Thursday, November 11, 2004

Yasser Arafat is dead

While I will not be joining the cheers of joy from certain odious parts of the blogosphere who spend their lives wishing for other people's deaths, I will not greatly mourn his passing either. Arafat was a terrorist, whose brief period as a statesman descended into corruption and thuggery. While he was the Palestinians' greatest hope for a peaceful settlement, he was also its greatest obstacle as well - but thanks to Israel's assassination program, more or less its only option. What worries me is that his death will allow Israel to push forward with its plans to balkanise Palestine into isolated bantustans run by co-operative thugs tasked with oppressing their people to "ensure Israeli security".

And in glass half full mode, Arafat's death calls the Israelis' bluff. They've been claiming that Arafat was the only obstacle to peace; now with him gone, they have to deliver. If they find another excuse to continue the occupation, then it will be utterly clear where the bad faith lies.