One thing I find interesting is that the Israelis hold Yasser Arafat responsible for all of the terrorist attacks by Palestinians against Israel. Is there some proof that he affirmatively approves of these attacks? The impression I get is that he has almost no power over groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and that they conduct these attacks in spite of the wishes of the recognized Palestinian leadership (meaning Arafat). I believe that Arafat isn’t involved for two reasons, one optimistic and one cynical. My optimistic side says that Arafat sees that attacking Israeli civilians is never going to help the Palestinians achieve their goals, and as such has renounced such attacks. My cynical side says that Arafat has been in the terrorism game for over 30 years, and probably has as much expertise as anyone in the world when it comes to using terrorism to achieve political aims. As such, he understands that Palestinian objectives have not been served by suicide bombings or by the intifada over the past year. Maybe I’m wrong, and Arafat is a total idiot who goes along with the suicide bombings perpetrated by the hardcore Islamist groups in Palestine, but I just don’t see that. For one thing, they don’t even share his political goals and he doesn’t share their religious fanatacism. If you have any pointers to evidence of Arafat’s complicity in the attacks, please send it to me. (Today, DEBKA has a long “profile” of Yasser Arafat, but it’s not well sourced and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.)