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November 13, 2014 6:07 pm

Guardian Suggests Yasser Arafat Abandoned Terrorism After 1990; Here Are the Facts

avatar by Adam Levick

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Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat. Photo: Wiki Commons.

A nearly 5,000 word haliographic profile of Yasser Arafat by  and  in the Guardian characteristically obfuscated the decades-long record of planning and carrying out terror attacks against innocent Israelis by the late Palestinian leader and groups under his control.

Here’s the key passage in the Guardian’s ‘long-read’ (Yasser Arafat: Why he still matters, Nov. 13) concerning the man known to some as the “father of modern terrorism.”

Without armed struggle the Palestinian awakening heralded by Fatah was unlikely to have occurred, yet Arafat and his colleagues knew both the value and limits of force. They were aware of the need to modulate or discard force entirely when necessaryTheir political programme developed accordingly, from an emphasis on armed action as the sole means of struggle in 1968 to its eventual disappearance from the PLO’s political programme altogether after 1990.

However, the fact is that, though in 1988 he claimed to accept Israel’s right to exist and in 1993 shook hands with Yitzchak Rabin (inaugurating the Oslo Accords), Arafat continued to encourage and provide financial support to “groups directly under his command, such as the Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.”

The West largely took him at his word – his English word, that is. But, in Arabic, Arafat promised to continue using terrorism to “eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state.”

Whilst the wording in the final sentence of the Guardian article (cited above), regarding the PLO abandoning terror, is a touch ambiguous (and the writers note, later in the essay, that some “accused him instigating or turning a blind eye to violence” during the Second Intifada), for those under any illusions regarding Arafat’s post-1990 record, here’s some background on his continuous support for jihad.

Here, per a report by CAMERA, are some of the terror attacks since September 2000 perpetrated by groups under Arafat’s command:

