The remains of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed Tuesday as part of a renewed investigation into his death, a Palestinian investigator said Saturday.
Arafat died in November 2004 in a French military hospital, a month after suddenly falling ill. Palestinian officials claim he was poisoned by Israel, but have not presented evidence. Israel has denied such allegations.
Earlier this year, the detection of a lethal radioactive substance in biological traces on Arafat’s clothing sparked a new investigation. Tests were inconclusive, and experts said they need to check his remains to learn more.
Yeah, maybe Israel poisoned Arafat with radioactive material… or maybe he died of a more prosaic, entirely treatable, cause. No aspersions need be cast, but he wouldn’t be the first butch dude to have succumbed to his particular malady. (He would, however, be one of the few to have died in the age of antiretroviral drugs.) Anyway, since his passing, no show tunes have been heard blaring from a certain address in Ramallah—which is quite sad.
Many a light lad may kiss and fly,
A kiss gone by is bygone.
Never’ve I asked an August sky, “Where has last July gone?”
Never’ve I wandered through the rye, wondering where has some guy gone;
Many a new day will dawn before I do!
With Hamass, it’s all martial music and Islamist anthems—it’s as if they’re deaf to the charm of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Arafat may have been (was) a Jew-murdering monster, but he knew how to arrange the hell out of a bouquet of flowers, and his keffiyeh was always arranged just so.
It will be tragic to remember him like this:
Since mid-November, the gravesite has been surrounded with a blue tarpaulin and roads leading to the Arafat mausoleum were closed. Arafat is still widely revered in the Palestinian territories, and Palestinian officials said they don’t want the process observed by media and others.
There is no guarantee the exhumation will solve the mystery. Polonium-210 is known to rapidly decompose, and experts are divided over whether any remaining samples will be sufficient for testing.
Decomposed and wrapped in a blue tarp. How sad! Everyone knows blue wasn’t his color.