View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Stayed On Past His Time

One of the hardy perennials of sports conversation is whether or not this-or-that player should retire or should make a comeback. Frequently, this is couched in terms of the player's responsibility to his memory. Some will remember Connie Mack, the Philadelphia Athletics manager who guided his team early on to a few titles, and then couldn't bear to fire himself as manager. So he finished last more than any other manager in major league history.

If Shimon Peres were a player or a manager, he'd be doing such unbearable damage to his team, himself, and the reputation of the league, that the commissioner would offer him a golden parachute if he'd just go away and never be heard from again. Now, he's in the Jerusalem Post, arguing that Oslo, Queria, Arafat, and the whole sorry collection of failed policies, failed leaders, and failed human beings that he's responsible for, should be given another chance.

Abbas and Qurei "derive their authority from Arafat, and Arafat has to pay attention to them too. Look, Arafat was not necessarily for a Palestinian government and you have one. He wasn't necessarily for Abu Mazen and you had him. He wasn't necessarily for [Palestinian Finance Minister Salaam] Fayad. And [Arafat] said he didn't want [Security Minister Muhammad] Dahlan. I remember Arafat didn't want to sign a map and he signed," Peres said, referring to a 1994 ceremony in Cairo.

  • Arafat was opposed to a Palestinian government, and moved to co-opt it in its entirety
  • Arafat was opposed to Abu Mazen and forced him out from day one
  • Arafat was opposed to a finance minister, and still managed to embezzle tens of millions
  • Arafat was opposed to Dahlan, and so forced out Mazen. Dahlan won't be here for long
  • What map? What on earth does Arafat's signature on a map mean? Or any piece of paper?

    Peres said all of this, of course, while in Washington. He's not in government, he and his party, and everything vis-a-vis the Palestinians they stood for were kicked out thunderously, and he's still around, titular head of the Labor party, leading them further down the standings.

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