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Who poisoned Arafat is the question as dirty linen is washed in public

It is unfortunate that the Palestinian cause is being let down these days by the shameful war of words between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his "opponent", Colonel Mohammad Dahlan. The two are competing to "expose" each other and reveal implicitly and explicitly the evidence that the other was involved in the assassination of the late Yasser Arafat by poisoning him.

It is shameful and embarrassing to watch the exchange of accusations of corruption, looting public money, killing the fighters, spying for the Israelis, plotting and facilitating operations carried out by the Israelis to liquidate the resistance.

The Palestinians have become a joke in the eyes of many Arabs who have followed this disgusting performance as it played out by the lead protagonists. It is for such leaders that thousands of Arabs have been martyred, fought fierce battles against Israel, and lost their land, lives, and wealth for their country.

I do not know how Mahmoud Abbas, one of the historic leaders of the Fatah movement, could stoop so low as to devote over an hour to talk about his battle with Dahlan, giving evidence of his involvement in Arafat's murder. What position does Dahlan even hold for him to be considered an opponent to the president? How can the Fatah movement, full of honourable men, accept this scandal and remain silent about it? And why mention all of these facts now, nine years after Arafat's assassination? Isn't it a shame that the Palestinians have basically acquitted Israel of the charges proven by international laboratory tests which show that the poison used to kill Arafat is only owned by two countries in the world, the United States and Russia?

Isn't it a shame for us to get caught up with the tools used for the crime and neglect the real criminals who guided and supplied them with the poison and then ordered them to kill their leader because he refused to concede Jerusalem, the right of return, and all the national principles?

Colonel Dahlan's record is known by every Palestinian, but wasn't Dahlan an ally of Abbas and his supporter? Didn't they plot together to oust Arafat, take away all his powers and cut him off financially? And didn't they coordinate with the Americans and Israelis to marginalise the then Palestinian president because he wasn't considered a good partner in the peace process as he was "guilty" of inflaming the second Intifada and refused to sign away his values and national cause during the Camp David Summit?

After listening to the accusations exchanged between Abbas and Dahlan regarding the poisoning of Yasser Arafat, the Israelis must be euphoric. They can now point their fingers at the entire world and all the research centres in Switzerland who accused them of the deed, making them scapegoats for the Palestinian wolves who are tearing each other apart in public.

Personally, I do not know where to hide my face in shame, having appeared on the popular BBC television show "Dateline" and confirmed that Israel killed Arafat; a famous British Jewish writer challenged me and asked if Arafat had some Palestinian opponents who wanted to get rid of him in light of their struggles to succeed him. I replied in the affirmative, but asked in response where these opponents could get the radiative polonium deemed to be the poison that killed Arafat. Did they produce it in their advanced nuclear reactor in the impoverished refugee camps in Gaza, I asked him, or the run-down Balata refugee camp in Nablus, or Um Dheisheh camp in Bethlehem, near Ramallah?

The poor Palestinian people have sacrificed thousands of martyrs, trusted such leaders and gave their sons to them believing that they were honourable men who would lead them to victory and restore their violated rights.

I wanted to conclude this article by calling for the formation of a Palestinian committee to investigate this crime, but I changed my mind; there is no need for such a committee, because both sides are convicting one another and providing the evidence. In any case, who would we call on to form this committee; who would be the members, who will chair it; the PA or their judges? Or will it be the members of the PA's central committee who have remained silent about these crimes for years and have hidden the evidence and proof out of fear of losing their power and privileges and to keep their positions and titles.

The PA has made no effort to investigate the circumstances of the death of its leader and founder, and prevented all those who even approached the issue by threatening them with severe punishment; they know very well who the murderer and the tools are.

We apologise to all our Arab brothers for these fools and their actions, and we tell them that we have failed and were unable to contain them or punish them for their crimes. However, we stress that the Palestinian people are innocent and have disowned their "leaders" and their actions; they are pure, persevering and patient people who spare no expense when it comes to their nation, cause and blood; they are a model of honour and pride in their cause and all who serve and give their lives for it.

Translated from Raialyoum, 17 March, 2014

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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