LA MUERTE DE ARAFAT no es lo único que explica la esperanza hacia la paz en Oriente Medio, afirma Charles Krauthammer, que califica el 'hecho biológico' como condición sin duda necesaria, pero no suficiente:
It was necessary because Arafat had the power to suppress and literally kill any chances of peace. But his passing would have meant nothing if it had not occurred at a time when the Palestinians finally realized that Arafat's last great gamble, the second intifada, was a disaster.
The reason history does not always repeat itself is that the interval in between often leaves its mark. The Palestinians know that Arafat's war left them a legacy of death, corruption, misery, international isolation and social ruin as the myriad militias he created roam the streets, terrorizing their own people. That is why they elected Mahmoud Abbas, who campaigned against the intifada.
[...] Was not Barak the good guy? And Sharon the tough guy? Surprise. Arabs respect toughness. Sharon launched a massive invasion of the Palestinian territories after the Passover massacre of 2002. Western experts and the media were practically unanimous that this would achieve nothing.
Completely wrong. In fact, it is precisely Israel's aggressive counterattack against Palestinian terrorists, coupled with the defensive fence (which has prevented practically all suicide attacks wherever it has been built), that has brought us to this point of hope.
As the fence is extended, the Palestinians see the strategic option of terror gradually disappearing. Moreover, Israel's successful military offensive demonstrated to the Palestinians that the premise of the second intifada -- that a demoralized and terrorized Israel would essentially surrender -- is false.
Will they try another intifada in the future? They might. But now they know what they did not know four years ago. The cost will be enormous. And the Israelis do not break.
The second intifada was fought under the old land-for-peace slogan: The terrorism would stop only when Israel agreed to full territorial withdrawal to the 1949 lines, a Palestinian state, Jerusalem as the capital and God knows what else. The Palestinians got none of this. They got death and destruction instead. What do the Palestinians now demand from Israel in return for a cease-fire? That Sharon stop hunting down and killing terrorist leaders. Not land for peace. Peace for peace.