The Filthy War

Terrorizing the Terrorists Into Terrorism

And no one understands why the Israeli government is going after Arafat and his gang but not Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who leads Hamas and is considered much more dangerous.

The wheelchair-bound Sheik Yassin was jailed by Israel from 1989 to 1997 for ordering Hamas attacks against Israeli targets. He is paralyzed in all four limbs, has breathing problems, and can barely hear. But the old coot still has a lot of power and a surplus of venom in his veins.

Anyway, it's time to stop being polite to sovereign or would-be sovereign nations. It is time to impose an agreement. Washington will have to do the dirty work if the anguish on both sides here is to end.

As Yossi Sarid, the leader of the Israeli opposition Meretz party, wrote in the International Herald Tribune on March 29: "Superpower status, like nobility in the past, obliges."

Washington, Sarid wrote, "should tell both sides that if in a few days they don't achieve a truce, an international force under U.S. leadership will be sent to separate the Israelis from the Palestinians. . . . "

"An international force under U.S. leadership," he wrote, "would not only protect Israelis from Palestinians (and vice versa), it would safeguard the interests of the United States, the free world and moderate Arab countries, and would help the Palestinian Authority rehabilitate itself and the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza finally to stand on their feet.

"For many years, Israel rejected the idea of an international force, saying: 'Excuse me? Are we Bosnia? Is this Kosovo?' My answer is: Yes, we have become Kosovo. When victims fall every day and both sides are blinded by hatred and revenge, we are Kosovo. And a Kosovo-like reality demands a Kosovo-like solution."

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