Why Arafat Was Poisoned – Uri Avnery Knows

Killing Arafat Sharon Killed the Peace Process – Because Only Arafat Could Bring the Palestinians to the Table.


       …by  Jim W. Dean, VT Editor        … featuring Uri Avnery


Did Palestinian Unity Die with Arafat?

I did not even consider writing anything about the sudden new interest in how Arafat died.  I knew Uri would be weighing on with his own piece.

After all, he had the chahungas to cross through the Beirut lines during the nasty first Lebanon war when the Israelis were trying to wipe out the PLA.

Personally, I would have considered in suicide and am not embarrassed to say so.

In the process they killed thousands of innocent civilians through indiscriminate fire and the ‘discriminate’ kind, also.

American media did not feel and urge to report that part of the story, but when the Sabra and Shatilla camp massacres happened, they were forced to.

I have always felt that lack of coverage on the earlier civilian killings gave the Israelis the wink and a nod that the various Western countries had their press muzzled.  

Sharon – Before the Coma

General Sharon had hunter/killer teams out looking for Arafat, and for all Uri and Arafat knew, the IDF might have been trailing Uri so they could get a ‘two fer one’ deal by bagging them both.

But the meeting took place and an arrangement was made to stop the killing and get the PLA out of Lebanon.

And of course Uri was hated by the hard core Likud faction, the heir of Zeev Jabotinsky and his original ethnic cleansing plan to create lebensraum for Europe’s Jews.

The timing of this talk of a new investigation into Arafat’s death is a mystery. Those with even the most basic feel for the Intel world know that these kinds of these are almost never spontaneous.

The first two questions are always, “Why now, and…Who stands to gain?”

Uri after his stabbing

Because Uri knew more about the man than anyone else that we know, with no close seconds, we are pleased to share his insider’s view as his connections with sources on the whole affair are much better than ours.

A week after Uri had posted the Arafat piece below, a reader contacted him to remind of an earlier one that he had done in 2002, while Arafat lay dying and it was feared that he would get ‘the treatment’.

Hospital murders had already been an Intel world staple back in those days. The link to his 2002 piece is below.

Uri is no stranger to assassination attempts. The various early Zionist factions engaged in your usual gangster tactics when wanting to show displeasure with rivals. They still do, only they have much more sophisticated means to employ, including lots of helpers standing at the ready.



Poisoning Arafat    …Uri Avnery    July 7, 2012

FOR ME, there was no surprise. From the very first day, I was convinced that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned by Ariel Sharon. I even wrote about it several times.

It was a simple logical conclusion.

First, a thorough medical examination in the French military hospital where he died did not find any cause for his sudden collapse and death. No traces of any life-threatening disease were found.

Arafat – The Clock Was Ticking for Him

The rumors distributed by the Israeli propaganda machine that Arafat had AIDS were blatant lies.

They were a continuation of the rumors spread by the same machine that he was gay – all part of the relentless demonization of the Palestinian leader, which went on daily for decades.

When there is no obvious cause of death, there must be a less obvious one.

Second, we know by now that several secret services possess poisons that leave no routinely detectable trace. These include the CIA, the Russian FSB (successor of the KGB), and the Mossad.

Third, opportunities were plentiful. Arafat’s security arrangements were decidedly lax. He would embrace perfect strangers who presented themselves as sympathizers of the Palestinian cause and often seated them next to himself at meals.

Fourth, there were plenty of people who aimed at killing him and had the means to do so. The most obvious one was our prime minister, Ariel Sharon. He had even talked about Arafat having “no insurance policy” in 2004.

WHAT WAS previously a logical probability has now become a certainty.

Al Jazeera is stirring up a new investigation

An examination of his belongings commissioned by Aljazeera TV and conducted by a highly respected Swiss scientific institute has confirmed that Arafat was poisoned with Polonium, a deadly radioactive substance that avoids detection unless one specifically looks for it.

Two years after Arafat’s death, the Russian dissident and former KGB/FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London by Russian agents using this poison.

The cause was discovered by his doctors by accident. It took him three weeks to die.

Closer to home, in Amman, Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al was almost killed in 1997 by the Mossad, on orders of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The means was a poison that kills within days after coming into contact with the skin. The assassination was bungled and the victim’s life was saved when the Mossad was compelled, after an ultimatum from King Hussein, to provide an antidote in time.

If Arafat’s widow, Suha, succeeds in getting his body exhumed from the mausoleum in the Mukata’a in Ramallah, where it has become a national symbol, the poison will undoubtedly be found in his body.

