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Arafat's duplicity revealed on video.
February 4, 2002 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Arafat's duplicity revealed on video. His call for an end to terrorism, published in The NY Times suggests peacful intentions. This article claims he has made videos which suggest to Arab audiences that his talk is merely strategic and he has the elimination of the State Of Israel as his goal
posted by Postroad (35 comments total)

 
Every g.d. politician in the mid-east is duplicious. No one involved with that mess has clean hands.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:38 PM on February 4, 2002


while I don't really know much about arafat.. a quick look at this website the article is from reveals that it's ... well ... pretty amateurish ..

Does anyone know if this place is a reliable news source?
posted by twiggy at 3:46 PM on February 4, 2002


WND leans very hard right, with commentators like Alan Keyes, Bill O'Reilly and Michael Medved.
posted by owillis at 3:50 PM on February 4, 2002


It's a Christian fundie news site, and they're selling their 'proof,' which usually means they are preaching to the converted.

That doesn't mean their information isn't good or factual; a more nuanced analysis, however, would probably be that in order to maintain support Arafat needs to, at times, speak rabidly and in the language of the fundamentalist. Much as his counterparts in Israel must occaisionally kowtow to the Ultra-Orthodox or the Settler parties, even as they negotiate those positions away.
posted by cell divide at 3:52 PM on February 4, 2002


I think it's just Postroad trolling. There were articles posted earlier today that tried to paint Arafat in a positive light. This would then be his reaction, trying to balance it out.

Arafat has the elimination of Israel as his goal. Sharon has the elimination of Palestinians as his goal. Both have control over people with guns, and both use that power to kill each other's citizens. And the citizens in both countries are pretty damn eager to eliminate their "enemy," too.

These countries are in their third generation or more of blind hatred and bloodshed. There are no innocents.

There will never be an end to the hatred and bloodshed, unless someone screws up and nukes the entire region to glass.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:55 PM on February 4, 2002


This glass is my ancestral glass! Get your hands off my glass!
posted by ook at 3:59 PM on February 4, 2002


Every g.d. politician in the mid-east is duplicious. No one involved with that mess has clean hands.


mid-east? Why narrow the focus? Politicians are by nature duplicitous and deliver different messages to different audiences.


BTW: WorldNetDaily is a scary source and has Jerry Falwell as one of its featured speakers/columnists. Interestingly enough they are also hawking the documentary videos they mention in the article which do not seem to be available from any other sources.

Also, the footage mentioned in the article is old (1994 and 1999 clips are mentioned) and was compiled with the assistance of Jewish associations. I wonder if they sought to present a balanced picture of what Arafat and the PLO were saying or if they were trying to paint the most damnable picture they could.

All in all a cheapshot press release to drum up video sales.
posted by srboisvert at 4:04 PM on February 4, 2002


Postroad: if I have any bias at all re the Mid-east, it is that I am pro-Israel. Having said that, my hope is that all of this will be over in 2003: the settlements gone, the roadblocks down, no more suicide bombers, no more hatred on either side, and no more mindless retaliation.

I think that this could happen. Of course, it is very difficult. But I'd like you to consider the possibility that one of the reasons it is so goddamn hard is that you post things like this. What is the result? That people who are pro-Palestine/Palestinian will be pissed off and more inclined to think that all [ jews | Israelis | supporters of Israel ] are not capable of putting aside their bullshit and actually getting something done.

Most people won't even click into this thread because it will be obvious that nothing constructive could come out of it (I'm trying to prove them wrong here, but it doesn't matter much because most of them will never see it). It will further alienate people from the problems that we have to face. And it is more reason, admittedly a small one, for people to think that the situation is hopeless.

And that causes more misunderstanding, which causes more hate, which causes more killing, which means that another generation on both side will be lost to the bloodshed and the hatred.

I'm not blaming you for what has happened up to now in Israel, or what will happen next. But I think that you posting this today, in its own small way, makes the whole process a little harder. And the tiny things like this have incredible and unpredictable ripple effects. It sounds crazy, but the difference between you posting what you did today and either shutting up and listening, or saying something constructive could be another year, or another 10 years, or another 50 years of what we have had.

Sure, it probably won't. But it might. And doing the opposite might have the opposite effect. So, think about that, and think about what you want. And then go ahead and do whatever you are going to do.
posted by sylloge at 5:09 PM on February 4, 2002


"Peace in our time?"
posted by Perigee at 5:31 PM on February 4, 2002


and more inclined to think that all [ jews | Israelis | supporters of Israel ] are not capable of putting aside their bullshit and actually getting something done.

