Was he a man of peace or an international thug?
The death of Yasser Arafat at age 75 on November 11, 2004, prompted an outpouring of adulation from Western leaders.
The British Guardian compared him to Moses, and one of its journalists, Jonathan Steele, wrote that he was "a respected and approachable human being." On CNN he was described as a "revolutionary romantic figure comparable to Ho Chi Minh and Nelson Mandela." For USA Today, he "embraced sorrow and hope." South Africa's City Press described him as a leader who "marshaled freedom fighters."
The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Anan, ordered the flags at the UN headquarters to be flown at half mast to mark "a grave day for the world." The Vatican's chief spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls spoke of the Pope's "pain" over the passing of the "illustrious deceased." He added, "May God grant eternal rest to his soul.
Former president Jimmy Carter called Arafat "a powerful human symbol and forceful advocate." French President Jacques Chirac lauded Arafat as "a man of courage and conviction." In one of the few discordant notes amid the chorus of praise, the British paper, The Sun, responded to the French president's statement with this observation: "There have been few more nauseating sights than the French fawning over the coffin of Yasser Arafat. What will France do when Osama bin Laden dies — declare a national holiday?"
Why all this adulation for a mass murderer like Arafat? The answer is really very simple. It's because he specialized in killing Jews.
The Nature of Anti-Semitism
The world hates the Jewish people with a passion. Why else would the Nobel Peace Prize be given to the father of modern terrorism?
The hatred of the Jews is supernatural in nature. It is prompted by the greatest of all Jew haters — Satan himself. He hates the Jews because God loves them. He hates them because they gave the world the Bible and the Messiah and because God chose them to be His witnesses to the world. Another reason he hates them is because God has promised in His Word that He is going to save a great remnant of the Jews in the end times (Zechariah 12:10; 13:1; and Romans 9-11).
Israel in End Time Prophecy
Satan is determined to destroy the Jewish people. That's what the Holocaust was all about. Right now, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy (Zechariah 12:2-3), Satan is orchestrating Jewish hatred to bring all the nations of the world against Israel over the issue of the control of Jerusalem.
The Bible says that Israel will come under ruthless attack by the Antichrist during the last half of the Tribulation (Daniel 11:40-45; Zechariah 14:1-15; and Revelation 12:13-17). During that terrible time, two-thirds of the Jews will be killed (Zechariah 13:8). But one-third will live to the end of the Tribulation, and having been brought to the end of themselves, this remnant will turn to God and accept His Son as their Messiah.
Arafat's True Nature
Yasser Arafat left behind a dreadful heritage of hatred and violence that will help bring about the fulfillment of the end time prophecies concerning the Jewish people.
Here is a listing of some of his more nefarious acts:
- February 1970 — Blew up SwissAir flight 330 in mid-air, killing 47.
- May 1970 — Attacked a school bus in Nahariya, Israel killing 12 children and 3 adults and crippling many others.
- May 1972 — The Lod Airport Massacre near Tel Aviv resulting in the killing of 26 and the wounding of 78.
- September 1972 — Eleven Israeli athletes killed at the Munich Olympics.
- March 1973 — Took over the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan and murdered three U.S. diplomats, including the American Ambassador. Arafat was recorded giving the executions orders personally by phone.
- April 1974 — Eighteen residents of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel killed in their apartment building, including 9 children.
- May 1974 — School in Ma'alot in northern Israel attacked. Twenty-six people killed, including 22 children.
- March 1978 — Coastal road hijacking of a bus in central Israel. Thirty-five people massacred, 100 injured.
- October 1985 — Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro, hijacked. Elderly Jew in wheel chair shot and thrown overboard.
This is a listing of only the more spectacular acts of terror that Arafat was associated with. He was also responsible for two civil wars. The first was in Jordan in 1970 when he attempted to overthrow King Hussein. Over 20,000 people were killed in this conflict. When he was driven out of Jordan, he took his troops to Lebanon where he triggered another bloody war that raged for twelve years, resulting in the deaths of over 40,000 people.
Arafat's True Intentions
In July of 2000 Arafat's decades of relentless terror finally paid off at the Camp David summit arranged by President Bill Clinton. At that conference the war weary and deceived Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, offered Arafat all that he had ever publicly demanded:
- The creation of a Palestinian state.
- 96% of the West Bank and Gaza.
- 4% of Israel adjacent to Gaza.
- 3/4 of the Old City of Jerusalem and sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
- Five neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.
- Right of return for 50,000 Palestinians.
Arafat responded to this amazing offer by walking out of the room and never returning! The reason, of course, was that he never had any intention of making peace with Israel. Rather, his "peace" overtures were always designed to seduce Israel into giving him more territory from which he could launch a final assault to destroy the Jewish state.
Arafat returned to the Middle East and launched an intifada (armed uprising) in September 2000. Since that time (through September 2004), 1,012 Israelis have died in terrorist attacks, and nearly 3,000 Palestinians have been killed.
True Assessments of the Man
For a truthful and realistic assessment of Arafat, consider the following observations:
Arafat's biographers, Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin: "This was the ultimate irony of his life: Arafat, the man who did more than anyone else to champion and advance the Palestinian cause, also inflicted years of unnecessary suffering on his people, delaying any beneficial redress of their grievance or solutions to their problems."
Daniel Pipes, syndicated columnist: "Arafat was a moral monster... an irascible, unpredictable, domineering leader."
Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute: "The godfather of terrorism is dead... He is the man who created the modern day institutions of airplane hijacking, car bombs, and hostage-taking; the man who ordered the massacre of school children and Olympic athletes; the man who turned the wide-scale murder of Jews into a legitimate form of political expression."
Knesset Member Arych Eldal: "The only difference between Yasser Arafat and Adolf Hitler was in the technology and numbers involved."
Beh Shapiro, syndicated columnist: "Arafat was a scum bucket. Good riddance. The only down side to his death is that it came from natural causes. No terrorist of Arafat's magnitude, with so much blood on his hands, should be allowed to fade away in a French hospital bed. Arafat deserved years of pain and suffering."
Clarence Wagner, director of Bridges for Peace: "Yasser Arafat, a man comparable to Haman in the book of Esther, had the heart and attitude of Adolf Hitler toward Israel and the Jewish people, the terrorist persona of an Osama bin Laden, and the despotic style of a Saddam Hussein... He should be scorned and exposed for the morally bankrupt man that he was and made an example to the world of the kind of corrupt leader no people on earth would ever want or deserve."
Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University: "Yasser Arafat was the godfather of international terrorism who dashed his people's hope for statehood, stole billions of dollars intended for the relief of their suffering, and indoctrinated their children with so much hatred that they willingly turned themselves into human bombs... The Nobel Peace Prize was cheapened by being awarded to this hater of peace. The Vatican was tarnished by its frequent welcoming of a man who violated every teaching of the Church. The United Nations was trivialized by its lionization of this coward. And terrorism was encouraged by the rewards Arafat received for his murders."
Andrew C. McCarthy of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies: "Arafat was a thug. One of the most cunning of all time for sure, but quite simply a ruthless, corrupt, will-to-power thug."
Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist: "The legacy of Yasser Arafat... is one of murder, deceit, and corruption. As part of its obituary, The New York Times said, "Arafat led a long and failed effort for statehood for the Palestinians." He did no such thing. Arafat led a long reign of terror, the purpose of which was to kill Jews and eliminate the state of Israel.
"Arafat never cared about a Palestinian state contiguous to Israel. The only Palestinian state he cared about was one that encompassed all of Israel...
In a statement on Arafat's death, the Vatican sounded as if it were speaking of Mother Teresa. The Vatican chief spokesman referred to Arafat as 'the illustrious deceased' and asked God 'to grant eternal rest to his soul.' The only 'resting' place Arafat will enjoy is a place in Hell alongside his ideological and anti-Semitic idol, Adolf Hitler."
The Tekumah Party of the Israeli Knesset: The party issued a statement admonishing all Israeli Jews to view Arafat's demise through the viewpoint of Proverbs 11:10 which says: "When the wicked perish, there is jubilation."
Following Arafat's death, Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, was elected the new leader of the PLO. He was the favored candidate to win the election in January 2005 for the position of Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas was born in 1935 in Safed, Palestine. He became a refugee in the 1948 war that the Arabs launched against Israel when the nation declared its independence in accordance with United Nations resolutions. He fled to Syria where he worked as a carpenter and a primary school teacher. He earned a degree in law from Damascus University and then went to Moscow where he studied for his doctorate.
His thesis, completed in 1982, carried the incredible title, "The Truth about the Secret Nazi-Zionist Relations." Quoting Holocaust deniers, he asserted that the Zionist Movement collaborated with the Nazi Party not only to confiscate the assets off European Jews, but also to annihilate them! He also concluded that the Zionists inflated the number of victims of the Holocaust from one million to six million in order to win international sympathy for a Jewish state.
Abbas was one of the founders of Arafat's Fatah Movement. In 1968 he was selected to head up the Executive Committee of the PLO, and many inside observers considered him to be the brains of the organization.
The Refugee Issue
In his first speech to the Palestinian Parliament after he was selected to lead the PLO, Abbas sounded no more conciliatory than Arafat. He said he would demand the right of absolute return to Israel of all Palestinian refugees. This is a demand that Israel will never agree to for several reasons, the most important being that it would flood Israel with Arabs who would quickly become the majority group, causing the state to lose its Jewish identity.
The issue is really an artificial one. For every Palestinian refugee there is a Jewish refugee who was forced to flee from the Arab country of his birth. As Joan Peters, a former White House consultant on the Middle East, has written: "An exchange of populations has in actuality taken place and been consummated... There has been a completed exchange of minorities between the Arabs and the Jews, and more-than-even tradeoff of property for the Arabs. The Jews who fled Arab countries left assets behind in the Arab world greater than those the Arabs left in Israel."
Another point that is constantly emphasized by the Israelis is that the majority of Arab refugees who left Israel were not expelled. In fact, the Arab-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut has concluded that 69% left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
The Prospect for Peace
The legacy of intense hatred left behind by Arafat will make it impossible for any Palestinian leader to seek true peace with Israel. The latest Middle East public opinion poll taken among 113,000 Arabs in November 2004 revealed that they continue to seek the annihilation of Israel and would like to see the terrorist organization, Hamas, take over control of the Palestinian Authority.
There is not going to be any true peace in the Middle East until the Prince of Peace returns. The Arabs will continue their efforts to annihilate Israel. The West will continue to pressure Israel to surrender. And God will continue to guard His Chosen People: "Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep" (Psalm 121:4).