November 19, 2004
Death of a monsterBy David Huntwork
As I watched the French and Egyptian military honor guards escort the body of the Egyptian, Abdel—Rahman Abdel—Raouf Arafat al—Qudwa al—Husseini, better known as Yasser Arafat, back to his Cairo funeral and Ramallah burial, I was saddened at the reverence given to such a merciless, depraved monster and murderer.
Many European and Arab nations muttered about the low level minimal diplomatic delegation sent by the United States to the funeral. The question should really be why the United States sent any diplomatic delegation at all to the funeral of this despotic thug. Perhaps we should also send the minimum political delegation to the funerals of Saddam and bin Laden.
As the Liberal elites of world waxed nostalgic and BBC journalists became misty eyed in their reporting of his passing, one has to wonder at a world that mourns the passing of such a man. The United Nations flag was lowered to half staff as Secretary—General Kofi Annan led a tribute in the General Assembly, honors usually reserved for sitting heads of state. Jacque Chirac proudly, and in his own words, 'bowed down to the body of Arafat to pay homage' and referred to his as 'a man of courage and conviction'.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan praised Arafat for his efforts on behalf of "peace and his people'. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany was mournful that "it was not granted to Yasser Arafat to complete his life's work." Mercifully, this German leader did not reference any 'final solution,' though considering the nature of Araft's quest it would have been appropriate.
Our own Jimmy Carter described him as 'the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland.' He went on to describe his "indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement" and lamented that Arafat had been excluded from peace negotiations in recent years.
My outrage is nearly indescribable.
The truth is that Yasser Arafat is the father of modern terrorism. He pioneered the tactics of terror that have been enthusiastically practiced and pursued throughout the Middle East over the last half century: hostage taking, the killing of children, the slaughter of innocents for political purposes, airline and ship hijackings, machine gunning at airports, suicide bombings and civilian massacres.
Descriptions of the individual atrocities would fill volumes, but a select few are worth mentioning. Arafat personally ordered the execution of American Ambassador to Sudan, Cleo No'l, charges des affaires George Moore and the Belgium aide, Guy Eid in Khartoum. He is also responsible for death of some 100 U.S. citizens.
During the twelve year civil war in Lebanon entire villages of Christians, like Damour, were massacred, the residents chopped into pieces with machetes on his orders. More than 10,000 were slaughtered by Arafat's PLO in that village alone. During his reign of terror he and his minions were responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Christians, Israelis, and fellow Arabs and the cruel maiming of thousands more. Arafat orchestrated the hostage taking and murder of eleven Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich before a horrified world audience. And the heart—wrenching stories of the pointed slaughter of civilians including pregnant women, the old and little children in Israel are endless.
Despite his advancing years, increasing mental instability and blood spattered Nobel Peace Prize, the Palestinian leader continued his support of terror to the very end. After the outbreak of the violence in September 2000, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Arafat's faction, Fatah, coordinated their actions under the umbrella of the "Nationalist and Islamic Forces," led by Fatah. They were united in one goal: killing as many Israelis as possible by whatever means necessary. Arafat never ceased weapons smuggling, payoffs to the families of suicide bombers, financing of the Al—Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (renamed the Arafat Martyrs Brigade in his honor), his looting of billions of dollars designated for the Palestinian people, and his praise of the late Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin and Saddam Hussein.
Quotations of Yasser Arafat's public words offer a priceless look into his soul.
'We know only one word — jihad! Jihad, jihad, jihad! Whoever does not like it can drink from the Dead Sea or from the Sea of Gaza.' (Bethlehem — Oct. 1996).
'We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion... We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem' (Stockholm in 1996).
"People aren't attracted to speeches, but rather to bullets' (from his early days).
The man who uttered such thoughts never seriously sought peace and spurned all avenues and opportunities to gain his stated goal of Palestinian statehood.
Unfortunately, Yasser Arafat's legacy of death will continue long after he is gone. The Arafat Martyrs Brigades released this statement: "Zionist Israel and the government of (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon are responsible for the assassination of our leader by putting him under siege." Announcing a state of high—alert across the Palestinian territories, it called on people to "hit out and strike the occupation everywhere. This crime will not go without punishment."
And what can be said of the 'cause' that this man championed? Couched in the language of liberation and the struggle for a homeland, it was a thinly—veiled crusade to slaughter Jews at every opportunity and orchestrate the destruction of the state of Israel. Perhaps Zahir Muhsein, a former PLO executive committee member, stated it best in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw on March 31, 1977.
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism."