Absolute and entire ugliness is rare, observed the
In his last photo opportunity, Arafat, whose soul reflected his countenance, wore pajamas and a fur hat. As he clasped the hands of members of his entourage, sporting a syphilitic grin, he made an obscene attempt to raise an aide's hand to his grotesque, giant lips. The Arab on whose hand Arafat had orally fixated pulled away persistently, embarrassed, as though a hound had mounted his leg.
But Arafat's mug and manners were the least of his obscenities. The Egyptian-born representative of the Palestinian People began his campaign of violence against
One of his first acts of terror within
OFFICIALLY, ARAFAT STOPPED claiming responsibility for acts of terror in 1988. The West ignored the body count and took him at his word--his English word.
In Arabic, however, Arafat persistently promised to maintain the struggle to "eliminate the state of
Or, as he prated to Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, newspaper of the Palestinian Authority (PA): "O my dear ones on the occupied lands, relatives and friends throughout Palestine and the diaspora, my colleagues in struggle and in arms, my colleagues in struggle and in jihad ... Intensify the revolution and the blessed intifada ... We must burn the ground under the feet of the invaders."
My fear and loathing of Yasser Arafat was born of personal experience as an Israeli. In 1974 Arafat sent the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), an offshoot of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), into northern
In April of that year, PLO terrorists attacked Kiryat Shmona, murdering 18, including eight children. The pathologist who performed the autopsies on the Maalot and Kiryat Shmona children was a close family friend. He arrived at my father's home distraught and later suffered a nervous breakdown.
In March 1978, Fatah terrorists took over a bus on the Coastal
THE COMMITTEE FOR ACCURACY in Middle East Reporting in
Also bearing Arafat's signature were the hijacking of an Air France plane that ended with the Entebbe rescue and the pirating of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, during which a wheelchair-bound elderly man, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and thrown overboard. This cold-blooded killing Arafat coordinated from his headquarters in
That the Left grieves over Yasser Arafat is not surprising. This is another manifestation of the coffeehouse humanitarianism of the folks at CNN, the New York Times, and the U.N. and its terrorist arm, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
A correspondent (and a writer in his own right) puts it better than I ever could: "Theirs is a seeming Rousseauian sympathy for the Symbolic Savage, any savage, wherever he may be, whom they fantasize as fighting nobly against the stifling strictures of Civil (and civilizing) Authority."
Indeed, what does one say about a commentariat, and for that matter, about kings and heads of state, whose "notion of 'freedom,'" as my correspondent points out, "is better symbolized by alienated rebel figures, such as Arafat and other terrorists -- stateless malcontents answerable to no one, whose chief enemies are soap and razors"?
ESPECIALLY MISGUIDED WERE the debates over Arafat's wealth -- an estimated $1.3 billion in personal holdings. The proverbial man from Mars would be forgiven for thinking Arafat was an entrepreneur, rather than a grubby thief.
Fortunately, Forbes's Nathan Vardi audited Arafat, discovering that he used this vast fortune, including "the $5.5 billion in international aid that has flowed into the PA since 1994," to maintain an "elaborate patronage system" -- corruption was the byword of Arafat's administration. The Palestinian Legislator Hannan Ashrawi, however, preferred to characterize such nepotism as "being fatherly" -- a characterization MSNBC's Joe Scarborough failed to challenge.
Joe Scarborough, who usually likes to dish it straight up, also claimed that Father Arafat walked away from Ehud Barak's two-state solution, brokered by President Bill Clinton, because he feared assassination by the extremists who had -- and still have -- the run of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Wrong. Arafat believed that by resorting to violence, he could achieve a one-state solution. How else, asks writer Maurice Ostroff, does one explain the dramatic rise in terror attacks during 1993 and 1994 while peace talks were still in progress?
As a master of triangulation, Arafat was able to string the Israeli and American camps along while working diligently to reach agreements with the most extreme Arab leaders and factions in the PA and beyond. If anything, it was Arafat and his Fatah and Al-Aqsa Martyrs' close contacts with
CONSIDERING THEIR NEWLY FOUND, elections-spurred affinity for faith, Arafat's liberal fans ought to acquaint themselves with some facts. Particularly pertinent is the Palestinian fabrication about Islam's -- and Arafat's -- attachment to
"Yerushalaim" is the Hebrew biblical name for the city that was sacred to Jews for nearly two thousand years before Muhammad. Not once is
Samuel Katz, in Battleground: Fact & Fantasy In Palestine, poses this question: What would the Christian reaction be if the same Muslim theologians had chosen to appropriate the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, re-name it, declare it Muslim property (which means killing for it), and demand Arafat be buried in it?
©By ILANA MERCER
The American Spectator
November 15, 2004