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Last Updated: Monday, 10 November, 2003, 13:52 GMT
Have your say
You e-mailed us with your views on the issues raised in Correspondent: Arafat Investigated.

The comments published reflect the balance of views we have received:

As a Palestinian, I wish to break free from the Israeli occupation and get the chance to govern myself. I call on Arafat to step down, for he has failed and brought us nothing but blood and tears. A better leader could lead us to freedom and peace with Israel.

I am shocked, shocked at your investigative report regarding the PA/Arafat and their connections to terrorists organizations. What about the money diverted to his wife and daughter in Paris? It's good to be a dictator!!
Yaffa Glickman, USA

This is more proof that Arafat does not want peace and that he is a terrorist.
Golan, The Netherlands

Arafat has undoubtedly made mistakes - but he has shown great courage and has almost universal support amongst his people. Sharon may be said to have caused the present Intifada by his armed incursion into the Temple Mount. Bush and Blair need to reassess the two leaders and honestly face the question: are they even-handed in their response to the situation?
John Johansen-Berg, UK

What advantages does Arafat gain, political or otherwise, from the continuation of suicide bombing?
Andrew Dwyer, UK

Arafat, despite his human faults of personal political ambition, is also a time-served and respected veteran of the Palestinian struggle for justice for his people against the relentless, subtle, American-backed oppression of Israeli displacement of Palestinians and the annexation of their land.
Paul Gunn, United Kingdom

Arafat is the product of Israeli occupation, not the cause
Saber, UK
I feel the program only highlighted the anger and frustration that the Palestinian people feel. So much so, that they must resort to suicide bombing in retaliation for the way Israel is crushing them and the UN seems incapable of doing anything. I feel the programme reflected the solidarity of the Palestinian people and their leader.
Mrs Rita Appleby

I agreed with your comment that Arafat is part of the solution, although he has shown he has little concern for ordinary Palestinian people - as he only serves to inflame their passionate anger rather than serve their needs for a decent life. How is it possible that Arafat will ever direct himself towards co-existence in peace with Israel? Peace can only come from a shift towards humanity.

Arafat is the product of Israeli occupation, not the cause.
Saber, UK

If Israel withdrew all its troops from Gaza and the West Bank behind the defence wall, so protecting the Israeli citizens, would Arafat stop the suicide attacks?
W Mereine, UK

Maybe finally the BBC is beginning to recognise Arafat and the PA for what it really is - a collective of murdering thugs.
Harvey, London

The argument that Arafat would stop terrorism if he could is ridiculous
Now al-Aqsa have admitted that Arafat is their leader and that the political and military groups are the same, what will be done to remove Arafat from power as he clearly supports terrorism - not peace.
Beverly Trafford, Macclesfield UK

Mr Sharon was the first to consider Mr Arafat "irrelevant". The US administration rapidly adopted this opinion and wants to urge the world to stop dealing with the Palestinian chief. Mr Arafat is a Nobel Prize winner for peace, and was elected by the Palestinians.
George Nasser

The argument that Arafat would stop terrorism if he could is ridiculous. It was Arafat who called on a million suicide bombers to march to Jerusalem, Fatah groups loyal to him have been responsible for some of the worst terrorist outrages, and it was Arafat himself who ordered the release of all Hamas prisoners on the outbreak of this bloody Intifada - which he himself initiated.

Why don't you ask the most relevant question - when are the Israelis going to stop stealing the Palestinian's land? They are breaking every international law by the occupation.
John Carter

Is it not relevant to take into account someone's track record when predicting their future behaviour? Arafat was thrown out of Jordan by King Hussein for fomenting revolution, driven out of Lebanon by Israel, Christians and Shi-ites for destroying southern Lebanon - and he is the cold-blooded killer of children, the disabled and American diplomats. Jeremy Bowen has some cheek to proclaim that Arafat is part of a just and fair solution.

For a man who has spent so many years in Israel and the West Bank Jeremy Bowen still has not learned how to look at the area. You are very aware that you cannot talk about this situation using European ideals and values - in the Middle East things are very different and you fail to communicate this to the British public.
Simon Harris

If they cannot live in peace, they should build a wall as big as the one in Berlin to divide themselves
Safraz Hamid

Arafat is in a no win situation. Hamas has set itself up as the unelected military arm of the Palestinian cause and Arafat is the elected political arm. Their aims are the same, a free and independent state of Palestine but Arafat has no control over the leaders of Hamas. In my opinion Israel is the key to the solution - return to the Palestinians what is theirs.
JH Webster, England

The question of Palestine/Israel will always be emotive, however your programme was superficial, skating over real issues. You did not consider the legitimacy, as loathsome as it is, of armed resistance to an illegal occupation (the actions of the French resistance under the occupying Nazi regime or the ANC under apartheid might serve as useful comparisons).
Ramzi Freij

