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Yasser Arafat has survived any number of "defining moments" and "turning points" in his decades as a Palestinian leader. Now comes another, perhaps the final one. The horrific slaughter of more than two dozen innocent Israelis in attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa over the weekend makes it imperative that the Palestinian Authority president break the back of the terrorist groups that carry out such murders of pure hatred. Arafat's failure to do so would open the door to an all-out Israeli war on organizations such as Hamas, which claimed responsibility for the most recent attacks, and Islamic Jihad, surely with greater suffering for the Palestinian people Arafat claims to represent. Israel retaliated Monday, launching air strikes on Arafat's helicopter compound in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jenin. Israeli spokesmen also warned of greater, unspecified payback. The attack and counterattack are the latest tightening of the dreadful happenings that must and need to come to an end. Why can’t the people of both nations live in peace and agree to live within and alongside one another? I find these recent outbreaks of hatred as pure ignorance. They can’t even image agreeing with each other. In years past United States presidents have tried, but only to see more killing. I believe as a nation we need to hold a diplomatic session with both nations, and maybe this will have impact on them to see the mass destruction and economic hardships on their nations. I can’t understand, or imagine living in a world where you can’t even go to the mall for risk of some maniac that might come storming in and blow himself up, or riding the public transportation for fear of being killed by a bomb. They have been fighting since the beginning of time itself and it is time we look at this closer. Israel uses helicopters and foot soldiers, bullets and missiles in massive attacks that kill innocent Palestinians and inflame the hatred. Palestinian suicide bombers strap weapons around their waists and kill as many Israelis as they can. I don’t know about you but to strap a bomb to myself and let it explode is a different concept than to just drop the bomb, or throw a grenade. Doesn’t that do the same thing without killing yourself? Who are they trying to kill here? The thing is that Arafat must realize that the weekend attacks represent an assault on his own authority as well as on the tatters of the peace process. Israeli and Palestinian voices of peace have been reduced to whispers; the average person

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