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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 12:40 GMT
Arafat's death: Your reaction
The helicopter with Yasser Arafat's coffin lands in Ramallah
We discussed the future of the Palestinian leadership in the post-Arafat era in our global phone-in programme Talking Point. Our guest was Ambassador Martin Indyk, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was buried at his battered compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah amid chaotic and emotional scenes on Friday.

The Palestinian Authority has declared 40 days of mourning.

Israel, which saw him as a terrorist, has talked of a new chance for peace.

ASK THE EXPERT
Rime Allaf, Middle East expert, answered your questions in an interactive forum

America's President George W Bush has said that he aims to see an independent Palestinian state during his second four-year term.

What is your reaction to Yasser Arafat's death? What will this mean for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Who should succeed Yasser Arafat as Palestinian leader? Send us your views using the post form.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Your comments:

The Third world countries looked up to him as a noble man
Mulenga Chomba, Kitwe

I feel that the world has lost a true revolutionary in Mr Arafat. This man was a living legend in most of the oppressed countries, and especially the Third world countries looked up to him as a noble man. I saw him once in 1989 when he visited Lusaka. The mere fact that he will not be there to see his beloved Palestine win its freedom and its land is indeed a very sad thing. I hope that his successor keeps the fire burning.
Mulenga Chomba, Kitwe, Zambia

He did not accomplish what he promised but he was a true great leader.
Hadebe Bafana, Cape Town, South Africa

I can't understand how Mr Arafat can be praised as a hero just because he defended the cause of his people without looking at his methods. Even those who admit he was a terrorist end up validating those methods simply because they were successful in drawing worldwide attention to the Palestinian cause. Those who praise Arafat as a courageous leader, will they feel the same had they been in the situation of his victims?
Josť Armando, Lima, Peru

He died in the greatest month of them all, he was buried on a Friday, he was buried in the last hours of the month of Ramadan. He had his faults, but without him no-one would even be talking about a possible Palestinian state. Let him be, and let him rest in peace and remember what he achieved.
Ashraf, London

I am very sad about the death of such a true leader. It is true that he didn't fulfil his promise, (not many could under such circumstances), but he set the foundations for the new generation, and through their determination they will achieve their goal.
Shwan, Vancouver, Canada

Arafat failed his people
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA
Unfortunately, Arafat failed his people. He was the Palestinians' leader for 35 years and what did they get? Nothing as far as I can tell. Arafat is largely responsible for this stunning lack of progress. It's just not enough to be a symbol of resistance. His strategy simply didn't work.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

The passing of Arafat will be seen historically as an opportunity lost. He had the opportunity to create a state for his people, and create a level of peace and prosperity not seen for generations in that region of the world. Instead he chose the path of other rulers in the area, being the accumulation of personal wealth and power, while focusing the population's frustration on Israel.
Cullen James, Temecula, USA

When one considers the legacy of Yasser Arafat the first consideration should be that he was the representative of the Palestinian people. His job was not to represent the interests of the United States or Israel, but of the Palestinians. The US sends Israel three billion dollars a year of American tax dollars, and a great deal of military hardware. We gave the Palestinians nothing. Hardly the actions of an unbiased 'broker.'
Gary E. Kaminski, Buena Vista, PA, USA

He was no worse nor any better than the Israelis he opposed
Ben Barker, Cambridge, UK
Many call him a terrorist. The rights and wrongs of actions in his name and in those taken under the flag of Israel can be debated, but the only real difference is that the Israeli actions were undertaken by people in crisp uniforms and big tanks, so fulfilling the West's idea of a 'proper' war, and somehow more acceptable for that. He was no worse nor any better than the Israelis he opposed.
Ben Barker, Cambridge, UK

It is really very shocking that Yasser Arafat has departed. His struggle for the noble cause of Palestinian people and all the exploited around the world will be remembered as long as humans are on the earth. I think, he died a death heavier than the mountains, and I hope there would be someone who is as empowered as him to take care of the "After Arafat" era.
Sarba, Kathmandu, Nepal

How quickly we excuse a man who was a covert advocate of terrorism. How easily we forget the hijackings, bombings assassinations and kidnappings. How glibly Western leaders now display their complete hypocrisy for a man that supported Saddam Hussein.
David, London

He and Sharon are men of the past we need new educated thinkers to talk peace
Robert, London, UK
The proof of what kind of a leader he was will come now. If he was an obstacle then peace will reign, if he was a great leader then nothing will change and if he was a dictator hell-bent on to holding on to power then in fighting will break out. My opinion is that he and Sharon are men of the past we need new educated thinkers to talk peace.
Robert, London, UK

I mourn for the Palestinian people, if not so much for Arafat. For his people, my earnest hope is that they will soon find better leadership which will allow them to have an independent and democratic state, develop a thriving economy, and live in peace with all of their neighbours.
Martin Ellis, London, England

He was also a corrupt individual who ruled the Palestinian Authority with an iron fist
Matthew Phillips, London, UK
Although Arafat's struggle was a valiant symbol for Palestinian oppression, he was also a corrupt individual who ruled the Palestinian Authority with an iron fist. His death should be treated as an opportunity for the PA to move towards effective democracy and attempt further negotiations with the Israelis - if they are prepared to listen and pursue talks with concrete and acceptable offers rather than rhetoric.
Matthew Phillips, London, UK





FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Xinhua News Agency Arafat to be flown to Paris for treatment - 7 hrs ago
Jordan Times Arafat heading to Paris - 10 hrs ago
Herald Tribune Weak Arafat Heads to Paris for Treatment - 10 hrs ago
ABCNEWS.com Arafat to Be Flown for Treatment in France - 13 hrs ago
The EconomistAdieu, Arafat? - 15 hrs ago
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SEE ALSO:
Profile: Yasser Arafat
28 Oct 04 |  Middle East
Who could follow Arafat?
28 Oct 04 |  Middle East


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