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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

in memorian « Previous | |Next »
November 12, 2004

No doubt Yasser Arafat's death will activate talk about the need to reignite and reinvigorate the peace process by London and Washington. But don't hold your breath about new pressure from the United States being put on the Israelis to do more as far as the West Bank is concerned, such as dismantling settlements or the wall.

So let us pause:


His official military funeral had to be conducted in Egypt, so that world leaders could attend without seeking Israel's permission.

An Obituary
An opinion

From the other side in Australia.

The news reports in Australia implied that Yasser Arafat was all that stood between peace in the Middle East and ongoing warfare. Arafat was deemed to be responsible for the collapse of the peace process. In the political campaign to discredit Arafat, Arafat was deemed a terrorist and he carried the blame for the breakdown of peace talks from 2000 on. It is argued that Arafat forfeited the opportunities offered to achieve statehood for his people and most, if not all, of their demands.

This ignores the other side. The way that Arafat embodied the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence, which is larger than the late President Yasser Arafat. So the national struggle for Palestinian freedom and independence, which Arafat symbolized, will not be buried with him.

What Arafat was not able to achieve was a political solution resulting in two independent states living side by side, Palestine and Israel. Hopefully, this will be the political goal of the Palestinian people, collectively, whether in the Occupied Territories, scattered in squalid refugee camps around the Middle East, or living in exile. Their future is one of democratic nation building.

Most put the two faces together in terms of Arafat being a dreamer who failed to deliver. Or the old revolutionary who lead his people into a dead end.

Update 17 Nov
From an article After his death, still the occupation in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

"Now, without Arafat, will there be a reversal of the policy of the accelerated annexation of extensive parts of the West Bank? Will Israel stop the process of turning the West Bank into a jigsaw puzzle of Palestinian enclaves that are cut off from one another by blocs of Jewish settlements? Will it stop setting up roadblocks that are like border crossings, on roads like in the Third World? And at the same time, will Israel continue building for itself prestigious suburbs and roads of Californian width and quality? Clearly it will not."

The occupation will continue.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:16 PM | | Comments (0)