Calm Down and Think
Perhaps James will ban me after this post, but I have to say that I’m unsurprised yet saddened to read all the gloating about Yasser Arafat’s death. For a bunch of bloggers tagged as part of the Christian Right, many are acting much more Right than they are Christian.
First, to celebrate someone’s death seems bizarre to me. My first instinct was to pray that God will have mercy on Arafat’s soul. Not exactly a clean soul, granted, but a human soul nonetheless. Second, my thoughts turned to the tremendous opportunity that new Palestinian leadership could mean toward securing lasting peace in the Middle East.
But this opportunity must be met with dignity and maturity. I’m hearing talk about the United States not sending a representative to Arafat’s funeral. Is this really the right time to snub the new Palestinian leadership and send the message to the Palestinian people that we don’t even recognize them? Disrespecting Arafat in death will only anger the very people that need to be convinced that America can be an honest broker of peace in the Middle East. I’m not suggesting we send Colin Powell, but an olive branch should be extended in the form of having an American of stature attend his funeral.
Remember, Arafat himself said that the biggest mistake of his entire life was his refusal to accept the terms offered at Camp David in July 2000. His passing should be seen as an opportunity to reengage that conversation, not an occasion to revel in a man’s death.