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Condition for Arafat ouster (I can kill for the cause, why can t I tell lies for the same cause?)
Arab News ^ | 7-1-02 | Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid

Posted on 07/01/2002 6:08:51 AM PDT by SJackson

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is reported to have said when asked if he had ever told a lie, "If I can kill for the cause, why can’t I tell lies for the same cause?"

His relations with other Arab leaders have been complicated because of the ease with which he has lied for his cause, as those who have been dealing with him for a long time know very well. An Arab leader told me once that he never talked with Arafat except in the presence of a second man. The Arab leader took this precaution so that Arafat might not later claim to have said things which were in fact never said.

His relations with foreign leaders are even more complicated because of his lies. US President George W Bush was shocked 10 times in a week because of the wide gap between Arafat’s words and acts. The last one was Arafat’s letter to the US president telling him that he supported a halt to Palestinian violence, including the suicide operations. He also submitted to the president a plan for reforms, which included all the changes demanded by the US — such as the setting up of a democratic government, additional reforms and a perfect transparency in financial matters.

A few days after that, the Israelis supplied Bush with evidence of Arafat’s having paid s $20,000 to the Ezzeddine Al-Qassam Brigade which has reportedly claimed responsibility for some suicide bombings. The revelation shocked the president and made him add the condition of Arafat’s ouster to his vision for an independent Palestine state.

Let us compare Arafat with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who announced last week in Kuala Lumpur his plan to step down from his post despite protests from his colleagues and followers. Successful and popular, Mahathir is considered the father of the modern Malaysian state.

At the same time, Arafat’s colleagues criticized Bush’s demand for the resignation of their leader. They know that Arafat will never surrender his chair for the sake of founding a state, even as a strategic move, because he believes that he is the father of the Palestinian revolution.

On the night that Bush revealed his plan, only the most naive people believed that Arafat would surprise Bush by resigning immediately. The whole Arab world knows that he will never resign. Perhaps Bush knew how Arafat would react while the Israelis are most likely to use the ouster clause as an excuse to block any progress in the peace efforts.

Several Arabs demanded that the Palestinian leader step down long before Bush announced his vision. The demand came from various quarters, first on the heels of the Iraqi defeat in 1991. But he did not comply. Some people expected the end of his leadership with the Madrid Accord. Again they were disappointed. The world feared that the crash of his plane in the Libyan Desert had brought an end to his life. He emerged, however, unharmed from the accident.

Now nobody talks about his exit from the political arena because nobody believes he will ever leave it. I believe Bush will have to forget this condition as it is far more difficult than getting Bin Laden’s head. Let us, therefore, forget about Arafat and talk about the foundation of the state that may become an achievement for Bush.

Let me propose a reversal in the conditions. Instead of making Arafat’s ouster a condition for the founding of a Palestinian state, let us demand the founding of the state as a condition for Arafat’s ouster.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
"If I can kill for the cause, why can’t I tell lies for the same cause?"

A great quote I've never heard before.

1 posted on 07/01/2002 6:08:51 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
"If I can kill for the cause, why can’t I tell lies for the same cause?"

According to Barak, lying is a natural and expected phenomenon in arab culture.

2 posted on 07/01/2002 6:10:42 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: SJackson
>>>Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is reported to have said when asked if he had ever told a lie, "If I can kill for the cause, why can’t I tell lies for the same cause?"

Was anyone ever fooled? Arafat has always been a liar and a killer and a smelly little maggot.

3 posted on 07/01/2002 6:24:52 AM PDT by Reagan Man
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They (Arabs) are products of a culture in which to tell a lie...creates no dissonance. They don't suffer from the problem of telling lies that exists in Judeo-Christian culture. Truth is seen as an irrelevant category. There is only that which serves your purpose and that which doesn't. They see themselves as emissaries of a national movement for whom everything is permissible. There is no such thing as "the truth."
Speaking of Arab society, Barak recalls: "The deputy director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation once told me that there are societies in which lie detector tests don't work, societies in which lies do not create cognitive dissonance [on which the tests are based]."
From Ehud Barak interview: s/15501
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4 posted on 07/01/2002 6:27:26 AM PDT by dennisw
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