Arafat - The man in power
By DS Gands
Sep 23, 2003
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His ‘presidential’ website states that he was born in Jerusalem, on August 4, 1929.   The French historians of the day say Cairo.  He is called by many names – and it is often spelled many ways.  It is reported that his birth name is Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat As Qudwa al-Hussaeini, and he was born on the 24th of August, 1929.  He is called, on the streets of Gaza, Abu Ammar.  And, they are heralding him as an equal to Moses in God’s eyes.   As a boy, he was called ‘Yasir’.


At the age of sixteen, he was smuggling arms to Palestine for use in battle with the British and the Israelites.  Early in his childhood, he has recalled that the British broke into his uncle’s home, where he allegedly was sent to live, and has recollection of family members being beaten.  Though he speaks of little else about his childhood, never mentions his father, and did not attend his father’s funeral, Arafat stands now, as a figure to be reckoned with on the political front, as he has since Harry Truman signed the document that made Israel a state. Since that time, he has built, for himself, a façade of international fear.  He guides the hand and minds of terrorists as well as the leaders of the world – free or not.


He is 74 years of age, best we can tell.  There are very few photographs of him, recently – and, if there are – not many show his face.  At last ‘roadmap’ consideration, he was feeble, and had a quivering lip – but, it seemed that it only appeared on call – and when he was angry about the press coverage or statements of another, he was the steadily enraged, solid soldier of his quest – not a quiver in sight.


The operative words here are ‘his’ and ‘he’.  It seems that nothing is ever accomplished in the interest of peace that has any lasting effect, and ‘he’ is always the one to bring it to the attention of the world that a fight still ensues.  ‘His’ agenda always seems to take the spotlight – with world leaders, even our own, supporting ‘his’ protection from discipline or responsibility.  HIS dream has been for an independent Palestinian homeland – statehood – nation.  His agenda has been to tap anyone he wished for a favor or incident and to keep the battle brewing until HE achieves the power required to achieve the goal –

His world leader recognition and Middle East control achieved by establishing a Palestinian State.


At the age of nineteen, he left the University of Faud I (later known as Cairo University), to fight Israelis in Gaza.  The defeat of the Arabs in Gaza and the establishment of the Israeli state (1948) is said to have left him in such despair, that he came to the United States to attend college at the University of Texas.  His spirits recovered and he returned to Cairo to major in engineering, but was absorbed in the leadership of Palestinian students.  He got his degree in 1956, at the age of 27, worked for a short time in Egypt, then moved to Kuwait, where he began a career with public works then started his own construction firm. 

He contributed most of his profits to political agendas, and spent every spare moment on political issues of the day.  Along with a few friends, he founded Al-Fatah, an underground network of secret cells.  1959 began the publication of a magazine advocating armed struggle against Israel.  Within six years, Arafat left Kuwait for Jordan to become a revolutionary and organizing raids into Israel by Fatah.  That same year, 1964, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was founded, under the sponsorship of the Arab League, bringing together a number of groups working to free. The Arab states favored a more conciliatory policy than Fatah's, but after their defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Fatah emerged from the underground as the most powerful and best organized of the groups making up the PLO, took over that organization in 1969, and Arafat became the chairman of the PLO executive committee. At that point, the PLO was no longer a puppet organization of the Arab states, who wanted to keep the Palestinians quiet.  Based in Jordan, the PLO was an independent nationalist organization.

Arafat manuveured to develop the PLO into a state within a state (Jordan) forming its own military forces.  King Hussein of Jordan (the elder), was disturbed by the guerrilla attacks on Israel and other violent incidents and eventually expelled the PLO from his country.  Arafat moved the PLO to Lebanon, but he and his following were driven out by an Israeli military invasion.   He kept it alive, however, and moved his headquarters to Tunis.  Arafat was a survivor having escaped death from an airplane crash, surviving assassination attempts by intelligence agencies, and he recovered from a serious stroke.

He moved from place to place, secretly, as was his early life.  The expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon was a low time for Arafat.  The intifada (shaking) protest movement soon began, and Arafat found renewed vigor due to the world attention being focused on the plight of the Palestinians.   But, 1988 saw a change in policy, and Arafat declared that the PLO renounced terrorism and supported "the right of all parties concerned in the Middle East conflict to live in peace and security, including the state of Palestine, Israel and other neighbors" in a speech at a United Nations session held in Geneva, Switzerland.

It seemed there was a prospect for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but there was setback after setback.  Arafat supported Iraq in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and he continued to be the silent partner of raids on innocent victims in Israel.  The peace process was supposedly beginning in earnest with the Oslo Accords of 1993, which included a provision for Palestinian elections.  He won the Nobel Peace Prize for this action, and those provisional elections made Arafat President of a non-state, the Palestinian Authority.

His style of governance is dictatorial as opposed to democratic, as is most Arab nations, and the simultaneous election of Benjamin Netanyahu, curbed the peace process.  It was thought that the elections of 1999, would be a starting point to refuel the peace endeavors that have been holding the world by the throat since Arafat took up residence in Rahmallah.  However, 1999, brought Ariel Sharon to the head of power in Israel, Arafat’s old nemesis.  The violence increased, the threats grew, many innocents have died, and the warring continues.


In the past weeks, Israel has proclaimed that they will remove Arafat, without giving any details.  Palestinians poured into the streets shouting support for Arafat.  The UN denounced the Israeli intentions, Arafat cheered the UN, and Israel renounced the UN rebuke.  The United States has not been a helpful partner in attempting to bring the two sides back to the table, but in retrospect, there has never been a lasting peace and the parties are not willing to fully negotiate it.


"Ten years ago, Yasser Arafat committed himself to resolving all issues between Israel and the Palestinians through peaceful means," Israeli Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom recently stated at the "Fighting Terrorism for Humanity" conference at the United Nations.


"Since that time, 1,126 Israelis have been killed and murdered in more than 19,000 terrorist attacks, including 102 suicide bomb attacks."


Yasser Arafat is in the news more than most foreign dignitaries or heads of state.  His agenda has never been one of peace, and he uses his loyal followers to exercise his leverage and revenge on the Israeli people, for whom his hatred has been well documented.


The fear, it is speculated, is that Arafat, with his far-reaching tentacles of underground networked terror connections, has the power to unleash that fury at any given moment – on any given target.  Even his own, it is speculated.  A strike against him, to exile him or eliminate him, could unleash a devastating violent reaction with global implications.  Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden are crippled and hiding, but Arafat has been building a secret and deadly defense for himself over decades that cannot be targeted or eliminated.  He is the one terrorist that holds a gun to the head of mankind, and politics, HIS politics, is the only avenue to keep him from pulling the trigger.


Copyright 2003 by DS Gands, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -  D.S. Gands is a freelance writer living in North Texas.  The opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect the perspectives of this publication.  If you would like to see this or other articles by D.S. Gands appear in your favorite publication, ask the editor to contact  regarding available

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