The Hartford Courant's editorial board bemoans Israel's prevention of Arafat's personal representative from serving juice and cookies to diplomats in Jerusalem. The Courant blithely concludes, "If the Israeli government can't abide something that innocuous, there is little hope that it will ever negotiate with Palestinians over substantive issues."
Have the editorialists already forgotten that Arafat rejected the extraordinary Israeli peace offer made only a year ago, which would have given Palestinians sovereignty over the eastern part of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount? Had that offer been accepted, which met 99% of his demands, Arafat today would have been entitled to serve _caviar_ to heads of state in Jerusalem! Instead, Arafat unleashed a wave of violence and terror.
Until Arafat demonstates that he willing and able to halt violence, until he demonstates that he is not "irrelevant" to the peace process, then neither he nor his personal representative is entitled to the trappings of statehood and legitimacy, including "innocuous" cookies-and-juice diplomatic receptions in Jerusalem.
It's not surprising that supporters of Gov. Bush, including the Courant, should ask Al Gore to "move on." But the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments this Friday in response to a petition from the Bush legal team, has yet to rule.
The partisan Florida secretary of state, Ms. Harris, would not have "bent the rules" had she granted an extension to the Palm Beach County election board. The Florida Supreme Court gave her the option of accepting the counts at 9:00 AM, Monday, November 27. Does Ms. Harris' office normally conduct business on Sunday evenings? What was her rush?
The Gore legal team could not have anticipated that Miami-Dade would abort its counting and that Palm Beach would miss Ms. Harris' Sunday deadline.
I agree with the Courant that improperly cast votes should not be counted, especially those on the single-column "butterfly" ballots used in Palm Beach County. But voters should not be held responsible for the failure of a stylus to completely dislodge a chad.
I further agree with the Courant that "the courts should not decide the outcome of a presidential election." However, until all the votes are counted at least once - which they have not been - the Courant and other supporters of Gov. Bush cannot rightfully claim that the voters' voices have been heard.
In any case, once the U.S. Supreme Court decides by next week how the Florida votes are to be handled, the winner, whoever he is, will have been determined and the loser should then "move on" gracefully.
The Hartford Courant rightfully favors what Secretary of State has called "a multifaceted approach" to eliminate Osama bin Laden and terrorism, as well as "the miserable conditions" that spawn terrorists. Israel adopted the same multifaceted approach when it agreed to over 95% of Palestinian Arab demands, including sovereignty over part of Jerusalem. Yasser Arafat, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad rejected that extraordinary peace proposal, which would have made it possible for ordinary Palestinians to improve their economy, and responded with drive-by shootings and suicide bombs against innocent civilians. Yet, when Israel sought "to extinguish the scourge of terrorism" by targeting those specifically responsible, The Courant, in an earlier editorial, wagged its finger and condemned Israel. The Courant even called Israel's efforts to defend its civilians "assasinations," which is particularly galling in light of the editorial writers' now applying the word "assassin" to Osama bin Laden. If American forces kill Bin Laden, would The Courant label that an "assassination"?