Arafat denounces bin Laden. 9/11 attacks
Did you see this??
ARAFAT DENOUNCES BIN LADEN, 9/11 ATTACKS
Israel will bar Palestinian
By Greg Myre, Associated Press
JERUSALEM -- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat demanded Osama bin Laden stop using the Palestinian struggle for statehood as a reason for the al-Qaida terror network's attacks, in an interview published Sunday. Israel said it will bar Arafat from traveling to Bethlehem for Christmas for a second straight year.
"I'm telling him (bin Laden) directly not to hide behind the Palestinian cause," Arafat said in an interview published in the London Sunday Times.
Bin Laden "never helped us; he was working in another completely different area and against our interests," Arafat said.
Arafat denounced the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States and the Palestinian leadership has sought to distinguish between its fight with Israel and al-Qaida's terror campaign.
The Israeli government, in turn, has sought to link its conflict with the Palestinians to the U.S.-led fight against al-Qaida. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, blaming Arafat for more than two years of Mideast violence, has tried to persuade the United States that Palestinian terrorism is in the same category as al-Qaida terrorism, but the U.S. government has not gone along.
Last month al-Qaida claimed responsibility for twin terror attacks against Israelis in Kenya, calling the attacks a "Ramadan greeting" to the Palestinian people, referring to the Muslim holy month. The statement was seen as an attempt to win support for the terror network in the Arab and Muslim world, where resentment of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is high.
Recently the Israelis claimed that al-Qaida members had infiltrated into the Gaza Strip, but the Palestinians hotly denied that.
Arafat aide Ahmed Abdel Rahman said, "We are not fighting the entire world, civilization and people. We don't want our just cause to be used as a cover by Sharon and his government to continue their escalation -- as though if the U.S. is fighting al-Qaida in Afghanistan, so Israel is fighting al-Qaida in Palestine."
Meanwhile, the decision to ban Arafat from Bethlehem emerged from the Sunday meeting of Israel's Cabinet, said an Israeli government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. At the session, Israel's military commander said his troops would remain in Bethlehem through the Christmas holiday.
The Palestinians, who take great pride in hosting the Christmas services in Manger Square that attract Christian pilgrims from around the world, sharply criticized the Israeli move.
"The Israeli decision ... is a violation of their promises to the American administration, the Vatican and the pope," said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, Arafat's spokesman. "All the excuses that they give are lies and are rejected."
What a swell guy...
What has it been 15 months since 9/11
Now that is real compassion...
ObL started invoking the Palestinian cause in his proclamations to the world after 9/11. Ever since he started, Palestinians have been saying that he's never had anything to do with their cause.
Bin Laden's mission is the same as it always has been--to expel the US from Saudi Arabia and replace the Saudi royal family with a properly Islamist regime.
so OBL's references to the Palestinian cause are just a way to get muslims riled up?
If Palestinians (at least officially Arafat) don't appreciate OBL, and Afghani's didn't like the Taliban, what makes him think Saudis want a fundamentalist government? Do they?
I half feel the same as oizy, Arafat's just responding to the pressure on him, but also half feel there is a ray of hope in his statement...he respects some world order.
When he says "We are not fighting the entire world, civilization and people..." that about sums up OBL's insane crusade. He's not just threatening America, he's against all establishment. Fanatic's hatred of America is being used by OBL, and it appears lots of people are more interested in joining in the US bashing that is fueling the fanatics rather than helping to coral them. Are they going to make the world a better place?
These last weeks Arafat has started condemning suicide bombings in Israel itself (not in the occupied territories) and the attacks in Kenia. It seems like he's really in a difficult situation with many pressuring him to step down as the Palestinian leader (both Palestinians as non-Palestinians). Maybe he'll get some sense in him after all...
Now if only Sharon would follow, we might even see a ray of hope.
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