to Yasser Arafatů..
By the Israeli mother of a victim of terror
London - published on 23 November
Beyond Images Ref: 114
Summary: 15 year old Malki Roth was killed in a Palestinian
suicide bombing attack on a Jerusalem pizzeria in August
2001. In a recent newspaper article Malki Roth’s mother,
Frimet, challenges the glowing tributes being paid to the
late Yasser Arafat, and highlights the complicity of the
Arafat-led Palestinian Authority in her daughter’s
UN Secretary-General (quoted in The Independent, 12 Nov)
“… Yasser Arafat symbolised the national aspirations
of his people…”
Jacques Chirac, president of France (same)
“….Yasser Arafat was a man of courage…”
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa
“…. Yasser Arafat was the most fascinating
leader I have ever met….”
Here is an extract from the article about Arafat by
Frimet Roth which appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 12 November
“I have my own Arafat eulogy. On April 2 of this year,
amidst talk of Israel’s intention to either assassinate
or deport Yasser Arafat, the following news item appeared on
the front page of Ha’aretz. It embodies, in my opinion,
the depravity of Yasser Arafat:
“the office of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat turned recently
to senior members of the Fatah and of Palestinian security mechanisms
to instruct them to volunteer their family members as ‘human
shields’ for the chairman”.
The article, written by Amos Harel, continued: “The PA’s
intention is to provide Arafat with a permanent guard of women
and children from these families in order to obstruct possible
attempts by Israel to harm him – Palestinian women and
children will remain in the mukata even at night”.
Here was the multibillionaire who not only milked his impoverished
people of desperately needed charity dollars, but also required
them to endanger their lives to save his skin. Any respect given
to the dying or dead Arafat offends not only the memory of his
Israeli victims, but the Palestinian people themselves. In honoring
him, in accommodating his family and cronies, the world informs
the Palestinians that their suffering at Arafat’s hands
doesn’t rate; that ultimately what matters, what will
be recorded in the history books, is not the truth but the legend
It is quite possible that our hopes for a better, post-Arafat
tomorrow will be dashed. Palestinians may well conclude that
a new, young Arafat-style leader would suit the world just fine.
Those moderate Palestinians, too frightened until now to initiate
change, may see no option but to continue hiding behind their
wall of silence.
Several days after the August 2001 suicide bombing at Jerusalem’s
sbarro pizzeria, in which 19 Israelis (including my 15 year
old daughter Malki) perished, an Israeli government minister
appeared on the evening news. He disclosed that on the morning
of the attack, Israeli authorities had received concrete intelligence
about a terrorist heading on foot across town. With no clues
as to his specific whereabouts, they urgently contacted Arafat’s
office and pleaded for cooperation in locating and stopping
the would-be murderer. Arafat flat out refused any assistance,
sealing the fate of the victims.
Remember with me the Arafat of fact, not legend.
Mr Arafat’s record of violence and rejectionism
is being extensively whitewashed. Few eulogies about Arafat
carry as much force as the eulogies of those – like Frimet
Roth - most cruelly affected by the murders which Arafat inspired.
For the sake of future coexistence and peace in the region,
it is essential that the mythology of Arafat be challenged.