View Full Version : Why Paris?

29th Oct 2004, 13:22
What's the reasoning around Arafat going to France for treatment? Why not Jordan? What's it about France that he ended up there? Why was he flown in a French military plane and is being treated in a French military hospital. Why are the people of France paying for him? Stranger and stranger....:E


Sailor Vee
29th Oct 2004, 13:36

Don't forget that France is where his reputed ill-gotten gains were squirrelled away, that's why his missus has been living there for years.

She prolly pitched up and said 'You're off to Paris, my ol' sunshine!' - His reply - 'Yes, Dear' (Aiwa, zawjatee!):E

itchy kitchin
29th Oct 2004, 13:36
The Kitchins "Pet Theorys":

France is offering it's military/medical services to Arafat as a thumbed nose to the Americans.

France is trying to look good to the Arab world in order to secure favourable terms for oil contracts in the future.

France is trying to curry favour in the Middle East to stop it's citizens being kidnapped.

France is helping out of purely humanitarian reasons.

France can provide better medical care and arrest the decline of Mr Arafats' health- saving a potential power struggle and infighting amongst the Palestinians (see first pet theory)

Any or none of these could be true. Repeatedly on this mornings news, Mr Arafat was referred to as the glue which holds the Palestinians together. If he were to die, it could really throw a spanner in the works of the peace process if the Palestinians started fighting amongst themselves in a power vacuum.

29th Oct 2004, 13:52

i think you re right,
other several facts to take in account :

- chirac has a long frienship with middle orient..oil, trading, military contracts etc ... true

- we, most of french, think that arafat must not be left away from the peace process, even with he's defaults

- where can he go ? jordania? palestinians are a mess for them.

- syria ? us ? no, i guess his life maybe more secured in paris

- yes paris whishes to be a counter weight in finding a peace solution

- gain the sympathy instead of hate ? why not, but we dont sleep with ben laden !

most israeli people see arafat as a terorrist, it was true, i m really not against judes or israel, but i dont like sharon, i think a great step to peace just could cut the grass under a lot of terrorist's feet.. who has interests in war ?

BTW i may make my self the devil's advocate but think about that :
didnt israeli fight england with terrorism in the earlier years of isreal ?
would palestinians have been heard if PLO didnt commit attacks?
no they jus were parked in some "camps" quitely untill their death or disapearing...

I DO NOT ENCOURAGE terrorism in any way !!!! but the german also called french resistants "terrorists", dont forget the context


29th Oct 2004, 13:59
It could also be that:

1) France has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its' healthcare.
2) Or that the EU may be picking up the bill.
3) It is a shorter distance to fly to than say, Washington. Even on a great circle route.
4) The repercussions of Arafat dying on US soil would be dramatic.

I don't think that any oil-rich country really gives two hoots about Palestine anyway.

A sudden thought crossed my mind though. It could be part of a Franco-Israeli plot. France has signed up for the ICC...?! :=

Nah, after all that, I think that Paris represents a much more convivial place for someone convalescing after surgery. Just think of all the shopping opportunities for someone who's been holed up in a bullet-ridden bunker for years... :(

29th Oct 2004, 14:13
And, Drapes, in the 40s the British would have said the same about a member of the Stern gang who (40 years) later became Israeli PM. Of course, now this post is going to get the chop and I'm going to get banned.

Back to the thread - the Palestinians want to get into the Eurovision Song Contest, and this is the first step.

29th Oct 2004, 14:28
You're not going to peruade Drapes.
His views on the Middle East and Arabs are fixed - and not open to negotiation. :)

29th Oct 2004, 14:35
Just the Middle East and Arabs? :}

29th Oct 2004, 14:35
Quite frankly I hope the Old Bastard Dies.

He was a murderous bastard in the 60's to the 80's and many good people were killed and maimed in his name.

With him out of the way Peace may break out!


tony draper
29th Oct 2004, 14:39
I suggest anybody involved in the aviation industry do a bit of googling, Arafat and his mob invented aviation related terrorism, among other things.

