Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Ehud Barak claims that lying is just a cultural trait of the Palestinians.

"Truth is seen as an irrelevant category," he says."There is only that which serves your purpose and that which doesn't. They see themselves as emissaries of a national movement for whom everything is permissible. There is no such thing as 'the truth'."

He goes on to give an anecdote:

Mr Arafat had agreed to call a number of his police commanders to implement a truce. Mr Barak recalls protesting: "'But these are not the people organising the violence. If you are serious, then call Marwan Bargouti and Hussein al-Sheikh [two West Bank Fatah leaders].' "Arafat looked at me, with an expression of blank innocence, as if I had mentioned the names of two polar bears, and said, 'Who? Who?' "So I repeated the names, this time with a pronounced, clear Arabic inflection... and Arafat again said, 'Who? Who?' "At this, some of his aides couldn't stop themselves and burst out laughing. And Arafat, forced to drop the pretence, agreed to call them later."

In another story on the interview with Barak he goes on to give his view of what happened at Camp David:

"He did not negotiate in good faith; indeed, he did not negotiate at all. He just kept saying no to every offer, never making any counterproposals of his own," he says. Barak shifts between charging Arafat with "lacking the character or will" to make a historic compromise (as did the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1977-79, when he made peace with Israel) to accusing him of secretly planning Israel's demise while he strings along a succession of Israeli and Western leaders and, on the way, hoodwinks "naive journalists".

< email | 5/23/2002 09:10:00 AM | link

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