Arafat's Legacy of Terror . . .

Yasser Arafat was responsible for the murder of scores of innocents.

In some of the effusive tributes following his death you may have heard little mention of the Olympic athletes killed in Munich.

Or the 21 children murdered in the Israeli town of Ma'alot in 1974. Or the hundreds of others who have been killed in Arafat's declared "uprising".

The cultivation of suicide bombers, the organisation of hijackings and car bombs, the incitement of terror and decades of corruption--this is the Arafat legacy.

With Arafat in power there was never any prospect of a peaceful settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. Only the cruel and bankrupt path of hate and violence.

Arafat, right, was a master of deception. Within weeks of his famous White House handshake with Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, he stood on a platform next to the grandmother of a suicide bomber and led an emotional rally in cries of "Jihad! Jihad! Jihad! Holy War! Holy War! Holy War!"

When a shipment of many tons of weapons and explosives from Iran was intercepted at sea, Arafat told President Bush he knew nothing about it. But the captain of the vessel, we soon learned, worked for and was instructed by Arafat.

When the effort to fashion an interim peace ended with his rejection of a generous Israeli offer at Camp David, Arafat relaunched a campaign of violence against Israeli civilians.

Indeed, the practice of suicide attacks by young men and women recruited with the promise of glorious martyrdom is what Yasser Arafat has bequeathed to a troubled world.

Arafat's death may open the way to progress in resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute, because it opens the way to a new kind of Palestinian leadership.

Now the Palestinians have a chance to earn a state of their own and to live in peace at last with Israel.

The coalition successes in Fallujah should begin to restore stability to Iraq and have a positive effect on the greater Middle East.

The Palestinians must now seize this opportunity.

Richard Perle is a resident fellow at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Richard
Perle
  • Richard Perle served as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, and a staff member to Senator Henry Jackson (D-Wash.). Mr. Perle is coauthor of An End to Evil (Random House, 2003) and author of Hard Line, a political novel. He codirected AEI's Commission on Future Defenses.
  • Email: rperle@aei.org
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Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

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Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

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