Arafat Dies at 75

After a sudden illness and two weeks of near death, Palestinian Authority President and P.L.O. Chairman Yasir Arafat died at 75 in a French military hospital. The cause of death is currently a mystery. Palestinian institutions appear to be orderly engaging in their succession process.
Israeli PM Sharon has announced that this could trigger a “historic turning point” in the Middle East as to peace possibilities. (Ordinarily, one would want an American honest broker along for the ride, but the American voters recently made that impossible by returning the Imperium.)
I have long held that Arafat (naturally rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize for this) was the principal obstacle to peace. His death now presents a very serious opportunity… will it be squandered?
IF… Israel now tries to shove a non-viable archipelago down the throats of the new Palestinian leadership (which looks to be divided among at least four players, the heads of the PA, PLO, Fatah and the Prime Minister)…. “peace” may still be unavailing.
IF… Israel goes back to what could be called “the Taba plan” proposed back when Ehud Barak was PM and Arafat, of course, rejected, and builds on that, maybe we could actually get somewhere.
Time will tell. All I’ll say now about Arafat is that he was a major figure, and his death is significant. It does indeed present an opportunity. For what, remains to be seen.