The Therapy Sessions
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The death that brings hope
It is a sad but fitting coda to Yasir Arafat's career that the prospect of his death seemed to unlock more hope and possibilities than the reality of his life.
His corrupt, self-interested rule had created a situation whereby Palestinian aspirations seemed to have gotten locked away with him, under house arrest in Ramallah, well beyond the reach of creative diplomacy. Only human biology could liberate them again - and so it has.
In the early 1990's, I sided with those Israelis who, though no fans of Arafat, were ready to deal with him at Oslo in the name of normalcy for both Israelis and Palestinians. But once it became clear, after the collapse of the Camp David talks, that no deal was possible with Arafat, I wished for his speedy disappearance. He was a bad man, not simply for the way he introduced a whole new level of terrorism to world politics, but because of the crimes he committed against his own people. There, history will judge him very harshly.
Sheesh. Even Thomas Friedman has Yassir Arafat figured out.