French Municipality Approves Motion to Name Street After Yasser Arafat
A coastal municipality in southern France adopted a proposal that would name a new street after deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the Var-matin newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The elected representatives of the Mediterranean commune of La Seyne-sur-Mer voted to adopt the plan. The district’s mayor said only a few residents voted in opposition.
Mayor Marc Vulliemot noted the presence of a street in the district named after former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated.
“As far as I know, the two men received the Nobel Peace Prize together,” he said.
Arafat and Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize along with former Israeli President Shimon Peres for their cooperation over the Oslo Accords.
Critics of the motion said it raised the status of a “controversial figure” who at various points in his life condoned and even encouraged terrorist acts against Israelis. Arafat died in France at age 75 shortly after being flown to the country for medical treatment. His death has been shrouded in conspiracy theories, though a recent investigation by French forensics officers found no wrongdoing.
In another strange connection to Israel, the nuclear reactors that Israel destroyed during a 1981 air strike in Iraq were developed in La Seyne-sur-Mer.