Thursday, November 11, 2004

Death of Arafat

CNNi is devoting non-stop coverage to the death of Yasser Arafat. They carried the French military ceremony in Paris live, and they're replaying it over and over. Their coverage includes retrospectives on his life, adoring commentary on his life-long dream of an independent Palestinian state and how sad it is that he didn't achieve it, and descriptions of his bitter rivalry with Ariel Sharon as though the two were morally equivalent.

Nothing France does in this regard is a surprise. The French Republican Guard carried his coffin and posted an honor guard, and a military band played both the Palestinian anthem and the French national anthem (that was interesting). Given their historical pandering to the Palestinians and the anti-semitism evident in France today, their reverence for Arafat could have been expected.

But I don't understand CNNi. Their biases are often painfully obvious, but this is way over the top. They know Arafat was a corrupt terrorist, and they know that the true goal of Palestinians, and most other Arab Muslims, is the complete destruction of Israel.

The truth is that Yasser Arafat was the world's worst terrorist, responsible over the years for far more death and misery than Osama bin Laden. Maybe his death, after all the mourning and honors that will be bestowed on him by people who should know better, will result in some real progress in the Middle East.

Without Arafat, perhaps leaders will emerge among the Palestinians who will make serious efforts to reach peaceful solutions. In addition to long-suffering average Palestinians and the people of Israel, this would benefit the entire world.


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