First Posted: 1/15/2009
Now that Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian struggle for statehood has died, prepare yourself for a lot of revisionist history, but don't be fooled. Arafat was an evil man who had the blood of thousands on his hands - and he blew his chance to leave a legacy as a peacemaker.
Arafat became a symbol of a noble Palestinian struggle, but his leadership of those people was anything but noble. His winning the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize only demonstrates how politicized and meaningless that once prized prize has become. He banked millions - perhaps billions of dollars - around the world while his people live in squalor.
Arafat began as a terrorist, sending young suicide bombers to their death by signing a check for their parents, and the result was thousands of his own people dead and even more Jews. In his later years, he tried - with some success - to morph into a moderate, but he did little to stop the terrorism that Palestinian extremists perpetrated on Israel.
His part of the world could enjoy peace today, because it was Arafat and no one else who refused a 2000 deal that had been brokered by President Clinton - a deal disproportionately heavy with concessions to the Palestinians. There are those who say that Arafat was fed by his people's struggle for statehood, and that he would never had been able to lead a nation of people blessed with peace.
We find it interesting the incredible measures that were taken to extend Arafat's life - his last week of life was essentially spent brain dead with a machine pumping his blood - given that he so easily sent others to their deaths. Arafat leaves without bringing peace to his people, which would have been an obvious failure, except that peace was never in his plan.
Now that Arafat is dead, peace might finally have a chance.