Israel resorts to misinformation against Arafat

LONDON 9 May 2002 (RHC) -- Robert Fisk, columnist for the British news daily The Independent, has affirmed that Israel's so-called Book of Terror designed to prove that Yasser Arafat is a terrorist is riddled with errors, omissions and deliberate misinformation.

Writing for The Independent's Thursday edition, Fisk said the dossier presented this week to US President George Bush by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon characterizes Arafat as an evil, scheming warlord funded by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He affirmed, however, that in some cases translations of Palestinian documents allegedly seized by Israeli troops in the West bank have been doctored in an effort to prove Arafat's responsibility for anti-Israeli attacks. Fisk asserted that at least one so-called translation of a Palestinian document posted on the Israeli army's website is a palpable falsehood.

He reported that in reality, the documents portray Arafat's military impotence, painting a vivid, pathetic picture of his loss of power within the Palestinian community over the past 12 months and the gradual recruitment of his lieutenants and other followers by Hamas and Islamic Jihad opponents. The original Arab texts, wrote Fisk, suggest that Israel is fighting against men who have long ago passed outside Arafat's control, who are better funded than his Palestinian Authority and whose anti-Israeli attacks can only occasionally be foiled by Arafat's still-loyal intelligence officers. He affirmed that the last thing the documents prove is that Arafat is behind the wave of suicide bombing that continued this week in Israel.

Radio Havana Cuba

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