ARAFAT’S LACK of proper security arrangements always astonished me. Israeli Prime Ministers are tenfold better protected.

I remonstrated with him several times. He shrugged it off. In this respect, he was a fatalist. After his life was miraculously preserved when his airplane made a crash landing in the Libyan Desert and the people around him were killed, he was convinced that Allah was protecting him.

Though the head of a secular movement with a clear secular program, he himself was an observant Sunni Muslim, praying at the proper times and abstaining from alcohol. He did not impose his piety on his assistants.

Uri and Arafat – the Historic Beirut meeting

Once he was interviewed in my presence in Ramallah. The journalists asked him if he expected to see the creation of the Palestinian state in his lifetime.

His answer: “Both I and Uri Avnery will see it in our life.” He was quite sure of this.

ARIEL SHARON’S determination to kill Arafat was well known. Already during the siege of Beirut in Lebanon War I, it was no secret that agents were combing West Beirut for his whereabouts.

To Sharon’s great frustration, they did not find him.

Even after Oslo, when Arafat came back to Palestine, Sharon did not let up. When he became Prime Minister, my fear for Arafat’s life became acute.

When our army attacked Ramallah during “Operation Defensive Shield” they broke into Arafat’s compound (Mukata’a is Arabic for compound) and came within 10 meters of his rooms. I saw them with my own eyes.

Twice during the siege of many months my friends and I went to stay at the Mukata’a for several days to serve as a human shield. When Sharon was asked why he did not kill Arafat, he answered that the presence of Israelis there made it impossible.

However, I believe that this was only a pretext. It was the US that forbade it. The Americans feared, quite rightly, that an open assassination would cause the whole Arab and Muslim world to explode in anti-American fury.

I cannot prove it, but I am sure that Sharon was told by Washington: “On no condition are you allowed to kill him in a way that can be traced to you. If you can do it without leaving a trace, go ahead.”

Just as the US Secretary of State told Sharon in 1982 that on no condition was he allowed to attack Lebanon, unless there was a clear and internationally recognized provocation. Which was promptly provided.

In an eerie coincidence, Sharon himself was felled by a stroke soon after Arafat’s death, and has lived in a coma ever since.

A very strange art sculpture of Sharon, a la coma, put on display in Israel

THE DAY Aljazeera’s conclusions were published this week happened to be the 30th anniversary of my first meeting with Arafat, which for him was the first meeting with an Israeli.

It was at the height of the battle of Beirut. To get to him, I had to cross the lines of four belligerents – the Israeli army, the Christian Lebanese Phalange militia, the Lebanese army and the PLO forces.

I spoke with Arafat for two hours. There, in the middle of a war, when he could expect to find his death at any moment, we talked about Israeli-Palestinian peace, and even a federation of Israel and Palestine, perhaps to be joined by Jordan.

The meeting, which was announced by Arafat’s office, caused a worldwide sensation. My account of the conversation was published in several leading newspapers.

On my way home, I heard on the radio that four cabinet ministers were demanding that I be put on trial for treason. The government of Menachem Begin instructed the Attorney General to open a criminal investigation.

However, after several weeks, the AG determined that I had not broken any law. The law was duly changed soon afterwards.

IN THE many meetings I held with Arafat since then, I became totally convinced that he was an effective and trustworthy partner for peace.

I slowly began to understand how this father of the modern Palestinian liberation movement, considered an arch-terrorist by Israel and the US, became the leader of the Palestinian peace effort. Few people in history have been privileged to lead two successive revolutions in their lifetime.

When Arafat started his work, Palestine had disappeared from the map and from world consciousness. By using the “armed struggle” (alias “terrorism”)’ he succeeded in putting Palestine back on the world’s agenda.

Uri and Arafat – When the whiff of peace was in the air

His change of orientation occurred right after the 1973 war. That war, it will be remembered, started with stunning Arab successes and ended with a rout of the Egyptian and Syrian armies.

Arafat, an engineer by profession, drew the logical conclusion: if the Arabs could not win an armed confrontation even in such ideal circumstances, other means had to be found.

His decision to start peace negotiations with Israel went totally against the grain of the Palestinian National Movement, which considered Israel as a foreign invader.

It took Arafat a full 15 years to convince his own people to accept his line, using all his wiles, tactical deftness and powers of persuasion.

In the 1988 meeting of the Palestinian parliament-in-exile, the National Council, his concept was adopted: a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel in part of the country.

This state, with its capital in East Jerusalem and its borders based on the Green Line has been, since then, the fixed and unchangeable goal; the legacy of Arafat to his successors.