29th Oct 2004, 14:39
I hope he dies too....I get 35 points in our dead pool if he does.:ok:


tony draper
29th Oct 2004, 14:43
Perhaps the citizens of New York will dance in the streets when he does, after all whats sauce for the Goose, as they say.

29th Oct 2004, 14:48
Hey, I'm not praying for him. Just another terrorist for mine.

Because Keith Miller died only a few weeks ago, whoever has Arafat in Death Lotto will only get about $60, and we can start again.

Anybody seen Boris Yeltsin lately? Tell him to hang on a few months till the jackpot goes up.

29th Oct 2004, 14:59
Rather a large, bordering on xenophobic generalization methinks.

29th Oct 2004, 15:28
This has been examined all along: Palestinian didn't invent Air-terrorism, WE French began when we hitch hiked the plane carrying Algerian insurgents leaders, kidnapped them, and kept them in jail for years.

Good Health Arafat, hope you live long enough to sign the Peace Treaty with Israel!

Flying Lawyer
29th Oct 2004, 16:52
I wonder why people who dislike Arafat and wish him dead assume someone more to their liking will replace him.

He's an old man with limited power these days. Isn't there a real risk some younger militant will replace him, especially in light of Israel's invasion/occupation and ongoing military actions?
The majority of Israelis understandably see it as necessary self-defence. I doubt if the majority of Palestinans, equally understandably, see it that way. An atmosphere of deep resentment is more likely to breed militant, rather than moderate, feelings amongst ordinary people in the population.

I'm no fan of either Arafat or Sharon, but I'd be surprised if either was replaced by a moderate if they dropped dead tomorrow.

29th Oct 2004, 17:01
While I do suspect that in the short term things will get worse after Arafat is gone. There is absolutely NO hope of a future with Arafat in power. He has proved himself a liar and cannot be negotiated with because he is incapable of keeping his word, and also incapable of setting up anything near a respectable political system with the most basic of needs if you are going to have a stable political system of any kind ( a clear line of succession).

Since he has steadfastly refused to name his successor he has always guaranteed that it will be chaos after he dies (His goal, ofcourse, because it makes it harder to replace him). Since we are going to have chaos after he dies, we might as well get it on now, because as you have pointed out, the situation is intolerable. Once we get past that period then maybe in the future this will be some hope. But as long as he was alive there was no hope AND a bleak future of even more turmoil ahead.

As it is now, his various security chiefs are frequently battling each other in streets. Yep its gonna suck, but you know what? If Palestinians are battling each other, they might have less time for killing Israelis as well.

I dunno, is it better to take you medicine (which taste's awefull now but might help you at some point in the future) now or linger along sick for a few years and THEN take your medicine.

Arafat is hopeless. Let the old bastard die (preferably with pain) atleast there is a CHANCE that at some point in the future the Israeli's will find someone to deal with. Remember Sadat didn't start out as a peace maker either.


Nil nos tremefacit
29th Oct 2004, 17:38
What the benighted region requires, sadly, is for several of the old stagers to pass on simultaneously. Whilst Arafat is never going to be a partner for peace it is fair to say that if I were a Palestinian I would not want to deal with Sharon and his almost pathological hatred of all Arabs. If arafat pegs it perhaps Sharon will have a heart attack as he celbrates and then someone can bring peace to the region.

Paris is, as said before, the logical choice. Mrs Arafat lives there and so does her very large bank account.

29th Oct 2004, 18:14
If Palestinians are battling each other, they might have less time for killing Israelis as well.

Hey Wino, you got the latest scores?

How many Israelis been killed by Palestinians this year?
How many Palestinians by Israel?

Or since the occupation?

Or for three years?

Or five years?

Or 30 years?

Yeah, I know, your team's just hotter at the game. :rolleyes:

29th Oct 2004, 18:34
Mrs Arafat lives there and so does her very large bank account So she paid for the military jet and military hospital stay?? I think not. And they do have hospitals in Jordan, Egypt, and Syria...