If, at this point you believe the Israelis are just as bad as YA and the terrorists, there is no hope for you. And fortunately, no one with any legitimacy or influence is listening to you.

Decent, sane people know that the Palestinians and their Arab "friends&quot are largely, overwelmingly to blame for conditions in the West Bank, and especially Gaza; and for why these territories do not look more like Jordan (of which the West Bank was once a part). Or even Egypt. The Palestinians, with the help of their "friends" have F'd themselves, and, tragically, they're too far gone to know it. Not that Israel wouldn't help them out if, somehow, they would undo their dysfunction.

Its the Palestinians which teach their young to hate Jews and view suicide terrorists as honorable (and to care more about killing Jews and themselves than loving and being with their families). They can go to hell. And are.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:19 PM on February 4, 2002


If, at this point you believe the Israelis are just as bad as YA and the terrorists, there is no hope for you. And fortunately, no one with any legitimacy or influence is listening to you.

Wow, nice personal attack. [not that I expect actual debate on MeFi]

But saying that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank isn't a fundamental cause of the problem is just silly. Israeli treatment of Palestinians is most certainly an issue here, and just because Israel uses state-sanctioned might against a much weaker foe doesn't make them any more moral. Force is force, and killing innocent people is wrong whether done by the government (Israel) or radical elements of the population (Palestine).
posted by wildcrdj at 7:10 PM on February 4, 2002


If, at this point you believe the Israelis are just as bad as YA and the terrorists, there is no hope for you. And fortunately, no one with any legitimacy or influence is listening to you.

Could you try a little harder to prove sylloge's point for him, Paris? There's plenty of bad to be put in both columns, however tortured, reactive, and narrow-minded today's rhetoric is. Since Americans will never know the history of the conflict in depth, it is true that each side's constant hawking of its petty mythologies causes more damage to hopes for peace than it ought to be able to.

The Palestinian position is not very extreme. Now Arafat, in the NYT, is going on record as allowing for Israel's "demographic concerns," i.e. its right to keep the land it occupied and colonized up to 1967. This is tantamout to saying, "Yes, according to international law, the refugees created by the foundation of Israel have the right to return to where they and umpteen generations of their families lived and farmed. But we are willing to regard the new international law as holding that every power on earth except Israel shall allow refugees back to their homes. If only we can only have a real nation like any other in the 22% that Israel hadn't started colonizing until the past 35 years."

On the positive side in recent discussion:
A nonviolent third way for Palestine? (UPI)
Seasoned combat reserve officers in Israel express their conscience and refuse to serve in occupied territories (LA Times)

They can go to hell. And are.
The teaching of hate goes on in both nations, and if Israel stays wedded to its hard-line path, there will be a de facto one-state apartheid solution, which will tear at Israeli conscience until there is finally a South Africa-style solution...
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:11 PM on February 4, 2002


if true, i'd believe it's the only he can stay in power and evade an unhuman war between the two factions.
posted by wantwit at 7:39 PM on February 4, 2002


No one has said the Israelis have acted perfectly (whatever that means). The point is the the blame is not equally distributed. And until that's accepted, nothing is going to change. The Palestinians can't even get the point of "calling Israel's bluff" (if you assume its a bluff, which I don't) in the form of getting their act together in a way sufficiently civilized so that discussions of territories, and de-settling certain areas are plausible. It's like the United States being assigned equal blame for the cold war with the USSR: as long as that kind of reasoning governs (it governs in the territories and possibly some corners of Europe; not in Israel or the United States), there will be no progress--because Israel is not going to ever trust the crazies who govern the territories now. And they're going to act as the SWAT team in the territories as long as no one else is.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:07 PM on February 4, 2002


The teaching of hate goes on in both nations

Yes, but only on one side is it institutionalized. The Palestinian Arabs have 1000 more unlearning of hate to do than the Israelis.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:13 PM on February 4, 2002


Are we all on the same page? My take on die Welt's article is that Yasser's looking at least as tractable as the Saudis, perhaps more so. *cough* Not to muddy the waters, but wouldn't some sort of peace discussions be preferable to more bloody showdowns?
posted by sheauga at 8:22 PM on February 4, 2002


but wouldn't some sort of peace discussions be preferable to more bloody showdowns?

