by Uri Avnery, founder of Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Movement
Yasser Arafat is still alive. But his life is hanging on a thread.
When we visited him the last time in his bombed-out Mukata'ah compound in Ramallah, I warned him that Sharon is determined to kill him.
Everybody acquainted with Sharon knows that he never lets go. When he does not achieve his aim the first time, he tries again, and again, and again, and again. Never, ever, does he give up.
Already in besieged Beirut, at the height of the Lebanon war, Sharon was trying to put his hands on Arafat. Dozens of agents, mostly Phalanges members, were combing the western quarters in order to catch him. He evaded them, as he has evaded dozens of assassination attempts before and since, by Abu-Nidal (who was at least partly a Mossad hireling) and others.
Now Sharon believes he can achieve his aim. He needs only Bush's approval. Not necessarily a formal confirmation. A subtle hint will
suffice. Half a word. A wink.
It will be easy to implement the decision. An incident can be put in motion: soldiers enter the office in order to capture "wanted" people, somebody opens fire, Arafat will be shot "by accident".
Arafat may draw his pistol, soldiers will "have no alternative" but to return fire.
A shell may hit the office "by mistake", Arafat will be buried under the rubble. After all, in war accidents happen. A lot of accidents.
Sharon never wanted to "deport" Arafat to Gaza or any other place in this world. He wants to deport him to the next. Now this is possible.
Therefore, it is necessary to speak out bluntly and unequivocally:
The murder of Arafat, historical leader and elected president of the Palestinian people, is Morally Reprehensible. Like the murder of Rabin.
Legally, the murder of Arafat is a war crime.
PEACE-UP! // the UP! 130 // sept 25 2002