THE results from the first forensic tests to be carried out on the remains of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have confirmed the universally held belief that his death in November 2004 was caused by poisoning.
According to Swiss scientists, working on samples taken from Arafat’s corpse, these show unexpectedly high levels of radioactive polonium-210.
The expert British forensic scientist David Barclay, who has studied this report, concluded that: ‘The report contains strong evidence, in my view conclusive evidence, that there’s at least 18 times the level of polonium in Arafat’s exhumed body than there should be.’
He added that the report represented ‘a smoking gun. It’s what killed him. Now we need to find out who was holding the gun at that time.’
In fact, there is no doubt who was holding ‘the gun’, it was the Israeli government working through its murderous agents, determined to remove the founder and leader of the PLO, the man who even today acts as an inspiration to the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle for an independent state.
The Zionists, who today are loudly declaring their innocence, made absolutely no attempt to hide their desire to murder Arafat.
In 2002, the former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon publicly lamented that he had not been able to kill Arafat during the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, while on the day of his death the then Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres told the BBC it was ‘good that the world is rid of him…The sun is shining in the Middle East’.
The reason the Zionists were so pleased was that they believed that the murder of Arafat – who had been virtually imprisoned for two and a half years in his Ramallah compound, besieged and under constant attack from Israeli troops and warplanes – removed the biggest stumbling block to destroying the Palestinian struggle for a homeland.
Arafat was the founder and undisputed leader of the Palestinian people since 1959. His uncompromising stand on the rights of Palestinians to an independent homeland with Jerusalem as its capital, along with his principled insistence on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, represented a massive barrier to attempts at US-sponsored ‘peace talks’. These aimed to drive the Palestinians into the Negev desert while their land and their capital Jerusalem was handed over to Israel.
That Arafat had agreed to enter into negotiations with the Zionists through a series of meetings, notably the Oslo Accords in 1993, followed by the Camp David summit in 2000, which entailed recognition of the state of Israel and an attempt to negotiate peace with imperialism’s client state in the Middle East, undoubtedly revealed a bourgeois political weakness on Arafat’s part.
This was based on the belief that US imperialism was the sole remaining power, after the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union under Gorbachev and Yeltsin came out openly for capitulation to imperialism. Arafat believed that the US was the new Rome and he sought to show it that the Palestinians would be better allies of the US than Israel ever was.
Arafat signed his death warrant at the Camp David 2000 summit talks with the US and Israel when he would not give up the right of Palestinian refugees to return and end the claim that Jerusalem was the Palestinian capital.
From that time on he was to be a prisoner in his Ramallah headquarters awaiting the carrying out of the death sentence.
He was, and remains, a Palestinian hero and a hero of the working people of the world.
Today, the belief that a negotiated peace settlement is possible for the Palestinians is being brutally exploded with the Zionists brazenly announcing that the illegal separation wall will be the new borders for a Palestinian state and that illegal settlement will continue to be built on Palestinian land.
With Israel in the forefront of waging war against Palestine, Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, it is clear that no compromise with Zionism is possible.
Arafat’s struggle as a leader that would rather die than betray his people will live forever, and will inspire millions worldwide. There is no doubt that Arafat’s two intifadas will be followed by a third that will be embraced by the masses of the entire Middle East as their own struggle to drive Zionism and imperialism out of the region, as part of the struggle for world socialism. This is the best way to remember Arafat.