The story of Arafat’s blood donation was reported around the world in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, usually accompanied by photographs depicting Arafat in the apparent act of giving blood at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Enderlin elaborated on his contention that the scene depicted in the photographs was staged. According to Pollak’s account of Enderlin’s remarks, “Arafat didn’t like needles, and so the doctor put a needle near his arm and agitated a bag of blood. The reporters took the requisite photographs.”
In neither photo is a needle in evidence. In the first AP photo, Arafat is prostrate. His blood has not yet been drawn and no blood is in evidence. Rather, Arafat stares warily at the tourniquet placed around his bare arm. The donation is about to be made. A nurse with a head scarf is about to search for the chairman’s vein, Arafat looking on at his arm.
In the other AP photo, Arafat has apparently given his blood. The nurse with the head scarf is nowhere to be seen. In her place, a kneeling male medical official with his back to the camera jointly holds a nearly bursting bag of blood together with a uniformed security officer. With Enderlin’s gloss, the photo takes on a comic aspect. Heavy lifting is required; it takes two hands to hold all the blood donated by the chairman to the beloved American people!
According to the report, Arafat staged the blood hoax to counteract scenes like this.
And the photographers on the scene were in on it.
What an irony. The man who invented modern terrorism, who inventing airplane hijacking, launched bloody intifadas, and orchestrated terrorist attacks all over the world for decade after decade — that man feared needles.