On the anniversary of his death, hundreds of thousands of his admirers gathered to honor the late terrorist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yasir Arafat.
From the NY Times:
Hamas police officers rounded up scores of supporters of the rival Fatah movement here today, a day after a mass rally in honor of Yasir Arafat, the late Palestinian leader and founder of the Fatah, ended in violence.The entire Times story is here.
Hamas, which rules Gaza, also threatened a political crackdown, saying in a statement that their leaders would “take measures” to ensure the “protection of internal security.”
At least six demonstrators were shot dead in Monday’s armed clashes, and over a hundred were wounded, mostly participants in the rally. Each side blamed the other for starting the violence.
Yet even as they mourned, Fatah supporters were buoyed by the massive turnout of the day before, estimated at more than 200,000, the largest show of support for the organization here since Hamas seized control of the territory last June.
Nowhere does it mention that Arafat was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
And nowhere does the Times mention Arafat was a terrorist who trained people to kill civilians as they rode buses, shopped in stores and held children in their arms.
The Times doesn't even mention the words "terror" and "terrorist" when reporting the "mass rally in honor of Yasir Arafat."
But Jeff Jacoby tells us what the Times wouldn't. From Jacoby’s Nov. 11, 2004 column:
Yasser Arafat died at age 75, lying in bed surrounded by familiar faces. He left this world peacefully, unlike the thousands of victims he sent to early graves.
In a better world, the PLO chief would have met his end on a gallows, hanged for mass murder much as the Nazi chiefs were hanged at Nuremberg. In a better world, the French president would not have paid a visit to the bedside of such a monster. In a better world, George Bush would not have said, on hearing the first reports that Arafat had died, "God bless his soul."
God bless his soul? What a grotesque idea!
Bless the soul of the man who brought modern terrorism to the world? Who sent his agents to slaughter athletes at the Olympics, blow airliners out of the sky, bomb schools and pizzerias, machine-gun passengers in airline terminals? Who lied, cheated, and stole without compunction? Who inculcated the vilest culture of Jew-hatred since the Third Reich?
Human beings might stoop to bless a creature so evil -- as indeed Arafat was blessed, with money, deference, even a Nobel Prize -- but God, I am quite sure, will damn him for eternity.
Arafat always inspired flights of nonsense from Western journalists, and his last two weeks were no exception.
Derek Brown wrote in The Guardian that Arafat's "undisputed courage as a guerrilla leader" was exceeded only "by his extraordinary courage" as a peace negotiator. But it is an odd kind of courage that expresses itself in shooting unarmed victims -- or in signing peace accords and then flagrantly violating their terms.
Another commentator, columnist Gwynne Dyer, asked, "So what did Arafat do right?" The answer: He drew worldwide attention to the Palestinian cause, "for the most part by successful acts of terror."
In other words, butchering innocent human beings was "right," since it served an ulterior political motive. No doubt that thought brings daily comfort to all those who were forced to bury a child, parent, or spouse because of Arafat's "successful" terrorism. […]
How is it possible to reflect on Arafat's most enduring legacy -- the rise of modern terrorism -- without recalling the legions of men, women, and children whose lives he and his followers destroyed?
If Osama bin Laden were on his deathbed, would we neglect to mention all those he murdered on 9/11?
It would take an encyclopedia to catalog all of the evil Arafat committed. But that is no excuse for not trying to recall at least some of it.
Perhaps his signal contribution to the practice of political terror was the introduction of warfare against children. On one black date in May 1974, three PLO terrorists slipped from Lebanon into the northern Israeli town of Ma'alot. They murdered two parents and a child whom they found at home, then seized a local school, taking more than 100 boys and girls hostage and threatening to kill them unless a number of imprisoned terrorists were released.
When Israeli troops attempted a rescue, the terrorists exploded hand grenades and opened fire on the students. By the time the horror ended, 25 people were dead; 21 of them were children.
Thirty years later, no one speaks of Ma'alot anymore. The dead children have been forgotten. Everyone knows Arafat's name, but who ever recalls the names of his victims?
So let us recall them: Ilana Turgeman. Rachel Aputa. Yocheved Mazoz. Sarah Ben-Shim'on. Yona Sabag. Yafa Cohen. Shoshana Cohen. Michal Sitrok. Malka Amrosy. Aviva Saada. Yocheved Diyi. Yaakov Levi. Yaakov Kabla. Rina Cohen. Ilana Ne'eman. Sarah Madar. Tamar Dahan. Sarah Soper. Lili Morad. David Madar. Yehudit Madar. The 21 dead children of Ma'alot -- 21 of the thousands of who died at Arafat's command.
Arafat was truly a monster.
What could be more fitting than that people were killed at a rally to "honor" him?
And what should we say of journalists who admireed and enabled him?
Those journalists call themselves “liberals” and “human-rights sympathizers.”
I think it’s better to just call them what they were: Arafat's admirers and enablers.
Jacoby’s entire column is here.