Israeli biographer praises Arafat

A French-Israeli journalist has just released a full biography of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat that chronicles his entire political career.

    Like or loathe Arafat, he is the face of the Palestinian struggle

    Amnon Kapeliouk's book also touches on the president's private life - from his childhood in Cairo and Jerusalem to his current besieged existence in the West Bank town of Ram Allah.
      
    Entitled Arafat the Maverick, journalist Amnon Kapeliouk depicts Arafat as a very sensitive man.

    The 523-page biography differentiates between him and other veteran Palestinian officials, claiming Arafat was able to understand the suffering of the Jewish people and was always keen to inform himself.
      
    Detailed research

    The book is based on more than 200 conversations Kapeliouk had with the Palestinian leader over the past 20 years.

    The journalist also drew on information gleaned from meetings with dozens of Palestinian and Israeli leaders as well as from Israeli military sources.
      
    Kapeliouk maintains that the Palestinian leader, who survived many assassination attempts, had sought to establish a dialogue with Israel as early as 1973.
      
    And he rejects the widely accepted view that Arafat was responsible for the failure of the Camp David Middle East peace negotiations in 2000.

    The biographer points out that then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered no concessions on the key issues of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

    SOURCE: AFP


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