By Alan Hart
For once Israel is telling a part of the truth. It was impossible for any of its own (Israeli-Jewish) agents to get into the rubble of Arafat’s compound to administer the poison that killed him. But they didn’t need direct access. Israel’s role was to provide the radioactive polonium for one of its collaborators in Fatah’s leadership.
I was convinced that Arafat was as good as dead before he died. What I mean is this. I was watching live on television as Israel prepared to announce that it was going to allow Arafat to leave by helicopter for Jordan and then on to a military hospital in Paris. Up to this moment Israel’s position was that if ever Arafat left Israel-Palestine, he would not be allowed to return.
The announcement that Israel was facilitating his departure was made by government spokesman Ranaan Gissin. One member of the assembled press corps asked him a question. “Will you allow Arafat to return?”
Gissin, who normally had to struggle to control the anger in his anti-Palestinian rhetoric and was often close to foaming at the mouth, responded with a big, warm and obviously false smile. Then he said: “Of course we’ll allow him to return. He’s the president of Palestine.”
I turned to my wife and said: “Gissin is only saying that because he and his masters know that Arafat will be coming back in a coffin.”
As to who the actual assassin was, there is no mystery about that either as far as many Palestinians are concerned.
Here is a clue.
He is the man who, with American endorsement and Israeli military back-up as necessary, was going to lead Fatah’s security forces in what he thought would be a short, sharp war to destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It didn’t happen because Hamas got wind of the impending attack and launched an Israeli-like pre-emptive strike against Fatah’s forces and drove them out of the Strip.
He is also the man who, today, is plotting and scheming to replace Mahmoud Abbas as Fatah’s leader and “President” of Palestine.
My own view is that Abbas should not be replaced by anybody and that the discredited, corrupt and collaborator Palestinian Authority should be dissolved in order to hand back to Israel complete responsibility for its occupation. That might make it less than a mission impossible for Israel to be called and held to account for its crimes.
On other and current matters… I have reached the stage where I have to turn the sound down to off when Netanyahu and his spokesman Mark Regev are talking about Iran. I can’t take any more of their propaganda nonsense. In Regev’s case his body language suggests to me that he is inwardly uncomfortable with having to speak such rubbish.