Roger L. Simon

Is Arafat Setting Himself Up For Martyrdom?

By refusing to leave Ramallah for a Paris hospital, it would seem that way. As CNN reminds us, there may still be known terrorists inside the Muqata under Yasir’s protection. Israel has agreed to let Arafat return from hospitalization, but has it guaranteed it won’t deal with those miscreants while the caudillo is gone? Arafat himself who, according to reports, floats in an out of consciousness and is suffering memory loss would seem to be in no condition to deal with such eventualities. But who knows? The behind the scenes jockeying in this deathwatch must be fascinating. I await the post-mortems.

OOPS: Both Debka and Haaretz are now reporting that good old Chirac is sending a plane. Dept. of Uh-Oh… Debka adds this interesting bit:

Top Palestinian Authority officials are drawing back from assuming crisis command. They fear punishment for officiousness if Arafat recovers. Political steps therefore hang on medical team’s decisions. Abbas and Qureia lead one of two camps forming up to claim succession. Rival headed by Hani al-Hassan and Azzam al Ahmed.