Even the security establishment now realizes that what we had during Yasser Arafat’s time is repeating itself: the Palestinian Authority makes deals and surrenders to the most murderous of the terror organizations and proudly declares it will never fight these organizations or constrict their steps in any meaningful way. Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser el-Kidwa, Yasser Arafat’s nephew, even admitted recently that as he sees it, Palestinian weapons are a ” strategic option,” even though these weapons should be organized. The Palestinian Authority does not look out for the safety of its own citizens, and in the raging state of anarchy, murderous gangs walk the streets openly, sometimes in defiance of top PA officials. The method chosen by Abbas to silence terror was to buy it and to include the terrorists and the strong in the PA’s army.

Those of us who thought that after his election, Mahmoud Abbas would start taking care of his citizens, would rehabilitate the refugee camps and make their lives better-was again proved wrong. This refers not only to security establishment officials, who plaited wreaths for Abbas’s head when he was elected, but also to those fantasizers and partner-seekers in the Israeli political establishment. With the perspective of years, it turns out that the problem is more substantive than just Yasser Arafat or Abu Mazen: this Palestinian Authority is not about to solve the problem of the Palestinians, but rather the Palestinian problem, and the gulf between the two is enormous.

Thus it happens that Israel, which established this Palestinian Authority in the framework of the Oslo accords, now faces a political body that has no intention of reaching a political arrangement with it, but rather intends to continue to undermine Israel with temporary “hudnas” in order to prepare militarily. In this regard, the PA resembles the PLO after 1967, until Yasser Arafat seized control of it a year later: the PLO was established by the Arab states to undercut Arafat’s Fatah, but after Arafat seized control, it was Arafat who used the PLO to undercut the Arab states. In the same way, the PA established by Israel for purposes of peace is liable to come under control of Hamas, for completely other purposes.

Even the methods of action by the current top Palestinian leaders, Qurei and Abbas, very much resemble those of Yasser Arafat at the time: Dissatisfaction as a strategic policy, zero self-responsibility, Israel is always to blame and outward weakness behind which lies an aspiration for power. Help me, Abu Mazen asked the prime minister this week, as if he did not have thousands of troops under his authority. In this too, Abbas continues the his predecessor’s policy of the powerful moaning over their fate.

The time has come to remove the veil enveloping our region, the time has come to declare that from now on there will be no more steps of “coordination” with the Palestinian Authority or various “relief measures,” and that Israel will carry out disengagement exactly as it planned from the outset: unilaterally, with no phony coordination.

This appeared in Yediot Ahronot on June 22nd, 2005