Reuters reports that Israel's Channel Two TV has said that P.L.O. leader Yasser Arafat is clinically dead.
AP cites the French TV station LCI quoting an anonymous French physician saying that Arafat's coma was "irreversible."
The Palestinian Authority denies this, but they've also said that when the terrorist does keel, they won't tell anyone for 72 hours.
A reporter asked President Bush at his press conference what was his reaction to the news that Arafat had died. The President said that he hadn't heard this – no one but the reporter, it seems had, even to this point – but he said some gracious words about Arafat's soul and the peace process continuing.
We might soon have an opportunity for the Palestinians to begin negotiating peace and coexistence with the Israelis in good faith, but it is important that they do not select another P.L.O. honcho to succeed him; I say that not because I know that the Israelis would object, and they might, but rather because the P.L.O. is a terrorist organization. To the extent that the political arm, Fatah, can distance itself from the terrorism, we might soon see,
The problem is, Arafat's replacement will have to be acceptable to the Palestinian people, many of whom are mullah-whipped.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We have to wait 72 hours until the Palestinians tell us that Arafat is dead. Are the omnipresent news services to ignore that he is?
I think it possible that his corpse was flown to France, not a living body for treatment.