  • May 29, 2001: Gilad Zar, an Itamar resident, was shot dead in a terrorist ambush by Fatah Tanzim.
  • May 29, 2001: Sara Blaustein, 53, and Esther Alvan, 20, of Efrat, were killed in a drive-by shooting south of Jerusalem. The Fatah Tanzim claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • June 18, 2001: Doron Zisserman, 38, shot and killed in his car by Fatah sniper fire.
  • Aug 26, 2001: Dov Rosman, 58, killed in a shooting attack by a Fatah terrorist.
  • Sept 6, 2001: Erez Merhavi, 23, killed in a Fatah Tanzim ambush shooting near Hadera while driving to a wedding.
  • Sept 20, 2001: Sarit Amrani, 26, killed by Fatah terrorist snipers as she was traveling in a car with her husband and three children.
  • Oct 4, 2001: 3 killed, 13 wounded, when a Fatah terrorist, dressed as an Israeli paratrooper, opened fire on Israeli civilians waiting at the central bus station in Afula.
  • Nov 27, 2001 – 2 killed, 50 injured when two Palestinian terrorists opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles on a crowd of people near the central bus station in Afula. Fatah and the Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility.
  • Nov 29, 2001: 3 killed and 9 wounded in a suicide bombing on an Egged 823 bus en route from Nazereth to Tel Aviv near the city of Hadera. The Islamic Jihad and Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Dec 12, 2001 – 11 killed and 30 wounded when three terrorists attacked a bus and several passenger cars with a roadside bomb, anti-tank grenades, and light arms fire near the entrance to Emmanuel in Samaria. Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Jan 15, 2002: Avi Boaz, 71, an American citizen, was kidnapped at a PA security checkpoint in Beit Jala. His bullet-riddled body was found in a car near Bethlehem. The Fatah’s Al-Aksa Brigade claimed responsibility for the murder.
  • – Jan 15, 2002: Yoela Chen, 45, was shot dead by an Al Aqsa Brigade terrorist
  • Jan 17, 2002: 6 killed, 35 wounded when a Fatah terrorist burst into a bat mitzvah reception in a banquet hall in Hadera opening fire with an M-16 assault rifle.
  • Jan 22, 2002: 2 killed, 40 injured when a Fatah terrorist opened fire with an M-16 assault rifle near a bus stop in downtown Jerusalem.
  • Jan. 27, 2002: One person was killed and more than 150 were wounded by a female Fatah suicide bomber in the center of Jerusalem.
  • Feb 6, 2002 – A mother and her 11-year-old daughter were murdered in their home by a Palestinian terrorist disguised in an IDF uniform. Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility.
  • Feb 22, 2002: Valery Ahmir, 59, was killed by terrorists in a Fatah drive-by shooting north of Jerusalem as he returned home from work.
  • Feb 25, 2002: Avraham Fish, 65, and Aharon Gorov, 46, were killed in a Fatah terrorist shooting attack south of Bethlehem. Fish’s daughter, 9 months pregnant, was seriously injured but delivered a baby girl.
  • Feb 25, 2002: Police officer 1st Sgt. Galit Arbiv, 21, died after being fatally shot when a Fatah terrorist opened fire at a bus stop in the Neve Ya’akov residential neighborhood in northern Jerusalem. Eight others were injured.
  • Feb 27, 2002: Gad Rejwan, 34, of Jerusalem, was shot and killed by one of his Palestinian employees in a factory north of Jerusalem. Two Fatah groups issued a joint statement taking responsibility for the murder.
  • March 2, 2002: A suicide bombing by Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem killed 11 people and injured more than 50.
  • Mar 5, 2002: 3 were killed and over 30 people were wounded in Tel-Aviv when a Fatah terrorist opened fire on two adjacent restaurants shortly after 2:00 AM.
  • Mar 5, 2002: Devorah Friedman, 45, of Efrat, was killed and her husband injured in a Fatah shooting attack on the Bethlehem bypass “tunnel road,” south of Jerusalem.
  • Mar 9, 2002: Avia Malka, 9 months, and Israel Yihye, 27, were killed and about 50 people were injured when two Fatah terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at cars and pedestrians in the coastal city of Netanya on a Saturday evening, close to the city’s boardwalk and hotels.
  • March 21, 2002: An Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade suicide bomber exploded himself in a crowd of shoppers in Jerusalem, killing 3 and injuring 86.
  • March 29, 2002: 2 killed and 28 injured when a female Fatah suicide bomber blew herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket.
  • March 30, 2002: One killed and 30 injured in an Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.
  • April 12, 2002: 6  killed and 104 wounded when a female Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade suicide bomber blew herself up at a bus stop on Jaffa road at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda open-air market.
