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Kenneth C. W. Leiter is a Dallas-based sociologist.

Soon after the White House ceremony in September 1993, when Yitzhak Rabin shook the hand of Yasir Arafat, the New York-based journal Foreign Affairs presented an important debate on "The Palestinian Future." In it, Amos Perlmutter of the American University predicted the Palestinian Authority (PA) would become a dictatorship, while William Quandt of the University of Virginia said it would be a democracy.1

Looking back after four years, which of them hit closer to the mark? For an answer, we examine the record of the Palestinian Authority in key areas: are elections free and fair, is there a meaningful opposition, is there a free press, are human rights respected, is corruption under control, do civilians rule?


One of Israel's goals in signing the 1993 Declaration of Principles with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was to transform the latter from a terrorist gang into a political party. Accordingly, the Palestinians held elections in January 1996, choosing their ra'is (leader) as well as the eighty-eight members of the Palestinian Council, a parliamentary-like body.

Although the election was under international supervision, many signs pointed to the elections not being really democratic. The PA stifled the opposition's ability to communicate with the public by closing down newspapers, restricting access to telephones, and intimidating its campaign workers.2 Arafat also bribed opposition candidates to withdraw from the elections.3 He personally shut down the PLO's own attempts to adopt democratic procedures. When Fatah primaries resulted in victories for young members of the intifada, Arafat voided the primaries and replaced the victors of those contests with hand-picked candidates from establishment Palestinian family clans.4 This act marked his complete repression of the intifada, a revolt directed as much against the Palestinian political establishment as against Israel.5

Nor did Arafat permit any opposition party to run against his hand-picked candidates. Those who persisted in challenging his wishes could run only as "independent" candidates, that is, isolated individuals running without the benefit of party affiliation or party logistics. To finish off the process of intimidation, the PA police had an unobstructed view of voters' choices in over 100 polling places as people voted, thereby making a sham of the notion of a secret ballot.6

The fact that, despite these obstacles, thirty-three independent candidates won seats to the 88-member Palestinian Council suggests that Arafat's methods of intimidation did not have complete success; that he may not be as popular as his 80 percent vote suggests; and that democracy does have a certain resilience among Palestinians, despite Arafat's best efforts.


A hint of Arafat's problem with democracy occurred at the Palestinian Council's swearing-in ceremony, when he refused to disband the PLO, on the grounds that the struggle against Israel continued. The PLO's continued existence undermines the council as the locus of political power in Palestinian society. By keeping the PLO active, Arafat maintained it as a rival to the PA for the PA's legislative functions. Had he disbanded the PLO, Arafat would have sent the message that he intended to govern through the fifty-five members of the Fatah faction who comprise two-thirds of the council. Instead, he retained the PLO and continued his old divide-and-rule style of governing. When the council and the PLO locked horns over the issue of which group would write and ratify the PA's Basic Law, for example, Arafat came down on the PLO's side, allowing the Palestinian Council only some input at the final stages. Virtually no legislation emerged from the council. Two years after its election, it had passed just "thirty-seven resolutions, laws on the budget, political parties and press freedom."7

If the council has not passed significant legislation, it has neither become a rubber stamp for Arafat. Arafat cannot count on the council members ceding all real power to him, not so much because they differ from him on policy but because they take pride in their democratic mandate. A journalist, Tawfiq Abu Husa, explains this perspective:

The first thing we are waiting for after the Israeli withdrawal is a state of law and democracy. Nothing else matters. I want to have the right to say "No" to Arafat or whoever is in charge.8

The council made itself felt by publicly criticizing the Palestinian Authority, providing hopeful signs that Arafat and his minions have not snuffed out the democratic spirit. It took a significant step in calling for the members of Arafat's inner circle to resign—something well beyond its delegated powers under Oslo II. Of course, none of them did so.9 But in January 1998, the Palestinian Council handed Arafat an ultimatum: If in three months he had not taken several steps (sack corrupt members of his cabinet, approve the resolutions and laws passed by the council), it would pass a no-confidence motion and resign.10 Arafat toughed it out by trying to get the members of his Fatah faction to block the no-confidence vote. But they, remarkably, refused to bend. Arafat's agreement in June 1998 to reshuffle his cabinet in the face of the council's ultimatum may be the equivalent of the English barons getting King John to meet with them at Runnymede.

