To our readers:
TIME magazine this week (issue of February 26, 2001) has a five page article (Waiting For History) praising Yassir Arafat. It includes a full color full page portrait. It is slick Arab propaganda. It is filled with inaccurate history and should be countered by the pro-Israel community.
The Freeman Center recommends that as many of you as possible write to TIME. Below is my letter:
TIME MAGAZINE LETTERS VIA FAX: 1-212-522-8949
Time & Life Building
New York, NY 10020
February 21, 2001
TO LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Re: Your unbridled praise of Yasser Arafat (Time, February 26, 2001).
Contrary to your authors commentary, Arafat has brought misery, poverty, human rights abuses and a ruthless dictatorship to his people. He runs a klepocracy where aid funds end up in his or his cronies pockets with the Palestinian people seeing none of it.
Despite your praise he has a history of murder and terrorism that continue even today. The intifadeh is no more than a pogram designed to kill or murder Jews. The daily incitement against Israelis and Jews can only be described as worthy of the Nazis. It is broadcast on TV, taught in the schools, and preached in sermons. American and Israeli intelligence are aware that roughly 80% of all terror attacks and shooting at Israelis is authorized by the Palestinian Authority under Arafat.
Since the Oslo Agreement was signed, Arafat has failed to live up to a single item of his obligations. His promise to end the violence is a mockery as he perpetuates more violence. He and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin promised to negotiate differences. "No more war, no more bloodshed," they said. Arafat refuses to negotiate, but only demands. If he doesn't get his way, he returns to violence.
The article fails to adequately tell the story of Arafat's bloody history from the civil war in Lebanon (100,000 killed), the attempted takeover of Jordan, and finally terrorism against Israelis and Americans.
The ultimate failure of the article is to ignore how much the Palestinian people could have gained by this time with better leadership. Everything from economic development, a state, human rights, and improved standard of living.
Bernard J. Shapiro, Executive Director
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies