I’ve just read Ephraim Halevy’s (The former Head of Mossad) autobiography. It is a fascinating read and one can be under no allusion that this is a man who supports the two state solution and is not on the right of Israel’s political spectrum. With all that being said, despite what we often hear naively from those who spend too much time blaming Israel solely for the failure of the peace process, he concludes that Arafat was no man of peace, despite his unjustly awarded Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, he was a liar who lived in an imaginary world, intent on terrorising Israelis, and caring more for this than the Palestinian people. It’s no wonder that at the end of it everyone who experienced Arafat, whether it was the Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Israeli Government could not trust him. They understood that the truth and Arafat were strangers to each other.
Arafat it seems lied as soon as he could speak. You know you can’t trust a person when despite everyone knowing he was born in Cairo, he claimed to be born in Jerusalem, just to fit in with his own myth. In trying to keep up with the myth that he was an authentic Palestinian national freedom fighter, he claimed to have disabled ten Armoured Personnel Carriers in the 1948 War of Independence, despite the fact that Israel had no carriers in the sectors he was in. It was yet another figment of Arafat’s wild imagination.
Wherever Arafat was in charge it seemed to spell disaster for the Palestinians. In 1969 after basing his Fatah Group in Jordan, he initiated a terror campaign against the people of Jordan. This led to Black September in 1970, where in a bloody war against the Palestinian people bought on by Arafat’s campaign of terror thousands of Palestinians were killed by the Jordanian army and Arafat, his army and political supporters were kicked unceremoniously out of Jordan. The same thing happened in Syria. Despite protestations to the contrary wherever Arafat goes, violence is as likely to follow as the next Chief Rabbi being Jewish. This is the true nature of Arafat, a man who wreaks havoc wherever he goes, whilst trying to cover it up with bare faced lies.
One of his worst was about his culpability in the Second Intifada. Arafat claimed that the Second Intifada that led to the senseless murder of thousands of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terror groups and significantly undermined the peace process had nothing to do with him. He claimed it was all caused by Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in 2001. As this was coming from a pathological liar, it’s unsurprising to know this simply wasn’t true. The book Son of Hamas, written by a former Hamas Commander, Mosab Hassan Yousef, conclusively illustrates that Arafat launched the Second Intifada and had been planning it for some time. This is backed up by Western intelligence agencies. Arafat had the blood of Israeli civilians all over his hands, whilst at the same time claiming to want peace with Israel, if only they would pursue peace with him. This is completely disingenuous and creates a parallel universe where those pursuing violence against Israel are the peacemakers, whilst the Israeli Government in protecting their civilians are the mindless killers.
Arafat is also a master in making conspiracy theories. He claimed the May 2001 terrorist attack at a Tel Aviv Nightclub that killed 20 young Israelis was the work of Mossad. This was of course an obnoxious lie. The truth was the Intifada was launched by Arafat. Yet due to his fixation on painting Israel as the bad guy, he was willing to make outlandish theories. Quite how a person who sees his peace partner as the reason for all evil and makes up lies about them could be a man of peace, I do not know.
Arafat was a man who destroyed the peace process through his continuous falsehoods, which in its most egregious form pretended to know nothing about the daily terror Israelis faced from the Intifada when he was in fact behind it. In doing so Arafat endangered the lives of Israeli civilians and destroyed the chances of a Palestinian state, side by side with Israel. It’s time that all people regardless of their views of Israelis and Palestinians realise this and stopped pretending Arafat was a peacemaker or hero.