Too clever by half?
Posted by aogMonday, 15 September 2003 at 16:41 TrackBack Ping URL

Orrin Judd posted on how the Israeli declaration that they wanted to “remove” Arafat has boosted his fortunes. Originally I wondered how the Israeli government could be so stupid as to say this more than 30 minutes before Arafat was “accidentally” shot while being rounded up for deportation. It may be that removing Arafat would be a bad idea — I don’t agree, but it’s a plausible case to argue — but even if true, why say it? Why bring it up? It just seemed stupid.

Then I wondered - maybe it’s more subtle than it appears. Think about this — what could be worse for the Palestinians than another few years following Arafat? Has he not ruined more lives, destroyed more wealth and squandered more moral capital than any other Palestinian? Reviving his fortunes could just be the Israelis being cruel.

There’s another possible explanation. If the assumption (quite reasonable) is that however replaces Arafat will be the same sort of dishonest murdering scum, what’s the advantage of replacing him with someone who’s likely to be smarter or have better strategic sense? If the enemy is going to attack regardless, it pays to have the worst general in charge. This would make particular sense if the Israelis were actually change their strategy. What are the odds that Arafat could change his strategy in response?

Naaaaah. The Israelis have once again completely misunderstood the situation. They insanely keep expecting some kind of rational reaction from the Palestinians.