Yasser Arafat And The Politics Of Paranoia: A Painful Legacy

Bukay, David

Editore: Edwin Mellen Pr, 2005
ISBN 10: 0773461426 / ISBN 13: 9780773461420
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Riassunto: Those seeking to understand Yasser Arafat's legacy must first understand him and his political tactics. Peace and Justice are sought in vain by those in the region who do not grasp the inner workings of Arab political cultures with their internecine feuding and violence.. Those seeking to understand Yasser Arafat's legacy must first understand him and his political tactics. Peace and justice are sought in vain by those in the region who do not grasp the innter workings of Arab political cultures with their internecine feuding and violence. In the West, oil interests, arms sales, even distaste for ugliness, prevent a clear image of the realities on the streets and in the suks. Western diplomats, academics and advisers, trained as Arabists, grasp something of language and history and very little beyond them. Trained imagination, confronted by experience (as when US and British hostages were seized in Lebanon), is aghast. Those in ivory towers failed to predict the terror outbreaks against the West, exemplified by September 11. Despite this and serious warnings, the Oslo fiasco is still forced on Israel: the surrender of its strategic assets. This book is perhaps the most thorough academic appraisal of the nature of Palestinian politics, culture and society in English: the political scientists' tools, used with a depth of analysis, academic rigor and discipline; a work of an analytical intelligence. Dr. Bukay has a deep personal knowledge of the issues and personalities, working from a university operating in an environment unique in the region: free speech for Arab and Jew but threatened by terror every day. Here is the scholar's depth accompanied by the researcher's detail and the media's drama - a product of daily life in the cauldron of terror. This contextual reality gives the book a rare authority and authenticity. So does its range of reference: Unless policy makers pay heed to such far-ranging yet detailed work, they are doomed to operate in a world of myth and illusion, deceived and duped, steeped in half truth and ignorance. This is dangerous for Western civilization, suffering from a twisted morality in which the "war against terror" is selective and its leaders suffer from intellectual dishonesty. This corrective book reveals what political culture and power politics truly consist of, in the inner world of Yasser Arafat's history and behavior, forces which are forging the Middle East today. As Jeff Jacoby has put it, In a better world, Yasser Arafat would have met his end on a gallows, hanged for mass murder much as the Nazi chiefs were hanged at Nuremberg. In a better world, the French president would not have paid a visit to the bedside of such a monster. In a better world, George Bush would not have said, on hearing the first reports that Arafat had died, "God bless his soul." Jacoby continues with his exposure, which sheds light on the importance of Dr. Bukay's task: God bless his soul? What a grotesque ideal Bless the soul of the man who brought modern terrorism to the world? Who sent his agents to slaughter athletes at the Olympics, blow airliners out of the sky, bomb schools and pizzerias, machine-gun passengers in airline terminals? Who lied, cheated, and stole without compunction? Who inculcated the vilest culture of Jew-hatred since the Third Reich? Human beings might stoop to bless a creature so evil - as indeed Arafat was blessed, with money, deference, even a Nobel Prize - but God, I am quite sure, will damn him for eternity. Arafat always inspired flights of nonsense from Western journalists, and his last two weeks were no exception. Derek Brown wrote in The Guardian that Arafat's "undisputed courage as a guerrilla leader" was exceeded only "by his extraordinary courage" as a peace negotiator. But it is an odd kind of courage that expresses itself in shooting unarmed victims - or in signing peace accords and then flagrantly violating their terms. Another commentator, columnist Gwynne Dyer, asked, "So what did Arafat do right?" The answer: He drew worldwide attention to the Palestinian cause, "for the most part by successful acts of terror". In other words, butchering innocent human beings was "right", since it served an ulterior political motive. No doubt that thought brings daily comfort to all those who were forced to bury a child, parent, or spouse because of Arafat's "successful" terrorism". Some journalists couldn't wait for Arafat's actual death to begin weeping for him. Take the BBC's Barbara Plett, who burst into tears on the day he was airlifted out of the West Bank. "When the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose above his ruined compound," Plett reported from Ramallah, "I started to cry." Normal people don't weep for brutal murderers, but Plett made it clear that her empathy for Arafat - whom she praised as "a symbol of Palestinian unity, steadfastness, and resistance" - was heartfelt: I remember well when the Israelis re-conquered the West Bank more than two years ago, how they drove their tanks and bulldozers into Mr. Arafat's headquarters, trapping him in a few rooms, and throwing a military curtain around Ramallah...Such is the state of journalism at the BBC, whose reporters do not seem to have any trouble reporting, dry-eyed, on the plight of Arafat's victims. How is it possible to reflect on Arafat's most enduring legacy - the rise of modern terrorism - without recalling the legions of men, women, and children whose lives he and his followers destroyed? If Osama bin Laden were on his deathbed, would we neglect to mention all those he murdered on 9/11? It would take an encyclopedia to catalog all of the evil Arafat committed..." Dr. Bukay's courageous, honest and evidence-based scholarship provides insight in depth and range, contributing not merely to scholarly debate but to the current, living world of politics and history, He exposes how religion, history and philosophy interact to justify murder and hatred and why the PA demands violent action and children's incitement - a culture whence to attack "first the Saturday people, then the Sunday people".

About the Author: Christopher Barder, Academic Tutor and Freclance Writer, Oxford, England

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Titolo: Yasser Arafat And The Politics Of Paranoia: ...
Casa editrice: Edwin Mellen Pr
Data di pubblicazione: 2005
Condizione libro: very good

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