Robert Fisk: Dreams of a Palestinian state to remain a fantasy
Published 22/09/2011 | 05:00
I'D JUST been to the old boy's grave -- presumably he's not turning inside, not this week anyway -- and then, less than 50 metres from Manara Square where Ramallah's concrete lions sit, mouths open in boredom, was Yasser Arafat himself.
Walking, living, breathing; Arafat's face -- as near as you can get minus the awful growth of beard -- his dull green battledress jacket, familiar keffiyeh scarf folded to resemble the map of the original Palestine over his head and right shoulder.
He was followed by a crowd of flag-waving kids, an almost perfect lookalike for the real thing in the tomb up the road, a fantasy Arafat for a fantasy state. "He used to wander around dressed like that after Abu Amar died," the man outside the pastry shop remarked coldly. "Now only the children make a fuss of him -- they think he's the real thing."