Gush Shalom’s Letter To Arafat

Gush Shalom‘s love affair with Arafat is soon coming to end, so they decided to send him a letter to paris:

Mr. President,
We are following with deep anxiety your heroic struggle against sickness. Your  achievements for your people are immeasurable. For decades you have led your people from near oblivion to the threshold of national independence.
The importance of your role in the struggle for Israeli-Palestinian peace, based on the coexistence of two states, Israel and Palestine, is immeasurable. As an Israeli peace movement , we hope for your speedy recovery and return to your duties as the leader of the Palestinian people.

You are the partner for peace!


Arafat is a leader who stole his own people’s money and is the manifestation of Rabin’s “no Bagatz and no Btselem”. Indeed, as long as he is the leader of the Palestinian people it is not our place to deny his political legitimacy (though I would hope that Palestinians do exactly so, by a democratic vote). But Gush Shalom’s support of the corrupt Arafat goes way over board, which is a shame. I am only comforted by the fact that most Israeli peace activists that I know don’t share Gush’s attitude toward Arafat.

15 thoughts on “Gush Shalom’s Letter To Arafat

  1. Ronen, enough with categorizing things into moderate/extreme, pro-israel/anti-israel, it really serves no purpose.

  2. Yitzchak Frankental, founder of The Parents Circle — whose son was kidnapped and murdered by members of Hamas, also wishes Arafat a speedy recovery. P.S. Why won’t Israeli t.v. show his interview with Arafat? (Israel seems to be becoming more and more like the US, with the media toeing the line of the government).

  3. Well coming from the resident settler on the block, I’ll tell you that I wish more leftists were like Asaf instead of blind racist hedonist anti-zionists. Asaf is a ‘moderate’.
    Given that,
    I want to correct you on the issue of Arafat’s ‘legitimacy’. He was elected ‘Chairman’ in 1994 for a period of five years. In 1999, (can everybody remember the upheavel that justified…) Arafat failed to call new elections. Essentially, he is just as legitimately the democratic leader of the Arabs as Hitler was. For the sake of our argument, was Hitler democratically elected?

  4. hey was Bush democraticly elected u punk ?? no so shut the fuck up !! AND NEVER EVER compare damn hitler to Arafat u stinky little fuck up.
    What Gush said is true and i respect his letter to Arafat, so do the same and stop complaining.
    u spoiled ignorant kid.

  5. Josh:
    Hitler was initially democratically elected. As for Arafat. He too was initially ‘democratically’ elected. I believe he has tried to hold elections for the position of ‘President’ of the PA twice since 1999, and Mr. Arafat shut them down both times when it was clear he would not win the election.
    ur moma:
    Bush was more or less democratically elected. He won the majority of the votes in the electoral college which is the form we use. And if Gore had only won his home state he would have been the President the last 4 years.

  6. democracy and freedom rest on much more than a majority vote. Democracy exists within the culture, and is manifest in social relationships, the press, popular discourses, the treatement of minorities etc.
    In many respects Arab and Palestinian society are from democratic. Arafat was elected back in ’94 and this must be respected. However a leader or a party can be elected that oppose democracy, or through appealing to people with a totalitarian ideology. Such is the case with Hitler (y”s). If there were elections in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan tommorrow, Al Qaida would probably get in.
    The political style of the Arab world seems to be concensus. Decisions are made behind closed doors, and everyone is expected to follow that line. That’s why an Arab peace movement (with Israel) will be long in coming. However I hope that the Palestinain people will have realised the error that was their unanimousm suport for Arafat, and will begin to see democracy and broad leadership as a strength for their national movement in seeking independance from, and peace with, Israel.

  7. Erza:
    I agree with your post, but would like to discuss the last paragraph.
    The Palestinians will be a long time in coming to the realizations that I think we all hope for. One of the reasons this is the case is that in order for them to begin to see the error of their ways they first have to be shown, from those they trust now, that there ideas are wrong. Since very few of the Palestinians are willing to risk their lives to speak out against the current regime in power, it will take a great effort for that to occur.
    Sadly, I feel that many more people will have to suffer before the realization that it will take people to speak out to get the situation to change.

  8. Little Wolf : I agree with you. Palestinains and the Arab and Islamic World generally can only learn politics the hard way – through experience. It seems in the last 100 hundred years the Arabs have tried everything and found them to be unsuccessful – nationalism, Pan-Arab nationalism, socialism. It seems the next failure they have to understand is the illusion of re-creating the Islamic Caliphate. This could take a long time, and will be very painful. The Iranians have learnt that lesson, but are slow in coming to democracy. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for “Islamicism” to wear thin….

  9. Gush Shalom gives a bad name to the peace movement. I once went to a rally where a Gush Shalom activist wearing a keffiyeh chastised me for drinking mineral water from the “occupied Golan Heights.”

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