Monday, November 08, 2004

Arafat AIDS pretext--Sharon "poisoned him"

Yesterday this column posted items by David Frum (from his National Review Online October 29 "Diary" posting) and the Israel Insider website suggesting the likelihood that Yasir Arafat was killed by AIDS. (And, yes, Arafat is dead, even in Suha Arafat refuses to pull the plug until his henchmen pay her off.)

Frum supplies an update to the Arafat AIDS story in today's "Diary" posting:

The left-wing British Labour MP George Galloway has a piece in the British newspaper, The Mail on Sunday
, describing his visit last week to Arafat’s sick ward.

"In the Percy hospital, the endless click of worry beads had replaced the chinking of china cups and there were deep, dolorous sighs instead of the sucking of cigarettes. …

"I felt justified in saying to his nephew Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations and the only one of us Arafat's wife Suha allowed at his bedside: 'Sharon has killed him finally.'

"The startling, almost Shakespearean reply was: 'They have poisoned him and they will not say with what.'

After repeating the allegation that the Israelis were responsible for Arafat’s death, Galloway goes on to cite my speculations about Arafat’s illness here at NRO and in Canada’s National Post.

"There is bloodspitting fury as someone reads in Arabic what President Bush's speechwriter David Frum (the man responsible for the phrase 'axis of evil' in the infamous State of the Union address after 9/11) has to say in an American newspaper about Arafat's illness.

"With evident distaste, it is translated again back to me: 'He says Arafat has AIDS and that he has been brought to France rather than an Arab hospital because he would be ashamed for Arab doctors to know he has AIDS.'"

But if Arafat's men don’t want the world to think he has AIDS, why do they keep saying things – even to Galloway – that point to such a diagnosis? Yesterday I asked whether somebody around Arafat might have an interest in damaging his image in the Arab world. Galloway’s piece suggests another hypothesis: Maybe the Arafat group decided that it would be impossible to keep the dying man’s symptoms secret. Rather than deny those symptoms, they chose to publicize them – but with a lot of heavy breathing mystery that would prepare the way for a postmortem accusation of poisoning that might distract Palestinians from any untoward conclusions about the late chairman.

No doubt more to follow ...