A Salute to Arafat, A Salute to the Palestinian People

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 A Salute to All Honest People All Over the World, Who Condemned Israeli Aggression

     The Palestinian President, Yassir Arafat, is free at last from his small prison, his two-room office in Ramallah. For about a month, Israeli military occupation forces surrounded his office, besieging him in an attempt to break his will. The Israeli military dictatorship, headed by General Sharon, announced that he was irrelevant. Israeli generals wanted him dead, captive, or exiled out of Palestine. They could not achieve their goal. They wanted him to announce a ceasefire. His answer was, not until Israeli forces withdraw to the positions they were in before the brutal Israeli military campaign. Finally, they threatened  his life by demolishing the building rooms until they reached the walls adjacent to his office. His answer was: "They want me dead, captive, or exiled. I tell them, martyr ... martyr .. martyr." In his steadfasting stance, Arafat has not only represented the unbreakable will of his "Mighty People," but he has also represented the the spirit of the vast majority of people all over the world, who have condemned the brutality of Israeli military dictators.

     Arafat's steadfastness could have never been possible without the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, who have rejected the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. They have resisted the Israeli invasion with their guns while realizing that their weapons were no match to the F-16s, Apache helicopters, and tanks that the Israelis have for free from the United States. They have resisted Sharon's occupation by insisting that nobody else can speak for them except their elected President, Yassir Arafat. They have resisted the Israeli military government and its brutal campaign despite their huge losses. Hundreds of them were martyred, thousands injured, thousands arrested and still in captivity, and their infrastructure in total destruction. To take all that and still be defiant and not surrendering to the Israeli aggressors is a testimony that they are truly a "Mighty People," as Arafat likes to call them.

     Arafat and the Palestinian people could not have withstand this atrocious Zionist aggression against them for 54 years without support from freedom-loving and peace-loving people all over the world. A salute for all of them, for everyone who condemned Israeli aggression and oppression in his/her heart, by words, by participation in demonstrations, by writing in or to the media, or by providing direct support of all kinds. With your continuous support, the journey for Palestinian freedom should not be long.

      For those who have been supportive of the Israeli government and its oppression of the Palestinian people, it's time to open your eyes and see the reality of that government. It is not the democracy that pro-Israel media (like CNN, Fox, and the New York Times)  promote. Democracy simply means the majority rule. Only one million Palestinians have the right to vote. The rest six and a half million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and in exile have no such right. They are deprived to be citizens of their own country. Thus, the Israeli government represents a minority rule of one ethnic group dominating the majority of Palestinians. It is a government that is controlled by the military establishment, just think about the three generals who became prime ministers in the past ten years: Rabin, Barak, and Sharon. 

Hassan A. El-Najjar