A Palestinian student walks past a mural depicting late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City, Nov. 7, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)
Many questions were left unanswered even after the publication of the final conclusions by the Swiss researchers, who examined Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s corpse. Was the Palestinian leader poisoned by the Israelis? Did Ariel Sharon, then prime minister of Israel, give the order to assassinate him? After all, Sharon loathed Arafat and referred to him as “the dog in the Muqata.” The possibility cannot be discounted entirely, especially when considering a news conference that took place in January 2002. The Karine A arms ship that Arafat ordered had just been seized while making its way from Iran to Gaza, and at a news conference, then Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz was caught on microphone whispering to Sharon: “We have to get rid of him.”
Mofaz was one of the people who initiated the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in March 2004. Like Sharon, he wanted to get rid of Arafat, but unlike Yassin, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority was protected by then-US President George W. Bush. Sharon had promised Bush that he wouldn’t harm Arafat, and according to his office manager, attorney Dov Weisglass, he kept his promise. After all, he had no reason to break it. Arafat was holed up in the Muqata in Ramallah and had no influence. At the same time, however, it is impossible to ignore that Israel had plenty of reasons to cause Arafat’s death during the second intifada. The chairman of the Palestinian Authority was then perceived as the person pulling the strings from above during an uprising that included numerous suicide attacks against Israeli civilians in the center of the country.
Regardless, before the Arafat file is closed and a finger is pointed at Israel, there are still several questions raised by the Swiss report:
One other point that should be noted is the response of senior Palestinian Authority officials to the report’s conclusion. It would only be natural for us to hear wall-to-wall condemnations and accusations that Israel was behind a political assassination, just as Suha Arafat described it. And yet, apart from the response of Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO’s Central Committee, which called for an international investigation, the people who were really closest to Arafat haven’t yet said a word.
Considering all these open questions, the only clear conclusion that can be drawn from the Swiss forensics investigation is that the debate surrounding Arafat’s death is far from over.
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In an article that caused quite a stir, The Sunday Times (London) reported on Oct. 13 that a committee of auditors found that $2.7 billion in European assistance provided to the PA between 2008 and 2012 had been lost. The newspaper did not publish the full report, but in response to the article, the EU announced that a complete report would be forthcoming at the end of the year. The PA is yet to comment on the report, despite the seriousness of its content. It seems that the figure mentioned in the newspaper might have been exaggerated, considering that European financial assistance during the years cited does not exceed $3.5 billion.
Nevertheless, it seems that some Palestinians do not fully appreciate the EU’s political and developmental role, and thus do not approach European financial aid with sufficient diligence. The EU certainly assumes a great deal of responsibility in its modest political activities and monitoring of funds. Yet, the responsibility of the Palestinian side is much greater. It is in the Palestinians’ interest that the EU play an active role in the peace process and show diligence in investing its financial support.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.