Flying Lawyer
29th Oct 2004, 19:16
Arafat is said to be suffering from a blood disorder, widely rumoured to be leukemia.
The Percy Army Teaching Hospital in Paris is one of the world's renowned hospitals for the treatment of blood disorders including cancer.
His wife lives in Paris. He chose to do what he regards as his duty to his people by staying in the shell-battered compound in Ramallah where he's effectively been confined by Israeli forces for 2-1/2 years. He could have left, leaving his people to cope with the occupation, but he chose not to.
Now he's sick old man, and probably dying.
Whatever view outsiders may hold of Arafat the Palestinian leader and his efforts to establish a Palestinian state for his people, those who love or care for Arafat the man probably want the best treatment possible for him. It's a perfectly normal human reaction, even if they know deep down the treatment won't save him and he'll die anyway.

Isn't Paris, where his wife lives and where there's a world-class blood cancer hospital, an obvious choice?

I would have been perfectly content if he'd been flown to a London hospital for specialist treatment, just I would be if it was Sharon in such circumstances. Whatever we think of them and the atrocities for which they are directly or indirectly responsible, IMHO we shouldn't abandon our own humanitarian standards.

29th Oct 2004, 19:27
It's the hospital where we pass our medical...:sad:

Astra driver
29th Oct 2004, 19:35
"If Arrafat dies there goes the peace process"

What bloody peace process?

Gareth Blackstock
29th Oct 2004, 20:33
You really think that Arafat is going to go back to Palestine? I'm sure the good doctors and nurses at the hospital will be pronouncing him dead soon...........


tony draper
29th Oct 2004, 20:36
I suspect theres a few impatient figures standing just behind the throne who hope he doesn't make it either.

30th Oct 2004, 00:52
Methinks Wino has it spot on.

The Palestinians immediately post-Arafat will be like Yugoslavia post-Tito and Iraq post-Saddam. Perhaps whoever replaces him will be easier to deal with, or perhaps not. It's going to be messy either way.

My vote goes to Grandpa getting the job, as he believes he has all the answers.

A new man at the top won't do away with 2000 years of entrenched mutual hatred, but it does perhaps offer the chance of genuine dialogue which Arafat was never interested in.

30th Oct 2004, 01:33
Mr. Ozzy said regarding Arafat going to Paris
And they do have hospitals in Jordan, Egypt, and Syria...

If you were deathly ill, would you choose those places or Paris/London/etc. - if money were no object?

Hospitals are not all equal.


30th Oct 2004, 01:52
Bon Jour, Mrs. Arafat…

From time to time, the name Suha Arafat resurfaces in various media reports – usually as part of some controversial story, aimed at discrediting Palestinian leader Arafat. Obviously, such reports largely emanate from either Israelis or Israel supporters, but at times, also from sources in the Arab world who don't see eye to eye with Yasser Arafat's policies on different issues.

Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of the French city of Marseilles recently disclosed that Palestinian First Lady Suha Arafat received French citizenship.

During a recent visit to Israel, Gaudin, considered a supporter of Israel, said that when he served as minister in charge of immigration, he himself signed the approval to grant Suha French citizenship.

Suha, originally raised in a wealthy Christian home in the West Bank, educated by nuns and refined at the Sorbonne, currently lives in France with her daughter Zahwa.

Asked if Yasser Arafat is now entitled to French citizenship as spouse of a French national, Gaudin said that according to French law, the Palestinian president is not automatically entitled to such citizenship, but if he meets certain criteria, he theoretically can get a French passport, Israel's mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot daily reported.

For years after they were secretly married in Tunis, Mrs. Arafat was dismissed as merely a "decoration" for the longtime bachelor, but was soon to show the entire world that through her humanitarian activities in the occupied territories and outspoken stance on the Palestinian struggle – she had much to offer.

President Arafat's marriage to Suha Tawil, a Palestinian half his age, was kept secret for over a year. She had already begun significant humanitarian activities at home, especially for disabled children, but the prominent part she took in the public events in Oslo was a surprise for many.

"It was not easy to enter into their world," Suha once said. "It is a man's world, and very closed - like a family with a lot of intermarriages, and, well, you know the result of that."