Not by accident, my contacts with Arafat, first indirectly through his assistants and then directly, started at the same time: 1974. I helped him to establish contact with the Israeli leadership, and especially with Yitzhak Rabin.

This led to the 1993 Oslo agreement – which was killed by the assassination of Rabin.

Arafat and Uri – The Mideast Odd Couple

When asked if he had an Israeli friend,Arafat named me. This was based on his belief that I had risked my life when I went to see him in Beirut.

On my part, I was grateful for his trust in me when he met me there, at a time when hundreds of Sharon’s agents were looking for him.

But beyond personal considerations, Arafat was the man who was able to make peace with Israel, willing to do so, and – more important – to get his people, including the Islamists, to accept it.

This would have put an end to the settlement enterprise.

That’s why he was poisoned.                         Editing: Jim W. Dean

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10 Responses to "Why Arafat Was Poisoned – Uri Avnery Knows"

  1. Jim W. Dean  July 11, 2012 at 10:50 am

    This is just a guess, as someone his age and health is a high stroke risk. But they are also very easy to knock off with a stroke. If so, this one was fumbled.

    But I think there were a lot of Israelis who were tired of him, or he might have been caught planning a bad thing…where they also punish with permanent retirement where a trial for bad conduct would be embarrassing.

    Actually I had just assumed that he had passed away, and was surprised to learn he had hung on all of this time. Maybe he knows the fires that await him.

  2. JS  July 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I would be more interested to know who put Sharon into his coma, and who benefits from it. As bad as he was, things just got worse after.

  3. DaveE  July 11, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Even his own “people” proudly call Sharon “The Butcher of Beirut.” I hope he’s fully conscious and in indescribable pain.

  4. Jim W. Dean  July 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Amen, Few have earned it more than Sharon.

  5. Jim W. Dean  July 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    “Why wasn’t Arafat’s body IMMEDIATELY analyzed?”

    His wife would not permit. And I suspect a deal. Arafat had stolen millions from his people, and the new guys were glad to see him go as it was there turn. I only saw bits of this go down in real time but one thing that hit me like a bullet is they quickly got her out of there with all the dough, and she seemed quick to take it.

    I suspect part of the deal was no investigation as that would have overshadowed the new people and they ALWAYS want the full spotlight. So I don’t think it is a given to assume that she will go along with one know.

    What would she have to gain now versus losing if it came out that she was hushed up for cash (for her family of course)? The Pal Authority would have pensioned her and the kids out anyway, and rich Palestinians, all over the world, could have covered any gaps.

    But she may have been glad to get out of there. She had plenty of time to prepare, and discuss things with him about what to do, especially in his line of work with a target hanging on him.

  6. Charlotte NC Bill  July 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    While in his coma, I believe, Sharon is being shown his spot in Hell which he’ll occupy minutes after his biological death.

  7. Sami Jamil Jadallah  July 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Not to worry, Israel never paid and will never pay for any of its crimes or murder committed… whether the victims as Palestinians, Arabs, and Europeans even Americans.

    No need to recount the murders committed by Israel, whether it is Count Bernadotte or US sailors on USS Liberty, or the countless Palestinians assassinated by Israel. Arafat is only a number. If I were to make a bet, I will say, no one will pay for his murder.

    Though I never liked this man or his policies and think of his as a fraud and a lie, a man who served Israel more than any one after Lord Balfour, I think the way his murder was handle should put his wife, his nephew and his family to shame. All the shame falls on his family, Fatah and its senior members, the PLO for all of them failed to open and demand a “Coroner Board of Inquiry” into his death and sat on their brains all these long 8 years.

    One can understand Israel’s desire to kill Arafat, but Israel needed a conduit and the conduit are the traitors within Arafat inner circle… they made it possible to poison him. Fatah and Hamas are notorious for having traitors within their ranks going all the way to the top. It is these traitors that facilitated the death of Arafat and facilitated the death of Sheik Yassin, Rantisi and the Engineer.

    It seems every one in Ramallah including his family were in a hurry to look for and locate the billions he stashed away in Swiss Banks and invested in corporations in names that only he knew… and some of these names are well known but there was never an accounting of how he spent the billions… No one asked specially members of the Palestinian National Council, all of these were just too happy to have Arafat give them rewards in the millions for their loyalty to him…

    Sad to say, almost all senior members of the PLO and Fatah are multi-millionaires and multi millionaires are born every day in Ramallah. Shame on the people for putting up with such leadership for so long.

