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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2004 / 6 Kislev, 5765

The Arafat I knew

By Ike Seamans


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A former NBC News Middle East correspondent and bureau chief tells a different story



http://www.jewishworldreview.com | I waited before writing this column. I wanted to make sure that Yasser Arafat was really gone. After following his career from up close and afar for more than 30 years, I knew the man had a thousand lives and an uncanny ability to defy death. Why should a coma and old age be responsible for his demise?


As an NBC News correspondent in 1983, I was holed up with Abu Ammar (his nom de guerre) in Tripoli, Lebanon, while Israelis, Syrians, even dissident Palestinians tried to annihilate him. ''Many people don't want you to leave this country alive,'' I observed as he sipped tea with a bemused look. ''I don't care,'' he shrugged. "I will survive.''


In the Middle East, Arafat was the ultimate survivor, a consummate con man, charlatan and actor whose greatest role was heroic martyr. His supreme talent was a miraculous ability to escape unscathed from countless calamities (most of his own making) during his 56-year career as guerrilla, diplomat, politician, dictator and terrorist. He assumed the mantle of decisive leader.


CHANCE AFTER CHANCE
In fact, he was a spectacular flop. ''He was unable to bring his people victory, peace or an independent state, a record of political failure almost unparalleled in history,'' write Barry and Judith Rubin in their superb biography. ''Arafat's great ability was to get chance after chance; his great weakness was the disaster that inevitably concluded each missed opportunity.'' The late Israeli statesman Abba Eban certainly was thinking of him when he opined that Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.


Arafat mastered a technique that Yezid Sayigh, a Palestinian professor at Cambridge University, calls ''escape by running forward.'' Arafat would repeatedly seize upon the eruption of a major crisis to flee from a predicament that he usually had fomented, then intensify and prolong it to gain dominance -- and inevitably induce an outcome to his advantage.

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Because of Arafat's misrule, refusal to keep promises or honor agreements, spawning endless crises as well as extorting money from them, Arab leaders stopped trusting Arafat years ago. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak once angrily denounced him as the ''son of a dog.'' Yet, these self-righteous potentates will miss the little guy in military garb and checkered keffiyeh. By coughing up cash to help him perpetuate terrorism and obstructionist activities against Israel and, indirectly, the United States, Arafat was the perfect foil, an omnipresent, annoying agitator. This served the purpose of cowardly Arab nations that didn't want to dirty their hands or, in some cases, jeopardize American largesse that generously replenishes their coffers year after year.


Arafat could be witty, charming and gracious, especially with foreign diplomats and Western journalists. Depending heavily upon them to trumpet his anguished pleas, they obediently complied (including me). With his own people who revered him as the father of their cause, he was brutally ruthless when challenged. His most notable achievement was leading the Palestinian movement from near oblivion to the threshold of independence. His most humiliating failure was sabotaging the peace process that could have made it happen.

RUMBLINGS OF CIVIL WAR
In his blind obsession of total conquest at any cost, he inflicted years of unnecessary suffering on Palestinians -- ignoring their needs, overlooking government corruption by close associates and sanctioning terrorists who now may pose a major threat if they aren't given a piece of the lucrative action. When I was in Ramallah in July, there were ominous rumblings of civil war.


Significant change won't occur quickly, if at all. Arafat's immediate successors are clones without charisma who will simply pay lip service to reform and the peace process. Just like the boss.


Somewhere, Abu Ammar is smiling.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Ike Seamans, a columnist for the Mimi Herald, is senior correspondent for NBC 6/WTVJ News in Miami and a former NBC News Middle East correspondent and bureau chief. Let him know what you think by clicking here.




© 2004, Ike Seamans