Despite these efforts, however, the council has not become the governing body optimists had hoped for. It stands up to Arafat on the issue of corruption in his government, but little else—supporting him on arbitrary arrests, the torture and killing of prisoners, and the killing of real estate dealers who sell land to Jews. In the end, council members accept that the gun, not the law, remains the source of real power in Palestinian society. They exercise the trappings of democracy, not its fundamentals.


Under Israeli rule, the Palestinian press had developed into one of the freest in the Arab world. Operating mainly out of Jerusalem, it distributed a variety of newspapers throughout the West Bank and its reporters served as stringers for international news agencies. Publications represented the views of Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and those Palestinians opposed to PLO leadership. There was instant coverage of Palestinian events and interpretation of those events, as well as investigative reporting.11

Things changed as soon as the PA came into existence; Arafat instantly tried to muzzle the press from criticism of his rule. For example, PA police confiscated all the copies of a Palestinian newspaper, An-Nahar, when it criticized his position vis-à-vis Jordan.12 Journalists can be arrested for "libeling and spreading false information about the president and Palestinian Authority," an offense that carries a sentence of three years in jail.13 During the elections of January 1996, Arafat closed several newspapers critical of his regime. Bassam Eid, a human rights activist and former journalist for Al-Nahar, himself several times arrested and beaten by PA police, subsequently explained the significance of this: "There is one red line the press cannot cross, which is to write critical articles against Yasir Arafat or his leadership. But I am afraid of other red lines that might develop in the future."14

Arafat shows particular dislike of discussion about corruption within his inner circle. In May 1997, Daoud Kuttab, director of Al Quds University's educational television station and a leading newspaper reporter, was arrested and detained for a week for the crime of televising a meeting of the Palestinian Council. A month later, whenever Kuttab broadcast Palestinian Council sessions dealing with the corruption in Arafat's government, the PA began jamming his station's signal with a solid black rectangle and noise on its frequency.15 Kuttab's detainment was no rogue action; "American officials were told by the Palestinians that Mr. Kuttab was detained on orders of Mr. Arafat."16 His arrest was intended to intimidate journalists and to shape what the television station broadcast about the PA. As Kuttab later explained: "They didn't break me. They tried to advise me, ‘You're a journalist. Watch what you say.'"17

Arafat banned books opposing his approach to the peace process, most notably Edward Said's The Politics of Dispossession, a polemic that, among other things, calls Arafat's signing of the Oslo Accords a "capitulation."18 When two book stores in Ramallah were told to remove Said's book from their shelves, the Financial Times commented that this "ban fits into a widening pattern of abuses by Mr. Arafat's increasingly autocratic administration."19

Freedom of education has also been severely curtailed. On July 2, 1997, Fatih Ahmad Sabah, a lecturer in education at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, was arrested and his exams confiscated for giving an exam that contained a question on corruption in the PA.20 This dramatic case symbolizes a more widespread problem: that educators routinely look over their shoulder to make sure they do not raise questions that will raise Arafat's ire.

Even complaining about the lack of freedom gets one in trouble. ‘Iyad Sarraj, a Palestinian human rights activist, deemed that "there is 100 times less freedom of expression under Palestinian rule than there was under Israeli control."21 After making this assessment, Sarraj was arrested by the PA police and held for nine days.22 Palestinian political dissidents are getting the message: dissent is not tolerated in the PA. The fact that, lately, fewer newspapers are being closed results not from greater PA toleration of dissent but from strict self-censorship by the press. In all, while the PA does not yet resemble the closed society of a country like Saudi Arabia, it is certainly moving in that direction.


Interviewed in an article for the American Bar Association Journal that appeared in early 1994, Arafat and Raji Surani, a Palestinian lawyer, assured their American audience that the PA would vigilantly protect human rights.23 But much evidence contradicts these bright plans and Palestinians themselves have judged the PA's record on human rights as "torture on a large scale."24 Other human rights organizations have used such terms as "little cause for optimism,"25 and "several disturbing trends"26 to describe the gross violations of human rights by the PA.

The streets of Gaza and the West Bank are not safe. Salah ash-Sha‘ir was killed by the PA police when he and his friends got into an argument with a policeman.27 Taysir al-Luzi was shot in the head by a Palestinian militiaman as he sat in a car with friends in April 1996; the militiaman found the car "suspicious."28 After his death, the PA police accused Luzi of drug-dealing and gun-running.

