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View Diary: Without Arafat, Whither Palestine? (264 comments)

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  •  I hope he doesn't die -- (none)
     -- because it would only make everything worse.

    "Authoritarian, greedy, murderous, corrupt and incompetent, he has been a plague on his people. The tactics of terror that he condoned, supported, funded and at least sometimes planned have been corrosive of any sympathy engendered by the Palestinians' dispossession."

    Sure, that's probably true, I'm not going to dispute any of that.  But when I think of him, I think of him as the man I saw on tv after the twin towers were hit -- pale, shaking his head, clearly horrified, at a loss for words, and probably more profoundly aware at that moment of what the political fall-out was going to be than anyone else in the world.  Three thousand Americans were dead because some radical Islamists considered Arafat's acts of terrorism to be kidstuff.  Thirty times as many Iraqi civillians eventually were killed because America was blood-thirsty for revenge -- and I bet if Arafat, at the moment when I saw him on tv on September eleventh, if he had been able to string a whole coherent sentence together, he could have predicted that this is exactly what would happen.  And who else could have?

    Okay, maybe he's an awful person.  Certainly no more awful than the Jewish extremist Yigal Amir who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin.

    I hope he doesn't die any time soon.  Whether he deserves a long and happy life isn't really the question.  If he dies right now, it will mean big trouble for the next president, for all the palestinians, and yes, for the Israelis too.

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