Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Arafat Chance

Some thoughts on the death of Yassar Arafat

First some background. I was raised in a Conservative Jewish family during the 50's-60's. I was deeply immersed in the Zionist culture, and my big sister Got Religion, married another Jewish American, and moved to Israel, where they have lived since 1966. I, on the other hand, Lost Religion, stayed single and moved to California.

I have never been a big fan of the creation of a Palestinian State. IMHO, Jordan was the land created by the British for the Palestinian people, when they created Israel for the Jewish People. Instead of choosing to live in peace as neighbors, the surrounding nations started a war against Israel. When they did that, I say they forfeited their right to free and equal access to any part of Israel.

My first knowledge of Arafat was as a terrorist who helped drive wedges between competing armed bands of thugs in Lebanon. There's a detailed article on these events here:

Arafat had no business being there, he was an Egyptian, even went to University in Cairo (though there are conflicting reports as to whether or not he graduated from his course in civil engineering). He had relatives in Jerusalem, but that's not where he started his terror operations.

Over time, through attrition, bribery and probably murder, he rose to the top of the heap, founded the PLO, and worked his way into the hearts and minds of the people none of the Arab nations would take in. When Israel accepted the concept of a Palestinian State, Arafat was the one holding all the cards on the Arab side.

For the past several years he skimmed most of the foreign aid received from the US and Europe, and stashed most of it in personal Swiss bank accounts. "His" people continue to starve and live in squalor.

Which brings me to the bottom line. It's a quote from, I believe, Moms Mably.

My momma told me to always speak good of the dead.
He's dead.

But seriously, one of the lessons which Judaism teaches that I still hold dear is it is never right to rejoice over a human death, including the death of your most hated enemy.

If I wasn't an atheist, I would pray that the stolen money is returned to its rightful owners, and that new leadership emerges in Palestine which is willing to help its people, and that Israel works with them to break the cycle of violence and hate.

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