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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 5-Nov-04
Palestinian violence looms as Arafat seems close to death

Web Log - November, 2004

Palestinian violence looms as Arafat seems close to death

The Israeli military has gone on high alert, and the Palestinian Authority is scrambling to establish new leadership, as both governments scrambled to prepare to control expected rioting and violence that will occur if Arafat's death is announced.

Yasser Arafat is a revered figure among the Palestinians. He's considered the father of the Palestinians, and he's the one leader who's been able to hold all the competing factions together. As one Palestinian woman said today to explain why Palestinians respect him: "He's made mistakes, but you could always count on him to be there for the Palestinians. He did not ever give in to the Israelis."

Arafat, born in 1929, and his Jewish counterpart, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, are part of their respective "hero generations" from the genocidal crisis war fought between the Arabs and the Jews in the 1940s, after the UN partitioned Palestine and created the state of Israel. Both men, having lived through war, are willing to take any reasonable steps to create a new genocidal crisis war.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics the disappearance of either of these men could destabilize the Mideast, but the death of Arafat will be especially significant. His death will be met with open mourning, demonstrations and rioting, and his funeral will attract worldwide attention. Do you remember this past summer how the nation and even the world mourned at the death of Ronald Reagan? That level of emotion will be repeated and exceeded.

However, the greater problem is that the power vacuum left by Arafat's disappearance attract many younger men who will want to fill it. These men will have no personal memory of the 1940s wars, and will be far less inclined to compromise and avoid war.

As I've been saying for two years, the Mideast is entering a generational crisis period, and there will be a major Mideast crisis war in the next few years, with 100% certainty. It will engulf the entire region, and the survival of Israel is not guaranteed. The war might begin tomorrow, next week, next year, or in a few years, but it must occur. In my book, I speculated that it was likely to begin in the months following the disappearance of Yasser Arafat.

And yet, we're hearing from journalists, pundits and high-priced analysts who actually believe that the disappearance of Arafat is what's needed to make peace possible. For example, an official in the Bush administration said that Arafat's death "will encourage resolution of the political uncertainty on the Palestinian side and it will make the prime minister and his government emerge as the only capable institutions,"

This kind of na´ve, wishful thinking statement always amazes me. Ever since the second Intifada began in 2000, it's been official Israeli and American policy to isolate Arafat, and to plan for his disappearance so that a peace plan can take hold.

Now we're going to see if those policies make sense after all. (5-Nov-04) Permanent Link
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