Time for Clinton to Make a Sacrifice for Peace

October 19, 1998
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director, IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

Last night Prime Minister Netanyahu offered a creative compromise when Yasser Arafat declared that he would never extradite Brig. Gen. Ghazi Jabali, the head of Gaza Civil Police, wanted by Israel for ordering terrorist attacks. "Call your boss, Mubarak, and have him let Azzam Azzam [the Israeli citizen imprisoned in Cairo for espionage] come home, and we will forego the extradition of Jabali."

That's right, an Egyptian "sacrifice for peace."

Netanyahu wasn't grandstanding. He was dead serious.

So let's take this another step: Israel has every right to insist on the extradition of all the terrorists on their list but Clinton insists that the best Arafat can do is keep them in Palestinian prisons. If Mubarak could make a "sacrifice for peace" how about Clinton?

And Jonathan Pollard is an easy sacrifice to make. He has served a longer sentence than anyone who committed a similar crime and his continued incarceration represents a thorn in American-Israeli relations.

And to complete the "sacrifices" we have some that Arafat can do. Something which he is obligated to do under the Oslo Agreement but hasn't to date: finally reveal all the information he has on the Israeli MIAs. And he has information. Arafat knows what happened to the other half of the Baumol's ID tags but so far he has indicated that he doesn't want to embarrass the Syrians by revealing the information.

So here's the deal: The PA only incarcerates everyone on the Israeli list and does not have to extradite them. Arafat reveals his information on the Israeli MIA's. Egypt releases Azzam Azzam. And Jonathan Pollard comes home on Netanyahu's plane.

With this issue out of the way, Clinton can have his photo opportunity as Israel signs off on an understanding on this issue and the date for a new round of negotiations on the remaining issues is announced.

Will this happen? I doubt it. Because when it comes to making "sacrifices for peace", Clinton thinks only of Israeli sacrifices.

See Also:
  • Pollard for Jabali?