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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 11:51 GMT
Yasser Arafat's death: Your reaction
Supporters of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, seen on poster in background, hold candles in his honour in Jerusalem's Old City
We asked for your reaction to the death of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

This is the second page of your comments.


Your comments:

I do not wish to speak ill of the dead, but he knew very well that his power and influence, like those of other totalitarian politicians, would have been diminished if there was peace between Palestinians and Israelis. May he rest in peace now.
Mohammed Shiraz, UK

As long as a people are occupied the struggle will continue
Hazmet Yamali, Amman, Jordan

Yasser Arafat's death will have absolutely no impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As long as a people are occupied the struggle will continue. That was the case in occupied France during the Second World War. That was the case in America during the British colonialism. And that was the case when the Jews were in slavery by pharaohs. So why would anything change while the occupation continues?
Hazmet Yamali, Amman, Jordan

Yasser Arafat was the embodiment of the Palestinian struggle. He may have died but I am still hopeful for a peaceful Middle East.
Hafeez Anwar, Preston, England

Yasser Arafat was Palestine. Whatever label the USA and Israel put on him, the comments here show the vast majority saw him as a freedom fighter with principles who did not sell out his people for glory or money.
Akhtar, UK

Years from today when Palestine is a mature, self-sufficient nation Yasser Arafat will not be much honoured
Louis B Massano, Jersey City

Among Italians we say: "You must fight iron with iron. You cannot fight iron with wood." It's a desperate, and not a wise, maxim. But the iron fisted treatment of Palestinians by the Israelis made inevitable the rule and the personality cult of Yasser Arafat. Today most British people do not honour greatly Henry VIII nor do the French make much anymore of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Yet both were the state-builders and modernizers of their respective nations - and both had the blood of thousands on their hands. Years from today when Palestine is a mature, self-sufficient nation Yasser Arafat will not be much honoured. But in the near future he will be loved and honoured by most Palestinians as a very great man.
Louis B Massano, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

Yasser Arafat is no Martin Luther King of the Palestinians. He never condemned violence and never walked the extra mile for peace. Thus, never achieved his people's freedom.
Napoleon Asfaw, Ethiopia

Whatever you say about him he gave his people hope. Their hope now rests upon the peace process.
Rich Killick, London

To canonise him as some sort of freedom fighting saint is obscene
Andy, Watford

I can't believe some of the comments on this forum. The man was a terrorist directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of innocent people... to canonise him as some sort of freedom fighting saint is obscene and highly offensive to the family's of people who died on his orders.
Andy, Watford

Yasser Arafat wasn't a man, he was an idea. The idea of a free Palestine living side by side with Israel. This idea will never die.
Seydi, Dakar, Senegal

Perhaps now there will be a chance for a significant change of direction. But yet again, radical groups such as Hamas could simply fill the political vacuum which Arafat has left. The Palestinian people would only gain from acknowledging that Israel is there to stay, and that the only way forward is reconciliation.
Nuno, Reading, UK

I am amazed, reading through many of the responses, that hardly anyone calls Arafat a terrorist. The nations of the world are so keen to criticise Israel, but they would do exactly the same as us if Arafat was responsible for the death of many of their innocent citizens.
Sophia, Jerusalem, Israel

History will come to label men such as Arafat as heroes once the dust has settled
Nyika Ndeyedu, Zimbabwe

As someone who knows what it feels like to have been on the receiving end of an occupying powers maltreatment as well as its media's attempts at poisoning our cause, I mourn the passing of Yasser Arafat. During our struggle for freedom in Africa, all our leaders, including the now feted Mandela, were labelled terrorists. History will come to label men such as Arafat as heroes once the dust has settled.
Nyika Ndeyedu, Harare, Zimbabwe

Perhaps the Palestinians can now talk to Israel and keep their promises. This is an excellent time to start again!
Brian M Keith, Ellesmere UK

A sad day in the history of Palestine and the death of a lion-hearted leader. Would only pray that this is the beginning of a peace process in the Middle East. May his Soul Rest in Peace.
S Dasgupta, Calcutta, India

Yasser Arafat had a chance for peace with Barak, getting back something like 98% of the land but at the last moment he lost his nerve because he didn't want to end up like Sadat and Rabin. A pity for the Palestinian people that he proved to be a mere mortal more concerned with wealth and fame rather than bringing peace to his people but possibly collecting the assassin's bullet in the process.
Stephen Mendel, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Hopefully now that he's gone, his people will end up with a leader who doesn't allow rampant corruption and cronyism to flourish and their lives will improve.
Ciaran Carolan, Sydney, Australia

Arafat has enriched the world history. He truly symbolised the Palestinian struggle. Muslims all over the world should take solace in the fact that he died during the holy month of Ramadan.
Olawale Ajimotokan, Lagos, Nigeria

Great liberation movements of the 20th century include Gandhi's march to a free India, Martin Luther King's struggle for civil rights and Nelson Mandela's fight against apartheid. Is it any coincidence that these great figures of history used non-violence as their key tool against their oppressors? Arafat's greatest failure as a leader is that he never saw this simple truth.

