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A decade after dying, Arafat still divides Israelis

A Palestinian storekeeper displays items bearing portraits of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on November 8, 2014, in Gaza CityFor most Israelis, the late Yasser Arafat with his trademark black-and-white keffiyeh represents the embodiment of the “arch-terrorist”. For decades, any Israeli making contact with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) that Arafat led could be thrown in prison. “A large majority of Israelis think of Yasser Arafat as the main culprit behind the violence and he undermined the confidence they had in the Palestinians’ desire for peace,” said Anat Kurz, research director at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. Uzi Dayan, a former national security advisor during the Arafat era, is more forthright, calling the Palestinian icon a “terrorist” and a “crook”.

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