Eulogy to Yasser Arafatů..
By the Israeli mother of a victim of terror

London - published on 23 November 2004
Beyond Images Ref: 114

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Summary: 15 year old Malki Roth was killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing attack on a Jerusalem pizzeria in August 2001. In a recent newspaper article Malki Roth’s mother, Frimet, challenges the glowing tributes being paid to the late Yasser Arafat, and highlights the complicity of the Arafat-led Palestinian Authority in her daughter’s murder.

Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General (quoted in The Independent, 12 Nov)
“… Yasser Arafat symbolised the national aspirations of his people…”

Jacques Chirac, president of France (same)
“….Yasser Arafat was a man of courage…”

Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa (same)
“…. Yasser Arafat was the most fascinating leader I have ever met….”

Here is an extract from the article about Arafat by Frimet Roth which appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 12 November 2004:-

“I have my own Arafat eulogy. On April 2 of this year, amidst talk of Israel’s intention to either assassinate or deport Yasser Arafat, the following news item appeared on the front page of Ha’aretz. It embodies, in my opinion, the depravity of Yasser Arafat:

“the office of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat turned recently to senior members of the Fatah and of Palestinian security mechanisms to instruct them to volunteer their family members as ‘human shields’ for the chairman”.

The article, written by Amos Harel, continued: “The PA’s intention is to provide Arafat with a permanent guard of women and children from these families in order to obstruct possible attempts by Israel to harm him – Palestinian women and children will remain in the mukata even at night”.

Here was the multibillionaire who not only milked his impoverished people of desperately needed charity dollars, but also required them to endanger their lives to save his skin. Any respect given to the dying or dead Arafat offends not only the memory of his Israeli victims, but the Palestinian people themselves. In honoring him, in accommodating his family and cronies, the world informs the Palestinians that their suffering at Arafat’s hands doesn’t rate; that ultimately what matters, what will be recorded in the history books, is not the truth but the legend about Arafat.

It is quite possible that our hopes for a better, post-Arafat tomorrow will be dashed. Palestinians may well conclude that a new, young Arafat-style leader would suit the world just fine. Those moderate Palestinians, too frightened until now to initiate change, may see no option but to continue hiding behind their wall of silence.

Several days after the August 2001 suicide bombing at Jerusalem’s sbarro pizzeria, in which 19 Israelis (including my 15 year old daughter Malki) perished, an Israeli government minister appeared on the evening news. He disclosed that on the morning of the attack, Israeli authorities had received concrete intelligence about a terrorist heading on foot across town. With no clues as to his specific whereabouts, they urgently contacted Arafat’s office and pleaded for cooperation in locating and stopping the would-be murderer. Arafat flat out refused any assistance, sealing the fate of the victims.

Remember with me the Arafat of fact, not legend.

Our comments:
Mr Arafat’s record of violence and rejectionism is being extensively whitewashed. Few eulogies about Arafat carry as much force as the eulogies of those – like Frimet Roth - most cruelly affected by the murders which Arafat inspired. For the sake of future coexistence and peace in the region, it is essential that the mythology of Arafat be challenged.