Insufferable

For years we have had to listen to insufferable euphemisms when it comes to Yasser Arafat. Well, I fear that's going to be nothing compared to some of the eulogies we will hear upon his death. Therefore, let me prepare you for some of them.

Angela Bertz

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צילום: ערוץ 7
For years we have had to listen to insufferable euphemisms when it comes to Yasser Arafat.

Well, I fear that's going to be nothing compared to some of the eulogies we will hear upon his death. Therefore, let me prepare you for some of them.

Sky News would break the news as follows: He was the symbol of their nation and the embodiment of their struggle.

Emma Herd, paired with Keith Graves, flown in specially to help with the coverage, would point mournfully to Arafat's crumbling Ramallah compound, calling it "a humble dwelling for the PA leader". They would go on to explain, to the those still with the stomach to take it in, that despite "rumours" of immense wealth, "he chose" to live in such humble circumstances to better personify the plight of the ordinary Palestinians, whose dignity had been his life's work.

Jack Straw will be choking on his Sunday lunch and shaking his head in disbelief. He would go on to say that Arafat was not allowed to die and that his death was "unlawful and unjustified". He would further add that this tragic event was very unlikely to achieve its objectives. He will probably try to throw in some statement from the fourth Geneva Convention, but at this point, all cameras will be pointed to New York.

Kofi Annan would crawl out of that den of iniquity, the United Nations, and, urged on by the powerful and oppressive Arab lobby, undoubtedly declare it the saddest day in the history of the UN. He would say that, at the insistence of Sudan, he was still dumbstruck that a special resolution to commemorate a National Yasser Arafat Memorial Day at the United Nations had been vetoed by the United States.

Only Israel and Micronesia voted against it.

The European Union will be a buzz of activity. Chris Patten would be perturbed that the poor man went to his grave before Patten was able to tell him that the EU still had not found any proof of aid money being diverted for terrorism. Javier Solana will be right behind his colleague, expressing his concerns as to how the Arab world is going to react to this terrible news. Ben Bot of the Netherlands, in his current role as the rotating President of the EU, will reiterate that it couldn't have been more than a couple of months ago that he had told Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom that even if he wasn't Arafat's #1 fan, he still felt Arafat was their best bet for negotiating a settlement.

The Norwegian and New Zealand governments would still be shaking perplexed heads. They will say they are not really sure what they are going to do with another $12 billion dollars of aid money they had jointly allocated to relieve Palestinian "plight-hood". They would add that they were a little wary of whom to hand the money over to now. After all, they had heard tales of corruption and monies being transferred to Swiss bank accounts. They'll gladly show a copy of Yasser Arafat's latest fax giving details of new agriculture and housing projects, hospitals, schools and even a new seaside complex offering hundreds of jobs and supposedly destined to attract millions of tourists to Gaza.

Hannan Ashrawi will bemoan the fact that she didn't think she was ever going to see that $50.00 he still owes her.

The new Palestinian Authority leader will still be undetermined due to internal struggles. Nevertheless, the Arabs will have all jointly agreed that every street, every square and every football team, including all the balls, would be named after Yasser Arafat. In fact, they would even pass a law that from then on everybody in the "Palestinian Occupied Territories" would be named Yasser Arafat. A PA spokesman will go on record as saying, "That covers us in case the 'Zionist Entity' doesn't want to negotiate with Yasser Arafat. They won't have any choice."

An anonymous doctor in Paris will say that the real reason for Yasser Arafat's death was more stomach ulcers than martyrs in Gaza. These, he will say, had been caused when he saw Suha's weekly bills. He will say it was really beginning to bite into his billions and worry him literally to death.

A manufacturer in Jenin, producing blow-up Yasser Arafat dolls as a sideline to Kassam rockets and fashionable suicide belts, will report record sales. He'll say the dolls were selling like hot cakes and despite a warning on the box to detonate your doll at a safe distance, most Palestinian mothers were taking their children's singed hair in good humour. Boxes will come with a warning that children under five are recommended to have parental supervision. Deluxe sets with an Israeli bus or pizza parlour will be especially popular with the over-10s.

The Saudis reportedly also sent doctors to Ramallah. Our poor doctors, they'll reveal, just got crushed somewhere between the Jordanian, Palestinian, Egyptian and Tunisian doctors. "There was mass bedlam in that bedroom with all of us trying to cure him. Our cause wasn't helped by Suha holding her husbands hand and being indecently dressed in haute couture clothes and high heels."

Suha Arafat: "I know, I know. I hadn't seen him for 4 years. But I always sent him my bills from Paris and we had a lovely portrait of him in the front room of our luxurious suite. My plan now is to immediately blame Israel for his death. First thing tomorrow, I am going to order a million silk scarves for all those weeping Palestinian women in the 'Occupied Territories' who loved my husband as much as I did. My message to them is: 'Wear your scarf with pride and try to choose one that is going to match what you already have in your wardrobe. Next time the tanks of the 'occupying forces' flood into your town, wave your scarf at them.'"

Vanessa Redgrave: "He suffered such indignities for a man of his stature. You should have seen the tears of joy in his eyes when I handed him the silver polish I had brought especially from London earlier this year on my visit. This minor little luxury had been cruelly denied him by the 'Occupying Forces'. His only concern was my comfort and that he could now serve our tea from a beautifully polished 18th-century Palestinian tea service. That spoke volumes for the man and his standards of finesse and refinement. All this while his heart was bleeding for his poor battered nation, denied their land by those evil occupiers."

A little Palestinian girl aged 9 asks her mother: "Mother, now that the man in the big house is dead, does that mean I can grow up and be a doctor?"




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