Arafat calls for more “martyrs”

December 19, 2001

* Arafat on Palestinian TV: "I am willing to sacrifice 70 martyrs to die to kill 1 Israeli"



1. Arafat speech shows nothing has changed
2. Arafat: All Palestinians are martyrs
3. Trouble in the holy land
4. Arafat back on attack
5. 31 Attacks in 48 Hours


Much of the western media, while reporting extensively and prominently about Yasser Arafat's speech on Sunday, seem to be ignoring Arafat's very different speech on Tuesday even though the speech was televised and therefore easily available to executives and news producers at BBC and CNN should they wish to air it. But then that wouldn't fit in with their political views.

-- Tom Gross


Arafat speech shows nothing has changed
By Herb Keinon
The Jerusalem Post
December 19, 2001

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's fiery address in Ramallah yesterday, during which he said he is willing to sacrifice 70 martyrs for one dead Israeli, proves that "nothing has changed," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesman Ra'anan Gissin said.

"The Jordan River is the same, and Arafat is the same; he has not changed," Gissin said. "Today's speech is just more proof."

The address to a group of Palestinians from east Jerusalem stood in stark contradiction to his speech on Sunday, when he called for an end to suicide bombings and for a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel.

According to a report last night on Channel 2, Arafat said the Palestinians will continue to fight for their land.

"What is that speech, if not incitement," Gissin said. "If he is going to stop the violence, that is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to say, 'Lay down your weapons.' "



Arafat: All Palestinians are martyrs
The Jerusalem Post
December 18, 2001

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat today delivered a more uncompromising speech than the one he gave two days ago.

In contrast to Sunday's speech, in which he called for an end to suicide bombings and armed attacks against Israelis, in today's address in Ramallah he again spoke about martyrs and a holy war, Israel Radio reported.

Arafat said all Palestinians are martyrs, and they will continue to defend the holy ground.

"All Palestinians are Muhammad al-Dura, martyrs," he said, referring to 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura, who was killed in the Gaza Strip last year while his father tried to protect him from crossfire.

In response, the crowd chanted: "One million martyrs are already marching to Jerusalem."



Arafat calls for more 'martyrs'
'I am willing to sacrifice 70 to die to kill 1 Israeli'
December 19 2001

In a fiery speech in Ramallah today, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat called for more martyrdom, reportedly saying: "I am willing to sacrifice 70 to die to kill one Israeli."

Israel Radio West Bank correspondent Avi Yissakharov reported Arafat declared "all Palestinians are Muhammad al-Dura," that all Palestinians are martyrs. Al-Dura was a 12-year-old boy killed in the Gaza Strip last year while his father tried to protect him from crossfire between Palestinian snipers and Israeli Defense Forces.

Arafat called for all to join in the struggle to stop what he termed the Israeli program to Judaize Jerusalem.

The crowd roared back to Arafat, "Millions of martyrs are already marching to Jerusalem."

Israel Television Channel Two reported this evening that Arafat also told the crowd, "I am willing to sacrifice 70 martyrs to kill one Israeli" and called for a continuation of the struggle against Israel.

Arafat's fiery rhetoric in Arabic stands in stark contrast to his more conciliatory statements in English in which he has agreed to stop attacks on Israelis.



Arafat back on attack: 'We are all martyrs'
By Michael Widlansk
The Media Line
December 18, 2001

Yasser Arafat today called on Palestinians to continue violent "resistance" to Israel including acts of "martyrdom"-i.e. suicide attacks.

"We are all martyrs in paradise," declared Arafat in a fiery oration to a crowd of supporters outside his isolated headquarters in Ramallah.

"We will defend the holy land with our blood and with our spirit," the Palestinian leader cried out to the cheering throng in what was a dramatic counter-point to the pre-recorded and carefully orchestrated broadcast address of two days ago.

Arafat's Palestinian supporters and part of the Israeli "peace camp" had claimed violence that the earlier pre-recorded speech by Arafat was an attempt to quell the 15-month war of attrition that has cost more than 1,000 Israeli and Palestinian deaths and more than 10,000 injuries.

But Arafat's remarks today-which were also broadcast and re-broadcast by Voice of Palestine state radio-totally erased, perhaps intentionally, any trace memories of Arafat's earlier remarks, some of which were considered too "moderate" by part of his Palestinian audience.

"We heard a different tone altogether," remarked Avi Yissakharov, the West Bank reporter for Israeli State Radio, referring Arafat's remarks today.

"Anyone listening to these remarks," the Israeli reporter noted, "would have to understand one clear thing the need to continue these armed actions against Israel and even to add on actions such as suicide operations."

"There is a conspiracy to Judaize Jerusalem," declared Arafat, adding, "no one will evict us from our land."

Only two days ago Palestinian spokesmen rushed forward to claim that Mr. Arafat, in his earlier speech, had offered a new message of hope.

