How ironic :
The pro-Arafat documentary, a Kuwaiti television spokesman apologized, "had been part of a package purchased from a European television...."
Saudi Arabia's Arab News newspaper reported today (November 14) an interesting turn of events that highlights and contrasts the attitude of the Arab state of Kuwait towards Yasser Arafat with the fawning attitude of European states.
According to the report, a Kuwaiti minister, Muhammad Abul-Hassan, was threatened with impeachment by the Kuwaiti parliament for having allowed a television broadcast last week in which "Arafat was described as a hero, a combatant for faith, and a martyr." Abul-Hassan, Minister of Information, elected to hand in his resignation over the matter.
Yet the Arafat documentary, a Kuwaiti television spokesman apologized, "had been part of a package purchased from a European television group and did not reflect the editorial views of the Kuwaiti channel." The spokesman was quoted by Arab News as saying, "The program was translated and ran in a hurry. The assertion in the program that Arafat was a hero and a combatant does not reflect our views."
The documentary, according to Saudi newspaper, led to "a storm of protests from the Parliament and the press...." The reason being that "many Kuwaitis... regard Arafat as a treacherous opportunist who, having received vast sums of money from Kuwait, supported Saddam Hussein's invasion and annexation of Kuwait in 1990."
Arab News reported, "Kuwaiti newspapers have been publishing file photos showing Arafat alongside the deposed Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein. They have also run editorials and op-ed pieces condemning the television and describing Arafat as a mercenary, who was interested in nothing but money, position and fame." As an example of the latter, the Saudi newspaper quotes an editorial in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan, which likens Yasser Arafat to Uday Hussein, Saddam Hussein's pathological son. The editors of Al-Watan expressed surprise that Minister Abul-Hassan "seems to be struck by sadness with the passing of Arafat."
Kuwaiti MP Muhammad Barrak-Matir was reported to have said, "The people of Kuwait know who Yasser Arafat was. And the world will, in time, also find out the truth."