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For the first time since I can't remember when, News readers were treated to a rare phenomenon: editorials and even a Tom Toles cartoon critical of Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority. My euphoria at this sign of returning sanity was truncated, however, when I took in the larger picture.

Arafat's perceived sin was his refusal to accept sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, more than 95 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, eastern Jerusalem and even the Temple Mount. It was not his orchestration of riots and murders over a fabricated slight, or his release of Hamas terrorists to contribute to the mayhem. Neither was it his policy of feeding Palestinian children a steady diet of hatred and glorified violence. No, instead it was his rejection of an offer so craven as to have shocked even Leah Rabin and other Israelis who were ready to give almost anything for a hope of peace.

Those who share this blindness ask how the Palestinians can ever be expected to negotiate with Ariel Sharon. Yet not long ago they fawned over the obscenity of Arafat receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and called him a "partner of peace" for the Israelis. Sooner or later, we will all recognize that the real threat to peace is the appeasement of those who care nothing for it. It appears that Jewish blood has once again become cheap in the eyes of the world.



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