That Palestine would have long since been free if Palestinians were capable of marching hand in hand singing "we shall overcome," rather than sending children to blow themselves up in the hopes of taking a few Israeli civilians with them. Hopefully Palestinians will go away from the route of violence towards a better future for their country.
Kishan, New York City, USA

Times are changing... Arafat was a man out of his time...
Kelvin Ashby-King, India

Times are changing... Arafat was a man out of his time... he missed the opportunities that the Clinton lead peace process provided as he did not have the courage to take the decision and face his own people. Let us see new blood in the seat of power and moves to make a real peace.
Kelvin Ashby-King, Bangalore, India

Mr Arafat may have made mistakes along the way, but he stood steadfast in what he believed to be right for Palestinians. How he is viewed historically will depend of course on which side of the fence you are on. I personally will look upon him favourably.
Chuck, Pittsburgh, USA

There is a reason the US and other democratic nations are relatively stable - we elect new leaders often. There is now a power void where he once stood, and a whole generation who has never known any leader but him, are now standing lost. We are all hoping that there is a strong and sensible leader able to step up to the large task of becoming a neighbour to Israel and to the world.
Therese, Minneapolis, USA

Although Yasser Arafat is gone, it is a pipe-dream of the Israelis to hope that suddenly the Palestinian issue will resolve itself. The festering sore of dispossession, expulsion and a population of refugees will not suddenly disappear with his death and may even explode without his restraining influence.
R Harris, London

A timeless epitome of freedom; inspirational and yet hopeless for the Palestinians
Rumana, Toronto, Canada
Arafat has now become a timeless epitome of freedom; inspirational and yet hopeless for the Palestinians who have been yearning for decades to be free. This will deteriorate the Palestinian/Israeli conflict as the Israelis have shown hostility towards a dead man, let alone resolve the issue of giving back Palestinians, who are alive, their home back.
Rumana, Toronto, Canada

He gave his whole life and his freedom for a cause he believed in, what more can be said?
Nigel Greensitt, Salford, UK

Arafat's death is the beginning of a new phase for the Palestinians, wherein peace should be the logical result. However, after a forty-year struggle this seems highly unlikely and so Israel must maintain their firm stance and "create" peace in the region.
Willem Schaafsma, Rotterdam

How can one rule and show leadership if they are under house arrest unable to lead as his people wanted? May he rest in peace. My thoughts are with his family
Al Hudson, Sydney Australia

He tried to sabotage any achievable peace deal for his people
Yvonne Matthews, Slough, UK
In response to Karan, New York: "At least he tried!" - You are right; he tried to sabotage any achievable peace deal for his people. He tried to take over Jordan. He tried to destabilise Lebanon. He tried to marginalise any other Palestinian successor. He tried to feed his ego at every single opportunity. He tried a lot of things with varying degrees of success, most of them self-serving.
Yvonne Matthews, Slough, UK

Thank God the suffering has ended. I refer of course to the suffering he inflicted on his people (with his brutal, oppressive and corrupt regime), the region (PLO-led violence in Jordan, Lebanon and Israel) and the world at large (to whom he left terrorism in its modern forms).
Melvyn, Beit Shemesh, Israel

The former Israeli foreign minister Abbe Eban summed it up perfectly when referring to Arafat. 'He never missed an opportunity to miss and opportunity'. By denying any form of democracy in his own government, Arafat has insured that the forlorn Palestinians are left with no true structure, a power vacuum and guaranteed in-fighting for years to come.
Nigel Dee, London England

He stood for what he believed in, which more people need to do!
Zoe, Dubai, UAE
It frustrates me when I read emails from people in the Western world who bad mouth leaders in the Arab world. Until you live in the Middle East and understand the way people live and the culture, how can you be the judge? The people in his country will be sad and I feel for them. He stood for what he believed in, which more people need to do!
Zoe, Dubai, UAE

From BBCArabic.com: The death of Arafat is of no concern to anyone, save to a few of his supporters. Throughout his period in power, he did not do anything positive for his people except to offer one concession after another. In fact, what has any Arab leader ever done for his people? Arafat used to jet around the world while his people where fighting with stones. What is his legacy? In what state did he in the end leave his people? I have no personal axe to grind, the important thing for me is to state that the Arab people have leaders who achieve nothing for them except humiliation and disgrace.
Rani, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: It is enough that he died without conceding the most important principles of the Palestinian struggle, namely Jerusalem and the right of return for the Palestinians, despite the pressure he was put under by world and Arab leaders.
Abu Omer, Jordan

From BBCArabic.com: Whether we approve or disapprove of him, Arafat was the only leader that the Palestinian people have known, and despite his controversial personality, he managed to unit the them around him. He was their symbol, and the various Palestinian factions often heeded his word. His departure from the scene is a temporary shock to the system but this will not last. The countries that neighbour Israel and even the USA will not allow a security vacuum to persist for long.
Suha Obaid, Jordan

I sincerely hope that the new leaders will help their people achieve their peaceful goals
Alan, Duluth, GA
I have had the privilege of travelling to Israel and the occupied states and have seen wonderful people working towards making the Palestinian nation peaceful and prosperous, despite Arafat. I sincerely hope that the new leaders will help their people achieve their peaceful goals.
Alan, Duluth, GA

I spent quite a bit of time in Israel/Palestine and lived with a mix of Jewish and Palestinian families. The Jews disliked Mr Arafat because he couldn't be trusted to keep his word, the Palestinians disliked him because of his obvious self-centredness. He failed to deliver anything of substance to either side.
Trevor, London, UK

I respect how many Palestinians revered Yasser Arafat, but am hopeful that his death will bring a more positive and peaceful direction in securing a safe place for themselves in this world. In my opinion, Yasser Arafat was too caught up with his own self-interests and power rather than that which would benefit the people as a whole.
Caroline, USA

Arafat had one of the most difficult jobs on the planet
Leon Frampton-Leigh, Reading, England
I went to Palestine with the International Solidarity Movement and witnessed for myself the suffering experienced by the Palestinian people. The general feeling for Arafat seemed to be quite mixed in the West Bank. In the face of such aggression from the Israeli government I think Arafat had one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. However, my impression is that with Arafat no longer with us, perhaps the peace process can move forward. Although I have always believed that Israel needs to make more of an effort and too much blame for the "crisis" has been attributed to the Palestinian people and their leadership.
Leon Frampton-Leigh, Reading, England

Leaders are born and Yasser Arafat was one of them. Until the last minute of his life he fought for the cause he led for which the entire Muslim Ummah is wholly proud of.
Riaz Shareef, Perth, Western Australia

As Arafat could not, perhaps now someone can take control of the Palestinian factions that have been undermining the peace process and allow both peoples, the Israelis and the Palestinians, to look forward to a more settled future.
Julian, Sao Paulo, Brazil

A catalyst for the drive towards an independent state for his people
Amit Patel, London, UK
Yasser Arafat talked the talk and walked the walk, something that most present leaders fail to achieve. So he made mistakes, who doesn't? Like a true freedom-fighter, he did not go out to please the world, but his life revolved around the sole essence of fighting for his people. His critics may dub him as an impediment, but I prefer to depict him as a catalyst for the drive towards an independent state for his people and as such he truly befitted the eulogy gracing him and one can only laud his efforts and steadfastness towards his cause.
Amit Patel, London, UK

The last respect Palestinians can give to their greatest leader is by choosing a brave and strong successor who will work towards achieving Yasser Arafat's dreams of peace and freedom in the Middle East. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Cecilia Chisale, Lilongwe, Malawi

Hopefully now relations between the Palestinians and Israelis can move towards a greater peace.
Graeme Miles, Wloclawek, Poland

Because Mr Arafat never accepted a compromised 'deal' with Israel he has failed to create an officially recognised Palestinian state, but despite this failure, an indelible mark called 'Palestine' has been stamped in the minds of everyone around the world. The way seems clear now for Palestine to get the best deal possible in the wake of Mr Arafat's death.
RAJ, Belém, Pará, Brazil

Arafat's death marks the end of an era of Palestinian martyrdom. This man was a symbol of an entire nation torn by occupation. The death of Arafat will only add salt to the region's everlasting wounds. His death marks the death of a chance of peace in the war torn holy lands.
Mohammed Fahmi, Cairo, Egypt

He ruled alone, and as a 'moderate' had little or no initiative in peace negotiations
Tory, London
Arafat will be missed by many, though not by me. A leader he certainly was, but an underhanded and uncompromising leader at the best of times. He had the courage of a warrior, not the courage of a saviour. It would be misguided to think of him as a man of peace, and thus to forget the plight of thousands. He ruled alone, and as a 'moderate' had little or no initiative in peace negotiations. A man of peace? What peace is that? Helping to maintain the status quo for 40 years in this situation is not called a struggle, it is called folly. I can only hope that Palestinians emerge from their mourning with a resolve to find a leadership to take them down a path of non-violent pragmatism and prosperity.
Tory, London

Arafat was a freedom fighter. Whether being one is good or bad, I will leave it to you. We know of the Palestinian problem principally because he put it in our face.
Bradley Ngana Kisia, Nairobi, Kenya

Arafat was nothing but an politically intransigent icon. If he did possess any power, can anyone actually recall him wielding it in the last 10 years? Compromise and power sharing were alien concepts to him. With his death we see the opportunity for some real improvement in the relationship between Israel and Palestine.
Martin, London

Let us hope and pray that the people of Palestine can elect a leader that will unite
Sidney Dudu, Bushey, UK
The dead of President Arafat will create a great leadership vacuum in Palestine. The sad thing is that he did not groom anyone to continue the Palestinian struggle and lead them to the promise land. Let us hope and pray that the people of Palestine can elect a leader that will unite and also stand for their struggle. These are testing time for the Middle East, let us hope we don't see another situation like Iraq.
Sidney Dudu, Bushey, UK

Now that Arafat is gone, there is an air of optimism for the peace process. Doesn't this say something about the man?
Victor De Battista, S.G. Malta

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of his life, it's a small miracle that Arafat lived to old age and died peacefully in bed, when so many of his fellow Middle Eastern leaders from the last three decades died violently.
Guy Matthews, UK

I am saddened more that he didn't live to see the Palestinian state he fought so hard for
C. Sutton, Denver, USA
I am saddened by Yasser Arafat's death he dedicated his life's work to advancing the Palestinian cause; but I am saddened more that he didn't live to see the Palestinian state he fought so hard for. I hope the Palestinian and Israeli peoples can agree to a just resolution to their conflict, so that one day President Arafat can rest in peace in the homeland he so desired.
C. Sutton, Denver, USA

Leaders of the world should seriously reflect on the passing on of Yasser Arafat and draw lessons from it and work towards reducing the tense situation in the Middle East. Mr. George W. Bush seems to be championing the confrontational stance. Remember one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
Emmanuel Mwelwa, Lusaka, Zambia.

