Arafat is dead. Do I miss him? No. I have been to Israel many times. I have traveled in the West Bank as recently as four weeks ago. I have seen the results of his uncompromising rage. Under his regime thousands of innocent people have been killed. Was Arafat a warrior? No, he was a mass murdering terrorist. Warriors kill other warriors in battle. Mass murdering terroristsÂ indiscriminately kill innocent people to vent their rage and to twist the arms of legitimate governments. As many have said: â€œArafat never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.â€œ
Who will pick up the pieces of his failed and miserable life and reign? Who will find the billions of dollars he stole from his people and hoarded in unknown locations? How long will it take his people to recover from his anger and failed policies? How long will it take for them to realize it is better to work with Israel than fighting against it? Israel is not perfect either, but it is a democracy and a land ruled by law not tyrants. It is a modern western country, powerful and determined and notÂ going away. Palestinians have to be realistic and make the best of situation. My Palestinian friends will see this as a significant moment in history with the hopes of a democratic society that learns to cooperate with surrounding countries — not fight them.
My hope is for reasonable men to prevail. It is time to turn the page and start over. The US and Israel are ready to end the bloodshed — so are the average Palestinians who have lived under a bleak cloud of death, self-doubt and confusion. Blood has flowed long enough. It is time to talk, time to reason, time to put reasonable men in power who stop terror and learn to compromise and live in peace with the world.
I am guardedly hopeful, but the change must be dramatic and must be quick. May God bless the Middle East and bring peace to Jerusalem, especially our Christian brothers and sisters that have always been the most alienated in their own land. May God bring them peace and prosperity.Â