more than just promises. Arafat realized that Israelis’ persistence caused favorable understanding and support of Israel, and that it was not that easy to down the Israeli “Hawk.” Then, Yasser Arafat decided that, if the process could not be stopped, then it would be great to become its leader: Arafat started talking about reforms
The leader of the Palestinian autonomy suggested free elections and reconsideration of the system of administration of Palestine during his speech for the Palestinian Assembly. He added that only he was to blame for mistakes that had been made. Arafat acknowledged that the administration of the autonomy was in need of reform on its way to an independent state. He stressed that his people would never give up the desire for peace and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with the capital in Jerusalem.
What's more, the Palestinian leader stated that it was necessary to stop the military operations against Israeli civilians. He declared that terrorist suicide acts cannot help achieve Palestinian goals.
Arafat’s statements are not actions, but it was enough to cause anger among the Palestinian radicals. His authority is doubtless so far, but as soon as someone screams the word “traitor," then Arafat will have to face a lot of harsh criticism.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969