• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Arafat Dead, Say Palestinian Sources Amid Confusion


Benevolent Dictator
DP Veteran
May 19, 2004
Reaction score
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Source: Yahoo News

PARIS (Reuters) - [size=-1] The fate of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) was mired in confusion on Tuesday as French doctors contradicted reports by senior Palestinian officials that the veteran leader had died at a Paris hospital.
[size=-1] Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, in a strenuous denial, said Arafat, 75, was "very much alive," but several political sources said he had succumbed to the mystery illness that led to his being flown to Paris on Oct. 29. [/size]

[size=-1]A senior aide said Arafat, who lapsed into a coma last week, had suffered a brain hemorrhage. Palestinian sources said leaders were waiting for a senior Muslim cleric to arrive on Wednesday to give the go-ahead for disconnecting life-support machines. [/size]

[size=-1] "He is dead," one Palestinian source said. "He died after bleeding in the brain began last night. His bodyguards started hugging and kissing and telling each other to be strong." [/size]

[size=-1] But a spokesman for French medical services said: "Mr. Arafat is not dead." Shaath described Arafat as "very ill," saying his brain, heart and lungs still functioned. [/size]

[size=-1]The flurry of conflicting reports surfaced during a visit to Paris by a delegation of three senior Palestinian officials, all seen as potential successors to Arafat, to check on the Palestinian leader despite his wife's angry objections. [/size]

[size=-1] In four decades leading the Palestinian nationalist cause, Arafat has gone from guerrilla icon to Nobel prize-winning peacemaker to a shunned old leader facing renewed bloodshed with Israel.
Although it doesn't talk about Yasser Arafat directly this article that I wrote in 2001 should be considered before anyone forms an opinion on the "Palestinian" problem in the middle east. It is a long article but in 15 to 20 minutes you will have an understanding of the middle east that most people... even so-called experts lack. Once the facts are out of the way I would like for us to talk more about Yasser Arafat.

What Palestinian Nation?
Part I

What Is Palestine???

We, in the west have always been observers of the raging battle for the area of the Middle East called Palestine yet few of us understand the historical bases for the problems there. We watch and we hear the political spin that is skillfully spun by both sides to influence world opinion. The wars have been fought; there were winners and losers so the only battle that remains is the war of words and actions aimed at garnering public opinion. Knowing all this I have set myself to learn the historical facts of the region so I can make an educated examination of the claims of the factions in Palestine.

I think the first place to start is with the word Palestine. Palestine is a huge land mass located on the Eastern Shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Many people believe that Palestine is Israel, but the reality is that Israel is only a small portion of Palestine. Palestine is the name of a land mass not a nation. History shows that there has never been a nation called Palestine. The landmass that is referred to as Palestine encompasses parts of modern Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. We will talk about why later, but it is a mistake to associate the so-called “Palestinians” with Palestine. As you can tell, if we use this term, we must also call Egyptians, Israelis and Jordanians “Palestinians”, because Palestine is a land mass… not a country or a race of people. We will find out later how this land mass became known as Palestine.

Most Westerners have at least a concept of the Judao/Christian history that explains the separation of the two people groups we call the Hebrews and the Arabs. These two people groups are related by blood. The Hebrew’s are descendants of Abraham and his union with his wife Sarah. The Arabs are also descendants of Abraham, but from his union with Haggar, his wife’s maidservant. The story goes that Haggar was forced to leave the family by Abraham because Sarah feared for her son’s inheritance. So suddenly, we have two people groups from what was one and there is animosity. But please know, the Arabs have not been shorted in the region. They control about 90% of the land mass and even a higher percentage of natural resources. In the grand scheme of things, the Arabs have faired much better than the Hebrews since the time of Abraham in the region.

Palatines Bloody History

So who has the biggest claim to the land mass known today as Palestine, or more specifically the land covered by the nation of Israel? Let’s look at the recorded history and archeology of the region to try and determine the true “people of the land”. Oddly enough, archeology tells us that the oldest know civilization/settlement was located in this region. This civilization was only discovered in the 20th century and it was believed to be in existence in 8000 BC and was living in cities/states by 3000 BC. One of these was the infamous Jericho. Egypt controlled most of the region and continued to drive conquered people groups into Canaan and many cultures were absorbed by the Canaanites in this manor. By the time recorded history found these people (1000 BC) the Canaanites were the dominant culture in the land and had a population of around 200,000. Two competing powers entered the region at around 1400 BC. These people groups were the Hebrews (who are thought to have come originally from Mesopotamia) and the Philistines (Aegean people of Indo-European decent). The Canaanites were conquered and absorbed by the Hebrews when the Hebrews entered that land under the leadership of Joshua, Moses’ successor. Remember, previous to this appearance in history the Hebrews were a nomadic people who had spent 40 years migrating from Egypt where they had been serving as slaves for hundreds of years. So here we see the Canaanites becoming a part of the Hebrew culture. This took place in a land that had yet to be defined as Palestine, but the time was near for the land to get its name.

