We Know He's a Murderer, Should It Surprise Us That He's Also a Thief?
While Yasser Arafat has, for decades, been bloviating about the plight of the Palestinian people and laying their pathetic state at the feet of the Israelis, he has been amassing an obscene fortune for his trouble:
Arafat's secret assets have been estimated at anywhere between $200 million (Forbes magazine) and $6 billion (U.S. and Israeli intelligence). Forbes listed him ninth in its ranking of the world's wealthiest heads of state -- even though he is a ruler without a country and many of his people are refugees.
From where did the majority of the money come? Well, it came from well-intentioned efforts to provide relief to the Palestinian people who live in abject squalor:
With Arafat apparently near death, questions linger about what has happened
to the billions in aid money from the international community to build the nascent Palestinian state. Many suspect that Suha Arafat's luxurious lifestyle -- as well as the cars, villas and expensive education of other prominent Palestinian families -- was bought with cash stolen from international donors and tax revenues.
In 1997, the Palestinian Authority's own officials found that $323 Million -- more than a third of the total budget -- had gone missing. The International Monetary Fund said last year that $750 million had been "diverted" from the Palestinian budget up to the year 2000.
Of course, some of the money came from the Palestinian people themselves:
Two years ago, American accountant Jim Prince told CBS' "60 Minutes" that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion, with investments in companies such as a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the United States and the Cayman Islands.
Although the money for the portfolio came from public funds, including Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat, Prince said, adding that none of these dealings was made public.
Like any good businessman, Yasser sought out an impressive collection of business partners:
Al-Jazeera said some of Arafat's businesses are in partnership with Arab Politicians, former officials and entrepreneurs, including Rifaat Assad, a brother of the late Syrian President Hafez Assad, and Barzan Al-Takriti, a half-brother of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Al-Takriti now is under arrest in Baghdad.
Now, tell me again what a great man Yasser Arafat is for standing up to the Israeli oppressors "for his people." Tell me again how the problems in the Middle East are the fault of "the Jews" and the west. This is but another example of whiney Middle Eastern Arabs blaming their problems on anyone but themselves. They incite their people to mass murder and suicide while they enrich themselves from the sweat of those same people. They pocket the billions we send to ease their people's suffering and call for "global Jihad" against us.
And the French? Their lionization of this despicable piece of Arab trash simply underscores the fact that they can never be part of the solution because they are an innate part of the problem. They, in concert with the rest of the Euroweenie Axis of Corruption are so busy demonizing George Bush that they can not see, or will not see, that they have aligned themselves (once again) with one of history's vilest of creatures.