Thursday, July 29, 2004

Their Democratically Elected Leader

Some eight years or so ago Arafat was democratically elected by the "Palestinians" to serve as their president for four years. The only other candidate was a dyslexic retired cleaning woman, and she managed to gather over 9% of the votes.
Arafat didn't need an "official" mandate however to use the money the international community gave him to become one of the richest men on earth.
Jawad Ghussein, who was the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Fund until 1996, remarked yesterday on the phone from London, "the billions Arafat has stolen over the years from the Palestinian people facilitated the corruption of the Palestinian leadership, and is the source of his power over them." He went on to say that Arafat "took aid money and contributions that were earmarked for the Palestinian people, to his own account." Ghussein was in a position to know: for twelve years, he had deposited $7.5 to $8 million each month into Arafat's personal bank account.

The International Monetary Fund report "Economic Performance and Reforms under Conflict Conditions," released in September 2003 in Abu Dhabi, concluded that $900 million in PA revenues from 69 commercial enterprises belonging to the PA in the West Bank, Gaza and abroad, "disappeared" between 1995 and 2000. The report also found that the 2003 budget for Arafat's office, which totaled $74 million, was missing $34 million that Arafat had transferred to pay unidentified "organizations" and "individuals." Furthermore, the report revealed that at least 8 percent ($135 million) of the PA's annual budget of $1.08 billion is being spent by Arafat at his sole discretion. However, the IMF report did not take into account Arafat's control of 60 percent of the security-apparatus budget, which leaves him with at least an additional $360 million per year to spend as he chooses.

This report was followed by news that in the period between July 2002 and September 2003, Arafat transferred $11.4 million to his wife, Suha's French bank accounts. But recent information reveals that in 1996, Suha Arafat arrived in Buenos Aires with $30 million in cash that she invested in a business with other Palestinians.
After that, it starts getting BAD.
And in spite of all this, the EU and UN keep insisting we talk to this monstruous thief.

Nice eh?
Read it all here


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