By Gilad Atzmon
Since we now have conclusive evidence that Arafat was poisoned by radioactive polonium 210 and since Israel is the prime suspect in Arafat’s 2004 assassination, surely it is time to point the finger at Israel and its leadership and to demand explanations.
Already in 2004, Silvan Shalom, at the time Israeli Foreign Minister, rejected as “scandalous and false” the idea that his country had a role in Arafat’s death. However, this is despite the facts that Israel had earlier threatened Arafat, blaming him for Palestinian violence and, after losing 15 citizens to suicide bombings in September 2003 and had decided to “remove” Arafat – though without elaborating publicly precisely how this might be achieved. As if this were not enough, an Israeli newspaper quoted Avi Dichter, at the time Shin Bet director as saying that ‘it would be better to kill Arafat than exile him.
This week we learned that a Swiss institute, which recently examined Arafat’s clothing, had found “surprisingly” high levels traces of polonium-210, the same substance which killed former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Surely such findings should also encourage MI5 to re-examine Litvinenko’s death and his close ties with Israel and the Russian Oligarchs. Is it possible that polonium -210 was, at the time, the lethal method of choice amongst Israeli assassins?
But a positive answer to this question leaves me only confused. What could have led Israel to the peculiar decision to nuke its prime enemies by planting polonium in their food? What could they have in mind when they decided to use a substance that can be provided by only a very few states and would leave radioactive traces forever? Do they really think that the Goyim and the Arabs are that stupid? I am afraid that the answer may as well be in the affirmative. Israel knows, and exults in the fact, that it gets away with murder – and quite easily too.
Still, we must here note that Israel has all along denied any involvement in Arafat’s death. On Wednesday, Avi Dichter, said that it was for Palestinians to investigate:
The body is in their hands. It is in Ramallah, and really, all the keys are in their hands.
Meanwhile Israel Army Radio confirmed that introducing polonium into food was the only way to kill someone with that particular poison and asked Dichter, whose agency had overall responsibility for monitoring the Palestinians, whether it would have been possible with Arafat.
You’re asking me as his cook?
was Dichter’s jocular answer.
Actually, it’s no joke. Israel certainly wasn’t the cook but is clearly in the frame for being the chef in this gastronomic debacle. Dichter continued: “We were focused on more serious things. Arafat’s food did not interest us. I think it interested those around him, in order, really, to keep his health up, as he was indeed known to be unwell. But the Shin Bet, or the State of Israel, was not involved in Yasser Arafat’s food.”
I agree with Dichter. It is more than likely that Israel wasn’t directly involved in the preparation Arafat’s final hummus, but we, nonetheless, should be concerned here with the strong possibility that Israel may have, probably thorough a third party, found a way to pepper Arafat’s food with the radioactive substance.
Pressed on the poisoning scenario, Ditcher said:
Yasser Arafat had many enemies, domestically and abroad. But let them investigate … The Palestinians know well how to investigate what goes on in their house. Let them investigate and find out.
Dichter is obviously correct, Arafat indeed had many enemies, but the obvious question here is how any of his enemies could put their hands on a radioactive substance available to just a few states. And I guess that we all know of one possible suspect – and so does Dichter
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