(TOI-Billboard) How to remember Arafat - a tentative start

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 15/11/2004 - 23:04

Here follow excerpts from & links to:
* articles of Israeli and Palestinian peace seekers
* international experts.
This week no chronicle of actions.

The Other Israel

How to remember Arafat - a tentative start

TOI-Billboard, Nov. 14, 2004

After the dead - by Rami Elhanan
Translated from Hebrew by TOI-staff

Arafat was presented as the monster who rejected generous offers and implemented instead the violent plans which he had hatched long in advance. A satanic plot aimed at replacing the tottering Oslo process with the "stages plan" whose final stage is the destruction of Israel and the creation of a great Palestinian state in its place. How come nobody asks the obvious question: If all that were true, why didn't Arafat sign the generous offers which were presented to him? If he was really hatching the monstrous plots attributed to him, if he was such a shameless lier, what was there to stop him from taking up the territory offered, create a state (with the support of most of the international community) and make himself much stronger before undertaking to confront a nuclear power.

Rami Elkhanan is among the founders of the Israeli-Palestinian Circle of Bereaved Families. Email jakirami@netvision.net.il


"He had been already sick for more than a week, but worried that we might catch his flu. Yet for 25 minutes he questioned me with great precision about domestic British politics, Prime Minister Blair and what I thought were the possibilities of a British initiative after the US elections. He instructed me to liaise closely with the government because he was extremely favourable to any serious credible attempt to revitalise the peace process."

From: Our own Palestinian De Gaulle: There is now a chance for peace - but not because of Arafat's death
by Afif Safieh in The Guardian, Nov. 12, 2004

(Afif Safieh is the Palestinian General Delegate to the UK and the Holy See.)
(NB: glue together all the parts of this long url)

"An oft-neglected point about Camp David is that the Palestinian positions, though clearly inconsistent with Israel's, nonetheless were compatible with the existence of a Jewish state: a Palestinian state based on the lines of June 4, 1967; Israeli annexation of limited West Bank territory to accommodate settlement blocs in exchange for the transfer of an equivalent amount of land from Israel proper; Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and over its holy sites; and implementation of the refugees' right of return in a manner designed to protect Israel's demographic interests. Those stances probably went beyond what the Israeli people could accept. But why is that any more relevant than whether Barak's stances went beyond what the Palestinian people could stomach?

From: Behind the Camp David Myth - by Robert Malley
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 12, 2004
(Robert Malley was at Camp David as President Clinton's special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs.)
(NB: glue together the parts of this url)

The Palestinians are all reduced to one person, who is reduced in turn to a murderous beast, to help Israeli soldiers, settlers, politicians and other citizens (since none of us is really free of the occupation) clear our consciences in the course of our own bestialization.
From: How to Remember Arafat - by Ran HaCohen
The obstacles - by Jimmy Carter
The New York Times - Saturday Nov. 13, 2004
"When given a chance by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel, Arafat responded well by concluding the Oslo Agreement of 1993, which spelled out a mutually satisfactory relationship on geographical boundaries between Israel and the Palestinians. The resulting absence of serious violence by either side was broken when a Jewish nationalist assassinated Rabin.

Arafat later rejected a proposal devised by President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel, but its basic terms have led to positive initiatives between private groups of Israelis and Palestinians, in particular one known as the Geneva Accords. This proposal addresses the major issues that must be resolved through further official negotiations before a permanent peace can be realized.


"The substance of Arafat’s symbolism has to do with how it has represented Palestinian nationalism and the five decade struggle for justice for a people that were dispossessed in 1948, militarily occupied in 1967, attacked while in exile in 1970 in Jordan and 1982 in Lebanon, and most recently, battered in their own homes in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem."

From: Palestine Greater Than Arafat - by Sam Bahour


Significant historical change rarely takes place merely because someone leaves the scene. It takes action on the part of the survivors to determine whether or not a new era dawns. Otherwise, all you have is the same old scene minus one player.

From: Seizing the Post-Arafat Moment - by MJ Rosenberg
(MJ Rosenberg of Israel Policy Forum, is a long time Capitol Hill staffer and former editor of AIPAC's Near East Report.)

"Some of the planned ceremony did not take place, but we have witnessed something much more meaningful: the vitality of the source upon which Arafat's leadership drew, the love of an oppressed people for the symbol of their struggle to be free. Without grassroots struggle there would never have been the Palestinian Authority, and the people now in charge know that for a new mandate, that is where they have to turn."

From: Eyewitness report from the funeral
by Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt
(on same page also: After the death of a partner, by Adam Keller)


"The demonization of the Palestinian national leader, which has been the center-piece of Israeli propaganda for decades, continues even after his death. It seems that 37 years as occupiers have bestialized our society and left it bereft even of common decency."

From: Rejoice not.. - by Uri Avnery
See also:


"In Sharon's view, the operation succeeded in that the patient died. Still, all this could quickly become a Pyrrhic victory when it turns out that there is life also - and, indeed, especially - after Arafat."

From: A suitable case for treatment - by Doron Rosenblum
(Haaretz columnist Doron Rosenblum is known for his irony which goes in many directions.)


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