When it comes to the Middle East most observers don’t process data, they process denial. When almost immediately after Oslo, Arafat stopped in a Stockholm mosque to repudiate the Accords and was subsequently caught, he denied what he had said. Those who could not see beyond Oslo were eager to accept his denial. When the PLO did not formally change its position on Israel’s existence, those who wanted to believe it had done so, simply saying that the formalities didn’t make a difference.
Today FrontPage posts a column by Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa Lappen on the Rafah Crossing agreements that we discussed here when they were announced by Secretary Rice: “Another free pass to the Palestinians.” Ehrenfeld and Lappen open with a point that I rarely see noted in this context, although I believe it to be important and true:
The Palestinian Authority has yet to comply with even one agreement they have signed since the Oslo Accord. They have violated the Oslo agreement, Oslo II, and the Road Map. Each agreement required the PA to disarm its terrorists and to empower its security forces to protect the safety of Israelis as well as Palestinian Arabs.
Ehrenfeld and Lappen observe the same dynamic in play with respect to the most recent agreements.