Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And the claims that Arafat died of radiation poisoning?

The German news-magazine Der Spiegel summed up the dynamic well in a single line: "One thing is clear in the mysterious case: If Arafat becomes [we would say 'remains'] a martyr, it could help deflect attention from the Palestinians' problems." Deflecting attention from their problems is one of the few tasks at which the Palestinian governments have excelled.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
15 October '13..

We deal here with the ongoing war against terrorists and terrorism, so it's appropriate that we update readers on new things learned about the late and unlamented Yasser Arafat, founding head of the PA, Nobel Prize laureate, notorious arch-terrorist.

Recall the headlines made just three days ago with the appearance of reports quoting a professional source some will regard as authoritative:

One of the world's leading medical journals has supported the possibility that Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader, was poisoned with the radioactive element polonium 210. The British The Lancet journal has published a peer review of last year's research by Swiss scientists on Arafat's personal effects. It endorsed their work, which found high levels of the highly radioactive element in blood, urine, and saliva stains on the Palestinian leader's clothes and toothbrush. The work of the experts at Lausanne University, Switzerland, was triggered by an Al Jazeera investigation... By November 4, 2004, [Arafat] died of a cerebral haemorrhage, at the age of 75. Despite several scientific tests, there was no evidence of poison, and the cause of his illness remained unidentified... According to the Lancet publication, "[the] findings support the possibility of Arafat's poisoning with 210Po ... on the basis of [the] forensic investigation, there was sufficient doubt to recommend the exhumation of his body in 2012". The results of that latest analysis are expected shortly. [aljazeera.com, October 12, 2013]

The Lancet's report is here behind a paywall. To our eyes, it seems to say substantially less than the learned editors at aljazeera.com are claiming, but what do we know. Others, with ties to the dead terrorist and his successors, seem sure enough of what they heard to drop the "supported the possibility" part of the reports. For instance, the main Iranian government-controlled media mouthpiece reported forthrightly on Saturday that

According to British journal the Lancet, Arafat was poisoned with the radioactive element polonium 210... [PressTV, October 12, 2013]

Now, today, there's this:

Russian official: Arafat did not die from polonium poisoning | DPA | Oct. 15, 2013 | 12:44 PM | A Russian official said Tuesday that forensic tests found no indications of polonium poisoning in the body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. "He could not have died of polonium poisoning – the Russian experts found no traces of this substance," Vladimir Uiba, the head of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday. Last week, Britain's The Lancet journal reported that Swiss toxicologists discovered significant, unexplained traces of polonium in stains found on Arafat's belongings... In February of last year, Arafat's wife, Suha, gave researchers full access to her husband's medical file and to his personal effects in an effort to confirm her claim that he had been poisoned. In November 2012, Arafat's body was exhumed and samples of it were given to French, Swiss and Russian forensic experts as part of the investigation.

If evidence that Arafat was poisoned by the Israelis cannot be found and soon, the previous list of theories are likely to stay and prey on people's minds.


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