A Decade After Dying, Yasser Arafat Still Divides Israelis

Written by | November 9, 2014 | 0

JERUSALEM:  For most Israelis, the late Yasser Arafat and his trademark black-and-white keffiyeh represents the embodiment of the “arch-terrorist”.

But a minority in Israel look back fondly on the former Palestinian leader — who died 10 years ago this week — as the man who dared to sign an peace accord with the Jewish state.

For decades, any Israeli making contact with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) that Arafat led could be thrown in prison. In 1993, however, all that changed with the Oslo peace accords which transformed the PLO into a legitimate political force.

But if the rapprochement brokered by the Oslo treaty was a welcome development for two peoples wearied by decades of war, the second Palestinian intifada, which began in 2000, reminded Israelis that Arafat remained a formidable adversary, experts said.

Filed in: International

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