When the Wicked Perish

I suppose that a minority of the folks in today's world actually hold to the exact letter of these laws, but it's a rare and evil bird who somehow manages to break every one of the seven edicts. Arafat was such a creature.

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Ellen W. Horowitz

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We celebrated all week. Candies and cakes were being passed around, because - unlike the Arabs who distribute sweets and party over Jewish blood - we were affirming life and its miracles.

That the beast who gave terror a bad name fell critically ill while I was preparing for one son's Bar Mitzvah, and that Yasser Arafat's death was made official on the morning of my eldest son's 21st birthday was just an added plus - and I'm very grateful for it.

I promised myself and my family that I would do my best to switch gears and pry myself away from the international scene, national situation and Internet for a couple of weeks in order to concentrate on simchas. But every once in a while I sneaked a peek at the Arafat Freak Fest via CNN.

I watched how the world media and Palestinian powers-that-be haggled over the terms of his demise like he was an item up for sale in a Baghdad Bazaar. Recall how anxiously they were "preparing for his burial" while he was "still alive"? Henceforth, he should be referred to as "The Knight of the Living Dead". I guess I derived a certain satisfaction from knowing that the world and his people essentially buried him alive - a death befitting such a repugnant personality.

I watched as the bizarre farce over his illness turned into a ghoulish lament come burial time, and nobody does it better than CNN's Christian Amanpour. But why should we be shocked by the coverage given to the scum when it's a well-established media standard that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter"?

In a world of shifting sands and mores, is the definition of humanity an issue of relativity, or are there still firm and consistent codes and criteria that make us definitively human, and provide us with the stability and clarity that so many of us crave?

As Jews, we are commanded to keep hundreds of intricate laws; whereas, non-Jews are expected to follow seven universal laws that date back to the time of Noah. The following decrees were established with the purpose of ensuring a just, peaceful and creative world:

1. Do not worship false gods

2. Do not to blaspheme G-d.

3. Do not murder.

4. Do not engage in incestuous, adulterous, bestial or homosexual relationships.

5. Do not steal.

6. Do not eat a limb torn from a living animal.

7. Do establish courts to ensure obedience to the above six laws.

Our tradition views those who scrupulously adhere to these Noahide laws to be righteous individuals who are assured a place in the world to come (unlike the price of admission to the Islamic version of paradise, which can be attained by immolating oneself along with others).

I suppose that a minority of the folks in today's world actually hold to the exact letter of these laws, but it's a rare and evil bird who somehow manages to break every one of the seven edicts. Arafat was such a creature.

The following excerpt from an editorial in the Washington Times succinctly sums up his legacy of theft and murder:

"While millions of Palestinians continue to languish in squalid refugee camps throughout the region thanks in large part to his obduracy, Yasser Arafat became rich. Forbes magazine recently estimated his personal fortune at approximately $300 million - wealth accumulated largely through questionable business deals and stolen foreign aid money. Other estimates put the amount embezzled at more than $1 billion. This is the legacy of Yasser Arafat - a man who became very rich while trafficking in murder and theft and sabotaging the national aspirations of his own people."

Arafat's refusal to establish an effective system of justice was exposed in an article featured in Christian Action for Israel:

"Abu-Rahama [Palestinian Authority's Prosecutor-General] is not the only one who has criticized the Palestinian judicial system. Other lawyers have also sharply criticized this judicial system, but they have refused to be named for fear of the steps which the Palestinian Authority is liable to take against them. Even former judges, who were appointed and dismissed by Arafat, are afraid to publicly express their opinions on this issue. Intellectuals, writers and civil rights activists are also filling their mouths with seawater. They have all learned that only one man represents the Palestinian judicial system: Yasser Arafat. He is judge, prosecutor and defense counsel, and, if necessary, he is above the law."

To get a taste of the blood lust that was so much a part of Arafat and emboldened his disciples, read this account that appeared in an article from the Atlantic Monthly:

"Black September's first operation was the assassination, in November of 1971, of Jordan's Prime Minister Wasfi al-Tal, who was gunned down as he entered the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in Cairo. While Tal lay dying, one of the assassins knelt and lapped with his tongue the blood flowing across the marble floor. That grisly scene, reported in the Times of London and other major newspapers, created an image of uncompromising violence and determination that was exactly what Arafat both wanted and needed."

And yes, filmed evidence of PLO aberrations were freely circulated years ago, as this account by the internationally acclaimed and now deceased Yoga Master, Swami Vishnu-devananda, illustrates in Yoga Life (note: I met personally with the swami, practiced yoga with him and can attest to his truthfulness and sincerity):

"I saw on a newsreel the graduation of the PLO from training camp. Do you know what they have to do to show their courage? They are going to kill every Israeli; to prove that, they have to take live chickens and live rabbits and bite them with their teeth and tear them apart. They are ruthless; they are going to kill everybody. They literally bite into live chickens and live rabbits, tear them apart with their teeth, to show their courage. That's the type of monster we are creating on this planet earth."

(One has to wonder why and how all of those liberal human and animal rights activists proudly sport those keffiyahs around their necks as they demonstrate on behalf of "humanity".)

That Arafat engaged in homosexual acts is also well-documented:

"Arutz-7 recently quoted former Romanian deputy foreign intelligence chief Ion Pacepa, the highest ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc, regarding Arafat's murderous tendencies. Pacepa's memoirs also have much to say about Arafat's homosexuality, noting that the Romanian government bugged Arafat and recorded his debauchery with his bodyguards."

Seems we've covered Noahide code numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. So let's move on to idolatry.

In a desperate attempt to prove their ancient connections and claim to the Land of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, a.k.a. Arafat, stooped to all levels. In 1997, the Jerusalem Post filed this report:

"The PA staged an elaborate pageant in Sebastia reenacting the legend of the Canaanite god Baal, including youths dressed in period costumes, chariots designed to specifications found at the Megiddo excavations and torchbearers dancing around an elated Minister of Culture Yasser Abd-Rabbo."

Turning oneself into an icon or god also constitutes idolatry and Arafat was good at that. He publicly ranted at the following correspondents:

"Do not forget, you are speaking with Yasser Arafat." (James Reynolds, BBC).

"Do not forget you are speaking to Yasser Arafat." (Hala Jabar, London Telegraph)

"You are speaking with Yasser Arafat. You are attacking me." (Ted Koppel, ABC's Nightline)

"You are speaking with General Yasser Arafat. Be quiet!" (Christian Amanpour, CNN)

It should be noted that, for the most part, the press enjoyed the abuse - they lapped it up and begged for more.

Rule number 2 commands us not to blaspheme G-d. Arafat was a walking desecration - a sacrilege of everything right and good. His complete contempt for human life constituted total denial of G-d and was in itself definitive blasphemy.

Any nation, leader, diplomat, or news commentator who felt it necessary to pay their respects to an utter abomination had best pause for thought and look where, and on whose blood, they are standing - and tremble. Those who were able discern the evil in Arafat and avoid contact with him and those like him, at all costs, have reason to rejoice.


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