  • May 27, 2002: Ruth Peled, 56, of Herzliya and her infant granddaughter, aged 14 months, were killed and 37 people were injured when a Fatah suicide bomber detonated himself near an ice cream parlor outside a shopping mall in Petah Tikva.
  • May 28, 2002 – Albert Maloul, 50, of Jerusalem, was killed when shots were fired by Fatah terrorists at the car in which he was traveling south on the Ramallah bypass road.
  • May 28, 2002 – Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorists killed Netanel Riachi, 17,  Gilad Stiglitz, 14, and Avraham Siton, 17,  three yeshiva high school students playing basketball.
  • – June 19, 2002: 7 people were killed and 37 injured when a Fatah suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded bus stop and hitchhiking post in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem.
  • June 20, 2002: Rachel Shabo, 40, and three of her sons – Neria, 16, Zvika, 12, and Avishai, 5 – as well as a neighbor, Yosef Twito, 31, who came to their aid, were murdered when a terrorist entered their home in Itamar, south of Nablus, and opened fire. The PFLP and the Fatah Al Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • July 25, 2002: Rabbi Elimelech Shapira, 43, was killed in a Fatah shooting attack near the West Bank community of Alei Zahav.
  • July 26, 2002: St.-Sgt. Elazar Lebovitch, 21, of Hebron; Rabbi Yosef Dikstein, 45, of Psagot, his wife Hannah, 42, and their 9-year-old son Shuv’el Zion were killed in a Fatah Al Aqsa Brigade shooting attack south of Hebron. Two other of their children were injured.
  • July 30, 2002: Shlomo Odesser, 60, and his brother Mordechai, 52, both of Tapuach in Samaria, were shot and killed when their truck came under Fatah fire in the West Bank village of Jama’in.
  • Aug 4, 2002: 2 killed and 17 wounded when a Fatah terrorist opened fire with a pistol near the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • Aug 5, 2002: Avi Wolanski (29) and his wife Avital (27), of Eli, were killed and one of their children, aged 3, was injured when terrorists opened fire on their car as they were traveling on the Ramallah-Nablus road in Samaria. A splinter group associated with Arafat’s Fatah movement claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Aug 10, 2002: Yafit Herenstein, 31, of Moshav Mechora in the Jordan Valley, was killed and her husband, Arno, seriously wounded when a Fatah terrorist infiltrated the moshav and opened fire outside their home.
  • Sept 18, 2002: Yosef Ajami, 36, was killed when Fatah  terrorists opened fire on his car near Mevo Dotan, north of Jenin in the West Bank.
  • Oct 29, 2002: Three people, including 2 fourteen year olds, were shot to death by a Fatah terrorist.
  • Nov 10, 2002: Revital Ohayon, 34, and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4, as well as Yitzhak Dori, 44 – all of Kibbutz Metzer – and Tirza Damari, 42,  were killed when a Fatah terrorist infiltrated the kibbutz, located east of Hadera near the Green Line, and opened fire.
  • Nov 28, 2002: 5 killed and 40 wounded when two Fatah terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at the Likud polling station in Beit She’an, near the central bus station, where party members were casting their votes in the Likud primary.
  • Apr 24, 2003 – 1 was killed and 13 were wounded in a suicide bombing outside the train station in Kfar Sava. Groups related to the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the PFLP claimed joint responsibility for the attack.
  • May 5, 2003 – Gideon Lichterman, 27, was killed and two other passengers, his six-year-old daughter Moriah and a reserve soldier, were seriously wounded when Fatah terrorists fired shots at their vehicle in Samaria.
  • May 19, 2003: 3 were killed and 70 were wounded in a suicide bombing at the entrance to the Amakim Mall in Afula. The Islamic Jihad and the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades both claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Aug 29, 2003: Shalom Har-Melekh, 25, was killed in a Fatah shooting attack while driving northeast of Ramallah. His wife, Limor, who was seven months pregnant, sustained moderate injuries, and gave birth to a baby girl by Caesarean section.
  • Jan 29, 2004: 11 people were killed and over 50 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus no. 19 at the corner of Gaza and Arlozorov streets in Jerusalem. Both the Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Mar 14, 2004: 10 were killed and 16 wounded in a double suicide bombing at Ashdod Port. Hamas and Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • May 2, 2004: Tali Hatuel, 34, and her daughters – Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Merav, 2 – of Katif in the Gaza Strip were killed when two terrorists fired on an Israeli car at the entrance to the Gaza settlement bloc of Gush Katif. Fatah and Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility for the attack.

