Palestinian autocrat Yasser Arafat is seriously ill.   His wife who lives in Paris is reportedly on her way to Ramallah. Doctors were called from Jordan and Egypt. It is reported that he has not regained consciousness since his collapse. Many believe he is fighting for his life. He may not make it. Israel is planning its response and its peacekeeping plan in the event of his death. (Picture: Arafat earlier this week).

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I have always said there will be no real peace in the Middle East in my lifetime. I have also said that there is no possibility of an honest dialog as long as Arafat is alive. He jealously holds his dictatorial position and will broach no competition. He is blinded by hatred and willing to kill innocent people to express his rage. His death will bring about chaos as factions and radicals fight for power. His legacy is one of shame.

Only if things settle down and a man with integrity rises among the Palestinians — a man who can establish a real government with authority and justice — will talks become possible.  Not only Israel, but the rest of the world, has put the Palestinians on hold until this stubborn old man disappears from the political scene. Only then will peace talks be possible.  But I am not optimistic.

I suspect that the Palestinians will suffer years of infighting and accusing the wrong people for all their troubles. Israel is not their enemy — Muslim Palestinians are their own worse enemy and when they want the world and Israel to take them seriously they will cease terror, establish a real government with integrity and dialog, and teach their people to work with Israel instead of against Israel. But, I am not optimistic.

Arafat is a loser. He missed many chances and he has brought untold suffering upon the very people he claims to serve while he fattened his own bank account — impoverishing his people while he himself became on of the world’s richest men. I am not optimistic.

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