Throughout the years, and maybe perhaps due to the secrecy regarding Suha's personal life, there have been continuous rumors circulating about Suha's alleged shopping sprees abroad, spending fortunes on jewelry, clothing, handbags and other accessories.

Needless to say, elements that seek to harm Yasser Arafat's image have also given a hand in slamming the life and conduct of Palestine's First Lady.

Born in Jerusalem, Suha grew up in an affluent and political household, first in Nablus, then Ramallah. Her father was a banker, and her mother, Raymonda Tawil, a well-known journalist who was frequently placed under house arrest by Israeli authorities.

When Suha met the Palestinian leader, in the course of a trip to Jordan's capital of Amman, the young lady was working as a freelance journalist based in Paris. Yasser Arafat hired her to do public relations for the PLO in Tunis, where she nominally converted to Islam before they wed.

"I married a myth," she said. "But the marriage helped him step down from his pedestal and become a human being." At the age of 32, Suha gave birth to the couple's only child (till date) in the Paris suburb of Neuilly. Zahwa was named after Yasser Arafat's mother, who died when he was five years old.

Asked by the French magazine Le Parisien why Zahwa was born in Paris instead of Palestinian territory, Suha Arafat explained, "Our child was conceived in Gaza, but sanitary conditions there are terrible."

Last year, in yet another report targeted at slamming Arafats' wife, the Israeli Ma'Ariv daily carried a story citing "sources" as saying a company, Al-Bahar, owned by Suha Arafat forged license plates for stolen cars. Israeli army sources, according to the report, had handed top government officials a document indicating that a company owned by Suha was forging license plates for cars stolen from Israelis.

Rumors of the 40-year-old Suha Arafat's "over-spending" - and her 74-year-old husband's use of public funds to pay her expenses have been circulating for years in the Arab world and beyond, and emerge from time to time.

Recently, reports said that Suha lives in Paris on $100,000 a month from Palestinian Authority funds. According to rumors, Suha Arafat's mother, Raymonda, also lives extravagantly - apparently off international generosity and the Palestinian taxpayers.

"The last I heard, she was living in the Bristol Hotel, which is regarded as one of the premier hotels - if not the premier hotel - in Paris," an Arab source told the New York Daily News last year. "It is not far from the Elysee Palace and the American Embassy and the fashionable shopping district, Rue St. Honor.

"I understand that she has a whole floor to herself and her entourage, and that she has been living there for over a year. Must be quite expensive, especially given the financial situation of the Palestinians. ... And that does not include shopping and dining!"

However, the concierge at the Bristol, where a suite and 19 rooms cost $16,000 a night said no one listed under the last name Arafat was living at the hotel.

Arafat's wife, who has been living away from her husband and out of the West Bank "for security reasons," said she wishes to be with him during the siege imposed on him in the West Bank town of Ramallah. "I am prepared to return [to the Palestinian territories] the minute I am asked to," she was quoted as saying.

However, it seems that as of now, harsh and fragile political conditions in the occupied territories may keep Suha apart from living with her husband. The first lady of Palestine may need to still live abroad till security circumstances enable the first family to reunite. (Albawaba.com)

My bold.

30th Oct 2004, 02:10
If he lives or dies, does it matter?

He's never going back to Palestine. The Israelis won't allow that...except in a wooden box.

Probably his own people in the PLO are the ones most fervently praying he dies quickly. If only because it makes his now inevitable replacement a lot cleaner and simpler.

He's out of the picture IMHO.

30th Oct 2004, 07:17
Sorry, can't think about Arafat dying or the consequences when poor lil ole Castro baby doesn't seem to have a successor yet.

Solid Rust Twotter
30th Oct 2004, 07:37
Off topic...

What is it about Guevara that makes him a fashion icon? He was responsible for the untimely deaths of hundreds of people during the Cuban show trials and can hardly be seen as a humanitarian. Frign fashion nazis too thick to see this. What next? Mad Bob? Mentally disturbed Muammar? Saddam Hussein? OBL?

...On topic.

Uncle Yasser?

