MONEY DOWN ARAFAT'S RAT HOLE
By Emanuel A. Winston
"U.N. ENVOY Ambassador Terje Road-Larsen seeks $1.2 Billion dollars to prevent collapse of Arafat's Palestinian Authority...$50 million per month plus the $54 million in taxes Israel has withheld to prevent Arafat's arms stockpile from increasing." (1 & 2)
The Palestinian Authority is imploding in on itself. The PA, under Yassir Arafat's authority has finally matured or blossomed into an incorrigible Terrorist regime - which is what it was intended to be from its earliest beginnings. The medical world understands that until a cancer ripens and declares itself, it cannot be properly diagnosed or treated.
The PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) came about in 1964 as an interim Arab response to losing 3 full scale wars against the Jews whom they considered worthy of elimination. Therefore, at the leadership levels the PLO attracted certain personalities who thrived on violence. Perhaps such pathologically warped people - if not having a terrorist organization to join - would have become military thugs, corrupt policemen, organized crime members or merely street hoodlums selling and using drugs.
There never was a shortage of terrorist movements to join - all of whom had a grudge against society. A particularly virulent form of terrorism married itself to radical Islamic Fundamentalism. Religion and claims of denied justice created a witches brew of terrorism wreaking havoc around the world.
The PLO and its child the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Yassir Arafat evolved into a series of powerful, nefarious organizations, dedicated to terror. They adopted various cloaks of legitimacy but underneath those disguises were merely cruel terrorists who had little concern for the people they claimed to represent. In vile, immoral actions, they matched any other criminal organization - sometimes called the Mafia, Murder Incorporated, Organized Crime, etc. Their Product was Murder, Terror, Extortion, Paid or Unpaid Assassination, Torture, Suicide Bombing, Blackmail, Bribery, Linkage to Terror Nations, Drugs, etc. Whatever evil one could name, terrorist organizations, like Arafat's PLO, had engaged in it - but always cloaked with the false nobility of saving their people'.
It should come as no surprise that the Palestinian Authority is running out of money (if, in fact, they really are). Arab donor nations always knew that their contributions went directly into the pockets of Arafat and his terrorist leaders. This was acceptable to them as long as they needed the PLO to terrorize Israel. But, that need changed for some of the Arab donor nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Gulf Oil States and Egypt. Now they really wanted their generous donor money to go to the so-called Palestinian people to build their state - if for nothing more than to protect their own dictatorial regimes from radical Palestinians.
The Palestinian refugee issue only exists because the Arab states need a place to dump the Palestinians they've kept in fetid refugee camps to fester in anger and resentment as a growing weapon against Israel and the West. The Billions of dollars Arafat extorted could have easily been used to settle the refugees wherever they are now, just as Israel absorbed the jews ejected from the Arab countries where they lived for thousands of years.
The Arab states don't want to absorb the Palestinian Arabs because they have demonstrated great ability to subvert their host regimes. Note that after the Gulf War, both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia each deported approximately 350,000 Palestinians to Jordan because they were considered a dangerous fifth columns although they had lived in Saudi and Kuwait for decades. When Saddam's Iraqi forces entered Kuwait, the native Palestinians guided them to the rich Kuwaitis, the deposits of gold and valuables, while joining in the rape, pillage and murder of Kuwaitis. Wherever Palestinians live, somehow at the critical time, they betray their host nation in an act of violent solidarity with Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.
In Israel the Israeli Arabs danced on their roofs applauding Saddam's SCUDs and urging him to bomb Tel Aviv and burn the Jews. And yet, Israeli Arabs have been fully absorbed with voting rights, their own elected Members of Knesset, a high standard of living and 7 college level educational institutions created for them by Israel.
When it became clear that most of the donor money was siphoned off and was unaccounted for by the PA, they (the Arab nations) stopped giving. Money for Terror, however, did continue to flow from Iran, Iraq and Syria to various other Terror groups like Hezb'Allah (Party of God), Hamas, Tanzim, Fatah, Islamic Jihad', Osama bin Laden's organization and other factions as yet unknown and unnamed. Arafat received some of this money when he operated with these organizations as he is doing now in Southern Lebanon with Palestinians who are to join Hezb'Allah in the anticipated coming assault they plan against Israel.
Arafat's Palestinian organizations cannot become what the Americans and Europeans wanted, namely a peaceful democratic mechanism that could lead a nation in peaceful endeavors. Terrorists simply could not or did not build roads, cities, schools, run utilities like sewage plants, maintain water plants and all the things needed to build an organized and just society. They could only extort money from companies, terrorize and suppress the populace as is common in most Arab countries.
Every Palestinian businessman suddenly had a protection' partner connected to the PA - in the tradition of Al Capone. All the materials brought in included a series of bribes. The economy was bled dry and areas like Gaza became a ruin - as they were when Egypt ruled Gaza - a ruined economy with no jobs. When Israel controlled Gaza, the Arabs got their first decent medical care and education since 1948. Mortality, especially infant mortality, decreased and literacy increased under Israel's control.
