Was Yassir Arafat Gay, and Did He Die of AIDS?

I have yet to hear or read this from a reputable source, but there’s no shortage of places on the Internet where one can read that it was common knowledge among insiders that…

  1. Arafat was gay

  2. The blond, Aryan European bodyguards he surrounded himself with were his boy toys

  3. Arafat’s death was caused by AIDS

Any truth to this? Any real documentation, or is this just post mortem slander by Arafat’s many enemies?

I mean, if this really had been common knowledge, I’m astonished that the Israelis didn’t publicize it to undermine Arafat.

I heard these rumors when he was dying, so they definitely predate his death. Supposedly, what the public could see of his symptoms (mainly, a gaunt appearance and a general air of “waisting away”) matches the symptoms of late-stage AIDS. And supposedly, the clinic in Europe he went to for treatment is known for treating STD’s.

I think a lot of people in this country don’t like Arafat and would like to discredit him even in death.

The man did get married and sire a child, albeit late in life. True, gay men have been known to do that, but in the absence of any real evidence of homosexuality on Arafat’s part, that should be enough to speak to him being heterosexual.

As for gauntness…the guy was in his seventies, any number of illnesses and age-related conditions could cause that look.

*Rumors *about Arafat having been gay, or at least bi, had been circulating for years, perhaps decades before his death. So there’s nothing new about this (except for the “died of AIDS” angle.) But that’s all they ever were – a rumor.

Whether this rumor was true or not is unknown, at least AFAIK. The fact that no hard evidence ever surfaced (and there would be plenty of parties who would be happy to “out” him, including many Arab ones) seems to suggest, at least to me, that the rumor was likely false – IMO.

Yeah, I remember Oriana Fallaci mentioning that Arafat was a homosexual in an interview, way back in the 70’s or 80’s. Like you, I have no way of knowing whether it was true.

Oh, please. Would a gay guy wear that Pizza Hut tablecloth with camo?

There was no shortage of “sources” willing to say that Arafat had AIDS. Most of them based their conclusions on how Arafat appeared in photos or television footage. Some of these sources were quoted in reputable newspapers, and many less reputable papers have asserted that the claims were true. Similarly, many Arab sources concluded that Arafat had been murdered by poisoning.

I think it’s fair to conclude that much of this speculation was driven by those with strong feelings about Arafat’s political views, but it was certainly compounded by the fact that the French doctors who treated him said that they could not determine his cause of death.

A few weeks after Arafat died, both the New York Times and the Israeli paper Haaretz separately published investigative reports, based on their review of Arafat’s medical records and interviews with Arafat’s doctors. Both concluded that the rumors that he died of AIDS or had been poisoned were without merit. The NY Times concluded that he simply died of complications from an infection.

It was odd how the family and politicians fought so hard and publicly over his medical records. Almost as if they wanted to control some sensitive information.

You mean like someone’s personal medical history? Protecting what they have a right to protect shouldn’t be looked on as suspicious.

I have absolutely no love for the man, but this is fairly silly speculation.

This sort of thing happens often with famous leaders. When Mao died, some of his top aides refused to admit the possibility of an 82-year-old man dying of natural causes and were convinced he must have been poisoned. There was some sort of tussle over his records.

The mental image I now have of Yassir Arafat having gay sex may just keep me up half the night now. :frowning:

Add me to those who thinks this is a pretty old story that preceeded his death by decades. I can offer two cites that claim first hand knowledge and offer a plausible scenario under which this was observed.

Maybe one of top 10 highest highest ranking Eastern block defectors ever and later a CIA Agent claimed to have all but witnessed homosexual activity by Arafat in his book Red Horizons first published in the 1980’s. Particulars reliably quoted here

Clinton aide and former Democratic Party head Terry McAuliffe in his book My Life Among the Democrats recounts that Arafat rubbed his leg under the dinner table before giving him a kiss on the lips and implies that it was a “pass” on behalf of Arafat.

For the record, that is so wrong. But so very funny!

Keep in mind that in Arab culture, men are a lot more touchy with each other than in the West. Hugs, kisses, walking arm and arm.

Not just gay sex . . . ***any ***sex. Especially with that *shmata *on his head (maybe he had a little matching g-string).

He always looked like shaved with a fork. But then I read – this is real, not a joke – that he had some sort of skin condition that made his skin exceptionally sensitive, so he really had to be sporadic in with his shaving.

Does one have to list HIV or AIDS on a death certificate. I mean I know there are the cocktails drugs now but it seemd till the early 90s celebrities were dropping like flies because of AIDS, but now? I mean when’s the last time you heard any celebrity died of HIV or AIDS? And yes I know technically you don’t die of AIDS but one of the opportunistic infections.

So do doctors just not put AIDS on the death certificate?

Exactly. I’ll bet this is what originally generated the claim.

The opporutnistic infection would be listed as the proximate cause, “secondary to” HIV infection or AIDS.

This is huge. How likely is it, in this day & age, that his doctors had no idea what killed him? Most people will say, “Not freakin’ likely.” The possiblility that the doctors are covering up Arafat’s cause of death naturally begs the question of why. And given the decades-old rumors that he’s gay, AIDS is an obvious guess.