Yasir Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize Stolen
Rioters around the Palestinian territory have looted and ransacked the homes of several Fatah leaders, living or otherwise. Most notably, the late Yasir Arafat’s home was stripped clean, including his Nobel Peace Prize.
Enraged Fatah leaders on Saturday accused Hamas militiamen of looting the home of former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat in Gaza City. “They stole almost everything inside the house, including Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize medal,” said Ramallah-based Fatah spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman. “Hamas militiamen and gangsters blew up the main entrance to the house before storming it. They stole many of Arafat’s documents and files, gifts he had received from world leaders and even his military outfits.” Abdel Rahman said the attackers also raided the second floor of the house and stole the personal belongings of his widow, Suha, and daughter, Zahwa. “They stole all the widow’s clothes and shoes,” he added. “They also took Arafat’s pictures with his daughter.”
Eyewitnesses told The Jerusalem Post that dozens of Palestinians participated in the raid, which took place late Friday. “Most of the looters were just ordinary citizens,” they said. “They stole almost everything, including furniture, tiles, water pipes, closets and beds.”
According to the Fatah spokesman, the raid on Arafat’s house, which has been empty since 2001, occurred despite promises from Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to prevent such an attack. “The Palestinian people will never forgive the Hamas gangs for looting the home of the Palestinian people’s great leader, Yasser Arafat,” Abdel Rahman said. “This crime will remain a stain of disgrace on the forehead of Hamas and its despicable gangs.”
Given the contempt with which most of us view Arafat and his dubious prize, it’s not surprising that people are having great fun with this story.
- Maynard @ Tammy Bruce: “This violent criminal act is completely pointless. If Hamas had been willing to wait just a few months, the Nobel committee would have awarded them their own peace prize.”
- Charles Johnson had a similar thought: “That will save the Nobel Committee the trouble of awarding Hamas the prize; they already have one!”
- TigerHawk: “I think this is hilarious . . . the funniest thing Hamas has ever done.”
- Carl in Jerusalem wonders, “How much would you pay for a Nobel Peace Prize on E-Bay?”
- Don Surber goes him one better: “Here is hoping they sell it on e-Bay to Castro.”
- Noel Sheppard warns, “this is guaranteed to evoke uncontrollable fits of laughter.”
- Roger L. Simon dubs it “a joke on a joke” and “poetic justice.”
- Michael P.F. van der GaliÃ«n agrees: “finally, at long last – justice is done.”
Glenn Reynolds is right: “This is what Arafat — and the Oslo Accords — wrought.” As Robert Spencer puts it, “Hamas is the natural outcome of his life’s work, and thus the most fitting inheritor of this great commendation of that work.”
The romanticization of Arafat and his ilk is sickening. That Arafat’s memory is being dishonored this way does not trouble me. Nor does his widow’s losing some of the loot he stole from an impoverished people. Still, the fact that the Palestinians are now being governed by terrorists who make Arafat look worthy of the Nobel prize by comparison is not something to celebrate. Richard Fernandez observes,
This was foreshadowed by the looting of the multi-million dollar greenhouses bequeathed to the Palestinian people. It continued with the bombing of the Internet cafes, the attacks on hospitals, the burning of music stores. It goes on every time delighted gunmen fire their automatic rifles in the air and are surprised to find the bullets eventually come down and kill somebody. Every time a “militant” blows up a bridge, or a power pylon, an oil pipeline or a beautiful seaside resort, it is not a glorious event. That’s just the fantasy of an over-wrought journalist. Plainly speaking, it’s just another bullet in the foot.
Quite right. And, to the extent there was ever any near-term prospect for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question, this sequence of events has killed it. That, of course, is what Hamas wants. It shouldn’t be something the rest of us cheer, however. It presages much more misery ahead.