I revere life and all its nuances. I believe that this world is at its best when the people living in this world focus on making this life better for all people. The next life is not something that I overly concern myself with. Let's improve this one first.
When someone dies, allbeit a part of the cycle of life, it is a grievous event. It is painful to those who knew the deceased. There is a loss. Part of that which makes our world what it is is gone forever. And so, I, as one who reveres life, tend to feel a little sorrow whenever I hear about the death of anyone.
So maybe it was inconsistent of me to feel some joy when I heard of the death of Arafat. But I don't think it is inconsistent. I am happy that he is no longer in this world. One of his final acts as a "leader" was to dole out money to fund a suicide bombing that killed people. I am happy that he will no longer be around to do that.
Another teacher questioned my being happy about the death of a 'human being'. I asked her if she remembered the assault which was orchestrated by Arafat on teachers and schoolchildren. She said, "But we have to ask why they did this. There is a dispute about land, right?" I said, "I don't care about any dispute. It doesn't justify murdering schoolchildren. The person who does this is not a 'human being'. So why can't I be happy that such a person is gone out of this world?"
Unfortunately, I think, much of the world is now hearing eulogies about Arafat's legacy and his leadership of the Palestinian people. We don't hear much about how he led them the wrong way, to do the wrong things.
A brief look at truth might show that he made things worse not only for the people he was fighting against but also for the people he was supposedly fighting for. A longer look at truth might show that Arafat played no part in making this a better world but just the opposite; his real legacy is that he played a large part in making this world as dangerous as it is.
I revere life, but I am happy that this one life has ended.
Private Reply to Jerry Waxman (new win)