Friday, November 12, 2004

Arafat's Legacy

Gary Kamiya has written a thoughtful, intelligent, nuanced article for Salon on Yasser Arafat's place in history. It's worth sitting through the Day Pass ad if you don't have a subscription to Salon Premium to read this piece. Arafat was not someone who can be shrugged off or dismissed as an evil terrorist who accomplished nothing positive. To Israel, he undoubtedly is that; but to the Palestinian people he is something of a contemporary Moses, leading his people to the Promised Land (and like Moses, dying without entering the Promised Land himself). Kamiya puts it so very well: Arafat was a mixed bag as a human being and as a leader, but "his central achievement is undeniable: He kept alive the idea that a Palestinian people existed."

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