Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has died in a Paris hospital at age 75, suffering multiple organ failure. Here is a collection of reader reactions taken from the ABCNews.com message board.
caedwallagwynedd: Supporters of the Palestinian cause should think of his death not as a tragedy, but rather as an opportunity to finally make progress towards their goal.
GinnySmiths: I, for one, believe that Arafat will be remembered as a hero. He did everything he could to secure land for his people. He was awarded a Nobel Peace prize for his work towards peace, as was Yitzak Rabin … Without the presence of Arafat, the Palestinian people would have been wiped out by Israel long ago. He gave hope to his people who have been displaced from their homes, murdered and brutalized, have had their own land occupied, houses and schools destroyed.
pressingon77: He was a terrorist. He did not pursue peace, he was not a statesman. Why speak good of him just because he died today? I am actually relieved that he is gone. Now we can get down to business.
maurs: Arafat was not always the best leader -- find me one in the world who is -- but he tried to keep a people together who had been displaced at no fault of their own. Their land was taken over by outsiders. The world has forgotten why this struggle began and they'll never understand why it can't end unless and until the Palestinian people are truly free.
kvnieda1: This man was not a stateman, he was terrorist. To think that the world awarded this man with the Nobel Peace Prize. I think the qualifications for such a distinction should be raised to slightly about that of a terrorist. May God have mercy on his soul.
oldpolitico: Arafat did not build a future for anyone. The cause might have been noble decades ago, but that is precisely my point. After 55 years, it's over. His legacy is that of failure, complete failure. Nothing for his followers but violence and death.
bigpiney20032003: The news is making way too much out of this story. Yasser didn't do anything for the world. Maybe his followers believed they were/are doing good, but the world knows better. This story needs to die.
amik117: Arafat is now out of the region. But the region needs to be out of Arafat … The amount of HATRED that he instilled in his people is not gonna be wiped in a week …
But, there IS a CHANCE now to have the new leadership bring SOME logic to people's minds, instead of just hatred. With LOTS of help from the USA, and the Israelis -- MAYBE something good will emerge.
Freedomisntfree: Arafat deserves respect? LMAO!!!!! He was a terrorist, killer, liar, and thief. Today is Veterans Day. The veterans who fought against evil are the ones that deserve respect! And I'm not attacking him, so don't even go there. His terror campaign and ideology, however subtle these last few years by pretending to be a President, is a big reason the Middle East is such a mess! Rest in peace? I think not. He didn't promote it much when he was alive!
Navyboy63: Arafat was an icon for violence, for murder and for terrorism. Rather than working toward the goal of an independent Palestinian state, Arafat spent the last two decades doing everything he possibly could to prevent one.
g5mac: There is no day of respect for a man who has been the guiding light for thousands of homicide bombers, and he is solely responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, women and children who did no more than get on bus, go to school, go to a market or attempt to provide for their families. Those who call this man a hero haven't a clue about the facts of his life.
brubalcava: Democrats, Republicans, Arabs, Jews they are all capable of good ideas. If we could just put hatred aside it would be amazing how much could get done.