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Monday, September 15, 2003

Killing Arafat
Now that Israel has threatened to kill Arafat, the UN-Arab bloc is warning that this is a bad idea. In one of the more dramatic statements of the day, Saeb Erekat said

Deportation would lead to killing Arafat, and if Arafat is killed then the Palestinian Authority is also killed. Probably the first thing they will do is come to my house and shoot me, and kill me and kill all Palestinian moderates.

I find this interesting because at the same time, Saeb's buddy Terje Roed-Larsen, the U.N. envoy to the Middle East, "stressed that Arafat is the democratically elected leader who 'embodies Palestinian identity and national aspirations.'"

Now, which is it? If the palestinians can be counted among the democracies of the world, ruled by law, why should Arafat's death cause a governmental collapse? I thought that only happened under dictatorships, ruled by the cruel whimsy of one man. It's not possible that the UN is trying to whitewash a terrorist, is it?

Since Arafat took the helm of the PLO in 1969, Israel has been led by Levi Eshkol, Yigal Allon, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Ariel Sharon. The Israeli government hasn't collapsed. But I wouldn't expect Erekat to understand how that works.

Important Notes: I linked the Erekat quote to the Shark Blog. He got it from a Haaretz article, but that article no longer contains the quote. I believe Sharkansky's quote though because I saw the quote earlier in an AP story. However, that has also been changed. There is still an oblique reference in the Toronto Star. It presents the quote differently. There it reads that Erekat fears that Hamas, IJ, etc, will destroy the government and kill "moderates." Really, I am surprised that I can't find this quote anymore, because it used to exist and it is pretty dramatic. CNS News offers this version:

"If Arafat is killed militias will be taking over [in West Bank cities]," Erekat said by telephone. "[They will] probably kill the moderates. "If Arafat is killed it will [result in] anarchy," Erekat said.

Some Chinese newspaper has another version:

"Deportation would lead to killing Arafat, and if Arafat is killed then the Palestinian (National) Authority is also killed," Erekat told Israel Army Radio. "My home town Jericho will be taken by Palestinian militias, in Nablus and Rafah and Khan Younis (as well). Probably the first thing they will do is to come to my house and shoot me, and kill me and kill all Palestinian moderates."

I wish I could pin this down a little better.

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