Re "U.S. Must Weigh In: Arafat Has Got to Go," Commentary, Sept. 12: Undertaking Robert Satloff's proposal that the United States should spearhead a diplomatic effort to have Yasser Arafat removed from "all positions in the Palestinian political hierarchy" would be disastrous in every way. In the eyes of the Palestinians and most Arabs, the U.S. would just be doing Israel's dirty work and reinforcing the not unreasonable view that what Israel wants, the U.S. gives. Moreover, it would remove the one Palestinian leader (whether you love him or hate him) with broad Palestinian support capable of striking a deal with Israel.
However, the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears to have given up any interest in a comprehensive settlement and instead seems intent on finding a "weak reed" among the Palestinians who will agree to its self-serving demands. Any peace plan that comes out of such a process is doomed to failure.
All who want and pray for peace in the Middle East should welcome Israel's decision to remove Arafat. His promise to renounce violence was a lie. He has financed and supported terrorists who have killed hundreds of Israelis since 2000. At Camp David he denied his people a state, because it would have meant genuinely accepting the existence of Israel. Peace is not possible with Arafat.