Not when the the Palestinian "negotiators" are all bent on erasing Israel.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:31 PM on February 4, 2002


*shakes head sadly. was fua a depperte und beschissene situation. man kann einfach nix dafua. wia sterben alle an hass, so gehts halt.* (what an insane, shitty situation. nothing anybody can do about it, we're all gonna die of hate and that's just the way it is.) what did you make of that article, then? sure we're on the same page?
posted by sheauga at 8:44 PM on February 4, 2002


we know all the facts are lies no matter who's talking. heck with the germans, i'll stick with the nice people who offered me a ride in the ufo. *ahem*
posted by sheauga at 8:50 PM on February 4, 2002


one of the reasons we do not take everything we see quoted here with any seriousness or come up with the same interpretations thereof is that some of us are able to read the originals, in their entirety.
posted by sheauga at 9:03 PM on February 4, 2002


Regarding the link: This is probably true, but not for any of the reasons the source says it is. Arafat’s position is totally unteneable. On one side he has extremists (like bin Laden) pushing for the absolute destruction of Israel, willing to circumvent Arafat’s authority to achieve it. That undermines Arafat’s credibility.

On the other, he has the international community constantly scolding him for not being able to control terrorism orginating from organizations he supposedly controls. Dissension from inside, pressure from without. He has to keep both the international community happy since that’s where his funding comes from (and some minimal support) and the extremist factions in Palestine.

In a real sense, the terrorists in Palestine are much more dangerous to Arafat than the international community. The terrorists would be much more willing to knock him off than the US would be to give Sharon the go-ahead for the same thing. Arafat has to kowtow to the extremists a bit more than the UN.

Some of the only true allies Arafat has are the ones he buys: high-ranking police officials and his political cronies.

“but wouldn't some sort of peace discussions be preferable to more bloody showdowns?”

Not when the the Israeli “negotiators” are all bent on erasing Palestine.

Peace could work as soon as all war criminals and dictatorial crooks are pushed into total irrelevancy. The US should also let the UN try to solve the problem down there, as the US has proven itself totally impotent in doing so.

(I need more Vancouverites in my life.)
posted by raaka at 9:04 PM on February 4, 2002


Well, there's a pretty big diffrence between Isrial and South Africa, in SA, there was a majority of black people being oppressed. Isreal on the other hand has 6 million jews and just two million Palestinians.
posted by delmoi at 9:26 PM on February 4, 2002


The teaching of hate goes on in both nations

Yes, but only on one side is it institutionalized.


What evidence are you missing? The evidence of hate institutionalized in the Israeli educational system, the evidence for discrimination under the Israeli legal system, or what?

There are people with consciences on both sides who stand against the poisonous hatred (institutionalized and otherwise) that is so seductive to both nations. Yes, Israelis have a more developed culture of self-criticism, etc. And that will be the germ of a solution, I'm convinced. But you cannot blame the Palestinians—while they under the heel of brutal military occupation and arbitrary violence (that's according to observations at checkpoints, etc., by those conscience-laden Jewish Israelis I mentioned before)—if they are not ready to believe in the conscience of the Israeli people. If what you want is for that conscience to be honest and widespread, and for Palestinians to place their trust in it, then I am in agreement with you.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:29 PM on February 4, 2002


Isreal on the other hand has 6 million jews and just two million Palestinians.

So South African apartheid would have been justified if more white colonists had arrived, with a dash of heavier ethnic cleansing thrown in? That's what happened in Israel, where before the 20th century, for more than 1000 years, the Jewish population was teensy compared to the Arabs.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:32 PM on February 4, 2002


Since people seem determined to dismiss the earlier links by Postroad as "trolling" (and the man knows a troll, but this wasn't one), on the basis of ad hominem attacks on WorldNetDaily (which for all its editorial bias is fairly reliable on a factual basis), try Arafat's Strategy of Hate for TIME or Krauthammer's Arafat's Strategy, both of which explicitly link the Second Intifada to a negotiating tactic designed to destabilize the situation and force the Israelis into a more difficult level of enforcement.

True, Israel is responsible for the actions it has taken to (for example) assassinate the perpetrators and planners of bombing attacks (there is a tooth-to-tail ratio of up to 20 individuals for every suicide bomber -- these aren't holy jihadis who one day pull some sticks of TNT out of the basement and walk by themselves into downtown Jerusalem, they have tremendous logistical support). By the same token Arafat needs to be held accountable for inciting this strategy as a means to an ned.

