Remembering Abu Jihad and why, really, the Israelis killed him

More than 24 years after the event, and to prevent a battle with the newspaper in the courts, Israeli military censors cleared for publication by Yediot Ahronot a truth – that it was Israeli commandoes who, on 16 April 1988, went all the way to Tunis to murder Abu Jihad, the co-founder with Arafat of Fatah and, at the time of his death, Arafat’s number two and most likely successor in the event of his assassination.

The short story as now told by Yediot Ahronot confirms the long and detailed account as set down in the 1994 edition of my book Arafat (which was an updated version of the 1984 first edition with the title Arafat – Terrorist or Peacemaker?)

In this article my purpose is to provide the context for the Israeli decision to terminate Abu Jihad, and there is no better way of doing it than by offering my internet readers, here and now, the text of a very short chapter in Volume Three of the American edition of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews. It, Chapter 14, has the title

Zionism as the Recruiting Sergeant for Violent Islamic Fundamentalism (Palestinian Style).

Here is the text.

December 1987 saw the start of the first intifada or Palestinian uprising in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. As it gathered momentum it captured and held the Western media’s attention, demonstrating once again that it was only when Palestinians resorted to violence, in this case stone-throwing, that their cry for a measure of justice was heard.

As part of its global propaganda effort to have the world believe that Arafat in faraway Tunis was an irrelevance, Zionism asserted that the uprising in the Occupied Territories had nothing to do with Arafat and his PLO, and that he was merely jumping onto the intifada bandwagon - to give his “discredited” organisation the appearance of life after death. (Two years earlier Israeli jets had gone all the way to Tunis to destroy Arafat’s headquarters and blow him to pieces! By chance, apparently, Arafat was not at his desk when the bombs fell. The Israelis then were desperate to kill him because President Reagan’s new Secretary of State, George Shultz, had been trying, Vance-like, to involve the PLO in the peace process; and Britain’s Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was about to make history by inviting two senior PLO executives to London for official talks. For their own propaganda purposes Israeli and other gut-Zionists proclaimed that Arafat was irrelevant but their actions demonstrated that they knew he was not.)

The explosion of Palestinian anger which became the first uprising against Israeli occupation was spontaneous, but Arafat and his leadership colleagues had anticipated it and made plans to sustain it.

Even as he was sailing away from Beirut for Tunis in August of 1982, Arafat was thinking about how to play the “internal (Occupied Territories) card”, to prevent the PLO being cancelled as a factor in the Middle East peace equation.

Page 1 of 4 | Next page