Charles Krauthammer's analysis of the late Yasser Arafat's guidance of the Palestinian movement [op-ed, Nov. 15] was mostly on target. But Mr. Krauthammer was wrong to say that by rejecting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's peace offer in 2000, Mr. Arafat was saying no to the "deal of the century."
Mr. Barak's offer was based on the 1993 Oslo agreement, in which the PLO agreed to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza, which comprised about 22 percent of the land area of the original Palestine mandate partitioned by the United Nations in 1947. Thus, the Palestinians already had given up claims to 78 percent of what they had long regarded as their native land.
But this was not enough for Mr. Barak. His 2000 proposal included Israel retaining control over roughly a fifth of that 22 percent. About half of this was in chunks of territory known as "settlement blocks," containing about 85 percent of the Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The other half represented areas of "temporary Israeli control" for security reasons.
So the "deal of the century" took the Palestinians' 22 percent of their former homeland and pared it down to 17.6 percent. Evan a Gandhi would balk at such a deal.