WFB on Sharon

The incomparable William F. Buckley, Jr. has a piece that says that
Ariel Sharon’s attacks on the Palestinians are a terrible mistake
. Instead,
Buckley argues that a better course of action would have been to execute Arafat
and his associates and be done with it.

It’s an interesting argument from someone who’s been studying the region
for some time. It’s clear that Sharon needs some kind of end game. After the
Israeli army pulls out of the West Bank what then? A wall to keep suicide
bombers out? Once the task of ousting the terrorists is complete, something has
to happen. Shooting Arafat certainly would be a positive step in my book,
but that’s no guarantee of peace.

A kind of Marshall Plan may be one solution, but that’s assuming that
Israeli/Palestinian emnity cools enough to allow it. That’s hardly a foregone
conclusion. Of course, only a few years ago, peace was thought to be assured.
Perhaps the ouster of Arafat will be enough to allow more moderate factions to
take his place – assuming that those moderate factions still exist. Keeping
a people who have little to no education, have no infrastruction to imporove their lives,
and feel as though they have no hope next to one’s country isn’t going to lead
to anything other than bloodshed.

One has to admit – this whole situation is risky and complex. Buckley
raises some points that the Israeli people must consider. Once the war is over,
Israel must face the daunting task of helping the Palestinians turn their swords
into plowshares, or another intifada will rise up. That may be the most
difficult task that Israel has faced in its troubled future.