Yasser Arafat: The Father of Modern Terrorism

Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat (Wikimedia Commons)

Do you remember when modern terrorism was birthed? Yasser Arafat, who won a Nobel Peace Prize, is known as the father of modern terrorism. He was the first to perpetrate hundreds of massive terrorist attacks against civilians in Israel and abroad.

It was in the late 1950s that this Egyptian-born man co-founded an organization called Fatah, the "Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine."

By 1965, his gangs were targeting and bombing Israeli villages, water pipes and railroads. Fatah destroyed homes and killed Israelis. This was, by the way, before Israel's crushing victory in the Six Day War of 1967, before Jerusalem came into Israel's hands, and years before a single Jewish family settled in the West Bank.

Soon after the Six Day War, Arafat's Fatah joined and became the dominant member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, an umbrella group of Palestinian terrorist gangs. A few months later he was appointed chairman of the Executive Committee. The PLO then entered the international arena.

On Feb. 21, 1970, he ordered that a SwissAir flight bound for Tel Aviv be blown up, and it killed all 47 people aboard. A second plane he bombed on the same day was able to land without crashing.

Without so much as taking a deep breath, Arafat went after Israeli school buses, killed nine children and three teachers, hijacked two more planes, and continued his killing spree. He dispatched members of the Japanese Red Army to Tel Aviv's Lod Airport and killed 27 people.

In 1972, his terrorists attended the Summer Olympic Games in Munich and killed 11 athletes. He had found his calling: 21 children killed with hand grenades besides the teachers in a small town in Galilee. Raging through the streets, the terrorists killed other civilians at random, including two Arab women; more killings in the town of Beit She'an, six shot in a coastal hotel, 21 dead after Fatah terrorists took over a bus on the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway.

In 1985, terrorists boarded the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, shot a wheelchair-bound elderly Jew, and threw him and his wheelchair overboard.

In September 1993, Arafat wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stating his PLO accepted Israel's right to exist and committed itself to the Middle East peace process and a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides. This process was called the Oslo Accords—so named because of secret negotiations in that Norwegian city—and held great hope in Israel.

However the terror attacks did not cease. Encouraged by Arafat's belligerent speeches against Israel, the Palestinians understood that Arafat's life calling was still intact—to destroy Israel. The PLO continued its pursuit of terrorist attacks against Jews—their goal to utterly destroy them.

Near Bethlehem, Arafat declared, "We know only one word—'jihad, jihad, jihad, jihad.' Whoever does not like it can drink from the Dead Sea or from the Sea of Gaza." (Yediot Ahronot; 23 Oct. 1996)

He continued to proclaim jihad: "O my dear ones on the occupied lands ... intensify the revolution and the blessed intifada ... we must burn the ground under the feet of the invaders." But all that was in Arabic. In English he preached peace. In Arabic he declared war to the bitter end.

In the year 2000, under the auspices of President Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak made a serious offer to give Arafat 92 percent of the West Bank and half of Jerusalem to make peace.

Arafat said NO. Arafat didn't want to found a Palestinian state. This statement must be repeated constantly. He wanted to destroy Israel. Many years later, his wife, Suha, revealed that he had told her at that time to remain in Paris because he was about to start a new intifada. In her words, Suha said: "Camp David had failed, and he said to me, 'You should remain in Paris.' I asked him why, and he said, 'Because I am going to start an intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so.'"

"'I do not want Zahwa's [Arafat's daughter's] friends in the future to say that Yasser Arafat abandoned the Palestinian cause and principles. I might be martyred, but I shall bequeath our historical heritage to Zahwa and to the children of Palestine,'" Suha quoted her late husband as saying.

And so Arafat plotted and planned a war that went on for four years, murdering 1,053 Israelis. The Israeli government says somewhere around 2,124 Palestinian combatants were killed, 55 percent of the total Palestinian deaths. Of those, over 500 Palestinians were killed by the Fatah forces.

It was a terrible time in Israel. Buses and restaurants were blowing up. Israel's emergency volunteers picking up body pieces from the floors and streets. Only when Israel built the West Bank Protection Barrier (a wall in some places) did the killings stop.

Arafat left his legacy—thousands dead and tens of thousands wounded and maimed. He also left in Arab banks an estimated US$1.3 billion to $6.5 billion to his wife and child—taxpayers' money from the West, of course. Besides the dead, he left his people nothing.

At anytime when Arafat was downing planes or blowing apart Israelis, the democratic nations could have easily stopped the operations of this terrorist organization. Any single nation could have ended Arafat's career back then. Indeed the United Nations made sure that Israel did not destroy the PLO.

Since he was fighting the Jews, he was seen as a "freedom fighter" and had much favor with not only the Arab world and its friends but also the "enlightened" world. After all, he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. The world sowed the wind and is now reaping the whirlwind.

Along with her husband Ari, Shira Sorko-Ram is the co-founder of Maoz Israel Ministries, a Messianic Jewish ministry, in Israel.

For the original article, visit maozisrael.com.

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