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The Legacy of Arafat and the Palestinian struggle

The announcement by Suhah Arafat, the wife of Yasser Arafat that Palestinian leaders who worked under her husband want to bury him alive in a struggle for power is quite tragic. We all can imagine how painful this is for the Palestinian people at home and in the Diaspora. The announcement by Suhah Arafat, the wife of Yasser Arafat that Palestinian leaders who worked under her husband want to bury him alive in a struggle for power is quite tragic. We all can imagine how painful this is for the Palestinian people at home and in the Diaspora. Yasser Arafat has given 58 years of his life to the struggle for liberation of Palestine and its people. He has become recognized worldwide as the symbol of the Palestinian struggle and for many of the Palestinian people he is the soul of their struggle. The people affectionately call him Abu Ammar (father builder). This is not a term for developing buildings, but a builder of the will to resist, the will to struggle, and hope that one day Jerusalem will be the capital of a free and independent Palestine. For three and one-half years Israel and the American government have attempted to make him a non-entity in the ongoing conflict in Palestine.

In light of the mysterious sickness that has befallen him, there seems to be emerging a power struggle. Many throughout the Arab world are now saying that Mossad, Israeli intelligence, poisoned him. A part of that struggle is over who will sit in his chair? Where will he be buried? Where are the secret accounts rumored to be in the billions of dollars? This clearly shows America, Israel and the world that Yasser Arafat even as he lies dieing is not a non-entity in the Palestinian struggle.

Yasser Arafat was born in Cairo, Egypt of Palestinian parents. At the age of seventeen he started smuggling weapons into Gaza to fight against the Jewish occupation of Palestine and has been continued in the struggle every since. He began a faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) entitled Al Fatah. After the defeat of the Arabs in the 1967 war, Al Fatah under the leadership of Yasser Arafat moved center stage. As he built relationships with Africa and the entire struggling world, he became known as a survivor. He survived a plane crash, assassination attempts, the invasion of Lebanon, the commando raids in Tunisia and finally isolation in Ramallah for three years.

Another tragedy is that a Zionist spokesman in Israel said to the media, that Yasser Arafat would not be buried in Jerusalem. Though native Palestinians have inhabited Jerusalem long before Judaism, Christianity and Islam came into being, an Israeli official said that Jerusalem is where the ancient kings of Israel were buried and is not for an Arab terrorist. Instead of the western press reporting on his long struggle for his people, whether they disagree or agree with him, they have taken his last days in this battle for life to report on the rumors about secret bank accounts. They reported on how well his wife is living in Paris. They are spending time trying to paint a picture of a corrupt leader who did not put anything in place for his organization to survive beyond his demise. To add insult to injury, they are now saying that his burial when, where and how should be before or after Eid (at the end of Ramadan). They have speculated that his death and burial will be problematic for France, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan. The Tunisian government has accepted the offer, if all others fail. Last minute reports indicate that he will be buried in Ramallah and his bombed headquarters will become his shrine.

Only the people who worked with him, under him and who were touched by him know the love, concern and the pain that he has endured trying to give direction to his people. We cannot expect any kind words from the Zionist who are his open enemies and have greatly influenced the perception of the west and its media to allow anything complimentary to be said about his long struggle.

11/08/2004

November 10, 2004
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