"I don't think there was enough appreciation on the Israeli side of Mr. Arafat's message," asserted, at the time, Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, the PA "Minister for Jerusalem."

Nusseibeh, who has been touted as a "moderate," added: "I think it's an unprecedented message."

But in fact the only element of Arafat's speech two days ago which may be called "unprecedented" was Arafat's brief, one-time-only reference to attacks by Islamic human bombers as "suicidal," using the term "intikhari" ("suicidal" in Arabic) which has a pejorative connotation rather than his usual reference to the attackers as "shuhada" ("martyrs" in Arabic).

"We are a people of heroes," the Palestinian leader called out to the crowd, which answered: "We are marching, millions of martyrs to Jerusalem."



31 Attacks in 48 Hours
December 19, 2001

In his telephone conversation on Tuesday with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon explained that in the past 48 hours, there were 31 terrorist attacks in which four Israeli civilians were wounded including one seriously and one toddler.

The attacks followed Arafat's live Arabic broadcast in which he called for an end to terrorism and implementation of the Tenet and Mitchell recommendations

[The following article was published and sent out this list two days later by John Podhoretz, a subscriber to this email list. -- Tom Gross]


Arafat's love of blood
By John Podhoretz
New York Post
December 21, 2001

It didn't take long.

Only two days, in fact.

Two days for Yasser Arafat to prove yet again that his currency is the blood of the innocent, not the peace of the brave.

On Sunday, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority gave a speech that was deemed so important it was carried live with simultaneous translation on CNN.

His advisers had leaked advance word that he would demand that all groups cease their terrorist activities against Israel.

In the speech, Arafat said: "Once again, I call for a complete halt to all operations, especially suicidal operations, which we have always condemned."

Not only had Arafat not "always condemned" suicide bombings, he had long praised bombers as "martyrs."

But that doesn't really matter, because if indeed he had been announcing he would no longer tolerate suicide bombing, such a change in policy would have been significant.

"Those who violate this decision," he said, "would be severely punished."

The words sounded good.

But the State Department and the Europeans didn't immediately hail him as the next Gandhi in large measure because they had been burned repeatedly in the last two months, when Arafat lied straight in their faces about having arrested people who then went right out and conducted terror attacks on Israelis.

The government of Israel continued to take military action against terrorist ringleaders.

And a poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center indicated that nearly 60 percent of Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza didn't want a cease-fire.

Arafat decided he had gotten nothing useful out of his supposedly landmark speech.

So he simply contradicted it 48 hours later.

"One martyr in Jerusalem is worth 70 martyrs elsewhere," he said on Tuesday.

The word "martyr" has a very specific connotation these days. It refers to a suicide bomber the most powerful weapon in the Palestinian arsenal.

Despite his claim always to have "condemned," Arafat praises Palestinian martyrs whenever he can as in a letter he sent to the parents of the monster who killed and wounded 200 Israeli teenagers at a Tel Aviv disco.

Arafat called this act of mass murder a "heroic martyrdom operation" and the Delphinarium bomber "the model of manhood and sacrifice for the sake of Allah and the homeland."

(The letter in question, broadcast on German TV, featured Arafat's personal seal. It was translated into English by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute,

The Palestinian Authority's TV and radio networks which are under Arafat's direct control run children's shows teaching kids of the glories that await the suicide bomber in Paradise.

And while it is probably true that Arafat isn't crazy about the suicide bombings perpetrated by the groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that's only because they're taking place under different management.

But for you fans of suicide bombing, never fear. Arafat's got plenty of them working for him, too even though he has "always condemned" them.

Arafat's personal faction is called Fatah. Fatah is to Arafat what al Qaeda is to Osama bin Laden his cat's-paw, his personal organization, his gang, his posse.

Fatah is a charnel-house with many dark rooms. In one, we find the Tanzim; in another, Arafat's personal security squad, Force 17. And then, down in the sub-basement, is the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. (There's that word again "martyr.")

Members of these groups have all been responsible for terror attacks and suicide bombings. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade staged the attack last week that killed 10 Israelis and wounded 30 more on the West Bank.

When bombs were detonated on a road, the passengers fled the bus whereupon these innocents were shot in the back and bombarded with grenades.

When the Israelis say Arafat can stop the violence, they know whereof they speak.

You may wonder what good it is for Arafat to encourage suicide bombings and terror murders when all they do is embolden the Israelis and turn world public opinion against him.

The answer is that Arafat likes to see Jews murdered. He likes death and violence and killing and blood. He is a worshiper of the gun (he wore his sidearm even as he addressed the United Nations in 1974), the bomb, the funeral.

He can no more make peace than the lion can lie down with the lamb.

He is a liar, a mass murderer, an unmitigated monster, a lost cause, a dark stain on the vivid pages of the Book of Life.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.