Part of the long and victorious march of image over substance? Arafat. still a celebrity. Still a locus for the communal lives of many. It is one of those incomprehensible and unexplainable side effects whereby a manufactured pop culture icon can be the primary way in which many understand the world. Even for the secular Arabs, Arafat is part of a religious process and his continued adulation a kind of spiritual response to the power of mass media and image reproduction where he maintained power and control overtly as a Guy Debord “Spectacle”; a performance artist centered on his personality.
But like all celebrities, the personality of Arafat was inherently a contradiction. There could never be an authentic intimacy with the PLO leader since he offered mass intimacy to the masses in an era of mass communication where the magic of the Arafat brand name gave him world dominance and his cultivated celebrity culture followed the American model by being religion in disguise. It doesn’t have to pretend to be a pile of cow poop, everyone knew it, but it gave his followers the sustenance they needed. Also, Arafat fit the template of Celebrity implying its proper destruction. The larger and more glam the celebrity the harder the fall. Like William Wordsworth who in his time condemned the public’s insatiable thirst for “outrageous stimulation” that basic tenet applies to the cult of Arafat, and the need to keep it alive. Presto! there’s polonim.
( see link at end) …General Aharon Zevi-Farkash, then-head of IDF intelligence, strongly objected to the request, based on the appraisal that Arafat’s life was not in danger. Arafat had been seen by medical experts from various Middle Eastern countries, and the IDF feared that the real goal of asking for new medical care was to allow Arafat to escape – which in turn would allow him to add fuel to the fire of the dying “intifada” terror war.
Then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was conflicted. A second phone call tipped the scales: a senior PA official called Weissglass and warned, “Arafat has only a few weeks to live. If he dies in the Mukata, you will be seen as responsible for his death, and the death will pursue you, like Christians have been blaming you for 2,000 years for the killing of Jesus.”
Sharon ordered Arafat released despite IDF commanders’ objections. The PA leader reached France in serious condition on October 29.
Reports that reached Israel stated that the PA leader was suffering complications of leukemia. Whether Arafat also had AIDS, as has been rumored, remains unclear….
There is always a fascination in digging up celebrities. This seemed to begin at the beginning of the Romantic movement and particularly the literary and poetic artists. The body of novelist Laurence Sterne was exhumed soon after his death by resurrectionists because surgeons basically wanted to examine if his organs held the clue to his great renowned wit. Milton’s body was also treated to a dig-up and was dismembered: hair, teeth, fingernails, bones etc. were put on display and hawked for good money. Apparently, this dismantled John Milton was patched and sewn back together but only after the remains were induced to be brought back in by offering the scandalous prices asked for his body parts. Also, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s heart was pilched from the flames of his funeral pyre on a beach in Italy and tussled over by Edward Trelawny and Leigh Hunt, with Hunt arguing for preserving it in a jar of wine, and the Trelawny, gallantly, wishing to present it to Shelley’s widow, Mary. Eventually, it ended up in a drawer of Mary’s writing table.
#8230;Arafat’s condition began to improve under French care. However, Israeli sources report, French doctors then tried a dramatic procedure – a total blood transfusion, in which all of Arafat’s blood was replaced with donor blood. Arafat went into a coma during the procedure and never woke up. He died on November 2011, 2004, and was buried in Ramallah.
The first-hand testimony from Israeli officials disproves reports in Al-Jazeera stating that Arafat died of polonium poisoning. The Al-Jazeera report has also been criticized by experts due to the claim of high polonium levels found in 2012, years after Arafat died, something deemed highly unlikely given the element’s short half-life.
The testimony also indicates reasons why the story was not revealed until now. Israel had no reason to disprove reports that the Mossad had been involved in Arafat’s death, as the reports added to fear of the Mossad and hence to Israel’s power of deterrence. France had no reason to make the truth public due to fear that French doctors could be blamed for Arafat’s passing.
The PA and Suha Arafat, Arafat’s widow, had no reason to make the truth known because Arafat’s death of natural causes was unlikely to serve the PA cause.Read More:http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/157574#.T_g-8PVb76M
Yet he became a welcome guest not only of the French and Russians and of Saddam Hussein, but of the Americans. During President Bill Clinton’s two terms in office, Arafat was invited to the White House more than any other international political figure. (Clinton met Arafat a total of 24 times in eight years.)…
When Arafat died, UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, shaking with emotion, called it “a grave day for the world,” and instructed headquarters in New York to especially fly the UN flag at half-mast. (This is despite the fact that Arafat did not represent any UN member state, and the UN doesn’t usually mark the death of leaders of even its member states in this way. The UN didn’t fly its flag at half-mast when, for example, Ronald Reagan died a few months before Arafat.)
Arafat siphoned away billions of dollars and squandered resources that could have been used productively to build a Palestinian state. His “extortion, payoffs, illegal arms-dealing, drug trafficking, money laundering and fraud” (to quote a 1993 report by British Intelligence) were known about for years. Forbes magazine named him one of the world’s wealthiest leaders. His former finance minister, Salam Fayyad said $900m of western aid money had gone missing. Yet, until almost his last days, it was all but impossible to get major news organizations like the BBC to report on Arafat’s corruption. Read More:http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/ArafatArticles.html