Arafat had begun his political career as leader of the Palestinian terrorist organization Al-Fatah, whose fedayeen were being secretly trained in the Soviet Union. In 1969, the KGB managed to catapult him up as chairman of the PLO executive committee. Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was also a Soviet puppet, publicly proposed the appointment.
Soon after that, the KGB tasked Arafat to declare war on American “imperial-Zionism” during the first summit of the Black International, an organization that was also financed by the KGB. Arafat claimed to have coined the word “imperial-Zionism,” but in fact Moscow had invented this battle cry many years earlier, combining traditional Russian anti-Semitism with the new Marxist anti-Americanism.
Why have American and Israeli leaders been deceived for so long about Arafat’s criminal and terrorist activities?
Because Arafat is a master of deceit – and I unfortunately contributed to that. In March 1978, for instance, I secretly brought Arafat to Bucharest to involve him in a long-planned Soviet/Romanian disinformation plot. Its goal was to get the United States to establish diplomatic relations with him, by having him pretend to transform the terrorist PLO into a government-in-exile that was willing to renounce terrorism.
Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev believed that newly elected U.S. president Jimmy Carter would swallow the bait. Therefore, he told the Romanian dictator that conditions were ripe for introducing Arafat into the White House. Moscow gave Ceausescu the job because by 1978 my boss had become Washington?s most favored tyrant.
“The only thing people in the West care about is our leaders,” the KGB chairman said when he enrolled me in the effort of making Arafat popular in Washington. “The more they come to love them, the better they will like us.”
“But we are a revolution,” Arafat exploded, after Ceausescu explained what the Kremlin wanted from him.
“We were born as a revolution, and we should remain an unfettered revolution.”
Arafat expostulated that the Palestinians lacked the tradition, unity, and discipline to become a formal state. That statehood was only something for a future generation. That all governments, even Communist ones, were limited by laws and international agreements, and he was not willing to put any laws or other obstacles in the way of the Palestinian struggle to eradicate the state of Israel.
My former boss was able to persuade Arafat into tricking President Carter only by resorting to dialectical materialism, for both were fanatical Stalinists who knew their Marxism by heart. Ceausescu sympathetically agreed that “a war of terror is your only realistic weapon,” but he also told his guest that, if he would transform the PLO into a government-in-exile and would pretend to break with terrorism, the West would shower him with money and glory.
“But you have to keep on pretending, over and over,” my boss emphasized.
Ceausescu pointed out that political influence, like dialectical materialism, was built upon the same basic tenet that quantitative accumulation generates qualitative transformation. Both work like cocaine, let’s say. If you sniff it once or twice, it may not change your life. If you use it day after day, though, it will make you into an addict, a different man.
That’s the qualitative transformation. And in the shadow of your government-in-exile you can keep as many terrorist groups as you want, as long as they are not publicly connected with your name.
In April 1978 I accompanied Ceausescu to Washington, where he convinced President Jimmy Carter that he could persuade Arafat to transform his PLO into a law-abiding government-in-exile, if the United States would establish official relations with him.