Israel Palestine Infos
September 21, 2002
The Murder of Arafat
WHILE I am writing this, Yasser Arafat is still alive. But his life is hanging on a thread.
When we visited him the last time in his bombed-out Mukata’ah compound in
Ramallah, I warned him that
Everybody acquainted with
Already in besieged
It will be easy to implement the decision. An incident can be put in motion: soldiers enter the office in order to capture "wanted" people, somebody opens fire, Arafat will be shot "by accident". Arafat may draw his pistol, soldiers will "have no alternative" but to return fire. A shell may hit the office "by mistake", Arafat will be buried under the rubble. After all, in war accidents happen. A lot of accidents.
Therefore, it is necessary to speak out bluntly and unequivocally:
MORALLY, THE murder of Arafat, the historical leader and elected president of the Palestinian people, is reprehensible. Like the murder of Rabin.
Legally, the murder of Arafat is a war crime.
Politically, it will be said about the murder of Arafat what a French statesman said about another political murder: "It is worse than a crime, it is a mistake!"
Arafat is the man who decided, 28 years ago, to start on the road to a
settlement with Israel, in order to realize this way the national aspirations of
the Palestinian people. At the time, that was an incredibly bold decision, and
he took it long before Rabin and Peres even dreamed about
Since then, Arafat has not changed by one iota the decision he took then: to
seek conciliation with
On this basis, peace is possible even now. Immediately. But
The assertion of Ehud Barak that Arafat has rejected his own peace plan is a blatant lie, that has caused a historical disaster. Barak’s "generous offers" were far from the sensible solution.
Now, as before, Arafat is the only person capable of signing a peace agreement and convince his people to accept and implement it. No other Palestinian leader capable of doing so is to be seen on the horizon. Leadership of the Palestinian people will not pass into the hands of the "moderates", who will look like collaborators and accomplices to the murder, but into the hands of the extremists, fanatics thirsting for revenge.
The murder of Arafat is the murder of all chances for peace.
That is a crime against the Israeli people. It will condemn us to making war for
decades, perhaps for generations to come, perhaps forever. The moral, social and
economic decline that we are experiencing now everywhere in
The dead Arafat will become a legend of heroism to his people and a new Che
Guevara to the world. His mistakes will be forgotten. For future generations of
Palestinians, he will become a role model. Hundreds of millions of Arabs and
In the eyes of these hundreds of millions,
If this disaster happens, all the government will share the blame. Not one minister will be acquitted. Neither Ben-Eliezer, nor Peres, nor any of their colleagues. Nor the army officers who cooperated and even pushed the political leadership. Nor the members of the Knesset, whether belonging to the coalition or the opposition, who kept quite during the recent months. Nor the correspondents and commentators, who turned themselves into government and army spokesmen. Nor the professors and intellectuals, who saw and were silent. All of them will bear the responsibility.
This is the last minute to get up and shout: NO!