Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't host the terrorist

Ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani refused to host a terrorist. And he was widely condemned for not being "diplomatic." Good for him. In October, 1995, the United Nations was having its 50th anniversary. New York City hosted the world leaders to a concert at Lincoln Center. Why would NYC invite terrorists? "Why not?" seemed to be the consensus. When Yassar Arafat was making his way to a private box at the event Mayor Giuliani ordered him expelled. The terrorist had not been invited. The New York Times conveyed the condemnation:
A day after Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani expelled Yasir Arafat from a concert for world leaders at Lincoln Center, the Clinton Administration sharply criticized the Mayor yesterday for what Washington officials called an embarrassing breach of international diplomacy. Mr. Giuliani, clearly relishing the controversy, insisted that he could never forgive and play host to Mr. Arafat even though the Palestinian leader has been embraced as a peacemaker by the Israeli and United States Governments. A spokesman for the United States Mission to the United Nations said the Administration made it clear to the city that Mr. Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, could be invited to local events. Mr. Clinton invited him to a White House reception on Sunday. "We regard the incident as unfortunate in light of the constructive role that Chairman Arafat has played in the Mideast peace process," said the spokesman, James P. Rubin. A senior Administration official in Washington, who insisted on not beingidentified, went even further, saying the incident on Monday night was "an embarrassment to everyone associated with diplomacy."
But this is Rudy Giuliani, not Bill Clinton. Diplomacy does not include rewarding terrorists.
But the Mayor, explaining his decision yesterday, called Mr. Arafat a murderer and terrorist, and said he was not impressed by the fact that Mr. Arafat had twice been invited to the White House to sign the Middle East peace accords, or that he shared the Nobel Peace Prize. "I would not invite Yasir Arafat to anything, anywhere, anytime, anyplace," Mr. Giuliani said at a news conference yesterday. "I don't forget."
Giuliani is not my first choice for president, but I could support him. He is a leader in the war we are now involved.

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