After 9/11 the Bush administration is unwilling to give an inch on allowing terror tactics, especially state-sponsored terror, to gain legitimacy through success in attaining negoitating positions. The only acceptable position is a cessation of terror. Really, this is a good thing, because it no longer tolerates the gray interpretive area that many people right in this thread continue to exploit, where Arafat has "deniability" on all acts of terror. It alays out a simple doctrine: Arafat must be both willing and able to control terror, or Israel sees no reason to negotiate. They've been burned too many times by Arafat playing the statesman while tacitly (or privately, actively) supporting the other Palestinian factions in their more militant activities.

Sharon has taken a hard line, yes, but he has a specific aim (and it's specious to claim it's "exterminating all Palestinians" -- Israel certainly has the military might to do so if they wished): forcing the Palestinians to either unite under Arafat and give him the respect as the commander-in-chief to order an armistice, or splitting into factions that will do so separately.

I have come to the conclusion that allowing Gaza and the West Bank to split into factions could be a good thing. It's entirely possible that Israel could make separate effective peaces with segments of the Palestinians, and this would permit the Palestinian people who truly want peace to organize more effectively and create peaceful enclaves which could then trade and prosper, while the militant groups fighting to the death or trying the play the Arafat talk-while-destabilizing game will continue to lose and fall further into poverty and degradation.

This has, in many ways, been the macro strategy of the Middle East that the US has employed, with Egypt and Jordan and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia achieving specific tangible benefits from making peace or accomodation with Israel. It's essentially why Jordan renounced the West Bank and left the Palestinians there to their own devices: the Palestinian issue was not one that they would allow the King of Jordan to resolve on their behalf. Since this divorce Jordan has signed a peace treaty with Israel, normalized relations, and has improved its economy, its democratic institutions, and its standing in the world. If the Palestinians can't learn from that, I'm sorry to say, they might not for a very long time.
posted by dhartung at 10:05 PM on February 4, 2002


Dhartung, the main problem with your argument is that, while logical and sound on some levels, it really only solves problems for one people: Israelis. As such, it is inherently racist. All people have the right to self-determination, and the right to resist Military occupation, no matter what their religion or race. The strategy you put forth is one that can only bring quiet to one people, while leaving another stateless, powerless, and with an economy based only on an unwqual relationship with a client state who controls water, air, and pretty much everything that isn't nailed down.

I understand that many American Jews have familial and personal connections to Israel, and it is natural to see things through those eyes. I am not sure that I would be able to maintain objectivity when talking about my own spiritual homeland (if such a place exists). This is why security for Jews is always the paramount concern, and not the well-being, security, or hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the Palestinians. I only ask you to consider this when you think of solutions to the problem: that there are two sides here, and their rights should be equal. Anything less will never achieve a lasting peace.
posted by chaz at 10:23 PM on February 4, 2002


ParisParamus, here is a quick summary of my position in this thread: I think peace is possible, and I hope it happens. Actions which are performed merely out of anger or a desire to prove the culpability of the other side move us further from peace. Please consider that.

Your response: "... fortunately, no one with any legitimacy or influence is listening to you."

I just thought I'd repeat that. Shalom.
posted by sylloge at 10:45 PM on February 4, 2002


"That's what happened in Israel, where before the 20th century, for more than 1000 years, the Jewish population was teensy compared to the Arabs."

Goddamn, boy, you're gonna be mighty upset when the Indians decide they've had enough of you cowboys occupying their land.

Seriously, there's a parallel between the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and the takeover of America by the Europeans. Europeans came into this country and systematically slaughtered, imprisoned, disenfranchised, and screwed-over the Natives. Cast Israel in the role of the White Settler, and Palestinians in the role of the Indian, and you can see it all being acted out once again.

Thing of it is, I think most people agree that what our white forefathers did was, by today's standards, wrong.

Somehow, there are people who would have us believe that what Israel is doing is right.

There is this sort of moral relativism that's popular these days: if what one person does is less wrong than what another does, then it must be right.

Uh-uh. Doesn't work that way. Wrong is wrong is wrong. Israel is wrong. Palestine is wrong. Proportionality doesn't count: wrong is wrong.

What they need to do is make it all right. And that ain't ever going to happen: both sides are so entrenched in getting revenge and getting their way completely, that there can be no middle ground. One must annihilate the other...

...and one just hopes they don't take the rest of us out while they do it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:49 PM on February 4, 2002


"After 9/11 the Bush administration is unwilling to give an inch on allowing terror tactics, especially state-sponsored terror, to gain legitimacy through success in attaining negoitating positions."

