Thursday, November 04, 2004


Waiting for Arafat to Die

So Arafat is in a coma and the fact that there have been reports that he has died, though not true, probably indicate that he's not long for this world. I thought that the best sort of pre-eulogy that I read during this most recent situation was that written by Helena Cobban at Just World News - Arafat: A Palestinian Tragedy.

UPDATE: Hmm... maybe I take it back. Possibly the best (and at least in the running) is Azmi Bishara's column in Al-Ahram. In a brilliant stroke of dark humor, Bishara writes:
What really fuels Israeli hatred is that Arafat refuses to behave as expected. What applied in Camp David applies in matters of illness and death: he is supposed to confirm the predictions of the experts. After all, they have gone to great trouble to build up the expectations of the majority of the Israeli people and democracy requires that he does what the majority says. In this case the majority -- of Israelis of course -- says that Arafat is dead, or almost. In fact, I am surprised they have not yet held a referendum in Israel over Arafat's death, since it is their custom to demand a referendum over anything concerning the fate of the Palestinian people without, of course, asking the Palestinians what they think. Here's what the referendum would look like:

1) Is Arafat dead or alive?

2) If alive, does he deserve to live?

3) If dead, who should succeed him?

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