Whopper of the Week: Yasser Arafat

“Yasir Arafat angrily rejected tonight any suggestion that Palestinians had rejoiced over the terrorist attack on the United States on Tuesday, declaring that the Palestinian reaction was one of identification and not satisfaction with American suffering.

” ‘For your information,’ Mr. Arafat said, when asked in an interview about images shown around the world of Palestinians celebrating, ‘it is clear and obvious that it was less than 10 children in East Jerusalem, and we punished them.’ “

–”Arafat Angrily Insists Palestinians Didn’t Rejoice Over Terror Attack on U.S.,” by James Bennet, in the Sept. 13 New York Times.


“These Palestinians in East Jerusalem today delighted at the bombing and American loss of life, offering cakes and sweets, calling out ‘God is great.’ “

Martin Fletcher, NBC, Sept. 11. The footage plainly shows adults and children–many more than 10–celebrating inEast Jerusalem. To view it, c lick here, scroll to the bottom of the page, and then click on “Worldwide reaction to the attacks–9/11/2001.” Similar footage fromNabluscannot be viewed because the Palestinian National Authority’s cabinet minister, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, threatened the cameraman with death if it aired. The cameraman complied. Arafat is president of the Palestinian National Authority.


Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.


Whopper Archive:

Sept. 7, 2001: Tommy Thompson  

Aug. 30, 2001: HHS spokesman Bill Pierce

Aug. 23, 2001: Variety Editor Peter Bart

Aug. 17, 2001: Tom Daschle

Aug 10, 2001: Robert Mueller

Aug. 3, 2001: Barbara Olson

July 27, 2001: Jeffrey Archer

July 20, 2001: George W. Bush

July 13, 2001: George W. Bush

July 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone

June 29, 2001: David Brock

June 22, 2001: Edmund Morris

June 15, 2001: George W. Bush

June 8, 2001: Nepali Prince Regent (subsequently, King) Gyanendra

June 1, 2001: Mary McGrory

May 25, 2001: Ari Fleischer

May 18, 2001: York, Pa., Mayor Charles Robertson

May 11, 2001: Ted Olson

May 4, 2001: Rear Admiral Craig Quigley

April 27, 2001: Ben Affleck

April 20, 2001: South Carolina state legislator Chip Limehouse

April 13, 2001: Gray Davis

April 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone

March 30, 2001: Spencer Abraham

March 23, 2001: George W. Bush, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, and/or the Treasury Department

March 16, 2001: George W. Bush

March 9, 2001: Russ Freyman, spokesman, National Association of Manufacturers

March 2, 2001: Paul O’Neill

Feb. 23, 2001: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Feb. 16, 2001: Oscar spokesman John Pavlik

Feb. 9, 2001: Lynne Cheney

Feb. 2, 2001: Bobby Thomson

Jan. 26, 2001: Denise Rich