Following are excerpts from an interview by Al-Quds Al-Arabi Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Bari Atwan, aired on ANB TV on February 16, 2006.
Abd Al-Bari Atwan: When the Oslo Accords were signed, I went to visit [Arafat] in Tunis. It was around July, before he went to Gaza. I said to him: We disagree. I do not support this agreement. It will harm us, the Palestinians, distort our image, and uproot us from our Arab origins. This agreement will not get us what we want, because these Israelis are deceitful.This is the "peace process" that the West worships more than any deity. The entire Oslo farce was meant as a means to wage war, not peace, on the part of the Palestinian Arabs against Israel.
He took me outside and told me: By Allah, I will drive them crazy. By Allah, I will turn this agreement into a curse for them. By Allah, perhaps not in my lifetime, but you will live to see the Israelis flee from Palestine. Have a little patience. I entrust this with you. Don't mention this to anyone. Always remember this. Sometimes, when I would criticize him strongly, he would say to me: Do you remember the promise I made, Abd Al-Bari?
He was very amicable, and had a great capacity to forgive. I never let him down in crucial moments. For example, when the Americans tried to force Abu-Mazen on him as prime minister, and to take away all his authorities, I stood by Yasser Arafat. I was convinced, because of what he entrusted with me, and because I knew him, that he would not betray [the Palestinians], and would not make concessions.
That is why I knew that it was he who founded and armed the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, in order to redress the balance with the historic mistake of the Oslo Accords.
And it has been successful. Israel has, from the Arab perspective, abandoned land to terrorists because of the good cop/bad cop pairing of Oslo and terror, both of which had the same goal - the destruction of the Jewish state.
The West still thinks that the "peace process" is a desirable state of affairs, when it is in fact one of the biggest misnomers in history, one whose goal from the Arab side is anything but peaceful.