That, of course, all deteriorated when Arafat re-opened his latest terrorist war of attrition which he called the Al Aksa Intifada'. Palestinian workers could not enter Israel because some already carried Arafat's terror into the heart of Israel. At least 555 Israelis have been killed by Arafat's terrorists since the signing of Oslo in September 1993, with thousands more wounded - some maimed for life.
At some time after Arafat's Green Light' orders to his Tanzim (fighters of the Fatah) to shoot and bomb Israelis, Israel cut off the transfer of taxes collected on sales taxes and customs duties going into Arafat's areas. No point in funding a rebellion where the monies were being used to buy weapons, bullets and bombs.
The collapse of the Palestinian Authority may be the best thing that could happen for the Palestinian people. The Palestinian public at large is just beginning to recognize the depths of corruption that spreads across Arafat's regime. Some of the more blatantly corrupt functionaries are being targeted for assassination by various Palestinian opposition factions who feel the money should filter down to them.
When there is no more money to pay Arafat's salaried terrorists cum policemen, perhaps other more ethical leaders will rise to take their place.
In 1992 British Intelligence assessed Arafat's personal money accounts at $8 to $10 Billion U.S. dollars plus $11/2 to $2 Billion per year interest income and profit on money-laundering businesses. (3) These accumulated dollars were not intended for the Palestinian people nor were they ever spent for humanitarian projects or infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority.
Arafat's own people have categorically objected to his immoral acquisition and misuse of Donor monies contributed by America, Europe, Arab nations and Israel. Today the accumulation from his lucrative interest income plus all he has skimmed from the donor nations (Arab, European and American) could exceed $15 to $20 Billion dollars. If this could be recovered and used for its original intention, Arab towns and villages in Gaza, Judea and Samaria could have factories, hotels, roads, more schools, more health clinics. Perhaps, as after the death of Ferdinand Marcos, the illegally skimmed monies could be recovered and used for its intended purposes but, none of this will happen until Arafat is dead and his terrorist network cleaned out.
It was a terrible miscalculation by American Arabists and Israeli Leftists to build Arafat and the PLO into a power structure when they had virtually self-destructed in Tunis before Oslo. This colossal mistake has blossomed into a true tragedy for the Palestinian people and a fuse lighting the next war. Clearly, a new doctrine must emerge. It is time to allow this rotten regime to collapse of its own weight and corruption.
Re-direct the money flow back to the benefit of the Palestinian people so that the terrorist leaders will lose their fine apartments, cars and luxurious perks. Let the people rise up against them and drive them out of business. The American Congress ought not pour any more American taxpayers dollars down Arafat's rat hole. The European Donors must also recognize the waste and futility of sending their new funds into this lost cause.
The Arab Donor countries have finally recognized that Arafat's terrorists are soon to join forces with Saddam Hussein as Arafat seemed prepared to move to Bagdad. This coalescing of Terror has been recognized by the so-called moderate Arabs regimes as a very real and immediate threat to their own rule. Saddam is sending huge amounts of money to support Arafat's war in Israel and is threatening to bomb Israel again.
The new Bush Administration must recognize these realities in dealing with a corrupt radical Islamic Fundamentalist global terrorist movement. The new American Secretary of State Colin Powell (speaking for Bush) has made the error of strongly recommending to Israel that she release the impounded tax dollars to Arafat, knowing the funds would only go to increase the huge military stockpile of sophisticated and illegal weapons.
Powell and Dick Cheney, operating on the old paradigm that the Arab oil nations must be pacified by supporting Arafat must be changed. Crude oil from Africa, the Caspian Sea and other new oil fields has dramatically changed our need to appease the Arab states. Oil from the Middle East to America declined to 15% by 1998.
The U.S. State Department also cannot accept this sea change and continues its hostile vendetta against Israel. We understand they are about to release a critical report of Israel's response to Arafat's War. (It is not a spontaneous uprising, nor could the attacks be called riots or disturbances.) Congress has grown accustomed to the false State Department reports particularly when they submit altered data, attesting that Arafat has met his obligations to prior agreements to cease terror. This allows Congress to then continue funding Arafat and the U.S. State Department's failed peace plan. They are about to lie to Congress again in their next report.
The new Bush Administration must come to the realization that Arafat's regime is hopelessly evil, unredeemable and a distinct threat to the region. He and his staff, down to the lowest Terrorist Policemen must be swept from power. Warlords do not build responsible civilizations.
1. "In About-face, Barak Rejects Sharon: New doubts Raised on Unity Quest in Israel" By Hugh Dellios CHICAGO TRIBUNE 2/21/01
2. "UN Envoy: Palestinian Authority Faces Bankruptcy & Collapse" DEBKAfile Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security 2/22/01 <www,debka/body_index.html>
3. "Don't Underrate Arafat's Bank Account" by Rachel Ehrenfeld, WALL ST. JOURNAL EUROPE, December 2, 1992
Emanuel A. Winston is also a research associate of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies.