June 20 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Gover, Senior reporter
Friday, March 16, 2012
The widow of late Palestinian leader Yasar Arafat and the UK ambassador of that Middle East region were in central London this week for the premiere of new film; The Price of Kings, about Arafat – freedom fighter, terrorist, revolutionary, statesman.
Manuel Hassassian decried the current state of the peace process with Israel - claiming the building of settlements by Jewish settlers threatens to do permanent damage to fragile negotiations started during Arafat’s tenure.
With Suha Arafat in the audience at Haymarket Cineworld, he called on US President Barak Obama to step up efforts as a mediator between the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, warning the process faces further erosion otherwise.
America had failed to live up its status in the White House as the vital third party in negotiations during Obama’s time, claimed Mr Hassassian.
“We are in a historically inevitable and politically impossible situation,” he said.
“The problem is the process we are stuck in. It is sad that no third party has come. We would like to see Obama, after winning re-election, to be forceful and to try more or less to bring back the peace process.
“We cannot continue with more settlements being built. What’s happening is gearing us toward there never being a two state solution.
“The only way we can salvage this is to get a Palestinian state and god willing we will get it, whether Israel likes it or not.”
The Price of Kings uses archive footage and contributions from Yasser Arafat’s closest friends and colleagues, as well as President of Israel Shimon Peres, to chart Arafat’s journey from revolutionary to international statesment and arch-pragmatist.
Personal insights from key figures in Arafat’s life cast light upon the man, his politics – and the toll exacted upon him personally by battling constantly to harmonise disparate factions at home, while negotiating with Israel on the world stage.
Suha Arafat hailed her late husband’s achievements, in the continued absence of a single unifying figure to replace Arafat on the international stage.
“At this time of the Arab spring, Yasser Arafat was only leader who was not elected by 99 per cent in the Arab world. And he was not kicked out by the people,” she said.
“Most Arab leaders had their own agenda and were plotting against him
“Palestine people have lots of differences about what he was doing but managed to get Palestinian people from all over the world. I hoped there will be a Palestinian spring, a true Palestinian state that will overcome and I hope that peace will prevail in Palestine.”
Created by Spirit Level Film, The Price of Kings is a the first of a triptych of films about leadership in the Middle East. Sharp insights supplied by top sources mean the first instalment rises above the status of dry documentary, also keeping balance. The spotlight falls next on President Peres - due out in April.
Visit www.priceofkings.co.uk for more information.