Pulp Non Fiction

[ Saturday, November 13, 2004 ]


The Passion of Arafat

Gilad Atzmon

In the last ten days of his life the world held its breath
following what appeared to be an everlasting battle between
a giant freedom fighter and the angel of death. Many of us
were following the news with care, many of us were praying
for the president's recovery. Apparently, not all of us: we
also had a chance to see some necrophiliac Israeli
ministers who would not let go, for them this was an
opportunity to entertain themselves with fatality, an
opportunity not to be missed. They tried to convince us for
the last time that Arafat was a terrorist, that the notion
of him being buried in Jerusalem amongst ˜Jewish Kings was
inconceivable. These Israelis leaders insisted on telling
us that this great man was an ˜enemy of peace. But as it
seems, their viciousness didnt prevail.

By now the world is accustomed to Israeli politicians and
their utter lack of manners, not to mention a complete
absence of empathic qualities. And yet, Jewish ministers
and the Israeli media were dismayed to discover that once
again, Jewish sadism had been defeated, if anything it was found to
be counter effective. With worldwide extensive coverage on
all news networks, Arafat was buried today as an admired
world-class leader. Arafat is probably the last
popular ˜peoples leader. A man of the people, who failed
to become an American puppet or even an autocrat

For three years, the old man was encircled in his bombarded
compound, occasionally his life was put at a severe risk;
the Muqata, the building in which he spent his final year,
was torn apart and a threat of collapse was imminent for
more than two years. In spite of his age, without
electricity or running water, in spite of daily humiliation
by the people who colonised his land, the man didnt
surrender. And yet the Israelis never stopped, when they
didnt bomb him they wanted to cleanse him. But the man did
not give up. Presenting his people with the greatest form
of mighty dignity, he encouraged them to resist and they did.

It was shocking to find out that the Israeli politicians
and media outlets were foolish enough to bully the dying man.
How blind can you be to the most basic sense of humanity?
The old labour Zionists were as sadistic as their right
wing successors but at least they were fully engaged in
disguising their real motives. They always at least
pretended to be peace lovers. It now appears that the
current leading Israelis are far more genuine. Much like
their ancient biblical ancestors, they went for the most
banal vulgar populist choice; they provided their crowd
with the most bloody message of vengeance. Israeli identity is
obsessed with the search for the notion of ultimate
revenge. The sensation of coming down on their defenceless foes like
a ton of bricks makes them feel very pleased with
themselves. This rather awkward philosophy matured into the
Israeli official political and military strategy. The
elected Israeli government is there merely to provide the
Israelis with Palestinian blood. The Israeli government
have very little claim for fame on any other front, neither in
economy nor in social security, nor indeed in personal
security. They specialise in providing the Israeli public
with a high Palestinian death rate. In tactical terms they
define it as ˜power of deterrence but in practice it is
better articulated as sheer bloodthirstiness.

Very much like their biblical ancestors, the Israelis like
to see their enemy beaten to death,whether it is an old
dying Arafat or a family annihilated by a gun ship in Gaza.
As terrifying as it sounds, the pain of others makes the
Israelis cheerful. This is the only explanation for the
murderous activities enacted by the Israeli army in
occupied territories. This is the only explanation for them bullying
the dying Arafat even when it was clear that he was on his
last legs. The concept of compassion is completely foreign
to them.

It now appears that the emancipation of the Jewish people
that led to the birth of Zionism: a racist, colonialist and
nationalist state, is now evolving into its very last
phase: a sadistic manifestation. Israel is engaged in the daily
bullying of the Palestinian people. When bullying gets
boring, they go for the kill; when killing gets boring,
they humiliate the dying Arafat. The Israelis enjoy their
overwhelming power. At the end of the day, it must be quite
good fun to threaten the entire region with your colossal
nuclear destructive power.

But then, it is not entirely surprising that the Western
world and especially the Europeans are uneasy with the
latest manifestation of Zionism. They stand and stare at
current events with a sense of familiarity. For Westerners,
the passion of Arafat and the via-delerosa of the
Palestinian people isnt a revelation, it is merely a
repetition. A repetition of the birth of the entire Western
ethos, an ethos that is based upon the denunciation of
sadism and the endorsement of empathy. Israel is going the
other way, it is the narcissistic embodiment of any
possible inhuman sense. It is the celebration of cruelty. History
teaches us that when sadistic narcissism reveals its face,
the end should be anticipated. Israel's days are numbered;
it is just a question of time before they turn against

art [4:50 PM]