This just in: Arafat wasn’t poisoned

Since Yasser Arafat died in 2004, I doubt there are many Power Line readers who have harbored the suspicion that he died of poisoning inflicted on him by Israel. I thought at the time that he had died of AIDS and the proposition goes beyond rumors, as indicated in this 2007 Israel National News round-up.

Times of Israel editor David Horovitz nevertheless warns that “we’re going to hear for weeks about how Israel killed Arafat from Arab conspiracy theorists” now that the process of dismantling his grave ahead of his exhumation has begun. David therefore writes: “This is SO important! Our scoop, from an inside French doctor.” The Times of Israel reports: “‘Absolutely no way’ Arafat was poisoned, says top doctor who teaches at Paris hospital where Palestinian leader died.”

On a related note, in 2008 I wrote about Arafat’s manipulation of the media in a medical context for the Weekly Standard article “He didn’t give at the office.” Arafat staged a production designed to support the story that he was contributing his blood to the United States following 9/11 (and the bad publicity Arafatistan received in the United States when we saw its subjects celebrating the attack).

The good news is that the story was blatantly false. The bad news is that the media bought it. In any event, his malign spirit lives on.