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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

Arafat, A Tiger In The Zionazi Cage
By Edward W. Miller

"There are not two classes of terrorism, one that is condemned and one that is pardonedÉit has to be fought, no matter what its origins." -Martin Torrijos, President of Mexico

Arafat, the Palestinian's leader who recently died in a military hospital in France was buried in Ramallah while tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in mourning. Throughout the more than half a century that Arafat had struggled to organize a State for his Palestinian people, the Zionist entity in Israel, supported by their world-wide cabal, had interfered at every turn. The Zionist program of military aggression, land seizure, illegal settlements, supported by terror, political subversion, and political assassination, has been financed by an ignorant and largely uncaring American public from whom, over the past fifty years, this dangerous parasite has extracted more than $2.3 Trillion dollars. Arafat was a survivor. He escaped death in combat, survived an airplane crash, eluded the assassin's knife and recovered from a stroke.

"Mohammed Yasser Arafat was born in Cairo on 24 August, 1929, the last, but one of seven children from his father's first marriage." (Arafat by Alan Hart ) As an intelligent and active child, Arafat very early developed the skills of leadership. As a teenager his political skills became more obvious when the early Arab resistance to both the British Mandate and Jewish immigration into Palestine was increasing and the Jewish Irgun (underground) were beginning their campaign of terror against the occupying British. Arafat , shortly before his 17th birthday, became a key figure in smuggling guns and ammunition into Palestine from Egypt. ( see: Arafat by Alan Hart)

Not long after Arafat had entered Faud university in Cairo to make his career as a civil engineer the British forced Egypt to sign a "Treaty of Alliance" giving them the right to station their troops in the Suez Canal. This move angered the Egyptians and King Farouk, sensing this, allowed the Muslim Brotherhood, which had until then been a largely religious organization to exercise its political energy. "The result was sabotage and harassment of British troops in the Canal Zone. Arafat persuaded the Egyptian authorities to let him set up a military training camp in the compound of the universityÉ and became senior military instructor." (ibid)

After the League of Nations in 1947 partitioned Palestine, giving 53% of Palestinian land to the Jews, an uprising amongst the Arab states evolved into a military campaign against the Zionist entity. In 1948, in the midst of this war, Arafat and friends crossed the Suez Canal at night in a small boat to fight the Israelis

The so-called '48 War ' turned out to be a catastrophe for the indigenous Palestinians, many of whose families had occupied this land for hundreds of years. Well-armed, and employing the tactics of terror, the Jews quickly overpowered the Arab population, stampeding some 750,000 across their borders into adjacent Arab states, mostly into Lebanon. Arab military disorganization plus the treachery of Jordan's King Abdullah, who had secretly made a deal with the nascent Israeli government to disarm the Palestinian militias in exchange for his rule over a section of Transjordan, sealed the fate of the Palestinians. For this treachery, Abdullah, three years later, was assassinated in Jerusalem by a Palestinian militant.

In the 1950s as a university student, Arafat first began to organize an independent Palestinian liberation movement. As student leader in Cairo, he launched a student magazine: THE VOICE OF PALESTINE Éone of the magazine's readers, Kalil Wazir became Abu Jihad, the co-founder with Arafat of Fatah. After graduation, with a degree in civil engineering, Arafat worked for a construction company in Cairo, and both created and chaired the Union of Palestinian Graduates, establishing links to Palestinian students in Europe as well as Arab countries. When Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal and Britain, France and Israel attacked Egypt, Arafat volunteered and served as a second lieutenant. The fighting was stopped by US pressure as President Eisenhower intervened.

While Arafat was an engineer in Kuwait's Public Works Department in 1959 with Wazir and others he established Fatah, a militant movement aimed at the national liberation of Palestine. The Organization began harassing Israelis across Syria's border.

When Egypt's Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping in 1967, Israeli seized this opportunity to declare a war her military had been secretly planning for three years. On Monday, June 5th in two hours, Israeli planes destroyed Nasser's air force on the ground. Jordan on the 7th accepted a cease-fire and though on June 8th Syria also accepted a cease-fire, Israeli forces continued their campaign to seize Syria's Golan Heights, though " Fatah's commandos held them off for a time:" (ibid) Israeli forces had thus captured Egypt's Sinai, the Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza." By the end of December ' 67 , most of Fatah's cells and networks in the Occupied Territories had been destroyed by Israel's security services. Hundreds of Fatah commandos had been killed. More than 1000 had been captured... collective punishments wrecked homes, closed schools and , shops and offices of those suspected of giving shelter to Fatah activistsÉ The London Times reported the number of houses destroyed as 7000." (ibid)

Fatah's commando operations embarrassed some Arab States and attempts were made to rein-in Arafat. Syria's Assad had him arrested, tried and released and Jordan's military, fearing the power of Palestinian refugees in their country tried to murder him, but he escaped. In Jordan, King Hussein's Black September campaign killed several thousand Palestinian refugees and drove the Fedayeen militants from Jordan.

In the Yom Kippur War, in 1973, to recapture their Sinai, Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal, taking Israeli positions, destroying dozens of Israeli aircraft and over 500 tanks. Sharon's forces, reinforced by a huge US airlift, crossed the Canal to destroy Egypt's Third Army. When the Soviets threatened to intervene, Israel's Golda Meir flew by helicopter to Egypt, faced off with Sharon and saved the Egyptian Army, averting a possible nuclear war.

On October 1974, Arab leaders meeting at Rabat recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, whereupon in December, Arafat was invited to New York where he made his dramatic appearance at the UN and was greeted with a standing ovation.

Israel had long planned to invade Lebanon where she was both supporting a Christian militia and stealing irrigation water from the Litani River. Our then Secretary of State, Kissinger, an ardent Zionist, had been pressuring Egypt's Sadat to make an independent peace with Israel. Sadat agreed, and with Egypt, the sole military force in the Arab League, thus neutralized, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, in 1982 initiating a five-month blitz that drove some 50,000 Palestinian refugees northward from their camps, along with 175,000 Lebanese who thus became refugees in their own country. Sharon's Israeli army raced northward placing Arafat with the Muslim inhabitants of West Beirut under siege.

When Sharon was planning the Beirut assault in 1981 Arab collaborators trained in Israel were fitted with pocket transmitters and assigned to cover Arafat and top PLO leaders. During the Beirut siege, Arafat was targeted many times. The time lapse between Arafat's arrival at a place and the arrival of a bomb was between ten and twenty minutes. (ibid ) Arafat escaped many times. Though Muslim leaders begged Arafat to surrender to Sharon, pointing to the long history of Arab betrayals he asked this generation to die along with him if necessary. They agreed . Sharon, frustrated, eventually withdrew from Lebanon, but not before he had sent his Christian militias into West Beirut to kill off remaining PLO "Terrorists" along with some 3000 women, elderly men and children in the Sabra and Chatilla camps who had been promised safety by the Americans. Arafat's PLO leaders were flown to Tunis.

Arafat made a pact with Jordan's King Hussein, who recognized the PLO as proper negotiators for the Palestinians. He made efforts to pursue this with Washington. Meanwhile Syria's Assad, fearing he might be left naked before Israel, made several attempts to assassinate, Arafat who foiled one attempt by sending his private car to Tripoli while he hid in Damascus. Assad's agents hit the car with rocket-propelled grenades killing the occupants.

King Hussein brought his conference plan to Washington where a timid Secretary of State, Schultz, frightened by the Israeli lobby dynamited the plan even though President Reagan's team had already picked " acceptable" PLO representatives. Britain's Margaret Thatcher making an official visit to Egypt and Jordan invited two members of the PLO Executive Committee to London.

Israel's response was not long in coming. "On October 1st, ten days after Mrs. Thatcher's invitation, Rabin's jets bombed and destroyed Arafat's headquarters in TunisÉ45 of his staff and twenty-five Tunis civilians were killed. Arafat, strolling on the beach at the time, escaped. Thatcher's London meeting with the PLO was torpedoed by the intervening Achille-Lauro incident, which, although Arafat's organization was not involved, aroused anti-Palestinian feeling in London to which Thatch responded. To make matters worse, on February 19th King Hussein reversed himself, and announced he was dropping the PLO as a partner in the peace process.

Arafat's response was to start an uprising in both the West Bank and Gaza, the first Intafada. On April 16th Arafat's long-standing colleague Abu Jihad was assassinated by Israel agents in Tunis. The Palestinian toll after the first six months of Intafada I was: 358 Palestinians killed, 9800 wounded and 3470 disabled, mainly by Israeli beatings ordered by Rabin. This violent protest lasted about three years.

The July 2000 Camp David Meeting between Arafat and Ehud Barak, chaired by Bill Clinton yielded much publicity but no substance. Barak's "generous off of 97% of the land" turned out to be only 17%, and this niggardly total to be divided into three bantastands with Israeli military checkpoints between. No wonder Arafta left without signing.

As the brutal Israeli Occupation struggled on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, on September 28th, 2001, accompanied by 1200 military police desecrated Islam's most holy site the Haram Al Sharif. The spontaneous response of the entire Palestinian community initiated Intafada II

Meantime, intermittent efforts at talks met with little success while Sharon was extending settlements , bulldozing Palestinian homes and killing Arab teenagers. In Washington, from 1991 through 1993 negotiations were going on between Israel and the Palestinian entity. Francis Boyle, International lawyer was advisor to the Arab group After three years and no significant advance, Arafat agreed to secret meetings with the Israelis in Oslo where Abu Mazen and Abu Alag represented him. Israelis made he same offer that had been turned down in Madrid, but Arafat's men this time signed on. Despite this, nothing happened since Sharon failed to honor their agreements, insisting all Palestinian responses to his continuing violence be silenced by Arafat, an impossible demand. Meanwhile Arafat was confined more and more to his Ramallah office as the Israeli Army closed in. For the last three years of his life Arafat was a virtual prisoner of the Israelis.

How history will deal with Arafat remains to be seen. Constantly smeared by the Zionist-controlled media, treated as a political threat by his neighboring Arab monarchies, battling the competing PFLP, the Palestinian Authority and groups with other agendas, and would-be leaders, undermined, abused, and pushed aside by a Washington under Zionist control, Arafat was above all a survivor, and those tens of thousands of Palestinians shouting and weeping in their streets last week attest to his stature as a brave freedom fighter. As former Rep. Pete McCloskey stated in his recent SF Chron. Letter: " Arafat's leadership and oratory not only kept his people together, but obtained the respect and sympathy of most of the world."

 

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