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"the Death of Yasser Arafat in November 2004 Has Provided a Window of Opportunity for Peace" to What Extent Do You Agree with This Statement?

Autor:   •  February 21, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,102 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,460 Views

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Some people would agree with this statement because they believe he didn’t truly believe in peace between the Arabs and Israelis.

Firstly, he used to be head and cofounder of the terrorist group Fatah. He was also head of the PLO in the 1960s. Because of the PLO’s violence, he was driven out of Jordan and Lebanon. In the 1980s he was exiled in Lybia. He became a refugee and turned to freedom fighters in Lebanon. He was carrying out violence and even people from his own religion didn’t want him in their country. Even though later, he did agree to peace, he still had a history of violence and terrorism so some people could never believe he truly had left all that behind him. At a UN meeting he declared “Today, I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Don’t let the olive branch fall from my hand.” This implied if there wasn’t peace he would turn back to violence which meant he was not trustworthy. For example, he didn’t object to some of the actions of the PFLP. At points in his life, even after peace agreements, neither the Israeli government, nor the Bush administration would talk to him. He was referred to by Alan Bock as a possible “Major obstacle to negotiations.”

One of the incidents in Arafat’s time as a terrorist was Karameh. In 1968, Fatah terrorists killed Israeli children by bombing a school bus. This led the Israelis to send 1500 troops to Karameh to kill the terrorists (and possibly Arafat) but ended up losing the battle. This was a clear example of the sorts of things that happened when Arafat was a terrorist, that still go on today, interrupting the peace process.

Secondly, he was pressured into doing a lot of the agreeing. The USA wanted peace in the Middle East, and would have done a lot of persuading to try to get both sides to go through with it. Arafat clearly wanted to please America, so went along with it but we don’t really know what he actually wanted. He was forced into talks with America about peace. A picture we have shows Yasser Arafat’s tea towel spots being painted over suggesting that underneath, he was still the same extremist he used to be.

Furthermore, because some people didn’t think he was prepared to make total peace, they might think his successor would. Mahmoud Abbas was elected and promised to curb violence. He stated that “The use of arms has been damaging and should end.” This implied that he didn’t want violence to happen at all, and he didn’t have a past of violence either.

However, other people would disagree with this statement because there are so many other factors which affect the peace process, that it did not all depend on Yasser Arafat.

The peace agreements never held. Today, there is fighting in the Middle East and constant acts


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