I used to be on the left when it came to Israeli politics - I really thought that Israel had found its Mandella in Arafat and its FW De Klerk in Rabin. But it wasn't meant to be.
Arafat could never let the gun drop. In 1974 he said to the UN something like "I hold a gun in one hand and an olive branch in the other - don't let me drop the olive branch". After Oslo, he continued to hold the gun - he just couldn't let it drop and recognise Israel as a nation that has right to exist - he just couldn't and wouldn't stop violent methods.
In September 2000, I was driving my car to New Year services (I know you're not suppose to drive on Rosh Hashanna - but, hey I'm a secular Tel Avivian) - and next to me in another car, some guy shouted at me and said - "hey, did you hear - they've started the second intifada". The rest is just history, suicide bombers and death. Arafat killed the idea then of any peace between the two people - most (if not all) of us in North Tel Aviv realised we had been duped - this wasn't a guy we could do business with, this was not a man who could keep his word or had renounced violence as a method to reach the noble and just aim of a Palestinian homeland.
You see there was a point when a majority of Israeli's would have been willing to give the Palestinians Gaza, 98% of the West Bank (with the other 2% made up from land from Israel propper) and even East Jerusalem (minus the Jewish quarter and the temple mount) - indeed this was, more or less offered to him by Barak (Israel's PM) just before the intifada. But this wasn't enough - and we have what we have -
Arafat was a disaster and a murderer. He could have stopped the suicide bombers along time ago - he didn't - he even financed them (the Al Aqsa martyrs are part of Fatah - which was the organisation headed by Arafat).
One last thing - I went to a cemetary recently for a funeral. On the way, I saw the grave stones of those young athletes murdered by the PLO at Munich. I then thought of Dora Bloch, the South African who was on an Air France flight that was hijaked and diverted to Entebbe and was murdered by the PLO terrorists on board because she was jewish, then I thought about Leon Klinghofer, an American who was disabled and togethr with his wheel chair was wheeled out into the sea and let to drown by PLO terrorists because he was Jewish. You see, this guy, Arafat, was in charge of all of this as he was head of the PLO - just as he was in charge of the mobs that are murdering Israeli's now.
Oh and by the way, for those people who say that Arafat couldn't go against Hamas - think again. When he came back to Gaza in 1993 Hamas tried to assinate him and the PLO killed a few Hamasniks so that they would know who was now in charge in Gaza. Secondly, Israel had the same problem in 1948 - there was a group of Jewish nationalists who wanted to continue fighting the 1948 war and gain more territory - these nationalists were on a ship called the Atlenta - Ben Gurion directed the army to fire on the ship and kill the nationalists so that these radicals would not force Israel into an untenable international situation. Arafat, after 2000 had many opportunities to act as a statesman and reign in Hamas, like Ben Gurion did to the Jewish Nationalists, but Arafat didn't - he just couldn't let the gun down and renounce violence as a method to gain a Palestinian homeland. I even doubt he ever held an olive branch.
"There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you. Nor will there be any future in which we shall cease to be."