Thursday, November 18, 2004

Palestinian mourners and Arafat

This letter was published in Daily Times, Lahore on November 18, 2004

Sir: I believe the Palestinians can hope to achieve their goal of statehood only when they learn to bury their heroes and icons with respect and dignity. The whole world watched and wondered at the chaotic and almost disrespectful way Yasser Arafat’s coffin was handled by thousands of mourning Palestinians.

In an outpouring of emotions bordering on frenzy, uncontrollable crowds clawed at Arafat’s coffin and tore away the flag that draped it.

At one point it seemed as if they would pull down the coffin itself. Contrast this with Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral some years ago. Because of his tragic death at the hands of a Jewish gunman, the people of Israel were utterly shocked. But his burial was performed in such a dignified and respectful manner that even his opponents were touched.

Aziz Akhmad
Islamabad

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