Mussolini's style was remarkably similar to Yasir Arafat's (though Arafat was undoubtedly far more murderous). He played the political game of claiming to seek peaceful accords and alliances while straining to contain the more violent elements within his movement. His hands were tied, he'd claim, when squads of Fascist Blackshirts broke the bones of his opponents. Again like Lenin--and Arafat--Mussolini practiced a philosophy of "the worse the better." He celebrated the violence committed by socialists because it gave him the opportunity to commit more violence in retribution...At the end of the day, however, the salient fact was that in a nation torn by economic and social chaos as well as political bitterness in the wake of the Versailles Treaty, Mussolini's message and tactics triumphed.[p. 49]Of course, despite Arafat's successes: creating the myth of a Palestinian people, legitimizing Arab terrorist attacks against Israel and beginning the process of the delegitimization of Israel--in the end, Arafat failed to create a second Palestinian state, even when the opportunity was handed to him on a silver platter.
No matter. Today, Arafat has the admiration of the liberals in the Western world, including some in the Obama administration, such as the Secretary of State. As Goldberg writes:
Hillary's attraction to radical groups and figures such as the Black Panthers, Alinksy and--according to some biographers--Yasir Arafat is perfectly consistent with liberalism's historic weakness for men of action. Just as Herbert Croly could make allowances for Mussolini and countless others applauded Stalin's "tough decisions," the 1960s generation of liberals had an inherent weakness for men who "transcended" bourgeois morality and democracy in the name of social justice. this live of hard men--Castro, Che Arafat--is clearly tied to the left's obsession with the fascist values of authenticity and will.[p.324]Allan Bloom, in The Closing Of The American Mind, writes that he has witnessed this "revolutionary charm" personally:
There is also something of this in the current sympathy for terrorists, because "they care." I have seen young people, and older people too, who are good democratic liberals lovers of peace and gentleness, struck dumb with admiration for individuals threatening or using the most terrible violence for the slightest and tawdriest reasons. They have a sneaking suspicion that they are face to face with men of real commitment, which they themselves lack. And commitment, not truth, is believed to be what counts.[p. 221]And if elements of the West are in adoration of Arafat, well, what can we expect of the Arabs in the West Bank. After all, when it comes to leaders that they can admire, it is not as if they have a lot to choose from.
According to The Palestinian Center For Public Opinion, which came out with Poll No. 173 November 3, 2010.
6) Six years after the departure of the leader Yassir Arafat, do you feel that you miss him or not?That's 87% of Palestinian Arabs who say they miss Arafat.
1. I strongly miss him 60.3%
2. I somewhat miss him 26.4%
3. I somehow don’t miss him 5.4%
4. I don’t miss him at all 6.3%
5. Don’t know 1.6%
Is it any wonder that on the 6th anniversary of Arafat's death Abbas revealed himself as an Arafat-wannabe?
In his speech, Abbas pledged to continue in Arafat’s footsteps until the Palestinians achieve an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the refugees return to their homes and lands and all prisoners are released from Israeli jail.Of course, it is not Abbas's pledge to follow in Arafat's footsteps until he achieves the goal of a state--it is that he will continue to follow in Arafat's footsteps after a second Palestinian state is created.
In the end, Italy recognized Mussolini for what he was.
Somehow, I doubt if the Arabs will ever come to the same realization about Arafat.
Technorati Tag: Arafat and Mussolini.