A giant portrait of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat displayed on a street in the Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, November 3, 2014. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)
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Arafat's death failed to smooth path to peaceWhen he died, Yasser Arafat, arguably still the most recognizable face of the Palestinian cause, had been largely dismissed by the U.S. as an obstacle to peace after walking away from a deal with Israel.Analysts highlight that it was Arafat who first agreed to a two-state solution under which a Palestinian state would live side by side with Israel.And it was Arafat, throwing political caution to the wind, who in September 1993 shook hands with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn, watched by a smiling President Bill Clinton.By cloistering Arafat away with then Israeli leader Ehud Barak in the secluded retreat, Clinton had hoped he would cajole the two sides to make a deal.Middle East expert Khaled Elgindy, a fellow with the Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy, argued that sidelining Arafat was convenient for President George W. Bush when he took over from Clinton.
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