The Gatekeepers, originally a documentary film and now a book, continues to offer a wealth of inside information about the Israeli national security apparatus. The latest tidbit an Israeli friend gleaned is this September 2003 Yediot article recounting the decisions made during an Israeli security cabinet meeting chaired by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:
He Will Be Gotten Rid Of
The cabinet decision of last night to get rid of Yasser Arafat has no immediate impact since the timing has not been determined. Sharon, who formulated the decision [during the meeting], preferred to leave the matter vague and indeterminate between expulsion or assassination. The decision was supported by every member of the [security] cabinet except for Interior Minister Poraz, who opposed.
Within 14 months of this meeting, Arafat was dead. It is about as clear as anything can be that the cabinet voted to give Sharon carte blanche to determine where, how and when to remove Arafat as a threat to Israel. Sharon could choose life (in exile) or death. We know the result. It almost doesn’t matter whether Swiss forensic scientists can prove he was poisoned and by whom. We know who did it. We just don’t know precisely how he achieved the result.
There is a wealth of circumstantial evidence offered by an Israeli confidant of Sharon and others arguing that Sharon intended to kill Arafat. This news report adds another piece to the puzzle.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.