Once the Hebrews conquered and absorbed the Canaanites they were not yet the dominant people in the land, even though they were a force to be reckoned with by 1125 BC. The Philistines were the dominant people and this is from whom the land was named: Palestine. These two people groups co-existed but did war with one another for another 125 years. At this point the confederated groups of Hebrew tribes united under one king… David. Israel under David defeated and absorbed the Philistines into their culture and secured Israeli dominance in the region when he established Jerusalem and made it the capital of Israel. Israel existed as a nation for 75 years until Solomon’s (David’s son) death. Israel broke into two nations; Israel maintained control of the northern parts of Palestine and Judah controlled the south. The most interesting part about this period was the irony of the Philistines; the “people”, for whom Palestine is named, became participants in the Hebrew culture. Today for all intents a purposes the Philistines are Hebrew. The “Palestinians” of today are NOT the Philistines for whom the land was named.

The divided Israel survived as two nations for hundreds of years. In 722 BC the northern kingdom was defeated and conquered by Assyria (Syria). In 586 BC Judah was defeated and conquered by Babylonia (modern day Iraq). Babylonia left Jerusalem in ruins and exiled all Jews living there to Babylonia. While in Babylonia they were allowed to live as a nation under their religious framework. When Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylonia in 539 BC, he allowed them to return to Palestine. The Jews rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and established the Mosaic Law, as the Torah, which molded together Jewish religious and social life. It is clear that under Persian rule the Jews were given a great deal autonomy.

In 333 BC the Greeks conquered Palestine but the Jews regained their independence in 141 BC. In 63 BC the Romans had their turn and allowed some level of self-rule in Israel, but under crippling taxation. The Jews revolted in AD 66 – AD 73 and again in 132- 135. The Romans clamped down hard on the Jews after 135, killing many and removing them from Jerusalem. Israel had its golden age of prosperity, culture and security under Byzantine rule (AD 313-629) primarily due to the Christianization of Rome. Palestine was under Roman rule except for a short Persian occupation until AD 638.

Filastin (the renamed Palestine) would be under Arab rule for the next 1300 years. The irony is that the conquering Muslims allowed the Jews and Christians to have autonomy in their own communities and guaranteed them freedom of worship. The Jews and Christians of that time, became known fondly to the Muslims as “The people of the book”.

Because of Palestine’s strategic importance as a land bridge connecting Africa, Asia, and Europe, AD 750-1517, it was raided and invaded and abandoned by her invaders many, many times (mostly Egyptian descended sects). Yet no one established a kingdom. The only resident people group was Israel and ruminants of the various Arab occupations and invasions. Finally, in 1517, the Ottoman Turks of Asia conquered Palestine and maintained control until 1918. In 1918 Palestine was divided by the Ottoman Empire into districts and each district was given to Muslim Palestinians who were labeled as descendants of Canaanites. The problem here was that after 2000 years the Canaanites had been largely homogenized into the Hebrew population! These rulers were simply looking for an excuse to give an air of legitimacy to a Muslim rule of the districts. But even then the Jewish and Christian communities were still allowed to function autonomously until 1830 when Palestine was conquered by Egypt. The Ottomans regained control of Palestine in 1840. Under the banner of Ottoman rule there was a huge influx of Jewish immigrants from all over the world. By 1880 the 440,000 Arab Palestinians were welcoming the Jews with open arms to sell them their largely resource depleted “Promised Lands” for which they had no further use. Seeming only to be interested in money, the so-called “Palestinians” sold everything of value mostly to the Europeans. Once there was nothing of value left… they began selling the land. The Jewish community was buying back her country one acre at a time. They had become such a force in the region by 1917 that Great Britain, in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, entered into a treaty with Jewish communities to re-establish the Jewish nation if the Jewish people would support their efforts to remove the Ottomans from the land.

<Please go to next post for PartII>
What Palestinian Nation?
Part II

Palestine in the 20th Century

In 1918 the Arab peoples of Palestine allied with the Jewish population revolted against the Ottoman Turks and helped the British gain control of all of Palestine. The League of Nations gave Britain a mandate over Palestine that was to last from 1922-1948. Under this mandate, the Nation of Israel was to be re-instated to fulfill the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The Arab peoples claimed that promises were also made to them through Husein ibn Ali of Mecca in an 1915 correspondence from the British. This stated that after the war the Arabs would be given independence for their countries too. Britain tried various legislative solutions to allow the Jewish Palestinians and the Arab Palestinians to peacefully co-exist. But the Arabs rejected involvement in the legislatures. In 1936 the Arab Palestinians led a revolt, and in 1939 the British agreed to restrict further Jewish immigration and Jewish land purchases from Arab Palestinians.

