October 08, 2003
Hmmmmm . . . .
Maybe I'm just cynical, or have seen too many genre movies, but I'm not sure I believe that Yasser Arafat had a heart attack last week. The timing is awfully convenient. Just when the Israelis should be finishing the bastard off, they are told that if they wait a little longer they may not have to. That would theoretically allow them to avoid the 'wrath of the Arab street' and the supercilious carping of the State Department and its foreign equivalents. (I say 'theoretically' because the Palestinians are already claiming that the Israelis are poisoning Arafat: it appears the Jews will be blamed no matter how or when he dies.) It's the perfect excuse for taking out their frustration on other targets: cf. David Warren's argument that their raid on the Hezbollah camp in Syria was justified but horribly mistaken.
Of course, Arafat has been looking quite repulsively unhealthy* lately, but when has that not been true? Not as long as I can remember. Even if his current appearance explores whole new levels of purple-lipped horror-movie ugliness, it may owe something to the discreet use of makeup.
I'm even beginning to wonder whether Saddam Hussein in 1991 actively encouraged the perception that his regime was about to fall, so as to discourage the U.S. from giving it the last shove. George H. W. Bush certainly thought he could get what he wanted without further fighting. I hope Sharon is not making a similar mistake.
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*Scroll down to "Arafat suffered a heart attack" if the link doesn't work. Or just scroll down to the picture that freezes your scrolling finger like Medusa. You'll know it when you see it.
Posted by Dr. Weevil at October 08, 2003 11:01 PM
Of course, whenever he dies, his death will be blamed on Israel. Perhaps because they used some invisible poison (already suggested), or because the occupation prevented him from getting the quality health care he needed, or perhaps something so bizarre it would be difficult to imagine beforehand.
I wonder which dignitaries will attend his funeral?
ITS TIME WE STARTED TO LISTEN TO ARAFAT
Arafat Invokes 1974 Phased Plan Calling for Israel's Destruction
Compares Oslo to Temporary Truce
PA Chairman: "I Envy the Martyrs and Hope to Be One"
Arafat's Secret Agenda Is to Wear Israelis Out
Arafat estimates that the final-stage agreements between the Palestinians and Israel will ultimately bring about Israel's collapse. He reportedly told the diplomats that a migration of Arabs to "the West Bank and Jerusalem" and the psychological warfare the Palestinians would wage against the Israelis would cause a massive emigration of Jews to the United States.
Arafat: Jihad to
The Jihad [Islamic holy war] will continue, and Jerusalem is not [only] for the Palestinian people, it is for all the Muslim nation.
You are responsible for Palestine and for Jerusalem before me [applause], the land which had been blessed for the whole world.
Now after this agreement you have to understand our main battle.
Our main battle is Jerusalem. Jerusalem. The first shrine of the Moslems.
This has to be understood for everybody and for this I was insisting before signing to have a letter from them, the Israelis, that Jerusalem is one of the items which has to be under discussion and not the state, the permanent State of Israel! No! It is the permanent State of Palestine [applause]. Yes, it is the permanent State of Palestine.
"When we stopped the Intifada we did not stop the Jihad [Islamic holy war] to establish Palestine with Jerusalem as our capital.... We know only one word: Jihad, Jihad, Jihad.... We are in a conflict with the Zionist movement, the Balfour Declaration, and all imperialist activity...."
IF WE LISTEN, WE WILL UNDERSTAND