Israel’s secretive nuclear activities are shrouded in mystery, and that is how this rogue state likes to conduct its business with assassination high on the agenda. Only the action of Mordechai Vanunu exposed what President John F Kennedy had suspected. The question still remains did he pay with his life for persisting in asking the right questions? When Yasser Arafat became ill suddenly towards the end of 2004 exhaustive tests failed to find what was causing his deteriorating condition. Following his death there was no trace of poisoning. Now Al Jazeera have commissioned further studies looking in a new direction, the possible use of polonium, discovered by Marie Curie and the cause of death of her own daughter after an accidental leakage in the laboratory.
“At least two people connected with Israel’s nuclear program also reportedly died after exposure to the element, according to the limited literature on the subject.
But polonium’s most famous victim was Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy-turned-dissident who died in London in 2006 after a lingering illness. A British inquiry found that he was poisoned with polonium slipped into his tea at a sushi restaurant.
There is little scientific consensus about the symptoms of polonium poisoning, mostly because there are so few recorded cases. Litvinenko suffered severe diarrhea, weight loss, and vomiting, all of which were symptoms Arafat exhibited in the days and weeks after he initially fell ill.
Animal studies have found similar symptoms, which lingered for weeks – depending on the dosage – until the subject died. “The primary radiation target… is the gastrointestinal tract,” said an American study conducted in 1991, “activating the ‘vomiting centre’ in the brainstem.”
Scientists in Lausanne found elevated levels of the element on Arafat’s belongings – in some cases, they were ten times higher than those on control subjects, random samples which were tested for comparison.” Source Al Jazeera 4/6/2012.
When I met with Yasser Arafat earlier that same year I found him a genial and generous host. When it was learned that there could be some difficulty reaching our destination, Bethlehem, our party was immediately invited to stay for a meal. At the time the media had conspired to discredit him as a barrier to the peace process and so a consensus had been reached between Israel and the U.S. that it would be better if he were out of the way. They would be able to deal with his successor. Did Israel want a peace process to succeed? If they did their actions since Arafat’s death have shown little sign that they did, or do now. The continuing occupation and degrading treatment of the Arab population is shocking and the leaders of Israel should be treated for what they are, war criminals. Instead the country maskerades as a European state situated out of context in a world defined as alien by successive U.S. governments and allies so that the world of Islam is defined as the “axis of evil”. Nothing more evil than the actions of the Israeli government can be imagined.