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October 30, 2002

Arafat Wins Parliament Approval, Faces Critics

The challenge: read this entire article--it is short--and ask yourself what the hell Arafat is saying in the concluding paragraph. Talk about Orwellian "doublespeak."

RAMALLAH, West Bank (PINA) - “Today was a promising day for Palestinian democracy,” unnamed Palestinian Parliament member commented after a vote of confidence that approved Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s new cabinet on Tuesday.

Last month, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), or Parliament refused to ratify a cabinet, selected by Arafat in what was seen as the Palestinian leader’s greatest political setbacks for years.

The PLC’s action had then strengthened the Israeli and American efforts to sideline the Palestinian President, although the PLC’s rejection of the cabinet was provoked by complaints of corruption, and by Arafat’s alleged failure to share power. Both Israel and the United States however are seeking a cabinet that would “guarantee the security of Israel” and subsequently end a two-year-old uprising against the Israeli occupation.

Today however, triumphant Arafat regained some of his old status and once again emerged on top. With a 56-18 vote, a new Palestinian cabinet was approved. Cheering members of the council sang a national song, as others clapped and some embraced. But the critics, who maintain that the new cabinet is hardly up to the challenge was also loud.