The PA's judicial system is like that of the PLO: under Arafat's control. He has fired judges who have handed down decisions he disagrees with. When Amin ‘Abd as-Salam, head of the West Bank appellate court, found no legal reason for holding ten Bir Zeit University students arrested during the Hamas bombing campaign of 1996, he ordered their release. Deciding the students should remain in jail, Arafat and his attorney general Khalid al-Qidra fired ‘Abd as-Salam and the students indeed remained in jail.29 Thus, Palestinian courts cannot serve as a mechanism for reversing or correcting abuses by Arafat's police. One commentator remarks that, "far from striving to improve the judicial system, Arafat has largely divested it of its independence—by ignoring some court decisions and even dismissing judges who display too much independence."30 An independent judiciary, a key building block of civil society, simply does not exist in the PA.

Reports by human rights monitoring groups describe the use of torture in PA jails as endemic. Detainees are routinely beaten, starved, deprived of sleep, and kept in discomfort for hours on end; some have had electric prods applied to them.31 People are held without charge; Khalid Wahhaba spent nine months without even being allowed to see a lawyer.32 Palestinian human rights groups say six other detainees have been in jail for close to fourteen months without charges being filed against them.33 After being charged, detainees found that getting a trial was next to impossible. At least 117 suspects were held for over a year without benefit of trial.34 According to The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, the majority of the PA's detainees are contractors, businessmen, and taxi drivers accused of petty crimes;35 one unfortunate victim was arrested and tortured because the police thought he was a witness to a crime.

Worse, some eighteen detainees were killed while in PA police custody36—one of them, ‘Azzam Muslih, was an American citizen. And while Yasir Arafat is supposed to be conducting a war against terrorism, none of those eighteen were charged with terrorist acts against Israel. Quite to the contrary, they are typically charged (after their deaths) with such crimes as collaborating with Israel and selling land to Jews.

None of the accused terrorists has been indicted for murdering Israelis or even for serious crimes against Palestinians. Rather, (in the words of PA spokesmen) they are charged with such lesser crimes as "conspiracies to affect general security" and "weapons training without a license."37 Worse yet, they are often released:

On the orders of Yasir Arafat, Palestinians arrested for attacking Israelis are tried almost instantly by special State Security Courts and convicted and sentenced before Israel can begin extradition proceedings. The courts often mete out sentences that seem severe—but defendants rarely serve more than a few months behind bars before they are reunited with their families, and allowed to move freely in PA-controlled territory.38

Nabil Sharihi, the member of Islamic Jihad who helped prepare the bomb used in the bus bombing at Kfar Darom in April 1995, killing thirteen (including American student Alisa Flatow), was released in July 1997.39 Muhammad ad-Dif, responsible for two bus bombings in Jerusalem in January 1996 (killing twenty-four and nineteen), was never arrested by the PA police but was "living openly" in Gaza.40 Dif often met with Gaza's chief of police Muhammad Dahlan (a childhood friend) during negotiations between the PA and Hamas. "Knowing of Dif's involvement in the bombing, he did nothing either to detain him or to prevent the next outrage."41

Some accused terrorists have actually been appointed to positions in Arafat's security forces. Bassam and Yasir Aram, charged by Israel with attempted murder of Israelis, are currently members of the PA police force. ‘Iyad Bashiti, charged by Israel of murdering two Israelis, currently serves as an interrogator in PA military intelligence. Bassam ‘Isa, charged with the murders of five Israelis, is currently a member of the PA police. Yasir Abu Samhadana of Hamas is currently the PA senior police commander in Khan Yunis, Gaza.42

Thus does Arafat jail political dissidents and release terrorists, making a lie of his claim that the tough treatment of prisoners is part of his battle against terrorism. While claiming to be waging a war against terrorism, he is in fact securing his political power by waging war against fellow Palestinians.

