Latest update: October 15th, 2013
The Palestinian Authority is trumpeting a Swiss report that Israel killed Yasser Arafat with polonium, but chemists have told The Jewish Press that the basis for the accusations is “nonsense.”
Arafat died nine years ago next month, and the Palestine Liberation Organization from day one has accused Israel of murdering him. The idea that Israel poisoned him with polonium surfaced last year after when Al Jazeera reported that high levels of the radioactive substance polonium were found on Arafat’s clothing.
His body then was exhumed for an examination, but the report on the results had been postponed time and time again, without explanation, leading to the reasonable conclusion that the PA was not able to come up with the needed evidence.
Now, just in time for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to throw a screwball at the brain dead “peace talks” that are slowly returning to the grave, the Lancet publication has published a report by Swiss radiation experts that “support the possibility” Arafat was poisoned to death.
Raising the “possibility” gets the Palestinian Authority off the hook. It cannot prove Arafat was poisoned and in effect is saying, “Go prove that Israel did not poison him.”
The Jewish Press is proving it indeed did not.
Chemists told The Jewish Press that not only is the report ridiculous in terms of chemistry, but there also are plenty of easier and less traceable ways to murder someone.
Given the admitted disappearance of polonium over a period of years, Israel would have had to use millions of times more polonium than what remains.
The Lancet report jibes well with the entire Palestinian Authority ideology, which history eventually will show as being a pack of lies that the “objective” media report as fact. The report in Lancet really is not much different from what Al Jazeera reported last year when it quoted Francois Bochud, the head of the Institute of Radiation Physics, who said his team “did find some significant polonium” in Arafat’s belongings before the exhumation.”
Making the Lancet report even more suspicious is that it was written by the same Swiss scientists of the Institute for Radiation Physics who did the initial testing that was published by Al Jazeera. In other words, the not-so-independent experts reviewed their own work.
Even the exhumation smelled fishy. As Elder of Ziyon pointed out last year, “A Palestinian pathologist was the only person allowed to touch the body when Arafat’s grave was opened.”
He took 60 samples for the probe. The Lancet report states that eight scientists carried out radiological tests on 73 samples, 28 from Arafat’s clothes and toothbrush, which had saliva stains, and 37 on “reference” samples of cotton clothing that had conveniently been kept for a decade.
“Several samples containing body fluid stains (blood and urine) contained higher unexplained polonium 210 activities than the reference samples,” says the case report. “These findings support the possibility of Arafat’s poisoning with polonium 210.”
It concluded that after taking into consideration polonium’s delay, the remaining levels of polonium mean that a lethal dose would have been astronomical.
If polonium had been used to kill Arafat, his hair would have fallen out,chemists told The Jewish Press.
The scientists acknowledged this fact, without comment, except to add that “an autopsy would have been useful” at the time of his death.
Of course, the Palestinian Authority did not want to do such thing in 2004 because there was no evidence of any poisoning.
Beatrice Schaad, head of communications at the Vaudois University Hospital Center that is in charge of the Institute, told AFP that the report in Lancet simply is the scientific version of last year’s report and, “There is still no conclusion that he was poisoned.”
One chemist, who said his name cannot be used because he works for a large Israeli chemicals firm, told The Jewish Press , “Why would Israel choose polonium to kill Arafat when there are lots of other substances that can cause death a lot quicker and that are not traceable?
Dr. Avraham Rotman, said, “Polonium 210 has a half-life of 138 days; it is hard to imagine that it could be detected in a small sample after nine years.”
“Half-life” means the radioactivity of a sample drops by half during the specified period. After eight years, when Arafat’s body was exhumed, virtually nothing would be left unless it came for a natural source that could replenish the polonium or unless he had been injected with enough polonium to kill a herd of elephants.
Polonium at high levels most likely would come from a nuclear reactor, and the material is so rare that only 100 grams are produced each year, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.
Before anyone raises the suspicion that Israel provided the polonium, let’s note that Russian experts were involved in the medical investigation form the beginning. Arafat died in France, so why would Russian experts be called in? Who knows, but if the Palestinian Authority wanted to plant polonium on Arafat’s body, Russia would be its source.
That leaves us with a dubious report based on ridiculous assumptions and which was issued months after the deadline.
Khaled Abu Toameh wrote in the Jerusalem Post last February that one reason the report on results of the exhumation was delayed was “to prevent the emergence of any issues that could have a negative impact on the peace talks.”
So why now?
It looks like Abbas is ready to pull the plug on the peace talks. After a few years, maybe he can exhume them and “discover” that Israel used polonium to kill the peace process.
Historians really will have their work cut out.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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