The Guardian piece ends by predicting that future Palestinian leaders will likely not be in “Arafat’s mould.”

Terror victims and their families – and anyone for that matter genuinely seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict – can of course only hope and pray that this is true.

Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

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  • Julian Clovelley

    There is a little more – any reader can do this – go to the Guardian’s search engine on their main page and put in a relevant term.

    for “antsemitism” I got ten pages of article listings immediately, 100 articles going back ten years. I also saw listed one million four hundred thousand references.

    for “Holocaust” I received the listing of 100 articles and two million seven hundred and thirty thousand references

    The suggestion that the Guardian’s selection of articles is one sided against the Jewish community is utterly ridiculous

    the page i used was the Australian edition home page – you can do this for any of the Guardians editions

    Go on Adam, I dare you – read them all. you might learn something

  • Julian Clovelley

    Levick’s constant attacks on the Guardian seem sourced in an almost complete inability to understand what the Guardian as a newspaper is, and has been for much of its existence. It is a Newspaper that crosses the boundary into being a magazine

    As such it publishes articles from people of varying viewpoints, including Levick himself. So if we apply Levick’s ridiculous criteria for what constitutes the “Guardian view” he is part of it himself. They printed his words.

    The trouble is Adam, when you criticise an article PUBLISHED by the Guardian you treat it as a viewpoint being expressed by the paper itself. It isn’t – You are confusing the message with the messenger, the author with the publisher.

    Almost all essays published in the Guardian – unless there are serious potential problems of defamation – are the headers of an open forum. You – and anyone else – can contribute to the discussion column. To give an idea of how open that forum is, I have had only a couple of poste ever moderated by the Guardian – and on each occassion it has been because I have replied to a post I found offensive, and the entire thread has been removed including the original post. This actually includes opposition to a couple of comments I found antisemitic in character and intent. I was censored by an Algemeiner editor only yesterday – not the first time either. But hey it’s their newspaper – I’ll get over it…

    Much like Algemenier, the Guardian gives you background notes as to the identity of the article’s author. Your stance seems to be, Adam, that the articles themselves should not be published at all. On that basis one would question the publication of statements made by, for example, an advisor to the PA president, in Algemeiner. I think they were right to publish them. The public has a right to know what is said.

    I am going to be blunt here. Mr Levick comes across as resolutely pressing a Zionist agenda, that includes the long term and possibly permanent existence, of both the Settlements in the West Bank, and the Occupation – now reaching an age of nearly fifty years – two whole generations of Palestinians born after the beginning of this Occupation and Settlement epoch. The Occupation is three times longer in duration than any even proposed by the disastrous Treaty of Versailles.

    My impression is that Mr Levick treats publication of any view on the Middle East situation as a threat to his chosen agenda. Hence the constant demonisation of a highly respected and influential independent voice, one which, as I said, by his own apparent definition (which I do not accept) he is a part of

    Whats the matter Adam? Are you running scared in relation to publishing your criticisms where they belong – in the Guardian’s comment columns and in articles published (again) in sections such as “Comment is Free” for fear your arguments will be ripped to shreds by hundreds of independent readers?

    I’ll leave it there. Your attempts to censor what you do not agree with, and what does not fit your personal choice of a Zionist agenda, only further bring that expansionist agenda into disrepute. I suggest you concentrate more on the media to which the viewer and readership has NO right of reply until you comprehend better what a free press is – and how an intelligent reader collates information from a variety of sources

    I don’t agree with individual items that I see in this newspaper. But I read it, and consider what its writers say, including you. I do the same with the Guardian and with many other sources. That is what an intelligent person does to become well informed

    Try it – and if you don’t like an article you read comment in the columns of the same publication instead of slagging off about one newspaper in another. I have never seen Algemenier demonised in the Guardian!

  • I don’t belived arafat this arafat that human puzle education is killing them educated persons no comon sense it is a shame who are they fooling.let arafat say to it oohh bad luck the man is gone

  • Donald Krausz

    Yes. And to my own knowledge a busload of Israelis was massacred at Maaleh ha Acrabim (?)near where I worked during 1956-57. I drilled for oil at Heletz, in Israel proper,within sight of Gaza and when on a night shift the six of us had to be guarded by twelve Israeli soldiers mounting two machine guns against the poor, deprived and persecuted Gazans.

    So what does this have to do with Yasser Arafat who shook Rabin’s hand on the lawn of the White house in a token of reconciliation?

    A European journalist once accompanied Arafat to a Fatah training camp where the fervent were being instructed in how to deal with their enemies. In order to prepare the recruits emotionally they were given live chickens and told to kill them. Their attempts were not to Arafat’s satisfaction.

    In the presence of that journalist he demonstrated killing the live birds by tearing them to pieces with his hands.

    I wonder whether Rabin would have shaken such a hand had he known about this.

  • Lynne T

    “haliographic” or “hagiographic”?

    If it’s the latter, well, it is the Grauniad, isn’t it?

  • Jacqueline

    I try to put articles from algemeiner on twitter but it just takes me to twitter. Can u fix it.

  • ido sarrell

    The Guardian would have to close down if it ever stopped writing and mentioning Israel,the Guardian is one of these three sisters.The Guardian Al Jazeera and Haaretz.These three have the same world view of Israel,they also have the same reporters and the same posters.All these three a very anti-Zionist slant.

    • Scott Adler

      You forgot the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and CBS.