From "It's Time to Talk with the PLO," an article by Natan Grusovitch in the May 25 edition of the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz:
If the Israeli government really wants peace with King Hussein -- and we don't doubt it -- then the formula of negotiating with the monarch and with Palestinians not identified with the PLO is an obsolete one with no basis in reality. The decisive majority of the Arabs in the territories view the PLO as their political arm, and the Fatah as their military arm. So it makes very little difference whether an Arab is an official member of some terrorist organization or not. Refusing to negotiate with the PLO is one of our most sacred cows, and the time has come to give it a proper kosher butchering.
The need for this does not derive from any alleged improvement in the PLO's conduct or its presenting a less barbaric, murderous face -- for that's not the case. The need arises rather because the Palestinians will never consent to a leadership dictated by us. Such leaders will be viewed as despicable quislings who are to be ousted and even assassinated. . . .
Why waste precious time? Unless King Hussein wants to share the fate of his grandfather, King Abdullah, he can negotiate with us only if some recognized Palestinian leadership is included in the talks. Any other partners can expect to share the fate of Thafer El-Masri and Issam Sartawi -- unless they refuse to compromise even on dotting the i's. Thus, bilateral negotiations, with King Hussein and Yasser Arafat . . . sitting on one side and Israel on the other, are preferable from many points of view to an international conference attended by PLO puppets who do not formally belong to the organization.