Annual Fundraising Appeal
 Here’s an important message from John Pilger on why the Left needs CounterPunch:
Pilger
John Pilger is one of the world’s most courageous journalists. He’s been contributing to CounterPunch for years. But as he notes, the old media establishment is crumbling around us, leaving precious few venues for authentic voices from the Left. This collapse makes CounterPunch’s survival an imperative. We’re not tied to any political party or sect. Our writers are free to speak their minds. Let’s keep it that way.  Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

The Revelations of Uri Dan

Did Sharon Order the Assassination of Arafat?

by STEPHEN LENDMAN

Longtime and now recently deceased confidant to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Uri Dan, published a book in France that may have been his 2006 one titled Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait in which he accused the former prime minister of assassinating Palestinian Authority (PA) President Yasser Arafat by poisoning him. Dan claimed Sharon got approval from George Bush by phone early in 2004 to proceed with his plan after he told the US president he was no longer committed to "not" liquidating the Palestinian leader who then was under siege and practically incarcerated in what remained of his Ramallah compound, most of which had already been destroyed by the Israelis in a lawless act of retribution against him.

Based on his record during his tenure as Texas governor, when he authorized more death row inmate executions than any US governor in history (and was called by some the Texecutioner), this revelation should come as no surprise. It’s even clearer based on Ariel Sharon’s boast once about his relationship with George Bush saying: "We have the US president under our control."

Arafat died in Paris on November 11, 2004 at age 75. He was taken there on October 29 that year and hospitalized for treatment for an undiagnosed illness that began developing in April and became serious enough for him to need special care. It may have already been too late when he arrived as he slipped into a coma on November 3 and remained in that state till his death eight days later from what was explained at the time as complications from a blood disorder. Indeed it may have been true if his blood was poisoned by a substance able to work slowly and from which no cure was possible at least once the former Palestinian leader arrived in Paris.

To those knowledgeable about Israel’s history since it became a state in 1948 and earlier, this revelation, if true, should come as no surprise. All Israeli governments have a long and disturbing record of conducting targeted assassinations in Israel and abroad as it suited them against all persons thought to be a threat to the Jewish state. From his earliest days in 1969 as Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman and President, Arafat went from enemy to ally and back to enemy again under various Israeli governments depending on his willingness to deny his people their rights in service and pledging fealty to Israeli authority as he did in agreeing to the Oslo Accords, or Declaration of Principles (DOP), signed at a White House ceremony in September, 1993.

This was an agreement from hell, a disgraceful act of surrender, giving Israel what it wanted and Arafat and his cronies a "get-out-of-Tunis-free pass" (where they took refuge when forced out of Lebanon after the 1982 Israeli invasion) to return to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) where he agreed to serve as Israel’s enforcer against his own people. As it always was earlier and since that time, the Palestinians got nothing but the right to have their lands stolen and lives immiserated with the help and duplicity of their own leader and those complicit in his Fatah-led government.

They endured this fate until the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Mosque (or Second) Intifada on September 28, 2000 following Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary in occupied East Jerusalem. It’s gone on since unabated up to and following Arafat’s death and led to the democratic election of a Hamas government in January, 2006.

Fed up with the corrupted Fatah party under Arafat (now under Palestinian President and loyal Israeli servant Mahmoud Abbas), the long-suffering Palestinian people voted them out in an election the Israelis and Bush administration thought they had "arranged" properly enough to assure their preferred quisling party would remain in power but learned to their dismay it didn’t turn out that way. It also didn’t turn out as Palestinians hoped either as Israel and the US, with complicity or silence from the West, conducted a scorched earth campaign against a defenseless people through invasions, daily attacks with sophisticated and powerful weapons (supplied by Washington at US taxpayer expense), targeted assassinations and other daily killings, mass arrests and incarcerations, a systemic policy of torture, destruction of property, and denial of the most basic rights and services essential to life and survival. And that leaves out all the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did to the Lebanese people over the summer that will take a least many years to recover from if Israel will even allow it to happen.

Throughout it all, the courageous Palestinian people continue struggling daily for their freedom and the right to be treated as human beings to live in peace in their own land – against the greatest odds with virtually no outside support or any show of caring about their desperate state even from within the Arab world.

If Ariel Sharon murdered Yasser Arafat, it should surprise no one, and further, if proved beyond dispute, it would never be reported in the US corporate-controlled media even if it made headlines in Israel which might be possible in a country allowing far more press freedom than the total lockdown of it in "the land of the free and home of the brave" where no press freedom is allowed through dominant news and information sources and only is through alternative sources like the one through which readers are now receiving this report. As we begin the new year with the 110th Congress about to convene on January 4, it’s one of many issues to reflect on and consider what we ought to be doing about it in our own behalf.

STEPHEN LENDMAN lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.