Yasser Arafat attends Friday prayers at a mosque adjacent to his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Friday, May 7, 2004 (AP)
Oh, one is tempted to joke about this: at last, something on which Israelis and Palestinians can agree, etc. etc. and so forth. But is there anyone who doubts that this man is alive only at the sufferance of Israel? It is only the fear of someone worse than Arafat that makes them rather bear the ills they have than fly to others they know not of.
Palestinian Media Watch has the goods on last Friday’s sermon.
Ever since Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s statement that Yasser Arafat as a terrorist leader is not immune from Israeli retribution, Palestinian Authority TV has repeatedly stated that Arafat actually wants to be killed by Israel, which would grant him the status of Shahid (Holy Martyr). In last week’s sermon, the Imam restated the Palestinian Islamic belief that death as a Shahid is preferable to life, going so far as to pray for Arafat’s death as a Shahid.
The following is text of the sermon:
“Regarding the threats of this Nazi mass murderer [Ariel Sharon] against President Arafat, we hereby tell him: We are not like you, because we do not desire life. If you threaten to kill President Arafat, we will pray to Allah: “Grant the President Shahada (Martyrdom) for you.” Yes, we do not pray – like other preachers pray – for longevity for the rulers; here in Palestine we pray: “Lord, grant the President Shahada for you”.” [PA TV Sermon by Ibrahim Madiras, April 30, 2004]