Arafat has died

The Palestinian Leader, Yasser Arafat, died in Paris a few hours ago. Arafat was chairman of the PLO, and for a long time was seen as a terrorist by the world. Not unreasonably as the PLO would hijack aircraft and a PLO faction was deemed responsible for the Munich Olympic attack.

He was seen as a terrorist by some until his death. Indeed, in the current climate this was inevitable. Of course, in the Israel-Palestine situation there is plenty of blame to go around. The Israeli government are by no means innocent in their dealings with Palestinians, breaking various UN resolutions. This situation is a long history which can't be summed up in a few words.

Given that the Sharon government has long had an entrenched anti-Arafat position, there is now an opportunity for some good to come from this and for Israel to move on in its negotiations without losing face by negotiating with Arafat.