Yasser Arafat’s helicopter ride out of the territories serves as a perfect metaphor for his failure to lead his people. After spending most of his lifetime suppposedly fighting for statehood and better lives for the Palestinians, he ends up having to go to Europe to get decent healthcare. Even Arafat, by far the richest and most powerful person in the territories, cannot get anything close to modern healthcare in the society he has helped to create.
But at least Yasser always has options. Economic options. Media options. Housing options. Security options. And of course, healthcare options. Most Palestinians have no such luxuries.
And so much for the joys of martyrdom. Better to preach that than to live it. Arafat’s primary concern has always been self preservation, be it political or physical. His legacy will be his legend and little more.