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.

Hamas Loots Yasir Arafat Home, Steals Nobel Peace Prize PhotoEnraged 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.

Yasir Arafat Nobel Prize Photo
  • 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 Galiën 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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. If anything good can come of this, perhaps it will be the final shattering of “The Peace Process” fantasies so that the reality of the thuggery that passes for a nascent state can be dealt with appropriately. Of course, this assumes that the Palestinian civil war isn’t really a plot by either President Bush and/or the Jews.

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    I think it is ironic that people find it surprising that barbarians are in the streets, killing each other, and then go and steal the Nobel Peace prize. Tragic, but surely worth a chuckle or two, with a tear in the eye.

    The international political naivete of dealing with a tenth century problem with a twenty-first century diplomatic response is setting yourself up to win the Nobel Dumb Prize. Somewhere down the road, maybe peace will come, just hope there are still some around in that area to enjoy it.

  3. Tano says:

    Geez JAmes, you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with your quotes. Charles Johnson? Glenn Reynolds? Tammy Bruce? These are not serious people, just flame throwers, and is reflected by the asininity of their comments. But I guess you consider that “fun”.

    Arafat, for all his many flaws, staked out a position that tried to bridge the enormous gap between the profound Palestinian anger at being dispossessed of their land by millions of people emigrating from the rest of the world (funny, but it seems that modern American conservatives with their obsessions regarding immigration should have at least some understanding here) – and the need to come to grips with the reality as it exists. Arafat did change the PLO consitution to reflect a recognition of the fact of Israel, and he did negotiate with them.

    Whether it was through his own timidity at the last moment, or whether through his understanding of how far ahead of his people he could or could not go, in the end, as we know, he failed to take the final step. But the mindless commenters on the American right, who really seem not to want there to be an equitable peace, try to use those failures to discredit the entire notion of finding a peacful accomodation between Israel and the Palestinians.

    I find those comments, and that mindset absolutely repulsive. It seems to be quite the pattern on the right these days – opinions that are all about making the bloviator feel good about themselves rather than any real willingness to deal with real problem in real world situations.

  4. G.A. Phillips says:

    Arafat, for all his many flaws, staked out a position that tried to bridge the enormous gap between the profound Palestinian anger at being dispossessed of their land by millions of people emigrating from the rest of the world, by high jacking planes and blowing up bus’s.

  5. davod says:


    Arafat’s return from exile was the worst thing for the Palestinians. He brought with him the corruption prevalent today.

    Before Arafat’s return there were a number of political parties and a vigorous debate on things other than the Israelis. The Palestinians had the highest wages of the Arab world (with the exception of the oil states, and even then the average Arab was not well cared for).

    Arafat’s return changed this. It was either be part of Arafat’s party or be dead.

    I repeat, Arafat destroyed any hope for the Palestinians. They are now living in the 10Th century.

  6. Mike says:

    Good to hear they stole it – he should never have received it

  7. Bandit says:

    Yasir Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize Stolen

    Oh – you meant now?

    Arafat, for all his many flaws,

    terrorist, genocidal maniac, thief, – no wonder the left likes him so much

  8. thunderbird says:

    They took away a award given to a terrorist leader of the PLO now if someone would tak away those undeserved oscars given to MICHEAL MOORE and AL GORE and toss them into the ocean