    While Israel opened a full fledged investigations into the massacre in Sabra and Shatilla resulting in the resignation of Sharon as defense minister and later the resignation of Begin, Arafat and the PLO never opened any investigation into the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla or Tal-Zaater or into the many assassinations within the PLO and Fatah. So what happened to Arafat was expected. This leadership is an insult to all Palestinians.

    Arafat gave Israel Oslo and Oslo was what Israel wanted… a full open and unconditional recognition of Israel, gave Israel 58% of the Occupied Territories and Jerusalem, with the PLO/Fatah managing the Jewish Occupation and paying for it… Israel never needed or wanted peace… all it asked for is a collaborative Palestinian leadership that gives the “peace process” permanency and a leadership that have a stake personal and financial in the continued Occupation and Arafat gave it all that.. His job was done…

  8. DaveE  July 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Israel being brought to justice depends on whether they can keep the “we’re ALWAYS the victim” scam going, in their (alleged) minds as well as ours. Hopefully, they’re running out of tricks.

  9. ricohands  July 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    For once we may see some justice done and “Israel” being held accountable.

  10. Eileen Fleming  July 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    When Arafat died ALL of my Palestinian friends in oPT told me they already believed he was poisoned, so WHY has this taken so long to hit the fan?

    Why wasn’t Arafat’s body IMMEDIATELY analyzed?

    And BTW, during my March 2006 trip to occupied Palestine, I met with four newly elected Hamas members– but I still haven’t met any Palestinian terrorists and I have been throughout oPt 7 times since 2005!

    Two had been elected to the Palestinian Parliament/PLC and two to the Municipality/local government. PLC Representative, Anwer M. Zboun, lives in the Abiet refugee camp and has a Masters Degree in Physics.

    Zboun began with a smile and told me, “We welcome you to our home and the Holy City of Bethlehem. We are suppose to be terrorists, are you afraid?

    I was NOT!

    He continued, “We are a Palestinian resistance movement and we are not against any people. We are against the occupation. We want to rebuild what the occupation has destroyed. Hamas was born from the suffering of the Palestinian people and we belong to the global Muslim movement. It was on December 14, 1987 after an Israeli driver killed nine Palestinians that the first Intifada [uprising] began and the Islamic Resistance movement in Palestine was renamed Hamas.

    “Hamas is a national liberation movement based on Sharia; Islamic Laws and Orders. Hamas is not against any religion. We are not a terrorist movement, but we resist the occupation. Christians voted for us for many reasons and they know we are faithful to this cause: that God knows better than we ourselves know what is for our benefit. We do not force anyone to believe as we do. The public and private schools both teach Islam and Christianity.

    “In November 1988 Arafat issued a birth certificate for the Palestinian State and under religion he stated: ‘None.’ This is because we are a secular state. As Muslims and Christians we live together peacefully and our attitude is citizenship is for everyone. Everybody should have freedom of belief, traditions and a personal life. Hamas does not propose anything that contradicts Christianity.

    “Our slogan is: Remove Suffering for everyone. The issue of Israel is about the occupation. We have no problems with religious beliefs; our problem is that Israel is illegally occupying our land. Since March 2005, we have honored a unilateral cease-fire. But Israel martyred 200 Palestinians, injured 1,200 and has detained 3,500. Many are under the age of sixteen. In the last two weeks Israel has killed twenty-five Palestinian and yet we have maintained the cease-fire. Israel does not recognize us and recognition takes both sides.

    “Abbas has stated that we do recognize Israel, but there must be clear borders and Israel does not yet have them. The PA recognized Israel ten years ago but we Palestinians are detained in an open air prison. We resist the occupation, which is our right guaranteed under International Law. International Law demands Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders, release the prisoners, and stop the assassinations, illegal wall and home demolitions.

    “Hamas defines terrorism as a violation of the rights of others and their property. Bush defined terrorism as evil. We are weak with resources and our voice is not heard in the West, only the voice of America and Israel gets press. America asked us to hold democratic elections and we did. We thank everyone who was involved in our transparent and democratic elections. We did what the USA asked and now they are punishing our people. Democracies are supposed to respect and not intervene in what others want.

    “We had democratic and transparent elections and how are we rewarded? By the EU and the USA who have cut funds to the poorest of people who live under occupation. Hamas suggested that the International community monitor all the financial aid to assure that it went to the people and not to Hamas. We offered this suggestion to the world and we have been ignored.

    “So now we look to the Arab and Muslim world to strengthen our local infrastructure and economy and hope to bring back investors. We know there are people in Europe and America who will not allow us to go hungry. We believe aid and support are in Gods hands and not governments.”-excerpted from “Memoirs of a Nice Irish-American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory” by Eileen Fleming

    I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of ALL of my messages.

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