Saturday, November 12, 2005

Arafat Mourned, Despite 'Shortcomings'

The New York Times today gets all weepy and sentimental about its favorite Palestinian "leader," Yasir Arafat: "A Year After Arafat's Death, Quiet Homage," says the Times. "His legacy lives on," says Greg Myre, stifling tears. Yeah. I think they had a suicide bombing the other, day, right?

Myre, seemingly puzzled, notes that even though this giant on the world stage was a "father figure" whose portrait hangs copiously in Pal-land, the observances were muted. Says Myre:


Yet public tributes and references to Mr. Arafat tend to be relatively infrequent and low-key. When his name is mentioned, educated Palestinians in particular say any assessment needs to include both his successes and his shortcomings.

Yeah. "Shortcomings." Like ordering Leon Klinghoffer tossed off the deck of the Achille Lauro. Like ordering the execution of Cleo Noel, the US ambassador to the Sudan. Little things like that. You know, "shortcomings." Character flaws.

Compare the rhapsodic treatment of Arafat, reminiscent of the nauseating orgy of coverage a year ago, to the brief, inaccurate item that the Times wrote on the tenth anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's death. As you can see from the lengthy correction, the author of the piece -- the ever-unreliable Stevie Erlanger -- couldn't even get right the identify the assassin. As even the most casual observer of the Middle East would know, Rabin's assassin was no "settler." This from the Jerusalem bureau chief of what had once been one of the world's leading newspapers.

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