30th Oct 2004, 13:16
Slightly more in depth analasys, although weighted from an Israeli point of view from debka.com (http://www.debka.com) which will no doubt go down like a lead balloon with the arabists amongs the PPRuNe readership. At least it does mention some of the other figures lurking in the background who will probably have some influence on how Arafat's eventual death will affect the plight of Palestinians.The Palestinian-Israel War Gains a French Dimension

DEBKAfile Special Analysis

October 29, 2004, 3:30 PM (GMT+02:00)

The first winter rain bucketed down mixed with hailstones as two Jordanian helicopters carried the seriously ill Yasser Arafat out of Ramallah early Friday, October 29. Within an hour, he was out of the Middle East aboard a French presidential aircraft fitted out as an ambulance with life-support systems that whisked him from Amman to a French military hospital in Paris for urgent medical treatment.

The circumstances of his exit indicate that, despite the veteran Palestinian leader’s sinking health, waning popularity and a reputation tainted with rampant corruption, he remains a force capable of sustaining the war of terror he declared on Israel four years ago, although for three of those years he was confined to his Ramallah headquarters.

They also signal the onset of a new stage in that war and the entry of a new lead player: France.

Exactly ten years ago, the Palestinian leader made a triumphal entry from Tunisian exile to lead the Palestinian Authority created under the 1993 Oslo peace accords. He rode in on a pledge to honor the peace, a pledge he lost no time in violating.

A certain amount of jostling for position greeted the first hours after his departure. The first to step forward were the former and current Palestinian prime ministers Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qureia. Abbas is Arafat’s Number 2 in the PLO executive; Qureia, the senior Palestinian Authority official. A third was Salim Zaanoun, head of the Palestinian Legislative Council. A fourth was the ambitious Mohammed Dahlan, former Gaza Strip strongman.

This foursome can do no more than try and keep things running pro tem until Arafat’s fate is settled one way or another. Without his seal of approval - which was not granted - its members’ standing is not very solid.

Biding their time are the real Palestinian heavyweights, together with the al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades created by Arafat for the suicide campaign against Israel, the radical Hamas and the Jihad Islami. The latter two have already staked a claim to a share in the post-Arafat “unified national government.” The battle for the succession will not begin as long as the Palestinian leader is alive. Until then, president Jacques Chirac, an avowed friend of the “Palestinian struggle,” will be firmly by his side and likely to take a hand in the choices.

The rising men at this moment, according to DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources, are Arafat’s closest advisers and his top terrorist masterminds: Hanni al-Hassan, Saher Habash, Azzam Muhammad, Nabil Abu Rodeina, Ramsi Roh and Force 17 commander Faisal Abu Serah. This group, together with extremist Farouk Kadoumi, the self-exiled deputy chairman of the Fatah executive, will remain in Paris as long as Arafat is confined to hospital. They will try run Palestinian Authority business from the French capital. Claiming they are relaying orders from Arafat, they will gradually erode the authority of the Abu Mazan-Abu Ala clique.

These candidates do not auger well for the hopes harbored by many Israelis of Arafat’s eclipse automatically opening the way for non-violent Palestinian peace negotiators to step forward – or even a downturn in terrorist attacks. Quite the contrary, the contest promises to jar the entire region and unleash fresh terrorist energy.

The high-security Percy military hospital in the Paris suburb of Clamart was chosen in a last minute switch from the Val-de-Grace medical center because of its specialization in blood disorders. Before his departure, Arafat’s physician Dr. Ashraf Kurdi, confirmed his blood platelet count was low.

From the moment that he was committed to hospital, the French agents watching over him will carefully select his visitors. Not all the important members of his escort will be admitted.Those with the best chance are his closest aide Abu Rodeina, private secretary Ramzi Roh, his financial adviser Mohammed Rashid and Azzam Ahmed, who was his contact-man with Iraq’s ex-ruler Saddam Hussein.