That's why Bush has shut-down the money pipeline to Belfast, right?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:50 PM on February 4, 2002


Goddamn, boy, you're gonna be mighty upset when the Indians decide they've had enough of you cowboys occupying their land.

Ethnic cleansing is wrong in my book, no matter who does it. Yes, the USA exists because of an often brutal colonial project to create it. I hope it does not appear ungenerous of me not to want to allow Israel's post-1967 expansion in "under the wire." The Israeli colonial project has unfolded in the 20th century, and the people whose villages were destroyed and who were run off their land are in many cases still alive, refugees. We live in a world with evolving standards of international law and human rights, I hope. And Israel ought to be generous in dealing with those Palestinians who are willing to accept the internationally recognized boundaries of the State of Israel!

I'm sure you didn't really think that, because the history of Israel appalls me, I'm somehow okay with the Cherokee Removal, our government and our people's sordid history of dishonest and illegal dealings with Native Americans, fabricated excuses to go to war against them, etc.

I just wish to live in a world that is moving forward and living better. The great news for those of us who want to see peace in Israel and Palestine is that, however shell-shocked into barbarity Israelis may often get, they will ultimately prove themselves, too, to be invested in moral progress. That's my optimistic line, and I'm sticking with it. Otherwise, it's just despair, which I am definitely feeling concerning the coming years... Ultimately, the idea that East Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinian people, and that token/moral recognition is due to the refugees created by the foundation of Israel, must prevail. This isn't "pro-Palestinian" propaganda, this is trying to give the Israeli nation a modicum of faith.
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:17 AM on February 5, 2002


the blame is not equally distributed. And until that's accepted, nothing is going to change.

I just want to address this point. I know almost nothing about the Israel/Palestine situation except pop-history, the people I see killing each other on the news each day, and the propaganda spouted by the supporters of either side, which I find to be deeply inseparable. I write software, and I try to be creative, and I care deeply about the problems of this world. But I can't claim to be any kind of expert.

One thing I have learned within my career though, is that a "blame culture" kills productivity and makes the solution of problems impossible. People hide their errors and seek to highlight the errors of others, and their cosm collapses into political schisms, each bent on the destruction of the other. So within forward-looking companies, the idea of a blame-free culture arose. Doing a quick search I find this idea has been adopted by other disciplines.

Yes, I know this is a long way from the situation in Israel, but I fail to see how a culture of blame can do anything but propagate the problem. To quote one of the pages I linked, "any group of people who can't be open to each other simply won't work together effectively".
posted by walrus at 4:00 AM on February 5, 2002


This Ha'aretz article, is probably more informative about latest developments and strategies. The idea of civil disobedience, if implemented, will be Sharon's downfall. He is actively trying to make Hamas the only Palestinian voice by trying to eliminate Arafat. Hamas is easy to neutralize. A political movement is not.
Note also that as this encouraging Ed. Said article states:
Recent polls have shown that between them, Arafat and his Islamist opponents (who refer to themselves unjustly as "the resistance") get somewhere between 40 and 45 per cent popular approval. This means that a silent majority of Palestinians is neither for the Authority's misplaced trust in Oslo (or for its lawless regime of corruption and repression) nor for Hamas's violence.
A secular, peaceful and not corrupt Palestinian alternative seems to be emerging. Which should be good news for all involved.
posted by talos at 4:02 AM on February 5, 2002


I fail to see how a culture of blame can do anything but propagate the problem.

That assumes one is talking about blame for something exclusively, or primarily in the past. Here. we're talking about a continuing problem; one which has yet to be addressed. The problem has to be indentified before it can be resolved, and I think a failure to realize/identify who is most at fault makes it impossible to do something positive in the future.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:43 AM on February 5, 2002


thanks for your take, walrus. i found the linked articles extremely interesting. if only the principals of a 'blame-free' culture could be applied to politics!
posted by asok at 6:34 AM on February 5, 2002


*shakes head sadly. was fua a depperte und beschissene situation. man kann einfach nix dafua. wia sterben alle an hass, so gehts halt.*

Servus... Is this the 'hooked on phonics' version of Deutsch or the written incarnation of slang which is only ever usually spoken?

Just wondering. Note: Mein Deutsch ist noch unter aller Sau (ziemlich schlecht), aber dein Deutsch schaut ja sehr komisch aus.
posted by syzygy at 7:06 AM on February 5, 2002


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