A year after his death, the Arafat myth still lives on into our days. This myth is not quite as positive in the West. The press, the political elite and the diplomatic circles have fabricated it. Israel’s interest in staining the reputation of its enemy is known but why has this image been so well accepted in other places?
Myths are justifications of what is done and also what is not done. After the Camp David’s failure, Clinton undertook the task of creating the myth of an Arafat seen as an obstacle to peace. That way Clinton would go into history as a president who tried to make peace and help Ehud Barak. In fact, by giving life to this myth, he only enabled the accession of Ariel Sharon to power. The Israeli public opinion has, in effect, regarded Sharon as the only one able to face the mystic monster Arafat was turned into. Thanks to this myth, the only democratically elected Arab leader was locked up in his headquarters and left to die little by little. The myth allowed it to happen.
Right now, a year later, the evidence shows that Arafat never represented the obstacle he’s been turned into. Israel’s policy has not changed and this is what really hinders peace. The negative myth must be destroyed so that the truth comes out: the truth of a people colonized and reduced to poverty by a military occupation.

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Arafat the obstacle has been exposed as a myth”, by Karma Nabulsi, The Guardian, November 15, 2005.