Newsletter #210     Friday, November 12, 2004

Yasser Arafat - 1929-2004
  • Jacques Chirac: After a final visit at the Paris hospital where Arafat died proclaimed, "I came to bow before president Yasser Arafat and pay him a final homage. With him disappears a man of courage and conviction who for 40 years incarnated the Palestinians' fight for recognition of their national rights."
  • Nelson Mandela: "Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation, one who gave his entire life to the cause of the Palestinian people."
  • Jimmy Carter: "He was the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland." "[He provided] indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement."
  • Kofi Annan: Arafat "symbolized... the national aspirations of the Palestinian people." In signing the Oslo accords "he took a giant step towards the realisation of this vision. It is tragic that he did not live to see it fulfilled." Mr. Annan ordered the UN's flags to fly at half-mast.
  • Vladimir Putin: "...a great political leader of international significance ... who devoted his whole life to the rightful cause of the Palestinians."

In a better world, the PLO chief would have met his end on a gallows, hanged for mass murder much as the Nazi chiefs were hanged at Nuremberg.
- from Arafat the Monster By Jeff Jacoby

  • Obituary: An olive branch and a gun  Palestinian leaders said he was the father of their nation. But Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesman Ra'anan Gissin once said of Arafat, "he promised us the peace of the brave, but gave us the piece of the grave."
  • Yasser Arafat's legacy  As part of its obituary, The New York Times said, "Arafat led a long and failed effort for statehood" for the Palestinians. He did no such thing. Arafat led a long reign of terror, the purpose of which was to kill Jews and eliminate the state of Israel.
  • The Arafat paradox  This was the Arafat paradox; as he weaved one conspiracy theory after another and lied in the face of foreign leaders, one wondered how he wasn't thrown out of the chancelleries of Europe, rather than being welcomed on a red carpet.
  • Show the Palestinians respect by expecting compliance  But if the British, French, UN, Israeli Left, etc. really want to make a contribution to the development of a serious Palestinian post-Arafat leadership, they should stop treating them as if they were savages leading an uncontrollable mob and instead show them respect by actually expecting proper behavior.
  • Bin Laden's inspiration  Arafat was the inspiration for Osama bin Laden, because he proved to his eager student that terrorism works and that terrorists can be praised and rewarded by a craven world, as Arafat was by so many for so long.
  • The Father of Modern Terrorism  The power of this evil man informed an age — the age of terrorism. The Israelis and Palestinians may never coexist peacefully, but as long as Yasser Arafat lived they didn't even have a chance.
  • "Mourning" Arafat  Immediately after Palestinian Authority President for Life Yasser Arafat died, an Egyptian official assured the world that his government would arrange a funeral "great enough" to honor "the greatness of the man."
  • He Conned the World  So what did Yasser Arafat and the PLO receive as just punishment for these horrible deeds of violence, savagery, and terror? Well, you can see the glowing terms of warm affection with which world leaders are now eulogizing him, but he got more than that. So much more. He got the PLO to become the first--and only--terror organization to gain UN recognition.
  • Yassir Arafat: 1929-2004  HonestReporting's biography, with links to important sources
  • "Arafat's Dark Legacy"  One-minute online film
  • In death...   In death, many feel they cannot say what they would have said while the person yet lived. "Don't speak ill of the dead" is a universal custom and one that is difficult to transcend.
  • Arafat's Death: Even Worse Than His Life  His victims died much less honorary deaths, most of them now entirely forgotten except by family and friends. They didn't die in old age in top-flight hospitals with doctors hanging over them, most of these victims, but suddenly, in scenes of bloody carnage.
  • Terrorism's Godfather  Arafat's life's work was to justify the use of random violence and equip a generation with the means to do so. He helped set in motion the web of alliances that has manifested itself in today's super-terrorists. This is Yasser Arafat's terrible legacy.
  • Arafat Gets the Princess Di Treatment  To judge by some of the reporting as he lay on his deathbed in Paris — the hushed tone of the television newsreaders, the flattering touched-up portrait photos on the cover of the London Times — Arafat was a figure who deserved to be deeply revered, a kind of ailing pope.
  • ADL: Arafat's Legacy is Terrorism and Failed Leadership
  • On Arafat's passing  Note the contrast when the media refers to Yasser Arafat and to Ariel Sharon. Arafat is almost always identified as the "Palestinian President" or "leader of the Palestinian Authority", a neutral and respectful mention of his title. He is never referred to as the prime terrorist that he is. However, in Sharon's case the pejorative adjectives of "hard line" and "right wing" are frequently applied. Evidently the simple title of "Israeli Prime Minister" requires additional qualifications. Is this a tip off to entrenched media bias?
  • Death of an Enemy  It is not a sense of happiness I feel at the news of Yasser Arafat's death, it is relief. However, this relief is tempered with trepidation. What will this death mean for Israel, we can't know. It might be really good, it might be really bad, only G-d knows.
  • Yasir Arafat and Terrorism  Members of the media are focusing much attention on Yasir Arafat's legacy. Many of the historical briefs and timelines being published whitewash his decades-long involvement in terrorism. While they note that Arafat led Fatah and the PLO, the terrorist acts committed by these groups are often ignored.
  • In Chaos, Opportunity  What Arafat's death means for Israel, and for us.

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