Saeb Erekat, PhD, Palestinian Cabinet Minister, was quoted in a Nov. 11, 2004 BBC News article titled "Arafat's Death: Global Reaction in Quotes":
legacy will be the one, the leader, the president who united the
Palestinian people, the leader who kept the Palestinian national
identity from extinction, the man who initiated the peace of the brave,
the man who united the Palestinian people and it's his legacy of
Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President, was quoted in a Nov. 11, 2004 BBC News article titled "Arafat's Death: Global Reaction in Quotes":
dawn, we lost President Yasser Arafat, who we knew as a defender of
justice, as a man who strove towards peace, and resisted occupation,
and as a man who looked for international legitimacy. History will
judge him as a brave man who defended his people and I have total
confidence in the people succeeding him in power."
Michael Tarazi, PhD, Legal Adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was quoted in a Nov. 11, 2004 Christian Science Monitor article titled "Yasser Arafat's Legacy":
brought us [Palestinians] back from the brink of national extinction.
Israel's strategy was to disperse the Palestinians and make the problem
go away, but Arafat made sure our rights are always on the agenda."
Thomas L. Friedman, MA, foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, in a Nov. 14, 2004 commentary titled "Arafat Voids," wrote:
"You will pardon me if
I don't join in the insipid chorus about how Arafat's great achievement
was the way he represented the 'aspirations' for statehood of the
Palestinian people and, through terrorism and resistance, put the
Palestinian cause on the world map.
Excuse me, but Yasir Arafat put the
Palestinian cause on the world map in 1974, when he was invited to
address the U.N. General Assembly. What did he do with all that
attention after that? Very little."
Michael Lerner, PhD, founder of TIKKUN Magazine, in a Nov. 14, 2004 SF Independent Media commentary titled "Why Arafat Failed," wrote:
"The dichotomy between his public pronouncements in English in which he
affirmed peace and his pronouncements in Arabic in which he reaffirmed
the need for struggle and Jihad..., his unwillingness to confront the
Palestinian fantasy of a 'right of return...' his inability to embrace
non-violence in principle... his failure to use the Camp David
negotiations with Barak in 2000 in a constructive way to articulate
clearly what would be the terms that Palestinians would accept as
'enough,' his failure to whole-heartedly embrace the Geneva Accord even
when it was negotiated by his lieutenant Yassir Abed Rabbo with former
Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin -- all of these were ways in
which Arafat was a monumental mis-leader of his people, pulling them
into dead-ends that perpetuated their suffering."
James Phillips, MALD, Research Fellow in Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation, in a Nov. 9, 2004 commentary titled "Yasser Arafat's Disasterous Legacy," wrote:
Arafat’s leadership the Palestinian Authority became corrupt,
unaccountable, and dedicated to protecting Arafat’s interests, rather
than those of the Palestinian people. His refusal to end terrorism has
poisoned the peace negotiations, led Israel to re-occupy Palestinian
areas and close its borders to Palestinian workers, and crippled the
Palestinian economy. Palestinian parents have been horrified to find
their children brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers and cannon
fodder for Arafat’s revolutionary pipedreams."