Arafat deliberately refrained from naming an heir with a view to running the PA from his hospital bed. But who will conduct the ongoing Palestinian war? Its initiator is in no shape for this kind of strain. By the time he was carried out of his Ramallah quarters, he was too frail to walk. The photographs showing him in a blue pajama suit and knitted hat beaming at his companions were carefully staged. The Palestinians, Israelis and French are all working on the premise that his health has deteriorated too far for recovery. But his protectors will certainly keep him “alive” as long as he breathes. Palestinian officials may travel to Paris, put up at smart hotels and report back home that Arafat is coming along well. But it will be hearsay. They will not be allowed to see him. Abu Rodeina will not doubt phone Ramallah and the Gaza Strip from time to time with “orders” from the boss which no Palestinian official will dare disobey as long as they are in the dark about his real condition. They will wait for a death certificate to prove he is not about to turn up and demand an accounting for their disobedience.

The current situation is therefore uncertain and extremely volatile. All that can be said for the moment is:

1. Israel may have had little choice, but it has lost points by relinquishing the limited intelligence control it maintained over Arafat’s actions in Ramallah and handing it over to France.

2. France is well seasoned in manipulating foreign political figures, often haven-seekers, to serve French diplomatic, military and intelligence interests. One example is Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who lived in exile in a small town near Paris for most of the 1970s disseminating propaganda materials for inciting revolution against the Shah of Iran. In 1979, Khomeini landed in Tehran aboard a French plane and led the Islamic revolution that toppled the ruler and put an end to US-Israeli influence in Iran.

3. By taking charge of the symbol and inventor of the Palestinian national struggle, the French government has also taken a lead-position in European policymaking on Israel, the Palestinians and the conflict between them. Considering the Chirac government’s warm sympathy for the Arabs and the Palestinian cause and its friendly ties with Iran, Syria and the Hizballah, this is not exactly good news for Israel.

4. Since early 2002, the French President has consistently taken a collision course against President George W. Bush over his Middle East policies and posture, especially on Iraq and the Palestinians. Arafat in the care of the French government grants Chirac a new and sharp tool for hurting Israel’s interests and crossing the Washington that refused to do business with the discredited Palestinian leader.

30th Oct 2004, 23:42
Now we're seeing the standard of debate I was always hoping for in the Current Affairs forum.

There are going to be no unbiased posters on this topic (or any others, frankly) but the level of hysteria is being kept impressively low.

My 2p - political power lies in being able to nominate your successor. Arafat has exercised his political power by deliberately not doing so - which will blight his memory even further. A shame that the ego and charisma which made him a leadership figure also make him so fallible.

31st Oct 2004, 00:49
Sorry, can't think about Arafat dying or the consequences when poor lil ole Castro baby doesn't seem to have a successor yet.

The governor of Florida perhaps?

31st Oct 2004, 12:54
Nothing is ever staright forward in Israel of course. The withdawl from Gaza is a case in point as it is not simply a case of a clean untroubelsome handover that will be over in a few hours.

Firstly a huge IDF contingent will move into the Gaza strip. Part of it will do battle with the 1,500 settler families, some of whom seem intent on resisting. Another part will protect settlers from the Islamist gunmen of Hamas, who will probably try to attack them as they are evicted, to show that it was their struggle that forced Israel out.

Israel will then demolish the settlements, in order to deprive Hamas of the propaganda coup of moving in the families of suicide-bombers.

(Thanks to The Economist for this heads up)

31st Oct 2004, 14:09
Solid Rust Twotter

Ernesto (che) Guevara de la Serna fought for what he believed for. He continued his revolution and stood up for his views and believes. That was also his demise. Jon Lee Anderson has written an excellent book about him. It explains his "myth".

7 7 7 7

31st Oct 2004, 15:20
Ozzy's original (rethorical?) question has been answered extensively.
I don't feel like another bound-to-fail attempt at moderating a PPRuNe thread on the Palestinian-Israel War.
If the esteemed Wholigan or peerless Flyblue feel they are up to the task, they can re-open.

Ché Guevara was much more handsome than either Arafat or Sharon, and has his own online discussion forum (http://www.voy.com/493/) where they don't mind a bit of abuse, racsim and blinkered generalisations.
Perhaps some of you might relive the tedium of our civilised rules by posting there? :p