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Aburish says even that is beginning to change. Some observers believe that the critical turning point for Mr. Arafat came at the Camp David peace summit in July , when he turned down an offer from Israel to establish a Palestinian state.

Arafat: From Defender to Dictator - Saïd K. Aburish - Google книги

Several months later, Palestinian militants launched a series of attacks against Israel, and Israel responded with attacks of its own, as well as the re-occupation of some areas that had been given to the Palestinian Authority. The fighting, which continues, has left more than 2, people dead and thousands more wounded. During the same period, there have been no peace talks and the Palestinians have made no political or territorial gains.

Arafat: From Defender to Dictator

In recent days, U. Arafat's nomination of the moderate Abu Mazen to be prime minister may have changed the situation. Some observers say the appointment of a Palestinian prime minister could help break the deadlock, and could also mean a new and unaccustomed secondary role for Yasser Arafat.

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Share via Email. Intifada, the uprising by Palestinian children and women against the Israeli army began in which attracted world wide attention for the largely peaceful antics of the protestors. Arafat was hesitant at first to throw in his lot with the movement as he feared for the usurpation of his stature, though he later reversed his stand.

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However, this was a clear indication that the matters on Palestinian soil was going out of the hands of its leader in exile. Terrorist organisations, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas gained further ground. Arafat sought the help of Saddam Hussein at this juncture. S intervened heavily in support of Kuwait and Iraqi forces were wiped off from there. His miraculous escape from a plane crash while the discussions were progressing, enhanced his image. Unknown to his negotiators in Washington which included Hannan Ashrawi, Arafat was engaged in a semi-official dialogue with Israel in Oslo, Norway.

When the Oslo negotiations succeeded, the official delegates in Washington resigned in protest. Arafat signed the historic peace agreement in Washington with Prime minister Yitshak Rabin under the watchful eye of Bill Clinton. Autonomy to Gaza and Jericho were admitted, but no statehood was granted. A Palestinian authority was to be formed to administer these territories. His rule, however, turned dictatorial. He filled all governmental and NGOs with his sycophants and cronies.

He controlled the flow of money from outside and it often ended up lining the pockets of his associates.

The peace deal was not endearing to the muslims as Israel continued the settlement programme in violation of the accord. The Palestinians, under the guidance of terrorist organisations began bombing and rocket attacks against Israel, which prompted them to block all access to Gaza and forcing the labourers there without work in Israel.

Matters were rapidly deteriorating. He muffled the legislative, frightened the judiciary, owned the executive and stifled the press.

Aburish, Saïd K. 1935-2012

The legislators were not even allowed to raise charges of corruption in the assembly. Nepotism ran supreme, as the surest way to move up in the hierarchy was to be someone special to the leader. Arafat died in in France due to prolonged illness. Every chapter is replete with countless accusations of megalomania, nepotism, self-aggrandizement and ignorance.

True, the peace accord was not entirely satisfactory to the Palestinians, but it was also unacceptable to Israeli hardliners too! Aburish terms the deal a surrender, but fails to explain why it was so vehemently opposed by Benjamin Netanyahu, the right wing Likud prime minister of Israel.

Arafat: from defender to dictator

Aburish offers a review of every activity in the field, but resorts to simple statement of the facts when the atrocity was perpetrated by Hamas or Islamic Jihad. It is easy to find fault with a tall leader, who represented a nation in waiting, but to find viable alternatives is a tougher proposition which is evaded by the author. The style of the author is impeccable, while the content is doubtful. The entire book is delightful to read as it is full of scathing wordplay, though with contradictions every now and then. The work is however, commendable and is recommended.

Rating: 3 Star. Posted by Sajith at PM Reactions:. Labels: Biography , Middle East.

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