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Old 11-05-2004, 02:43 AM   #1
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I'm looking for some input on this article:

The tragic legacy of Yasser Arafat
Palestinians will soon have chance to shift course

November 5, 2004

On Sept. 9, 1993, Yasser Arafat signed a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin pledging that the Palestine Liberation Organization "recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security." That was a lie, and it is one of many reasons the world should not mourn the passing of this petty tyrant, whenever his death finally comes.

The list of crimes the PLO chairman has incited or been associated with over the years would stain every page of a good-sized book. Highlights, however, would include the slaughter of athletes at the 1972 Olympics by Black September; the assassination of U.S. diplomats in Sudan in 1973; the massacre of schoolchildren at Maalot in 1974; a bus hijacking that killed 35 civilians in 1978; the slaying of Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro in 1985; the torture and execution of Palestinian dissidents, especially during the intifada of the late 1980s and early '90s; and the suicide bombings of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in more recent years. Even those incidents provide but a flavor of Arafat's culpability in the decades-long terrorism that sabotaged the likelihood of Middle East peace.


When advised of Arafat's possible death at his press conference Thursday, President Bush generously said, "My first reaction is, God bless his soul." There was a pause. "And my second reaction is that we will continue to work for a free Palestinian state that's at peace with Israel."

It would have been impolitic of Bush to say so but Arafat, who was comatose in a Paris hospital at the time, has been the single greatest obstacle to settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Given an opportunity in '93 to lead the Palestinians in setting up a state of their own, Arafat botched it utterly, staffing a soon-to-be corrupt Palestinian Authority with cronies and thugs.

At every turn, meanwhile, he walked away from the possibility of a settlement with Israel. Most notably in the fall of 2000, he left on the table a two-state solution that gave the Palestinians nearly everything they could realistically expect in terms of territory and a capital in East Jerusalem.

In the four years of violence that have followed, Arafat has made no serious efforts to halt suicide bombings against Israeli civilians or to rein in the violence that has made a shambles of the economy. No doubt part of the reason for this feeble performance is that his Fatah movement and the PA itself are implicated in the attacks.

Arafat's death will provide Palestinians with an opportunity to turn away from the violence of half a century to choose a more productive course. But alas, the seeds of a rejectionist strategy have been sown, and Islamists such as those in Hamas are increasingly well positioned to compete for the levers of Palestinian power. If they succeed, it will be a final


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Old 11-05-2004, 02:55 AM   #2
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I strongly agree with that article, Arafat has been the principle obstacle to peace in the Middle East (the Israelis are no angels, but they have shown a genuine desire for peace under various governments and it has never been achieved with Arafat) and holds the dubious achievement of discrediting the Palestinian cause. No matter which way you cut it Arafat has been a disaster for the Palestinian people, his personal wealth (4 Billion USD) was taken straight from the pockets of foreign donors to help the people. He has presided over an utterly corrupt, dictatorial and terrorist sponsering political authority that has murdered thousands, PLO Arab and Israeli alike.

With Arafat gone the entire rats nest that is the Palestinan Authority will collapse, in the ensuing chaos the fractured PLO Arab population may simply desire peace enough to abandon the one state solution.

I hope that I am wrong on matters of theology so that God may have mercy on his soul; nobody else will.

I found an interesting article on his condition - not that there is anything wrong with that.

For those that wonder why I am so uncompromising on my views towards the political leadership of the PA and utter contempt towards the terrorists here is one little sneak peak why.

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Old 11-05-2004, 03:13 AM   #3
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It's all about who's going to take over I guess. The Palestines now have the chance of getting someone in charge who's less murderous and corrupt and more productive. Having said that, I'm worried that organisations like Hamas will not accept a more moderate voice. Arafat had it relatively easy to get the suicidebombers to stop there actions whenever he wanted to. Can a more moderate leader do the same?

I don't know I'm just brainstorming.
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:17 AM   #4
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See now here is where the Israeli war on Hamas shows it's brilliance, what they have done is render the terror groups more or less impotent with the security barrier and a full scale war of targeted assasinations. When Arafat shuffles off his mortal coil there is no Sheik Yassin or Rantisi to pick the bones of the PA and swing support to Hamas, the mossad will keep eliminating the terrorists and there will be no blowback, less innocent people die and ultimately you wind up with less/no terrorism and a real shot at peace, I say this because we have seen the tragedy of attempting to work with a leader like Arafat, they sit down and spend months at the negotiating table and make concessions, then a suicide bomber blows up a bunch of innocent people throwing a spanner into the whole thing, this drags the negotiations back to square one only this time Arafat demands more concessions on behalf of the Israelis. It is slow, drawn out and cost innocent lives on both sides - it is not diplomacy when one side has declared their intention to drive the other into the sea. I sincerely hope that the death of Arafat will yeild a true peace with justice for all parties.
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:37 AM   #5
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there was hope during the years of Yitzak Rabin as the leader of the Israelis, it was felt across the whole muslim world... and the peace process was well on its way and then when an orthodox jew killed Yitzak, thats when everything fell apart, remember that, it wasn't the Palestinians who didn't want peace at that point... theres also been many reports of massacres in Palestine since then by various leaders who came after Rabin (and I'm sourcing this from Neil McDonald of CBC, a respected and gutsy journalist).. that being said, Arafat had failed over and over during the negotiation process, and the belief is that it would have been best if he stepped down sooner rather than later, and there are certain groups in Palestine that do support terrorism (killing of innocent civilians) and the government of Israel does support going in and killing whoever they suspect is a terrorist, but the majority of people on both sides, especially the young generation, would rather have peace
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