A final insult to human rights by the PA was the enactment of a law prescribing capital punishment to anyone who sells land to Jews. Arafat explained the law as:

a Jordanian law that we inherited, which applies to both the West Bank and Gaza, and sets the death penalty for those who sell land to Israelis. . . . We are talking about a few traitors, and we shall implement against them what is written in the law books.43

Thus far, four real estate dealers have been found brutally murdered near cities controlled by the PA. A fifth real estate dealer died, allegedly from a heart attack, while in PA police custody.44

Accepting the PA's claim that the population under its control numbers 2.5 million, its police force of 40,000 puts the ratio of policemen to civilians at sixteen police per thousand civilians. European countries have between two and four police per thousand, and the United States has 2.4 police per thousand.45 The number of PA policemen per capita is some four to eight times greater than in the West.46 Not only that; Arafat's police are also among the best armed anywhere, possessing automatic weapons, such as Kalashnikovs, and even anti-tank missiles.47 In fact, his police resemble on a miniature scale the armies of Syria and Iraq; like them, it is both used lawlessly against its own citizens and (in a move that may make the Palestinian police unique in the world), to intimidate foreign governments. In September 1996, Arafat's police force functioned like an army when Israel opened the exit to an ancient tunnel in Jerusalem; in response, together with rioters, the PA police attacked Israeli troops and civilians.48 "For the first time, Israel confronted armed Palestinian policemen along side stone throwing youths."49


Corruption exists everywhere but, as Transparency International shows, it flourishes most in authoritarian regimes. Its presence at the highest levels of the Palestinian Authority suggests how this regime views its own people as ripe for exploitation. In 1997 a report generated by the Palestinian Council "found that $326 million of the Palestinian Authority's $800 million annual budget had been squandered through corruption and mismanagement."50 The report gives specific instances of Arafat's ruling elite pocketing funds:

  • Information and Culture Minister Yasir ‘Abd Rabbo used $7,500 from the ministry budget to pay for central heating at his home.
  • Transportation Minister ‘Ali Qawashma accepted bribes to license cars that did not meet road standards.
  • Civil Affairs Minister Jamal Tarifi gave illegal exemptions from customs duties for more than 4,300 cars, including a Jaguar for his father.
  • The Civil Affairs Ministry and Nabil Sha‘th's Planning Ministry misappropriated funds from foreign donors.51

Palestinians have noted that while teachers receive near-starvation wages, members of Arafat's inner circle display extravagant life styles. The per-capita income of Gazans may have fallen nearly 40 percent since the Oslo accords were signed in September 199352 but members of Arafat's inner circle have enriched themselves through corruption. For example, Abu Mazin, a likely successor to Arafat, has built a million-dollar home.53 Nabil Sha‘th allegedly has a secret fund for underwriting secret business deals for PA officials.54

Survey research shows that Palestinians find the PA corrupt; for example, in an opinion poll taken in June 1997, 62 percent of respondents registered this view and just over 50 percent supported a parliamentary motion of no-confidence in Arafat's administration.55 The Palestinian population appears less upset by lack of progress in the peace process than by his domestic policies: suppression of the press, the abuse of human rights by the PA police, and corruption. As Fawaz Turki notes:

All of us Palestinians were wrong about Yasir Arafat and the "National Authority" that he has foisted upon the autonomous zones he now controls in the West Bank and Gaza. . . . The heretical editor was silenced, the human rights activist was hounded, the recalcitrant labor unionist was jailed, and the innovative intellectual was harassed and beaten. . . . Yasir Arafat has unleashed destructive forces, dug up from the depths of the coercive tradition, that are destined to stifle our dream for living as free men and women.56


When the Gaza-Jericho plan was first implemented, Arafat set the tone of his military rule by staffing his government largely with PLO exiles from Tunis and other places. From the outset, a tension has existed between PLO staff coming from outside the territories and political leaders of the territories; among other differences, the latter were familiar with the workings of Israeli democracy, the former were not.

Palestinian society today is ruled not by civilians but by the ten or more security forces. As David Hirst of The Guardian explains, these "act as autonomous agencies, without a chain of command or defined responsibility. They compete with one another. All they have in common is their subordination to one man, Arafat, who, playing one against the other, perpetuates his control."57 Arafat's refusal to disband the PLO and rely on his Fatah faction within the Palestinian Council indicates that military rule will continue for the foreseeable future. In the bitter words of Ghassan, a Gazan, the Oslo accords brought little benefit: "One army left and another has arrived."58


These developments—the flawed elections, the lack of press freedom, the arbitrary arrests, the torture, the hamstrung judiciary, military rule—provide perspective on the Foreign Affairs debate held in early 1994. In all, the pessimists' worry that the PA would become an autocratic entity have thus far been largely fulfilled.