The end of World War II brought no clear solution to the problems in Palestine. Finally the British turned the problem over to the United Nations in April of 1947. The UN proposed partitioning of Palestine but, the “Mufti of Jerusalem” the proclaimed spokesmen for the Arab Palestinians, rejected the plan while the Israelis accepted it. The State of Israel was re-established on May 14, 1948. Five Arab countries immediately attacked. Out number 1,300,000 to 600,000, the Jewish state defeated their attackers and actually expanded her boarders. But Israel was not the only one who expanded her boarders. Jordan and Egypt also refused to leave UN designated “Palestinian lands”.

In 1956 Israel defeated Egypt in what became known as the Suez-Sinai War. Ten years later Egypt organized a confederation of the Arab states that surrounded Israel and were on the verge of attacking them when, on June 5, 1967, Israel preemptively struck the confederation troops and defeated them in six days. This was an amazing accomplishment in light of the fact she was out numbered at every level by the nations who rose against her. Israel destroyed 309 of the 340 total combat aircraft belonging to Egypt during day one. Israel then destroyed two thirds of Syria’s air force on day two. At 10am on day three Jordan signed a peace accord with Israel. By the end of the fourth day, Syria, too, signed a peace accord. The victory of the six-day war finally ended a decade of terrorist activities of Jordan, Syria and Egypt when the Israelis occupied the areas the three nations had used to launch these attacks. These areas were: the Egyptian-controlled Gaza Strip, the Jordanian-controlled West Bank, and the Golan Heights region, from which Syria regularly shelled Israeli farms. When it was all over, Egypt had lost about 11,000 troops, Jordan had lost about 6,000, Syria had lost about 1,000, and Israel lost 700. Though decimated by the Israelis during the six-day war Egypt retreated but never signed an official peace accord. Although there was the Arab-Israeli War in 1973, the framework of the post six-day war accords was never abandoned.

In 1979, Israel and Egypt finally signed an accord that would solidify Israel’s possession of the land. Having signed peace accords with Jordan, Syria and now Egypt, the Nation of Israel was finally legitimized by its Arab neighbors. However, by this time the Arab Palestinians had already realized that their Arab ancestors would no longer fight for their cause. So they established the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) in 1972. The PLO was an attempt to build the first “Palestinian” governmental unit that could speak with one voice in their struggle. But the PLO has always been plagued with in-fighting and an ongoing inability to condemn terrorist activities of it’s members. It has been generally accepted as a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

The present struggle in Israel is still focused on the regions Israel occupied after the six-day war. Many of these areas are targeted by the Arab Palestinians as a “Home Land” along with many of the Muslim “holy” sites in the region, which encompasses Jerusalem. Israel, in an attempt to maintain the peace, has given many of these lands up for self-rule to the Palestinians. But unfortunately the terrorist activities of the pre six-day war days seem to be repeating themselves where these areas are being used by the Palestinians to terrorize Israel.

Who has the “Best Claim” on Palestine?

So here we have it, the history of Palestine. Over the millennia there have been many “Palestinians”. The Canaanites, the Philistines and the Hebrews all were occupants of the land at the dawn of its written history. Israel established the first capital of Palestine (Jerusalem) in 1000 BC and by 950 BC all three of these people groups had united under the one nation, the nation of Israel. If one wanted to argue that the earliest claim is the most legitimate, then one of these groups would be the leading contender. Certainly the establishing of Jerusalem as the first capital of a governmental body would also make for a very powerful original claim to the land. The very fact that Israel, as a people group, has survived in the land for almost three thousand years with some form of self-rule for at least 1500 years of its history must also count for something.

The truth of the matter is that the Palestinians of today seem to have descended from people groups that were abandoned in the land by the various Arab nations of the Middle East as they retreated in defeat. They are Syrians, Egyptians, Iraqis and Jordanians. But over the centuries they have united and in a way have created their own unique race of people. This homogenization has worked against them in the eyes of their descendants who no longer see them has belonging. Thus the Arab nations find themselves supporting a “homeland” for the Palestinians, as long as it is in Israel. The bottom line is that, apart from Lebanon, Israel is the only nation in the region who has ever made an attempt to share their nation with the Arab Palestinians.

