For those not keeping tabs on other things going on in the news, there happens to be a shocker going on right now.

Yassir Arafat is ill and there is much speculation that it may be terminal. His doctors claim he is suffering from a gall stone, but there's been speculation that it might be stomach cancer or perhaps Parkinson's disease.

The Israelis have been bending over backwards with this news. Perhaps you remember, sometime ago, Arafat sequestered himself inside his offices and has not left since then for fear that the Israelis will not allow him back in. With this news however, Ariel Sharon has instructed security officials in the area to facilitate his every need.

If Yassir Arafat should indeed pass away, on paper his immediate successor is the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Rauhi Fattouh. There is little doubt however that he would not hold onto power for long. There are several front runners among them Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Salim Zaanoun, head of the Palestinian National Council. All of which Arafat deputized today to run the PLO during his illness.

The two Prime Ministers have been at odds with Arafat as he largely thwarted their authority and blocked efforts toward moderation and reconciliation with Israel. This was eventually what led to the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas. Ahmed Qureia threatened to resign as well, but after minor concessions from Arafat rescinded that threat.

If Abbas or Qureia should succeed Arafat, the change might perhaps herald a new hope to find peace in that troubled part of the world!


Blogger gecko said...

You hit it square on this one! The key is that Arafat thwarted their authority and blocked efforts toward moderation and reconciliation with Israel. I just hope his successor can avoid the assassin's bullet.

This is great news Isreal and the Palestinians, but will not be appreciated by the rest of the muslim world I suspect.

11:08 PM  
Blogger jun said...

hey G-Man,

When and how do you think this madness is going to end?. When will the palestinians and israelis accept that enough is enough That we are all mortals and end of the day we are all going to reach the end of our biological lifespan.When?

11:12 PM  
Blogger The G-man said...

That my friend is a very good question. I mean Israel has made some very large concessions of late (perhaps some have not noticed). Ariel Sharon is going against the sentiments of the population of that country and removing settlements from Palestinian areas. Now all we need is two things. First off, the rest of the Muslim world needs to stop inciting violence in the area as this is truly counterproductive. Second, we need someone reasonable to deal with in charge of the PLO. There's some more pertainent information you might find useful in my post titled "The Middle East in Detail".

9:25 AM  


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