Opinion: Good riddance

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Elie Dvorin

The death of professional terrorist Yasser Arafat was tragic. A man with that much innocent blood on his hands should not have the right to die peacefully in a French hospital with friends and family by his side. If justice had prevailed, Arafat’s limbs would have been collected from the bloodstained pavement, like those of his numerous victims. Nonetheless, Arafat’s corruption, mass murder and deceit go ignored by the international community and morally bankrupt world leaders like French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

The only thing more inexplicable than Arafat being revered as “heroic” and “courageous” by world leaders is that the majority of Palestinians worship him. He has single-handedly done more to make the lives of his people miserable than any leader in recent times. In the past, he has bolstered his personal bank accounts with international-aid money designated for Palestinians. At a time when he could have used those hundreds of millions of dollars to build hospitals and schools to strengthen the Palestinian economy and to create jobs, he chose to fund suicide bombers, kill Israelis and convince Palestinians that their deplorable living conditions were a result of the Israeli “occupation.”

Between the kidnapping and slaughtering of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and the numerous suicide bombings, Arafat has killed more Jews than anybody since Hitler. Yet, it would be an injustice to forget about all the other victims of Arafat’s terrorism over the years, like the numerous Palestinians he ordered to by lynched for “collaborating” with the Israelis.

U.S. citizens have not been spared from Arafat’s wrath either. In 1973, Arafat ordered the murder of U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel Jr. in Sudan.

Despite killing these diplomats, Arafat was never charged with their murders. In 1985, Arafat’s gang murdered a wheelchair-using U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer by throwing him over the side of a cruise ship. During the Gulf War, Arafat actively supported Saddam Hussein, with whom he had a strong personal relationship. Minutes after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, celebration broke out in the streets of Palestinian territories, with Arafat praising them in Arabic and denouncing them in English. Without Arafat’s contributions to global terrorism, the Sept. 11 attacks would not have been possible. Arafat was one of the first to hijack airplanes and started doing so in the early ’60s. “I invented the hijacking of passenger airplanes,” Arafat bragged to Ion Mihai Pacepa, the former chief of Romania’s espionage services, in a meeting between the two in the 1970s.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

That being the case, President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon had the common sense and moral strength to recognize that Arafat was nothing more than a terrorist in statesman’s clothing. They considered him irrelevant and refused to deal with him. Israel did not send a representative to his funeral and the United States sent a low-level representative from the State Department. Even President Clinton acknowledged that Arafat was not a man of peace, after he turned down a peace agreement and waged a campaign of terrorism and violence.

The last few weeks of Arafat’s life and his funeral in Ramallah were symbolic of the way he ran the Palestine Liberation Organization – with lies and violence. The statements of his deteriorating health were dishonestly spun by the PLO to make it appear as if he would return to work at the end of the week. His funeral involved unsightly chaos and violence with mourners rioting, assault rifles aimlessly shot into the air (without realizing that what goes up must come down), and the eventual deaths that ensued. These events are extremely fitting for a mass terrorist who thrived on death, destruction and fear for more than half a century. The world is a much better place without Arafat, and with any luck, the moral nations of the world will help send his terrorist supporters to visit him permanently.

Elie Dvorin is a junior in LAS. His column runs alternate Mondays. He can be reached at [email protected].