I think Yasser Arafat was a great man. All his life he fought for his people.
Nina, Menge, Slovenia

Yasser Arafat was a bitter enemy of my people and my country, but at the same time a revered father-figure to the Palestinians. I truly hope that this day will mark the start of a far, far better future for both societies.
Michael, Israel

He was the father figure for Palestinians all over the world
Bikendra Thapa, Kathmandu, Nepal
Mr Arafat was a living history. He was the father figure for Palestinians all over the world. He always fought for justice and the welfare of the Palestinians. Israel, Palestine and the world should work together to turn Yasser Arafat's dream into a reality. God bless his soul!
Bikendra Thapa, Kathmandu, Nepal

Whatever one's views on Mr Arafat, the event of his death opens up a wide range of choices for the Palestinian people. I sincerely hope they have the strength and courage to choose a leader who will truly work for democracy and peace.
Alexandra Grönvall, Göteborg, Sweden

He was one of best revolutionaries of the 20th Century who drove and unified his people towards an independent State against the worst attempts to ignore them.
Belchior Silva, Luanda, Angola

I was working as a young reporter in the Middle East 20 years ago and walked into a lift in a plush Bahraini hotel only to find Yasser Arafat and four bodyguards also in it. Of course, Arafat often did the rounds of the rich Gulf states, touting for money from the sheikhs and this was one of those trips. I was - to put it mildly - surprised to find myself travelling through a hotel with the PLO leader. But he was easy to talk to, and in our short journey together to the top of the hotel, completely put me at my ease. His passing is surely a pivotal point in the Middle East peace process.
Clare, Cardiff

I grew up in the Lebanon where I was able to see the suffering of the Palestinians first hand. We left during the civil war in a convoy to Damascus organised by the British ambassador. The PLO provided security for which I am very grateful. However, in death Yasser Arafat may have just about forced the issue, and that may well lead to a Palestinian state. May he rest in peace.
Benedict White, Sussex

I genuinely fear for the fragile state of peace in the Middle East
Angus Gulliver, Luton, England
I feel it is a shame that the Israelis (and perhaps the Americans) were the only people who never accepted Arafat's word that he had renounced terrorism and violence. Here was the only real figurehead the Palestinians had, and now he is gone. I genuinely fear for the fragile state of peace in the Middle East.
Angus Gulliver, Luton, England

The cartoon here said it all. An Israeli conference table, 2 members, both Sharon. One's balloon said, "If Arafat dies, we'll bomb the Palestinians," the other's balloon said " If Arafat lives, we'll bomb the Palestinians."
Col Maybury, Kurri Kurri, Australia

Chairman Arafat was elected by the Palestinian people. Despite his faults, he symbolised the struggle for the world to recognise a Palestinian state under international law beside Israel. He recognised the state of Israel and was let down by Clinton at Camp David when Head Barak offered a Bantustan in the West Bank. Now, the Israelis (and their US backers) will have no excuses. A peace based on UN resolutions and the recognised 1967 borders must be achieved for a fair and just settlement. Let us hope that Tony Blair really has influence in Washington.
Mark, Dublin, Ireland

To me it seems that Arafat only cared about his status as a hero
S Yang, London, England
If Arafat truly loved his people he would have at least planned for a leadership transition before his death. His love for Palestine cannot be compared to Gandhi's love for India or Mandela's love for South Africa. To me it seems that Arafat only cared about his status as a hero, the "father of Palestine", even though he didn't bring peace to his people.
S Yang, London, England

Arafat was sworn to the destruction of Israel (if you doubt it check the PLO Charter), it's why he never accepted terms from them, he didn't want negotiation he wanted to 'drive them into the sea'. Maybe now there's a chance for peace, and for 'his people' to get the money he creamed off for himself, but I doubt it.
Simon, UK

Like most so called 'freedom fighters' he never managed the transition to open leadership and governance. He was so close under Clinton's peace plan, but ultimately couldn't do it. Let's hope that a way to peaceful co-existence can now be found between Israel and the Palestinians.
Trevor, Somerset

A man of his time and circumstance
Ciaran Reilly, Cavan, Ireland
He was a man of his time and circumstance. The Palestinians are a highly talented nation and now, when the period of mourning is over will hopefully choose a leader who can articulate a non-violent means to a Palestinian state while simultaneously keeping the extremists on side and reassuring the Israelis that they will finally be able to live in peace.
Ciaran Reilly, Cavan, Ireland

It's a great loss to all the Middle East and a frustration to the peace process in the region. I do believe that Arafat has been a symbol of both peace and hope for the Palestinians. History will always judge him fairly.
Kiribati Moses, Kampala, Uganda

The greatest sadness is he never got to realise his dream
Scott Robson, West Hartford, USA
Yasser Arafat should be remembered as a man who never failed to work for justice for the Palestinians - he never turned his back on his people. The greatest sadness is he never got to realise his dream. May the children of Palestine today realise it for him.
Scott Robson, West Hartford, USA

An opportunity is now created for the Palestinian Authority to function as a democratic government with separation of powers, transparency and enfranchisement of women. To succeed the Authority must have the will to make peace with Israel as the great Nelson Mandela did at a similar defining moment in South Africa.
Osage, Kuwait

At least he tried!! And that is better than most of us who have the leisure to sit in front of a computer screen complaining while powerful companies and corporations cause the demise and destruction of poor people around the world who can't defend themselves. And like him I would have never signed a peace deal that would not let Palestinians to return to their own homeland. God Bless His Soul!
Karan, New York

The world recognises that the Palestinians are a part of the Middle East and deserve a place to live
Lucy, Toronto, Canada
Arafat was a fighter for his people in the past but became an entrenched "old man" tied to his views and a barrier to the peace process. One hopes that the current Palestinian, Israeli and US leadership acknowledge realpolitik and come to the table to reach a settlement. The world recognises that the Palestinians are a part of the Middle East and deserve a place to live. As to where he should be buried? Bury him next to his family.
Lucy, Toronto, Canada

I hope for my country's sake, America, that something will finally change for the better between Israel and Palestine.
GM, USA

