One of the world’s longstanding political celebrities and a man (terrorist/politician) who openly preached martrydom died in a French hospital after doctors did what they could to save his life. Yasser Arafat is dead at 75.
He dies with a long legacy of a life on the public stage. Four things will mark this, the week of his death. First, for several days the public, from the West Bank to Washington, could not get a straight answer about his health status. That was Arafat the diplomat and negotiatior. Second, his funeral services will be held outside of his homeland because of security and logistical concerns. That was Arafat the local political leader. Third, now that he is dead, other Palestinians will be left to search for the billions of dollars that he personally controlled. That was Arafat the opportunist thug. And fourth, as has been the case for so long, in death, Arafat will make headlines the world over. That was Arafat who could make fire without two sticks.
Let the rewriting of his legacy (by all sides) commence at once. That furious and probably ridiculous debate would be the only fitting tribute.