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Tifosi Bob
November 23rd 04, 12:44 PM
Arafat had AIDS, Stockwell Day suspects


Canadian Press

POSTED AT 6:51 PM EST Monday, Nov 22, 2004








Ottawa - Stockwell Day is pointing to a report that Yasser
Arafat may have had AIDS in explaining why he didn't send condolences on the
death of the PLO leader.

"Some of you have asked why I have not released a statement of
condolence or sympathy," the Conservative party's foreign affairs critic
wrote in a Nov. 16 e-mail to party colleagues obtained by The Canadian
Press.

"As you know, there are two sides to the Arafat story. You
pick."

The e-mail then provides an article by conservative commentator
David Frum in Frontpage Magazine which highlights Mr. Arafat's terrorist
past and the possibility he suffered from AIDS.

"Consider just this one fact," Mr. Frum said in the Nov. 4
article. "The world media's astonishing lack of curiosity about the nature
of the disease for which he sought treatment in France.

"These symptoms sound remarkably AIDS-like, don't they?"

Mr. Day did not return a request for an interview Monday and
Conservative party officials were not eager to discuss the matter.

One party staffer dismissed the e-mail as "internal."

Geoff Norquay, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's
communications director, called it "a pretty old story."

He would not speculate if the e-mail might lead some to believe
that Mr. Day refused to send condolences because of the possibility Mr.
Arafat died of AIDS.

"In our party's view, the passing of Mr. Arafat raises the
possibility for a new generation of leadership in the Palestinian Authority
that is dedicated to a genuine and lasting peace in the Middle East," Mr.
Norquay said.

"I have no further comment."

Elsewhere in the article, Mr. Frum writes that Mr. Arafat was a
man motivated by the spirit of destruction who measured his success in the
grief he inflicted on others without much caring what his supporters
suffered in return.

The lack of solid information about the cause of Mr. Arafat's
death provided fertile ground for rumours in the Arab world that he was
poisoned.

But Mr. Arafat's nephew revealed Monday that medical records
show no sign of poisoning.

Nasser al-Kidwa also said the files gave no clear diagnosis for
the reasons of Mr. Arafat's death Nov. 11 in a Paris-area military hospital.

Mr. al-Kidwa took possession of the records Monday despite
objections from the late Palestinian leader's widow, Suha.

Officials at the Parisian hospital where Mr. Arafat was treated
had refused to release his cause of death publicly citing French privacy
laws.

Mr. al-Kidwa is also the Palestinian ambassador to the United
Nations and collected the dossier on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.





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