October 30, 2004
Prosecute Arafat in ParisBy Olivier Guitta
Now that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has safely landed in Paris aboard a French plane paid for by the French taxpayers, let's make the best of it.
Why not kill two birds with one stone?
If, in fact, Arafat makes it and recovers thanks to French President's personal offer of help for his old friend, then why not make them both regret having gone through their plan?
Let's put Arafat on trial in Paris.
Does this sound crazy?
Arafat, through his Fatah, PLO, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and Force 17, has orchestrated the killings of hundreds of citizens of dozens countries, including French, American, English...and of course Israelis. The families of seven French victims of Palestinian terrorism are going to ask France's chief anti—terror judge Jean Louis Bruguiere to interrogate Arafat when and if he feels better.
American, British and Israeli lawyers representing victims of Palestinian terror would be wise to do the same, and bring as much 'ammunition' as possible to the judicial fight that may start out. We can trust Judge Bruguiere to do his job professionally and morally, and not succumb to the almost certain pressures of Chirac's government. Bruguiere, who is very well respected throughout the world, including in the US, is one of the most knowledgeable judge/experts on worldwide terrorism. I am certain that if helped a little bit, he would be delighted to put Arafat on the grill.
By putting Arafat on trial for terrorism, the civilized world would use its democratic right to apply the rule of law to the terror master massacring civilians since 1964. Israel could be, of course, the biggest help by providing the proof it has accumulated during the years that Arafat is responsible for thousands of deaths, Israelis, Jews, Americans, French and Lebanese alike.
To cite only a few examples: the Munich Olympics slaying of Israeli athletes, the Entebbe hijacking, the Paris and Rome synagogue bombings —— the list is endless.... By presenting, for instance, the documents seized two years ago in his office, proving his major involvement in the current wave of suicide bombings, Israel could make an irrefutable case for Arafat's blatant culpability. Furthermore, the trial should be an opportunity for revealing the regime of terror Arafat has created inside the Palestinian territories.
Let's show the world the public hangings, the killings of 'collaborators', the constant threats to opponents and journalists alike. One major issue should also be the money Arafat stole from his own people: it has been widely documented that Arafat is worth over 1 Billion USD, his fortune mostly acquired through diverting the grants given by the European Union and the US for the Palestinian people's sake. We should then freeze all the Swiss accounts Arafat and his goons are in possession of, and redistribute it only to a new 'pro— peace' entity within the Palestinians.
This trial would have a triple benefit: it would be a service to the Palestinian people, to the safety of the world, and to the War on Terror.
One other positive aspect would be also to punish Chirac and France for its blatant support of terrorists. Between Ayatollah Khomeini, who lived in France in the 1970's, lots of African murderous dictators and Palestinian terror master George Habash, France is ALWAYS the place where they end up. In the case of Arafat, President Chirac went out of his way to offer and welcome the old terrorist to Paris for treatment. Interestingly enough, none of the moderate Arab countries, including Jordan and Egypt, wanted Arafat on their soil.
Now that Arafat's credibility has vanished throughout the entire world, including within the Arab countries, which always supported him, only France is sticking to the Palestinian terrorist. After four years of war and suicide bombings, which killed over 1,000 Israelis —— orchestrated beyond any doubt by Arafat and his goons (the Al Aqsa Brigade, an Arafat—led organization, is responsible for around 40% of the suicide bombings) —— France still sees no problems helping an 'old friend.'
This tenderness toward a mass murderer is repulsive and disgusting. But this is what we can we expect from a country whose Ambassador to England called Israel "that little shi..y country" or whose new Ambassador to Israel calls Sharon a "rogue." Last year, this same individual attending a dinner in Israel decided that appetite was more important than compassion. While one of the speakers described the blowing—up of his daughter in the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem, the French representative went on enjoying his meal. After being strongly advised to pause for a moment like everybody else did, the French Ambassador declined. This brutal snub is not an exception, because in the case of a few families of French Jews killed in terrorist attacks in Israel, French officials have never presented their condolences. Obviously, France does not care much for Jewish lives lost, whether French or not. But saving their killers, YES.
How can a democracy and supposedly ally of ours side with the bloody killers and ignore the victims?
If we can use Arafat's presence in France to punish him and France at the same time, let's go for it: sometimes, people have to pay for their actions.
In this case, the victims of Arafat's terrorism deserve no less.
Olivier Guitta is a freelance writer specializing in Europe and the Middle East