Jeremy Bowen frequently adopted the Arab line and made reference to the Palestinian allegation of "occupation", yet never make any reference to the Israeli claims to the territory. These claims stem back some 4,000 years before any Palestinian claim. Even throughout the Oslo Accords the land was referred to as "disputed" and not "occupied". Why ignore the Israeli side to the story?
D Roberts

The media is raising concern that Arafat is alleged to be giving $50,000 a month to militants. Why do you think there is no concern of the $3 BILLION Israel receives in US military aid which it spends on helicopter gunships, tanks and bulldozers to terrorise an entire Palestinian people?
Rob Jones, UK

Why didn't the documentary detail the mass murder of Palestinian civilians carried out by Israel on a near daily basis. Would Hamas be called terrorists if they use F-16s instead of homemade explosives?
Amro Ahmed-Ebbiary, British Arab,

If they cannot live in peace, they should build a wall as big as the one in Berlin to divide themselves; until they become educated or humiliated enough to discover their humanity.
Safraz Hamid

It is only natural for a leader to support armed protection of his country when it is being invaded by a much more powerful neighbour.
Tim Michel, USA

Past actions are important, but the way forward is not through more blind aggression
Jason Roberts, Canada

This is more evidence that the PA has not given up the dream of utterly destroying Israel.
Peter Campbell, Canada

There will be no effect from this investigation. People have lost trust in the western media.
Zulfi, India

When will the world stand up and address the problem of terrorism and see who the real terrorists are?
A Ali, USA

It would be nice if BBC also investigated who funds Israeli terrorists and how.
Qasim, Iran

Could independent mediators discuss an agreement stating that if the Israelis moved back within the borders of Israel as initially set out when the state of Israel was created after World War II then Arafat would agree to stop suicide bombings and resign as leader? This could stop most, if not all, of the killing with both sides giving up something major and would allow peaceful discussions to take place to find a way forward that both sides may not necessarily like but just might be able to live with in peace.
Mr Pearson, Redcar

Past actions are important, but the way forward is not through more blind aggression.
Jason Roberts, Canada

Let's see proof of the documents linking Arafat to suicide bombings.
Greg Leathers, USA

This kind of financial activity must have been going on for decades.
Daniel Lasman, USA

Why has it taken the BBC three years of Intifada and thousands of lives lost to discover this?
Victor Montefiore, UK

Yet again a well presented programme. What seriously can Arafat do, when he is confined to his compound, his infrastructure and administration clinically destroyed? Boxed in by a strong occupying force supported by a superpower, hatred of both Israel and US can only grow stronger.
Frank Bocchi,

Arafat has no real power over the people. If someone wants to shoot and kill someone, they can.
Gavin Steele, Liverpool, UK

Looking at history is instructive. There are countless examples of leaders after whose death crises resolved shortly thereafter.
Michel de Grainbert, France

Many thanks to Mr Bowen for his programme. I hope it helps people to understand a little more.
Liana Peters, Italy

There will be no peace without him but there will also be no peace with him.
S Levy, Israel

Aren't there innocent Palestinians victims as well?
Joanne Edwards, UK

I salute your open discussion, and would be happy to see a further BBC review of coverage of previous situations.
Max Goldberg, Switzerland

Can we all not pause in this madness and recognize virtue in both the Israelis and Palestinians?
Mike, Citizen of the World

If peaceful protests had been used the conflict would have been settled decades ago.
John, UK

The reports of funding of terrorist organisations are not new to anyone.
Yoni, Israel

Should Arafat ever preside over a solution he would be known through history. Yet a cessation of activities would mean being vilified by his people.
Daniel, UK

The Palestinian situation can see peace through strong leadership. Israel and the Palestinians need to agree on a comprehensive ceasefire. This is where the problem lies. Arafat does not have the widespread powers within the middle eastern and "Arab region" to do this, as, for example, Mandela had within southern Africa. There are too many splinter Arab groups within this region that believe that the Jewish people should not be there, and are unlikely to follow any request for peace totally and without reservation.
Gary Claassen, United Kingdom

You don't get peace through war.
Laylay Itufurk, Cote d'Ivoire

Can we all not pause in this madness and recognize virtue in both the Israelis and Palestinians?
Mike, Citizen of the World

Thank you for bringing balance to your coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Paul Calem, MD

Why are the Palestinians so loyal to a man who has delivered them so little?
Irene Turrin-Heiliger, Germany

Perhaps they do want peace, but only without Israel.
Yaron Levy, New Zealand

Why does Arafat say one thing in English and another in Arabic?
G Bar, UK

Arafat Investigated
30 Oct 03  |  Correspondent
Arafat: Obstacle or the key to peace?
06 Nov 03  |  Correspondent
Arafat: You quizzed Jeremy Bowen
03 Nov 03  |  Correspondent


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