In retrospect, it is clear that Perlmutter's accurate prediction was based on a hard-nosed evaluation of the PLO and its leader:

the PLO remains what it has always been—a loosely constructed terrorist-guerrilla-propaganda structure whose cohesiveness is based on loyalty to the man at the top. Arafat clings to his preference for a secretive government that depends on loyalty to his person and leadership.

Perlmutter concluded that the Palestinian entity would emerge as a police state.

Arafat will have to rely heavily on his security services, the Mukhabarat, the old terrorist machine that has protected him from the Israelis, dissident Palestinians and Arab foes for so long. As a result, the police will have some military functions, while the security services, rather than the political parties, human rights organizations, or other institutions, will become the foundations of Arafat's political power and administrative domination.59

It is also instructive to see where Quandt went wrong. While not predicting instant democracy, he argued that conditions made democracy a likely long-term outcome. These include a predisposition toward democracy among Palestinians based on their firsthand observation of autocratic rule in the Arab states; the experience in democratic ways that Palestinians have gained by living in western Europe, the United States, and Israel. Israeli democracy, ironically, strikes him as especially important for Palestinians;

much as they may abhor Israeli occupation policies, they have seen what a free press can do, witnessed a working parliamentary system, and seen mobilized electorate oust governments that failed to deliver on promises.60

In an odd bit of logic, Quandt sees violent conflicts within the PLO as a source of democracy. In his view, the intifada provided youth with experiences that can foster democracy.

They have acquired the habit of participating in political life, wielding authority, making decisions, and not always deferring to the dictates of the Tunis-based PLO.61

Yet Quandt's "urge for democracy" does exist and the Palestinian Council serves as its leading expression. Its members, even those belonging to Fatah, have tried to stand up to Arafat on such issues as the Basic Law and corruption in Arafat's government. Although the council's acts of defiance have not led to any governmental changes and although its defiance of Arafat does not in itself make the Palestinian Authority a democracy, it has kept the "urge for democracy" alive and could provide an institutional basis to move toward democracy in the future.


When asked at the time of the Oslo accords if the PLO could run Gaza and Jericho, Arafat cited his "government" in Lebanon as a credential. "We ran all of Lebanon until 1982; Gaza and Jericho will be child's play."62 By this he implied that the Palestinian Authority would be modeled on the PLO's state-within-a-state in Lebanon of 1971-83 that relied on terror, kidnapping, and murders to assert its authority.63 As David Bar-Illan noted, it would take inspiration from a regime "so corrupt and so savage that even the Syrians were welcomed by the local population as a relief."64

The chairman spoke the truth more than his listeners at the time may have realized, for the Palestinian Authority does in fact closely resemble that earlier PLO rule. In the assessment of a well-versed European diplomat, Arafat

has begun to reproduce in Gaza the atmosphere of his days in Beirut, with an administration marked by inefficiency, corruption and cronyism, trying to keep all power to himself while juggling various warlords, including half a dozen paramilitary police agencies, the armed Islamic militants and criminal bands that control their own turf for narcotics and car theft operations.65

Anyone who thought the nitty-gritty of governing would transform Arafat and his methods of governance was wrong. "Everything has remained the same: Arafat's one-man rule, the manipulation of people and groups associated with him, the work patterns"66—as well as the corruption and the violation of human rights. At the moment when democracy is surging worldwide, Arafat is obstructing this process in favor of his own autocracy.


