The Eternal Agitator

He shook the world by demanding justice for the Palestinians. But Arafat's defiance ruined his chances to win them independence

Yasser Arafat loved the cartoon Tom and Jerry. Learning on the eve of his triumphant 1994 return to the Gaza Strip that the show didn't air there, he joked that in that case, he wasn't going. He adored the program, he said, because the mouse, not the cat, always won. All his life, Arafat was the little guy of the Middle East, scampering feverishly to avoid one lethal trap or another. While he never quite prevailed over any of the region's heavies, he did have the indestructible quality of an animated figure. Or so it seemed until last week, when Arafat,...