Yassar Arafat is dead. This is a tragedy only for his immediate family. For the Palestinians, trapped in a prison of hatred and poverty, this is good news. Arafat was the leading terrorist of the second half of the 20th century and the major obstacle to peace with Israel. He missed every opportunity offered to create an independent Palestine.
In 1978, 1992 and as late as 2000 their were occasions for hope - and each was sabotaged by Arafat's unwillingness to compromise even one scintilla.
The problem in the Middle East is not right-wing paranoia in Israel or a lack of creativity from the USA. The real issue is that Arafat could never univocally support Israel's right to exist as a sovereign nation side-by-side with a Palestinian state.
Few in the intelligensia want to hear the truth about Arafat's Nazi-inspired upbringing, the creation of the Palestinian "national" myth and Arafat's refusal to consider seriously living at peace with Israel.
Arafat deserves a place of torment next to Hitler, Satlin, Mao, Pol Pot, assorted Eastern European Communist leaders, and living tyrants such as Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
Arafat and his willing Arab accomplices are to blame for the seething cauldron that is Gaza and the West Bank. The truth is that most of Arab states do not want a peaceful resolution with Israel. They need an enemy such as the Jews. The Arab refugee camps are a safety valve for the radicalism that threatens there own autocracies!
I will not mourn this death. As a man of faith I can pray that Arafat realized his depravity and made peace with his Maker before he breathed his last.
I will not celebrate his death - there are too many dead Israelis and Palestinian Arabs that deserve my tears.
There is no mourning here today, but there is a flicker of hope in my geopolitical soul. After the next few weeks of infighting, we can hope for a voice of reason to emerge from the chaos and willingly sit down and negotiate in good faith.
This new voice will need a powerful shield. The moment any Arab talks real peace with Israel, the assassins are not far behind.
Let's can the rhetoric of U.N. resolutions and "Zionizt racism"(That is an oxymoron, since Israelis hail from scores of countries and ethnicities.) What we need is a statesman willing to renounce terrorism, accept Israel's rightful place and commit to a democratic Palestine. A tall order, but not impossible. The EU and USA would offer massive support and even Israel would breathe easier. More importantly, millions in poverty and hopelessness can have a future.
No mourning here - just a prayer for hope.