1 Amos Perlmutter, "Arafat's Police State," pp. 8-11, and William B. Quandt, "The Urge for Democracy," Foreign Affairs, July/Aug. 1994, pp. 2-7.
2 Financial Times, Jan. 19, 1996; U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 22, 1996.
3 Financial Times, Jan. 19, 1996.
4 Financial Times, Jan. 12, 1996.
5 Jim Lederman, Battle Lines (New York: Henry Holt, 1992), p. 17.
6 "Peace Watch Calls for Compete Examination of Election Results in Light of Allegations of Fraud," Peace Watch press release, Jan. 25, 1996.
7 The Jerusalem Post, Jan. 10, 1998.
8 The Jerusalem Report, Dec. 30, 1993.
9 Transportation Minister Qawashma did offer to resign, but only because he knew full well that Arafat would not accept his resignation, and he was right. The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 3, 1997.
10 The Jerusalem Post, Jan. 10, 1998.
11 L. Finkel-Shlosberg, "The Palestinian News Game," The Columbia Journalism Review, May/June (1996).
12 The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 6, 1994.
13 The Jerusalem Post, June 1, 1996.
14 The Jerusalem Report, Oct. 6, 1994.
15 Chicago Tribune, June 1, 1997.
16 The New York Times, May 22, 1997.
17 Chicago Tribune, June 1, 1997.
18 Edward Said, The Politics of Dispossession (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), p. xxxiv.
19 Financial Times, Aug. 23, 1996.
20 The Jerusalem Report, Aug. 21, 1997, pp. 20-25.
21 The Jerusalem Post, June 8, 1996.
22 Ibid.
23 Gary A. Hengstler and Richard L. Fricker, "Yasir Arafat: My Vision," American Bar Association Journal, Feb. 1994, pp. 46-49; Richard L. Fricker and Gary A. Hengstler, "From Military Rule to Civil Law," ibid., pp. 62-65.
24 "Report 1997," Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (as reported in The Washington Post, May 27, 1997.
25 Attacks on the Press in 1996 (New York: Committee to Protect Journalists, March 1997), p. 294.
26 The Gaza Strip and Jericho: Human Rights under Palestinian Partial Self-rule (New York: Human Rights Watch-Middle East, Feb. 1995), p. 4 (summary version).
27 Amnesty International Report, 1995 (London: Amnesty International Publications, 1995), p. 172.
28 Nadav Haetzni, "In Arafat's Kingdom," Commentary, Oct. 1996, pp. 42-48.
29 Peter Hirschberg, "The Dark Side of Arafat's Regime," The Jerusalem Report, Aug. 21, 1997, pp. 20-25.
30 Ibid.
31 Ibid.
32 The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 2, 1996.
33 The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 12, 1996.
34 The Palestine Human Rights Monitor, no. 4, July-Aug. 1997, p. 1.
35 The Jerusalem Post, Dec. 18, 1997.
36 Ibid.
37 Morton Klein, "Focus on Hamas: The PLO's Friend or Foe?" Middle East Quarterly, June 1996, p. 13.
38 Khaled Abu Toameh, "Letting His People Go," The Jerusalem Report, Mar. 5, 1998.
39 The Forward, Aug. 1, 1997.
40 David Bar-Illan, "The Wages of Oslo," Commentary, May 1996, p. 26.
41 Bar-Illan, "The Wages of Oslo," p. 26. Also The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 26, 1996; The Jerusalem Report, Mar. 27, 1996; Ha'aretz, Mar. 10, 1996.
42 The Jerusalem Post, June 13, 1995.
43 Yedi‘ot Ahronot, May 21, 1997.
44 The Jerusalem Post, Dec. 18, 1997.
45 Uniform Crime Report 1996 (Washington, D.C.: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997), p. 285.
46 "PA Police Force 60 Percent Larger Than the Israel Police," State of Israel press bulletin, Apr. 21, 1998.
47 Khaled Abu Toameh, "No Farewell to Arms," The Jerusalem Report, Apr. 16, 1998.
48 The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 5, 1996; The Forward, Oct. 4, 1996.
49 Financial Times, Sept. 27, 1996.
50 Los Angeles Times, Aug. 1, 1997.
51 Newsday, The Houston Chronicle, July 30, 1997.
52 The Times (London), July 14, 1997.
53 Ibid.
54 The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 4, 1998.
55 The Houston Chronicle, July 30, 1997.
56 The Washington Post, May 21, 1997.
57 The Guardian (London), July 6, 1996. Reprinted in The World Press Review, Oct. 1996, pp. 10-11.
58 The Jerusalem Report, June 30, 1994.
59 Perlmutter, "Arafat's Police State," pp. 9-10.
60 Quandt, "The Urge for Democracy," p. 5.
61 Ibid., p. 3.
62 Quoted in David Bar-Illan, "Why a Palestinian State Is Still a Mortal Threat," Commentary, Nov. 1993, p. 31.
63 As Lebanon's ambassador to the United Nations put it: "Palestinian elements belonging to various . . . organizations resorted to kidnapping Lebanese—and sometimes foreigners—holding them prisoner, questioning them, torturing them and sometimes killing them." The New York Times, Oct. 15, 1976.
64 Bar-Illan, "Palestinian State," p. 31.
65 The New York Times, Mar. 15, 1996, p. A7.
66 Danny Rubinstein, The Mystery of Arafat (South Royalton: Steerforth Press, 1995), p. 124.