Time Essay: When Terrorists Become Respectable

Many of you who are here in this Assembly hall were [once]considered terrorists.

In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week, P.L.O. Leader Yasser Arafat was trying to make a propaganda point, seeking to remind many Third World delegates that they too were once considered outlaws by much of the world. His statement was not merely rhetorical. Like Arafat, many of his listeners had in fact once been hunted men—and had hunted other men themselves. Terrorism is universally repugnant to standards of human decency, but in the past 25 years, sadly enough, it has been essential to the birth...

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