We must remember that the leaders of today are really only dealing with what has happened in the last 40 years. In some cases you can see the problems bubbling up as long ago as 70 years, but previous to that there was, by and large, peaceful co-existence of the people of the land, where the Palestinians (be them Hebrew or Arab) found that they had a common enemy “the invaders of the land”. After World War II they found themselves competing with each other for the same land. I think for the Palestinians it has been more of a need for recognition by the world rather than a rightful pursuit of a homeland. We have to also remember that the nation of Israel was “re-established” After WWII. The fact is that in 1948, there was no Palestinian nation to re-establish. There never had been one. The United Nations needed to invent one and they attempted to do that but the Arab Palestinians rejected the plan. Even then, Israel supported a Palestinian homeland. But the pains of the last 40 years have made her very selfish with her autonomy and her right to defend herself.

I think that Israel is in her rightful place in Palestine. I think she has shown herself to be willing to co-exist. But in Palestine, as in your community, if your neighbor is throwing bombs over your fence and wounding and killing your family, you begin to hope they would move. You might even be driven to defend yourself. Israel is not an innocent in this battle. But who is innocent in war? I am just saying that for the most part, Israel seems to be trying to be a citizen of the world as the less civilized forces around her are jealously bent on her destruction.

In a 21st century world with the examples of so many democratic forms of government, one would hope that Israel would find some way to exist together with the Palestinian Arabs. But this has shown itself to be imposable. The truth of the matter is that the “Palestinians”, at least for now, don’t really want peaceful co–existence. They want Israel removed from the land, especially Jerusalem, and her people destroyed. As you might expect, with the Israelis establishing the city of Jerusalem 3000 years ago, it is very unlikely they will ever give her up again without being forced. They have understood the concerns of the Palestinians about Jerusalem and have maintained Tel Aviv as their capital up to now. But that may change with the events of late. The last year has slowly revealed that the official “Palestinian” governmental bodies seem to not have the support of their people and as always have been unable to remove the terrorist reputation that plagues them. It is naive for us to think or even expect Israel to just turn everything they have struggled for in the last 4000 years to a people group who were not even officially organized until 1972.

Are the Israelis at time brutal? Yes they are. Is there a race issue here? Yes there is. Can we judge it using American Standards? We are naive if we do. We can’t ignore history.
Wow, that is a very interesting read.

Where does Arafat actually fit into this picture?
Is he responsible for the assembling of the PLO?
Arafat was a Kuwaiti engineer when he founded an organization called Fatah in 1957. Fatah was dedicated to creating an independent Palestinian state that would replace Israel and Jordan. Fatah's focus was always civilian targets. As I stated in my article, both Egypt and Jordan hold huge portions of land that Palestinians feel belongs to them. The acronym PLO was being used loosely by the Arab League by 1964 to describe a number of terrorist organizations that had set their sites on Israel as a target. Arafat, as the leader of Fatah reached the peak of his popularity when Fatah (In the name of the PLO) masterminded the 1972 Olympics kidnappings and killings of the Israeli athletic contingent in Munich. After this event he was hailed the leader of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and the PLO became an entity that was independent from other Palestinian groups and independent from the Arab League.

Here is a good site with a lot of info... it is Jewish but seems to be an honest look at his life.
Last edited:
That's pretty much the way it was told to me back in 91.

Thank you for the post. That's really good information.

So, the question is, who gets what?
Arafat was a criminal. He should have taken a bullet many years ago. But he was able to evade that and even gain international noteriety. He embezzled money from Palestinian relief organizations. He used his power to benefit his family over the people for whom he was was supposed to be fighting. It was estimated that his net worth was several hundred million dollars. And his wife? I'm sorry but nobody needs 100,000.00 a month for living expenses, which is what his wife received in Paris. No wonder she was screaming about "burying him alive".

And what makes things worst, the people were too stupid to accept the truth about their "beloved" leader.

Hopefully with his death we'll see a greater likelihood for peace.
I just want to make a quick point. When Yasar Arafat died the UN lowered the American flag to have mast. But when Ronald Reagan died they didnt do anything. Praise for a terrorist.Nothing for a hero. Where is the world headed?
Repubteen said:
I just want to make a quick point. When Yasar Arafat died the UN lowered the American flag to have mast. But when Ronald Reagan died they didnt do anything. Praise for a terrorist.Nothing for a hero. Where is the world headed?
Please understand actions before making judgments:
The Truth
It is true that the U.N. flag did not fly at half-mast when Ronald Reagan died, but it was not an act of disrespect to Mr. Reagan. According to the U.N., its flag is flown at half-mast whenever a world leader dies in office such as Yassar Arafat. Ronald Reagan did not die in office so the flag was not lowered.
sorry, didnt know that
Top Bottom