He is a deeply controversial figure for the rest of the world, but there is no doubt that the Palestinians have great respect for their long time leader. He will be remembered in history as the man who, despite all the attempts on his life, to survive against all odds.
Justin, Singapore

In one sense Arafat was the symbol of Palestinian struggle, but... he portrayed Arab societies' corruption and undemocratic leadership
Mahmud Shahrear Kibria, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Well, in one sense Arafat was the symbol of Palestinian struggle but in another sense he portrayed Arab societies' corruption and undemocratic leadership. Let us hope for the best for the democratic Palestine with an elected person who might replace the old days. Let us hope that extreme leadership in Israel would also change to bring about peace in the Middle East.
Mahmud Shahrear Kibria, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

With Arafat dead, both Palestinians and the Israelis should seize the opportunity to find a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is also very important for the Palestinians to show the world that their new leadership is democratic and is willing to explore all the opportunities and avenues for a long-lasting peace.
Abdullah Saeed, Male, Maldives

He was the symbol of Palestine resistance and survival, though one may not agree with all his positions. He kept Palestine alive.
M Nabavi, Tehran, Iran

You refused to sell out your people and for that you will always be loved. God Bless.
Chris Gaynor, Yorkshire, UK

A person who cared for and loved his people. Some label him as a terrorist, others a freedom fighter. From the little I knew of him, I think he was a good man who simply wanted justice and fairness for his people. If only Israel and Palestine could permit each other to live peaceably!
Alan Smalley, Nuneaton, England

Arafat had his chance to naming successors or resign from the throne, yet he never did this during his time in power. I can only hope that there won't be any bloody struggle to gain power from within the Palestinian people, that the new leader will also surrender his ego for his people, and will do everything he can to resume the peace talks. The new Palestinian leader needs to stop the terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and work together with the UN and the international community.
Ridwan Gosal, Indonesia

Without Yasser Arafat there would by now be no 'Palestine" either factually or ideologically. I trust his vision will become reality. I trust it will come about peacefully. Too much blood has been spilled on both sides.
Chris Spencer, Manchester, UK

Hopefully his successors will be more enlightened
Paul, Stourbridge, England
I find it impossible to "mourn" for the passing of a leader who was responsible for the deaths of thousands. His support for terrorists (please don't use the term militants) and his opposition to the peace process caused much suffering. Hopefully his successors will be more enlightened.
Paul, Stourbridge, England

To the last day Yasser Arafat remained one of the greatest leaders of our time. The level of respect, unbending loyalty and great sense of loss shown by the whole of the Palestinian nation cannot be won by a dictator as some suggest here. These honours are only bestowed upon a man who has worked single-mindedly for the hopes of his people for so many years.
Nigel, Fujisawa, Japan

I am very sad. Has there been another face around for so long in Middle Eastern politics during the past decades? I can remember him since my early teenage years and this is over 30 years ago.
Peter Nadig, Aachen, Germany

I think Arafat was the backbone of the Palestinian cause and I will remember him as a great leader who fought for his country with sincerity and determination to free his country from oppression.
B, Baghdad

To the Palestinian people; I am very sad to hear of the passing of PA President Yasser Arafat. May you one day realize your dreams for equality, justice, and autonomy. May your new leaders rise to the challenges of bringing Palestinian aspirations before the world and pressing for freedom from external as well as internal oppression.
Paul Jamieson, Vancouver, Canada

We will carry on our fight for a just peace and freedom, some say he is a terrorist, some say he is great, to me now he is free
Ahmad, Palestinian territories
We will carry on our fight for a just peace and freedom, some say he is a terrorist, some say he is great, to me now he is free, something we are all fighting to achieve.
Ahmad, Palestinian territories

A man who was at once so loved and hated must have stood for something, and Yasser Arafat did - the rights of the Palestinians. He may not have been perfect person, no one is, and it is easy to say that he made mistakes, who has not, but without him the legitimate rights of the Palestinians would not have progressed as far as they have. Now that he has gone and is no longer available as an excuse, it will indeed be interesting to see how Israel and the United States move towards finding a lasting and just solution to the problem.
Robert, Windhoek, Namibia

Arafat perpetuated the violence in the Middle East. I certainly do not mourn his passing. I think more of the civilians who have been killed in this period: the Israelis who have died in suicide bombings and the Arabs who have died in Israeli's cruel reaction.
Jonathan Purle, Bromley, UK

Without Arafat, the Palestinian issue would have been long buried in the rubble of history as one of those minor irritants in world history. By not signing up to Camp David, Arafat clearly resisted the temptation to see 'a solution' in his lifetime as opposed to 'a just solution'. Any future Palestinian leader must clearly establish the bottom line: No compromise on 1967 borders, no violence, recognise Israel, guarantee safety and security of Israel, perhaps find a compromise on the right to return issue
Salih, Chennai, India

Although not able to fulfil all he wished for the Palestinians, he was a strong and committed leader, wanting only for his people to be free. Let us hope that his death may promote peace in the Middle East. God rest his soul.
Ralph Allison, Gillingham, UK

Arafat was an insurgent at heart and simply couldn't let go
Eric Nickell, Houston, TX, USA
In the latter years of his life, Yasser Arafat played the role of elder statesman to the hilt. Sadly, he was unable to grasp the concept of "half a loaf" being better than none. The Israelis agreed to 90% of what he wanted in the waning days of the Clinton administration, but he held out for the other 10% and his people paid for it. Arafat was an insurgent at heart and simply couldn't let go. My first memories of him (and the PLO) in the seventies were exploding planes, razed buildings and burning vehicles. All that having been said, I feel that our current president squandered more than a few good opportunities to work with Arafat so he could look tough on terrorism.
Eric Nickell, Houston, TX USA

