JERUSALEM – Sen. John Kerry upheld late PLO leader Yasser Arafat as the prime example of a former terrorist who can be transformed to advance peace, according to classified documents released by WikiLeaks and reviewed by WND.
Arafat, however, is accused of directing terrorism against Israelis until his death in November 2004.
In a classified diplomatic cable, Kerry was quoted as stating: “Yasser Arafat went from living as a terrorist in Tunisia to signing an agreement with Israel on the White House lawn. The transformation of Arafat is an example of how actors in the region need to take risks if we are to move forward in advancing regional peace.”
Kerry was speaking in a meeting this past February with Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the ruler of the Arab state of Qatar.
Kerry implied Arafat was “transformed” into a statesman after he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn.
However, Arafat founded the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group – the official military wing of his Fatah organization. He is accused of routinely fomenting and directing violent terrorist attacks against Israelis throughout his tenure as PLO leader. This included the Second Palestinian Intifada, initiated by Arafat after he turned down an offer of a Palestinian state at the Camp David peace talks in the summer of 2000.
Multiple Palestinian officials, including Fatah strongman and Al Aqsa Brigades co-founder Marwan Barghouti, admitted Arafat himself planned the intifada, in which more than 1,000 Israeli civilians were murdered in terrorist attacks, including scores of notable suicide bombings.
Arafat’s PLO-run media routinely incited violence against Israel while his Fatah-run school system indoctrinated anti-Israel hatred and violence.
In his meeting with Al-Thani, Kerry went on to support the Israeli relinquishment of the strategic Golan Heights to Syria. He also stated Palestinian control of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and a capital in eastern Jerusalem are nonnegotiable for the Palestinians.
“We know for the Palestinians that control of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the establishment of some kind of capital for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not negotiable. For the Israelis, the senator continued, Israel’s character as a Jewish state is not open for negotiation,” stated the cable.