On Nov. 16, The News printed the worst political cartoon I have ever seen. It depicted the devil escorting deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat into a dungeon. The caption joked about it being "his new homeland." No one could miss the suggestion of hell. This cartoon is not clever. It is simply callous. Furthermore, it is not an isolated case. It reflects a more general association between Palestinians, terror and evil.
This is not to defend Arafat as a saint, but it is to defend him as a legitimate fighter for his people. What is going on in Israel is not "terror." It is a war. It is bloody and real. There are atrocities on either side.
Yet somehow the mentality of this cartoon is perpetuated. Hard-line Israelis can shoot as many missiles into crowds as they want. It is always "self-defense" and always represents "good." One can bet that Ariel Sharon will be eulogized when he dies. But his and Arafat's legacies are conjoined. Where one goes, the other will have to go. The ceaseless war between their people is enough "hell" for both of them.