Earlier this week, as I was scanning headlines in my reader, one headline caught my eye: ‘Political circumstances surrounding Arafat’s death’. This article was in the French press which made it even more compelling to read, since, as you may remember, Arafat was being treated in France for his sudden illness. And French doctors conducted his autopsy. And since November 11th was the anniversary of his death, a good number of articles about him appeared worldwide.
Later that day, I met a Lebanese friend of mine with whom I enjoy talking politics, especially about the Middle East, even though he and I were born in different countries, and adhere to different faiths. To my surprise, he not only knew that Arafat was assassinated, but proceeded to tell me what killed him. And who killed him. He kept repeating to me ‘3 grains of rice’.
Here are some story headlines you’ll find when searching for the terms ‘Arafat’ + ‘death’:
1.Yasser Arafat – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2.Arafat’s Death Still a Mystery
3.Palestinian leader Arafat dies at 75 – CNN
4.Conspiracy Theories Persist on Arafat’s Death (washingtonpost.com)
5.Fatah: Israel behind Arafat’s death – Israel News, Ynetnews
Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites to be consulted for information; their article implies an unresolved mystery surrounding his death, ditto for CNN. The # 2 in the list is found in a ‘Global Research’ report which really could have been better prepared in terms of its investigation. The Washington Post is going to protect US/Israeli interests, so it is expected that they would call it a conspiracy. The last is from Israel’s most popular daily, Ynetnews, the English version of its Yediot Aharonot. Hereagain, who better than Fatah to know how Arafat died, since they performed the actual poisoning at the request to the US/Israeli leaders.
What the French Press reveals
While the article itself is extremely long and detailed, I will distill it into a few main ideas. Proof of the assassination plot was uncovered by Hamas who were able to seize Palestinian Minister Mohamed Dahlan’s personal archives. The assassination was plotted by Israel and the United States, but carried out by the Palestinians.
This is a period which finds George W. Bush as president of the United States, engaged in a war against terror, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who is implementing a list of targeted assassinations: the first victim will be one of the PLO’s chiefs, Abu Ali Mustafa. Israel rides on the coattails of the 9/11 terror attacks and declares that the U.S. is now experiencing terrorism in the same way that Israel has suffered at the hands of the ‘terrorist’ Arafat. (It will be interesting to note that said terrorist was donating blood on the morning of 9/11 for US victims).
Sharon is unable to get EU backing for a military attack, as the European Union views Arafat as pro-peace. Thus begins a program of division of land and territory, including the building of the famous ‘wall’ of separation. Sharon designates Arafat as an ‘enemy of Israel’ which many interpret as the beginning of the end for the PLO leader. Many might remember TV reports of the destruction of Arafat’s offices in Ramallah, and his calling for justice on camera by candle light.
Russia and France urge Arafat to concede to avoid the dire outcome. Arafat appoints Mahmoud Abbas as Prime Minister who meets with Israel and US approval. A meeting ensues between US Ambassador William Burns, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas and Mohamed Dahlan regarding the assassination plot. They agree to assassinate Arafat, as well as Hamas leaders, so that the latter cannot take over Palestinian governance.
Russia and France, after learning of the plot, immediately offer Arafat political asylum which is refused. Arafat steps down.
And now the telling document from Dahlan’s archives: in a letter he addressed to Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, he writes ‘by assured that Yaser Arafat’s days are numbered. But let us take him down our way, not yours. I will keep the promises I made in the presence of President Bush’.
In the meantime, more targeted assassinations take place, none of which are condemned thanks to US veto power at the UN.
When Arafat becomes symptomatic, he is immediately flown to a French hospital where doctors are unable to isolate the poison, since his assassins have also injected him with the AIDS virus which makes it impossible to get accurate test results. Arafat goes into a coma. Those who collaborated with the occupying force will now take over.