Whatever Yasser Arafat may have stood for in the distant past, I really believe that in recent years he has had a strong genuine desire to see his people living peacefully alongside their Israeli neighbours. Any world leader willing to pursue the peace process in his absence would certainly earn my respect. I'm sure that for every person intent on continuing violence in the Middle East, there are so many more who would like to mark Arafat's life by putting down their arms and yielding to peaceful solutions.
Alex Ruff, Bristol, UK

Arafat may have been the only Palestinian with enough clout and influence to bring peace to Palestine. Now he is dead and his tenure as leader of the Palestinian people was a miserable failure. He brought his people nothing but more corruption, violence, and death.
Torben, Bellevue, USA

Yasser Arafat was a man of courage. In the eyes of his enemies, of course he was a kind of troublemaker but for his followers and supporters, he was a man of great vision fighting for the freedom of Palestine. I admire his courage.
Abe Barreto Soares, Dili, Timor-Leste

Arafat should have abdicated years ago. His hold on power caused his people suffering and grief. There could have been peace in 2000 if not for him. Maybe now our two peoples can finally get some rest.
Ran, Tel-Aviv, Israel

A great leader has passed away. May he rest in peace. I hope this will trigger a turn for the best on Middle East conflict.
Tsigakos, Athens Greece

I could not agree more with Ahmed Shaath, Abu Dhabi, UAE who said "All humans will face death someday. Out of respect for the dead, our feelings and our humanity, please refrain from badmouthing him in this time, whatever bad things you want to say is not the right time for it now."
Stuart Reynolds, Isle of Man

It is sad what has happened today. Mr Arafat was a great leader of the Palestinians who lead bravely and strongly. He was one of the few leaders who opposed a superpower.
Hasan, Karachi, Pakistan

This is a very sad day for the people of Palestine and for many people around the world. Yasser Arafat, for many, embodied and represented hope. He was a courageous man, and a man of ideals and he was the symbol of a nation. Let us hope that one day the people of Palestine are liberated from the occupation, and the recognition of their state can be achieved. Yasser Arafat would want this for his people.
John Ahern, Sydney, Australia

Yasser Arafat may be a freedom fighter for some, but having aided and abetted terrorists he has failed to earn any respect as a man of peace.
'Dozie, Moscow, Russia

I am deeply saddened to hear of Mr Arafat's death. He was the man who devoted his life to Palestinian people. Allah bless him.
Sayed, Kabul, Afghanistan

Arafat is a symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian nation. The embodiment of the hurt, the frustrations that have been the hallmark of a forgotten people, which often emerges in less than acceptable ways to the outside world. Perhaps history will depict him as someone who tried, made mistakes, undoubtedly, but tried. And should the Palestinians gain a home land, he may be seen as someone who in some measure played an important part to that end.
J. Makwinja, Gabarone, Botswana

He worked hard to achieve the idea that no-one today will reject: that Palestinians deserve a state
Mohammed Murad, Williamsburg, USA
Arafat, may God rest his soul in peace, was a strong, selfless, and visionary leader. for over 40 years he fought for the Palestinian cause. In his weakest moments, he was assigned blame for all that he couldn't control. But even in such moments, his strengths as a leader emerged as his people remained by his side. All leaders have their faults, and sure enough he had his. But he worked his life under very special circumstances, especially under which for most of those 40 years, no Palestinian Authority existed and all that the territories witnessed was occupation. He worked hard to achieve the idea that no-one today will reject: that Palestinians deserve a state.
Mohammed Murad, Williamsburg, USA

Whilst Mr Arafat's death may create a potentially bloody power struggle within the Palestinian governing world he leaves behind, in real terms, the Palestinians have lost a leader untrusted by Israel and, perhaps more importantly, by the USA, and therefore one who was in no position to ever bring peace.
Ben Russell, London, UK

Yasser Arafat has brought the Palestinians' plight to the worlds attention, and almost brought peace to a volatile and bloody conflict. Hopefully his passing will bring a new impetus to a genuine and fair peace process for both the Palestinians and Israel. Now is the time for President Bush to show he is serious about the peace process and to hold both sides to their commitments. The coming of his second term and the passing of Arafat may be just the conditions required to solve this conflict once and for all.
Sam , Seattle, USA

All humans will face death someday. Out of respect for the dead, our feelings and our humanity, please refrain from badmouthing him in this time, whatever bad things you want to say is not the right time for it now.
Ahmed Shaath, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Although he holds the Nobel Peace Prize, in the end he was unwilling to end violence and do the hard negotiating work and make sacrifices for peace and his people.
Bruce S Frommer, Forest Hills, NY, USA

Arafat has left behind no means of choosing a successor. He had 10 years to build up a stable and effective government but was only concerned with building his own power base. Palestinians will suffer through a power struggle because Arafat destroyed anyone who threatened him.
Kevin McNamee, Belfast Ireland

Right or wrong, Arafat spoke and fought for a cause. It is something that few leaders today are willing to do
Basil Al-Salem, Kuwait
Arafat is probably the only leader that was able to successfully damage the cause of his people by taking the wrong decisions, like invading Kuwait and consequently losing support from the Gulf states, to staying in power more than he should. However, one cannot deny the fact that without him Palestinians wouldn't have a voice. Right or wrong, Arafat spoke and fought for a cause. It is something that few leaders today are willing to do.
Basil Al-Salem, Kuwait

Yasser Arafat fooled the world into demonising Israel with his careful manipulation of his people and his plundering of their money.
Andrew, London, UK

Yasser Arafat outlived his usefulness long ago. I'm not happy when people die and I do respect him, but realistically his death is nothing more than historic at this point. He has been a detriment to the Palestinian cause for some time and has discouraged the involvement of bright, young and new people such as Hanan Ashrawi. The chronic corruption common in the PA stemmed directly from his office and the expectations thereof. So, he is gone and the vacuum remains to be filled. Hopefully it he will be replaced by several people and power will be shared more evenly. Into the next phase, it should be interesting...
Alan, USA

To call him a great statesman is naive, to call him a great leader is false
Robin, London, UK
To call him a great statesman is naive, to call him a great leader is false.
Robin, London, UK

The Palestinians called him a freedom fighter and the Israelis called him a terrorist. Whatever you choose to call him, he was part of humanity's history, significant in the short term and insignificant in the long term. In the end, it is the victors who writes history. Who do you think will win in the end?
Alan Kieran, Australia

Although I did disagree with some decisions he took, I can't help but respect him and feel sad about his absence.
Rafika, Palestinian territories

I cannot know if history will judge Yasser Arafat as a good man or bad but I feel sure he was a man of his time who strived for something he passionately believed in, his fellow Palestinian's rights in this world. Whatever the circumstances or anyone's opinion, he was a man who stood for his beliefs firmly and was an icon of hope for as many as he was a symbol of anarchy.
Gregory O'Riordan, London, UK

He was and always will be the eternal symbol of the Palestinian struggle for freedom
Mike, Kansas, USA
I'm deeply saddened to hear of Mr Arafat's death. Anyone who is celebrating another's death makes me sick. He may have had his flaws, but then don't we all, but he was and always will be the eternal symbol of the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
Mike, Kansas, USA

I read the comments of others and wonder if they have taken leave of their senses. The man encouraged and condoned terrorism and does not deserve this sentimental outpouring.
James Dickson, Plymouth Devon

The death of Mr Arafat should not be transformed into violence in Palestine and happy news for Israelis in Israel. But both parties should refrain from all sorts of violence and try to understand that both countries have rights to live like other nations. I hope that the Palestinian people will get back all their occupied territories from Israel through progressive and peaceful negotiation.
Kathir Gaman, Paris, France

The demise of President Arafat is a great loss for the Palestinian people. He worked tirelessly for his people's freedom and right to self-determination, and I hope that along the way his legacy isn't forgotten by those who will bear the mantle of responsibility for the future state of Palestine. I am certain that history will judge him fairly and that he'll never be forgotten by his people and millions throughout the world. May he rest in peace.
W Guerrier, Maryland, USA

Arafat's death will definitely serve as a source of inspiration for terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad to launch another wave of bloody attacks against Israeli civilians. Arafat will be made as an 'Icon of Resistance' to justify and symbolise any future terror.
Mr Hyde, Singapore

There is no Palestinian leadership now. Like all dictators, Arafat leaves behind chaos and intrigue. There will be a power struggle, of course, where I feel the older elitist elements of the PLO and Fatah will lose popular support to the younger Hamas with its better infrastructure. However, popular though Hamas may be because of its social work, ultimately its inability to function politically and diplomatically with Israel will diminish its influence on the solution to the conflict. The solution to the conflict can be created by the Palestinians who wish peace, security and prosperity for their people coming together with Israelis who wish the same for their country.
Edd Gold, London, England

Now is the time for the Palestinians to prove they want peace with Israel and appoint a leader who can stop the suicide bombs and rockets.
James Marks, London, UK

The USA and Israel claimed that Arafat was obstacle to peace process, now that he passed away, who will be blamed next. I guess one thing for sure is that Palestinian people will continue to seek freedom even after death of their father.
Ahmed, Melbourne, Australia

Why must we always seek to positively eulogise someone when they die. Arafat may have spoken honeyed words of English to the world's media, yet when talking in Arabic his message was plain, violence and the destruction of Israel. Moreover, ultimately his legacy is a continuing disaster for his people. If he had been a true leader he would have built on what he was generously offered at the Camp David talks and created a Palestinian state, instead he choose to gamble on war and ended up with misery for himself and his people.
Nigel, Radlett, England

One mans' freedom fighter is another mans' terrorist, it depends on which side of the fence you stand. A world leader born of violence due to inhuman actions by his oppressors has died. Rest in peace. Other men of violence exist so let's concentrate on turning them from violence to peace.
Mitch, UK

Arafat wanted a home for his people
Barbara, Atlanta, USA
The passing of Yasser Arafat may draw mixed emotions, some saw him as a block to peace in the Middle East, yet in my lifetime he had evolved from a "terrorist" to a man who lived and fought for a much deserved homeland for his people. If one takes themselves out of the equation and looks at his life as a call for freedom for all, this is the best eulogy one can hope to obtain in a lifetime. Arafat wanted a home for his people. This is truly a noble cause and can be attributed to a life well lived.
Barbara, Atlanta, USA

I am extremely saddened by the sad death of the great leader of the century. I wish him peace and all paradise after death. May God bless him. There will remain great gap of leadership after him. Palestinian are orphans today.
Ashiq Jamil, Hyderabad, Pakistan

I guess he was one of the most controversial characters of our times...he always knew how to fall back on his feet. Controversy surrounded him because of the things he did and said, one example was siding with Saddam during the Kuwait invasion and then doing a 180 degree turn and coming out whole of that mess. But, either, good or bad, he was loved by his people and represented every young Palestinian's dream of a free Palestinian state. I pray that their dreams be fulfilled now and that peace will be given a chance in that troubled part of our world. May his soul rest in peace.
A Cisse, Copenhagen, Denmark

It's amusing to hear people like Gray, Portsmouth, vilify Yasser Arafat as a weak and arrogant terrorist - the man lived the struggle whatever caprices he had. He firmly believed in a Palestinian homeland. Whichever way you look at it, being Palestinian is like a stigma. Yasser Arafat was one of the few men/women doing anything to reverse that. Admittedly, in the last few years, his judgement was not always as astute as it had been in the wilderness years, but his was a noble and worthy struggle. world.
Nasser, Singapore, Singapore

He fought for the freedom of his people. He should go down in history as one of the greats. Let not Western or Israeli propaganda taint his name.
Steve Talbot, UK

A great Arab leader and a Nobel laureate has passed away. A sad day for all who support the people of Palestine.
Ernst Hanssen, Oslo

I believe chairman Arafat has completed his part and I wish him a peaceful rest in his father's home.
Steven Mator, Liberian in Ghana

Freedom Fighter or terrorist, the debate may never end. But Yasser Arafat will be regarded as a man who fought selflessly for the liberty of his country much like India's Bhagat Singh in the post-independence era. His death should be condoled by one and all and I hope that one day peace finally prevails in the war torn area.
Bipraraj Das, Kolkata, India

I thank you Mr Arafat for all that you have done and for the sacrifices throughout the many years. I respect you for all that you have done and my you God bless your soul. We as Palestinians are stronger and with your spirit and we will continue the struggle.
Yacoub Rabah, San Jose USA

My most condolences to the Palestinian people. Though he may have died but Yasser Arafat's legacy will live on until the end of time. Rest In Peace
Mohammad, Canada

A controversial but great leader. It Will be harder to solve conflict without him. I hope now the Palestinians find right the right leader.
Richard S. Zurek, Canada

It's unfortunate Arafat didn't live to see a Palestinian state
Ramsey, Toronto, Canada
It's unfortunate Arafat didn't live to see a Palestinian state. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be solved when Israel withdraws from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the pre-1967 borders. I am afraid that Israel and the US will try to impose a puppet government on the PA
Ramsey, Toronto, Canada

Arafat represented all that is wrong about the Arab World: Leaders who just do not know when to step down. Over 30 years of leadership was long enough. Hopefully this will lead to an emergence of a new, fresh Palestine movement.
Alangir Miah, UK

For someone who has won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize along with co-recipients Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, what more can one say about a man who has been the symbol of the Palestinians' struggle for freedom from Israeli oppression? May he rest in peace.
Cherie Scillia, Wichita, Kansas, USA

He was one of the most inept and incompetent leaders in history
Harry, San Diego, USA
He was one of the most inept and incompetent leaders in history; corrupt, confused, unimaginative and ultimately derelict in every way. The Palestinians deserved better than having him lead them from bad to worse and from worse to disaster. Hopefully, this will be a new dawn for the region.
Harry, San Diego, USA

May he rest in peace. But it may also be an new opportunity for the Palestinian people to live together peacefully with the Israelis. In his early years, he inspired many of us on the left and we campaigned for the Palestinian people. His later years are marked by massive corruption, incompetence and missed opportunities.
Kris Schnack, Ludwigshafen, Germany

Arafat's death is an eye-opener to all. Just like a life that fades away easily, peace too can vanish. It's not more brutality that can bring peace but more humanity and humility.
Ahmad Fathi, Singapore

Arafat was Palestine. May his soul rest in peace. Israel now has no excuses, but to grant Palestine independence and get off stolen territory.
Errol Monteiro, Mumbai, India

It's funny how some people think of Yasser Arafat as a terrorist, most people (including myself) saw him as a freedom fighter for the Palestinian people, who incidentally, are the ones being persecuted in this region.
Froni, Dorset, England

The times that lie ahead for Palestinians will be fraught and uncertain
Gray, Portsmouth UK
The times that lie ahead for Palestinians will be fraught and uncertain with no clear successor in place. This is the sad legacy of Yasser Arafat, who always appeared to side with the terrorists whilst remaining distant from their atrocities. His weakness and arrogance as a leader of the people of Palestine can only mean more atrocities to come. I hope eventually the people of Palestine are able to embrace a democratic approach to their own rule which will force the Israelis to finally meet the UN resolutions it so blatantly ignores.
Gray, Portsmouth UK

It's a sad day indeed for all persons who know the cruelty of oppression. No matter what is said about Arafat, including the brutal and shameless demonisation he suffered, courtesy of Israel, few people would give what he gave and stand his ground more firmly against a brutal oppressor. Amid the propaganda, it should be remembered that according to the might-is-right philosophy, Jomo Kenyatta, Mandela and even the children of Soweto were once terrorists. May he finally rest in peace.
Kagunda wa Karu, Bear, Delaware, USA

The passing of Arafat is certainly an opportunity for the Palestinians to choose a more pragmatic, positive and constructive leadership. I'm afraid, however, that peace will not be dependent on whatever Palestinian leadership arises alone. Arab societies will need to change their values from a tribal-based morality system, in which direct revenge is the social norm with collective responsibility and punishment (and therefore random civilian murder) understandable and indeed morally expected - to a Western-based set of moral values, where direct (or indirect) revenge is not only unlawful but morally unacceptable.
Guy, San Francisco USA

Arafat was the moderate voice. It remains to be seen what route the Intifada will take and how the existing Palestinian guard will be able to manage it. What the world needs now is a moderate and reasonable stance from Israel.
Hasina Lookman, Toronto, Canada





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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