In reacting against the hypocrisy of Americans (and Australia's little Americans) over Fidel Castro's death, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Ruby Hamad argues, with the best of intentions, that:
"Israel is both a democracy (flawed but a democracy nonetheless) and an oppressive occupier that gets away with shocking human rights abuse. Yasser Arafat was indeed resisting this Israeli oppression and occupation, and in doing so he turned a blind eye to terrorism and the victimisation of innocent Israelis." (All heroes have their dark side, no matter what side they're on, 30/11/16)
However, these two sentences are more fairy tale than fact:
1) Israel is a democracy. Palestine had an indigenous majority and a non-indigenous settler minority up to 1948. The settler minority then drove out the indigenous majority and has refused to allow them back in ever since. Only when those driven out (and therefore disenfranchised) in 1948 are allowed back and given the vote, will Palestine/Israel be a democracy. All it is now is an ethnocracy, just like white South Africa before apartheid was consigned to the dustbin of history.
2) Arafat is a terrorist. You simply cannot place the reactive, retail violence of an occupied, oppressed, and colonised people on the same level as the wholesale violence of those who occupy, oppress, and colonise them. International law rightly recognises the right of an occupied, oppressed, and colonised people to resist occupation and colonisation by any means. It does not, however, recognise anyone's right to occupy or colonise another people's land. Arafat was not a terrorist. He was a freedom fighter. The settler-colonial apartheid state of Israel is the only terrorist here.