Some date the beginning of the terrorist war against the United States to the seizure of 67 American hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran by the followers of Ayatollah Khomeni in November 1979 or to the bombing of the barracks in Beirut by Hezbollah that killed 241 Marines in October 1983.
Yasser Arafat, however, is the true father of this war. First Arafat created Black September as an offshoot of his Fatah organization. He presided over the operation resulting in the massacre of the Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich by Black September in 1972. The following year Arafat became the first Arab terrorist to target Americans.
He personally ordered the assassination of American Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Noel, Jr. and charge d’affaires Curtis Moore in Khartoum on March 2, 1973. (See my “Who murdered Cleo Noel?”) Arafat himself presided over the Khartoum operation and ordered the assassination of Noel and Moore by short wave radio from PLO headquarters in Beirut. Moore and Noel were only the first of many Americans murdered by Arafat’s terrorist thugs.
In a bizarre footnote to his assassination of American officials, Arafat became the foreign leader most frequently hosted by President Bill Clinton during his two terms in office. The many cold-blooded murders for which Arafat was responsible in the course of his life were politely passed over in silence as they remained entirely unavenged.
As the founder of Fatah and leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Arafat waged a lifelong war on the state of Israel and its Jewish citizens. Although Arafat occasionally interrupted the war against Israel with short term periods of truce or “hudna,” he never relented from his orgy of murder or ceased to pursue his lifelong goal of destroying Israel.
In November 1974, while in the middle of his murder spree, Arafat was invited to address the United Nations. He came accompanied to New York by three henchmen who had assisted or participated in the operation to assassinate Noel and Moore. He gave his speech at the General Assembly podium with a pistol and holster strapped to his hip. His many diplomatic victories were not the fruit of subtlety or grace.
Over the final four years of his life he presided over the renewed terrorist war against Israel in which he funded and personally approved the suicide bomb operations that are his true contribution to civilization — a contribution that made him a hero in European capitals from London to Berlin. In his usual style, he had set up entities to carry out the suicide bomb operations that allowed him to deny responsibility for them. Only the willfully credulous were fooled.
In the notorious tradition of the “175ers” among the Nazi leadership, Arafat led an incredibly dissolute life. It was his dissolute life that ultimately resulted in his contraction of AIDS, the disease that led to his death outside Paris yesterday. As with so many basic facts about this utterly vile human being, the truth (although baldly reported by Oriana Fallaci in the fall of 1981) remains shrouded in myth, deception and outright lies.
Late in his life Arafat took a wife for the purpose of keeping up appearances in a culture that loathes homsexuality. While his wife and political epigones fought over the billions he had stolen from his supposed beneficiaries, the scene of his death at a French military hospital outside Paris came to resemble a protracted farce befitting a second-rate Hollywood comedy. On the other hand, in an episode worthy of Kafka or Orwell, Arafat won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994.
UPDATE: See also the unofficial obituary featured on Pajama Hadin and CAMERA’s “Yasir Arafat and Terrorism” linked on Little Green Footballs.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill