Friday, January 14, 2011

Book review: Arafat's ghost and the Palestinian national movement

Osamah Khalil, The Electronic Intifada, 13 January 2011

"......Six years after his death, Arafat's ghost still haunts the Palestinian national movement. From the cult of personality he constructed to the institutions he established and the agreements he signed, Arafat's influence was not only profound but enduring. Indeed, the politics of divide and rule, and governance through intimidation, wasteful duplication and destructive rivalries that Ghanem describes have been adopted by Arafat's children -- his former supporters and associates who are ubiquitous inside and outside of government and who have chosen to mimic his style of leadership. Thus, Arafat's specter is likely to hang over yet another generation of Palestinians.

If Palestinians are to find a way out of this crisis, they must begin not by glorifying the national movement but by demystifying and demythologizing its history, and conducting a frank assessment of its successes and failures. Palestinian Politics after Arafat is an important step in that direction."

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