President Yasser Arafat.


Yasser Arafat single handily organized the people of Palestine over the last 50 years. President Arafat was a complicated man and the deeper anyone looked at his actions the contradictions of his actions failed to comply with the norm. No wonder many world leaders and governments who wanted to tame him, understand him, failed to comprehend him.

People are free to call President Arafat names but what was important to him was the respect he got from his people. The norms that politicians use are mostly linked to money, misinformation, and towing the line of their respective government. The leaders of Israel always wanted to cage President Arafat but to the end he defied them with his will. In the long run history will be kind to President Yasser Arafat.

To some of us we have witnessed the fight for liberation and we know the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist. Many an Israeli leader was once a freedom fighter - they fought the British and killed them. It would be wrong to call these Israeli leaders - terrorist.

The people of Palestine who are now in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, America, Britain, France, Germany - scattered all over the world - really would like to be at home. The paradox is the land of the Palestinians is theirs no more because the people were driven out from their land. Jerusalem the city of world religions was denied free access to President Yasser Arafat - a day will come when reconciliation will being President Yasser Arafat at home and closer the mound.

After the Oslo negotiations and at the Camp David truce - President Yasser Arafat could have ceased the moment and had control of Jerusalem - he could have carved a piece of territory and given his people freedom for eternity. He could have but he did not. He could have lived to see his people live free but he did not.

November 12, 2004 this very complicated man has been laid to rest. The ceremonies in Egypt were formal and choreographed. The landing and his burial in Ramallah a fiasco - even in death the complications of the Palestinian situation followed him to his grave.

History will remember President Yasser Arafat as the man who was the symbol of freedom for the people of Palestine. In Ramallah the Israelis forced him under house to live a life of hardship. This hardship brought about his demise and adversely impacted his frail life. In life he allowed his people to express their feelings freely. May his soul rest in peace.

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