When freedom becomes a fight: Yasser Arafat myth

What does a hero mean? Having as much Jew blood as
Nazis had, as Ariel Sharon said in 1995?

What about terrorists? Being the biggest myth of
Palestine modern history looking for freedom? After being in a few
countries like Spain, Israel, Turkey and even Palestine, I just have a real
Galician answer: “it depends”. It depends which side you’re supporting. Let’s
just take a break and consider it.

Yasser Arafat would have been 87 years old today if he
hadn’t eaten what Israeli forces had given him while he was isolated in Ramala.
Poisoned? The main thing is that he just became a myth and his name will be
remember, even by his enemies.

Arafat was a Palestinian nationalist leader, he went to
University to study engineering and started supporting Arabic nationalism. And
the President of Palestinian National Authority did not doubt about choosing
violence as a way of fighting for it.

“They celebrate the things terrorist have done and
teach to hate”, an Israeli friend just told me after Donald Trump`s victory. A
president who supports the idea of teaching Palestine´s kids how to hate
Israelis and Jews. “When you live in a society where the firefighters are the
heroes, little kids wanna be firefighters. In Palestinian society, the heroes
are those who murdered Jews, we can not let this continue”, he claimed in a
political meeting, even if a part of his speech was against Muslims.

A political activist usually changes his speech for
violence. This example can be proven in Spain with ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or
Vasc Country and freedom) and its fight for a free and independent Vasc Country,
or still in Turkey with Kurdistan Workers´ Party (PKK) – an armed group, which
started its movement by fighting in a peaceful way for freedom for the whole
country as well as the Turkish citizens. Later they have focused just on the
Kurdish conflict and they are still fighting for it.

Yet there is a difference between PKK and Palestine
Liberation Organization (OLP), between Abdullah Öcalan and Yasser Arafat: Arafat
died or was killed, Öcalan is still in prison. So even when OLP founder was
alive, he had many supporters. After his death he became a myth.

There are some “objective” facts that can not be denied
to Yasser. He was the President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and
the leader of the Fatah political party. He also went inside United Nation
General Assembly with an olive branch and a gun, to show peace and war in the
Middle East. And he won a Nobel Peace Prize after Oslo Agreement in which he
was looking for a Palestinian authority in the area.

But my question now is why political movements end in
armed actions. Why we need weapons to get what we call rights and


Sabela González


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