All Sorts of Things

Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.

Middle East: Arafat’s New Autopsy to Resolve Nothing

The body of the late-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was exhumed on Tuesday in response to his widow’s allegation that Arafat had been poisoned – a belief widely shared by many Palestinians. Forensic teams from France, Russia, and Switzerland will analyze samples taken from Arafat’s corpse in order to discover if the former leader was poisoned by the radioactive material Polonium. Results aren’t expected for over three months but, regardless of the outcome, they won’t change anyone’s mind.

In 2004, Yasser Arafat was a spry 75 year old swashbuckling Palestinian spending most of his free time – of which he had much – supervising the refurbishment of his party’s West Bank headquarters in Ramallah. Progress was slow and there wasn’t much to show after two and half years as the Israelis kept blowing up all the new construction when the Palestinian leader’s health took a turn for the worse and he was transported to a French hospital where he died. Even though the hospital wanted to conduct an autopsy, they did not get the necessary permissions from his wife, Suha, and so, Arafat was buried with lingering suspicions as to the cause of his death. Since the burial, though, Suha has been telling everyone with at least one ear that Yasser was poisoned by the evil Jewish lobby. Mrs. Arafat’s protestations caught the eye of a Swiss institute who apparently studied Yasser’s clothes and claims to have found high levels of Polonium on them.

Timing is quite important in this story as scientists believe that any trace of Polonium will disappear after eight years and it has been that long since Arafat was buried. So, if they had not pulled his body out now, all chances of finding anything would have disappeared permanently. Having said that, I don’t believe any result will satisfy those on either side of the disputed border. If doctors in the three countries agree – and this is a big if since we all know how strange it is for doctors to agree on anything, let alone doctors that don’t even speak the same language – on the cause of Arafat’s death, it will simply cause more problems. In scenario one, let’s assume that there is no evidence of foul play; does anyone actually believe this will silence the conspiracy theories or will people simply blame this result on the late date of the exhumation. Scenario two is that the body does contain evidence of poisoning; well, what happens after that? Obviously, the Palestinians will go insane and want Israelis to pay for Arafat’s death. How will that happen: money or release of prisoners or 70 virgins for each Palestinian – this would be the toughest thing since it’s pretty much impossible to find an Israeli virgin! Also, who will get the blame, Ariel Sharon? That dude has been sleeping for years and ain’t waking up anytime soon. It will also destroy the recently signed peace agreement and Egypt will have to once again pick up those pieces which will give Morsi one more opportunity to blow up his ego and that is the last thing anyone needs! So, let it be and just say there was a language barrier and everyone lost the samples.

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This entry was posted on November 28, 2012 by in International Affairs and tagged , , .
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