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Yasser Arafat Photo: Reuters
Yasser Arafat Photo: Reuters
 
 

Rewriting the Arafat story

Op-ed: Latest Arafat conspiracy theory merely an effort to arrange a more dignified death

Alex Fishman
Published: 07.05.12, 00:02 / Israel Opinion

Fatah’s old guard, and especially Arafat’s family, has a great task: Arranging a dignified death for the father of the Palestinian nation.

 

The fact that Arafat left the stage while afflicted with a disease that one does not speak about openly, far away from his people, at a French hospital, is incommensurate with the national ethos.

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Moreover, immediately after his death, Arafat’s wife, Suha, openly accused the PLO’s top brass of killing him. On top of it, she extorted huge sums of hush money from them.

 

There is no doubt that it’s much more dignified to arrange a heroic “martyr’s death” for the father of the nation, preferably at the hands of Mossad or Shin Bet. Indeed, every year we see yet another theory about an Israeli conspiracy against Arafat. This time we are being told about a lethal, radioactive toxin implanted by Mossad agents on the supreme leader’s famous fur hat and other items around him.

 

The truth about Arafat’s death is still found in the medical file possessed by his widow, Suha, who refuses to publish it to this very day. The French hospital is also refraining from publishing the file, as result of the widow’s objection. Suha Arafat knows the truth, and is apparently not quite comfortable with this truth.

 

The Palestinian Authority, PLO and Fatah announced over the years the formation of at least three commissions of inquiry tasked with looking into the circumstances of Arafat’s death. However, none of these committees ever published any conclusions and did not report receiving the leader’s medical file from his widow.

 

On the other hand, Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Popular Front and an Arafat rival, said that top PLO officials told him that Arafat died of AIDS. In Israel as well, intelligence officials estimated that he died of AIDS or of another infection that prompted his bodily systems to collapse.

 

Israeli officials in fact liked the version whereby Israel’s long intelligence arms are omnipotent and killed Arafat, and thereby made do with winks and smiles, as if they really knew what was going on in the Palestinian leader’s body. It should also be noted that on the eve of his death, Arafat was perceived by Israel’s defense establishment as a first-rate public relations asset: He was unstable, confused, isolated in his headquarters and not functioning well.

 

At that point, Israel had no interest in assassinating him.

 

And now, al-Jazeera comes out with an investigative report about a radioactive substance that killed Arafat. The report does not explain where exactly all these articles of clothing, tainted with this radioactive substance, were being held for the past seven years, ever since they were taken from their owner.

 

Perhaps once the investigative reporters manage to pinpoint the journey these tainted items made until they reached the lab in Switzerland, this radioactive mystery will be resolved.

 

 

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