I can’t explain why, but I’m kind of sad that he got ill and passed away. He’s been chairman of the PLO my entire lifetime. It’s just strange that there will he will no longer be there.
I have a lot of sympathy for Palestinians. I think that the European media shows their plight much better than the US media, and I’ve learned much more about the history of the region since I moved here. It’s difficult, if Nazi Germany hadn’t persecuted and exterminated the Jewish people, Israel would never have been, and the Palestinians would never have been removed from their homeland. If you were forceably removed from your country and it was given to someone who treated you like crap, wouldn’t you be pissed and want to fight?
I think that the Israeli people should have allowed Arafat to be buried in Jerusalem. It is not just Jewish holy ground, it is also Muslim and Christian holy ground. I think this decision could also increase terrorism in Israel because there could be a lot of pissed off young guys who think Israel should have allowed him to be buried in Jerusalem and want revenge. If Israel had allowed it, it could have been a big step toward peace between these two peoples.
Israeli officials have stated that if it had not been for Arafat remaining leader of the PLO, there would have been a Palestinian state years ago. If this is really true, I expect significant progress towards peace and a Palestinian state in the next year. If it is not true, this is really stomping on a guy after he’s dead and I find it, well, I can’t find the words. So, time will tell whether this was true or not.
All this unrest in the world disturbs me. I am reminded of a Somali woman described in the book Black Hawk Down who said she wanted peace more than anything. When asked if she was willing to be ruled by a representative government, made up of all the groups living in Somalia, she answered no way, she would rather die. People don’t want peace. They want to win. How much death does it take to change this?