RealNews

Hatred and hope in Israel

For Palestinians, Yasser Arafat embodied their aspirations for statehood but for Israelis he was a symbol of terror and the man who bore responsibility for the bloodshed of the past few years. He was Ariel Sharon’s political nemesis and in an initial statement the Israeli prime minister did not refer to his old adversary by name, but spoke of his hopes that the Palestinian leader’s death could be a turning point for the Middle East. Summing up the feelings of many in Israel towards Mr Arafat, Justice Minister Tommy Lapid said: “I hated him for the deaths of Israelis. I hated him for not allowing the peace process to move forward.” Across the Israeli political spectrum, Mr Arafat had become in recent years a political “persona non grata”, even to those who had previously lauded him as a potential peace-maker. Full Story

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