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Suha Arafat Exhumes Truth About Intifada

Widow of PLO leader says Second Intifada was premeditated

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Last month I had the very specific thrill of getting to see Yossi Klein Halevi in conversation with Leon Wieseltier at a shul on the Upper East Side. In addition to reminiscing about the days when Leon used to sneak into Jimi Hendrix concerts, the two public intellectuals talked a lot about the Middle East.

Both had their share of big insights–I highly recommend seeing them if they decide to tour–but, as some news made its way into my orbit, one comment made by Klein Halevi stuck out to me.

In walking the crowd through the recent history of Israel, Yossi Klein Halevi said that the First Intifada had birthed the phenomenon of “the guilty Israeli.” Klein Halevi didn’t expand on this much, but most likely he meant that this Israeli archetype most likely watched the Palestinian protests of the late 1980s and early 1990s and responded more sympathetically than ever to the Palestinian demands for statehood.

The very next thing Klein Halevi declared was that the syndrome of the guilty Israel had been summarily “cured” by the extremely violent Second Intifada a decade later. In other words, as their buses, cafes, and hotels were targeted in attacks, Israelis understandably no longer placed emotional priority on the Palestinian national quest (even if Israel’s long-term health ultimately relies upon it).

The Second Intifada also caused a new disconnect between Israel’s story and the world’s interpretation of it. I was three weeks into a gap year program in Israel when the violence began in September of 2000 and when I left ten bloody months later, there seemed to be nothing more certain to anyone around me than Israel’s virtue in defending itself against terrorism. But the narrative, unsurprisingly, was completely different everywhere else.

On the college campus, the Second Intifada hadn’t been an act of war unleashed upon an Israeli population whose leadership had just made a generous peace offer and been rebuffed. Instead, according to too many, the Second Intifada had been the response to Ariel Sharon’s offensive visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which had supposedly provoked a war that would last for five years and take nearly 4,000 lives.

The tactic worked. The Second Intifada lent the Palestinian cause countless symbols to massage public opinion with: disproportionate body counts, photos of civilian dead, the birth of an ugly security barrier, etc. A robust campaign to delegitimize Israel was waged, all of which started with a lie.

More than 12 years later, the lie surrounding the inciting cause of the Second Intifada has finally been put to rest. In a surreal interview with Dubai TV (translated by MEMRI), Suha Arafat, the widow of Yasser Arafat, bluntly boasted that the Second Intifada had been entirely premeditated by her late husband. Arafat told her interviewer of a meeting with her husband in Paris in 2000.

“Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him in Paris upon his return…. Camp David had failed, and he said to me, ‘You should remain in Paris.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because I am going to start an intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so.’”

The cause to be betrayed? A peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of Arab rejectionism. Quoting him, she went on:

“‘I do not want Zahwa’s [Arafat’s daughter’s] friends in the future to say that Yasser Arafat abandoned the Palestinian cause and principles. I might be martyred, but I shall bequeath our historical heritage to Zahwa and to the children of Palestine.’”

The historical heritage Arafat bequeathed instead? Violence, death, corruption, graft, Palestinian poverty, and the worst casualty of all for Palestinian nationalism, a partner that could believe in it.

Suha Arafat admits husband premeditated Intifada [JPost]

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Got it. Suha has chosen to live in Paris entirely out of devotion to the Palestinian cause.

By the way, fascinating to have two beards in one photograph.

julis123 says:

First of all most Israelis didn’t buy that excuse and if it was the true reason it is a ridiculous one. An Israeli minister is not allowed to visit the most holy spot in Judaism because the Arabs will get mad?

Second, this interview will get zero coverage in the west just like all the other facts that go against the prevailing western press conception of what “the story” is in the Arab Israeli conflict.

    timbowalker says:

    I remember the Sharon incident well. He was warned, practically begged not to make that dreadful trip. The entire world knew what kind of trouble it would cause. It was being discussed worldwide from the moment that trip was nothing more than a rumor. Find news articles from the week prior to the trip and see the truth.

PhillipNagle says:

Duh! It was only the Israel haters in the State Dept. and the liberal media who believed the silly story that the second infitada was caused by Sharon’s visit.

Wasn’t the fact that the second intifada was premeditated common knowledge? Marwan Barghouti admitted as much years ago, that Sharon’s Temple Mount visit was just an excuse for something that was going to happen anyway.

ned jacobson says:

did you hear the one about the movie trailer that caused precipitated the riot at the american compound in bengazi

Lynne T says:

““‘I do not want Zahwa’s [Arafat’s daughter’s]
friends in the future to say that Yasser Arafat abandoned the
Palestinian cause and principles. I might be martyred, but I shall
bequeath our historical heritage to Zahwa and to the children of

Yes, so that’s why daddy Yasser urged other Palestinians to give up their children to be shahhids, while Zahwa and Suha lived it up in Paris on money daddy looted from the Palestinian treasury. Real bunch of heroes, eh?

RoycePashtun says:

Looks like Suha is eating well in Paris.

    timbowalker says:

    How would you attack her if she were skinny? Call her a crackhead? Americans once hated the Indians the same way, and for much the same reasons. I’ll bet you call Palestinians “Savages”. Admit it! You know you do.

I think the key point that emerges from this is that Arafat opted for a second Intafada AFTER the farce of Camp David 2, in which the twin lame ducks, Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak attempted to get him to sign up to a deal without maps, a deal that they would not be around to deliver on and which Arafat had not had the opportunity to discuss with any of his Arab allies and paymasters. Arafat would have been shish kebab had he signed up to such a hopeless excuse for a deal. And so, being Arafat, he started thinking vaporously about armed struggle and there were plenty of Palestinians to whom that seemed to make sense. And, then, Sharon pushed the process of a disintegrating peace process just a few steps further and everything fell neatly into his lap.


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Suha Arafat Exhumes Truth About Intifada

Widow of PLO leader says Second Intifada was premeditated

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