Haaretz is the reference daily of the Israeli elite close to the Labour Party. In its September 7, 2005 edition, Haaretz pointed out: “According to experts, Yasser Arafat died of AIDS or poisoned”.
That article was published after the appearance in bookshops of a work in Hebrew by journalists Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff, which reproduces the report given by French doctors on the Palestinian Leader’s death. However, the report never mentions the AIDS hypothesis, only poisoning caused by a non-identified substance. So, there is no way to establish whether such poisoning was of natural or criminal origin.
However, Haaretz published the opinion of Israeli experts, who knew about the French report, basically that of Professor Gil Lugassi – president of the Israeli Haematological Association. Prof. Lugassi categorically affirmed, without ever having examined the deceased and without any elements others than those provided by the French report, that President Arafat died of AIDS.
The Israeli daily based its headline on this imaginary diagnosis rather than on the forensic report. There are two things at stake: On the one hand, to damage Yasser Arafat’s reputation after his death by presenting the old leader as homosexual (which in turn shows that the term is still pejorative in Israel), and on the other hand, to hide any suspicion of poisoning by the Israeli service.
Let’s recall that for a few months before Arafat’s death, General Sharon repeatedly announced his purpose of killing the President of the Palestinian Authority and that the UN interfered to dissuade Sharon from so doing.
Some weeks before the devastating poisoning of Yasser Arafat, Intelligencia – a magazine in Arabic launched by Voltaire Network, published the big lines of Ariel Sharon’s plan, which included the physical elimination of President Arafat, his replacement by Abou Mazen (Mahmud Abbas), and the setting-up of an Israeli government of coalition.