Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous

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In 2003, a year before his death, Forbes Magazine placed Yasser Arafat on their list of the world’s wealthiest kings and despots with a net worth of 300 million dollars. This number was on the low end of the estimates that had been made of the fortune of the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israeli intelligence had estimated Arafat’s net worth at 1.3 billion dollars and an audit conducted by American accountants, authorized by the Palestinian Authority, turned up 1 billion dollars in investments. While an exact number may never be arrived at, Time Magazine’s report that Arafat’s wife had received a 200,000-dollar-a-month allowance, gave one small glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and infamous of the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority books were a black hole with billions of dollars from Western and Muslim countries, bribes and foreign aid, going to a network of secret bank accounts and investment portfolios that not only financed terrorism, but also the lifestyles of the men at the top. The audits of the PA in the twilight days of Arafat and afterward were meant to reestablish the credibility of the Authority with foreign donors, while seizing control of the assets stockpiled by Arafat for the benefit of the new bosses.

Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, has been accused of hoarding a fortune of 100 million dollars and of owning palaces and property across the Middle East. Those accusations come from Mohammed Rashid, Arafat’s former financial advisor, who knows the ins and outs of Palestinian Authority finances like no one else, and whose own net worth is estimated at being around half a billion dollars.

Abbas has accused Rashid of stealing 33.5 million dollars from the Palestinian Investment Fund, a fund which collected Arafat’s known slush funds together to replace the PA’s old ad hoc finances. Rashid responded by revealing the ruling Fatah Party’s secret slush fund in Jordan worth 39 million dollars and mentioned that an additional 5 million dollars had been spent on a Fatah convention in 2009, even though there hasn’t been a single election since 2006. And that 13 million dollars of that money had come from the United States.

Rashid and Abbas are probably both telling the truth … about each other. While the Palestinian Authority is constantly warning its foreign donors that it is deep in debt and on the verge of complete default, its upper echelons live in mansions, drive expensive cars and enjoy the better things in life. The Palestinian Authority is always bankrupt because its leaders always need more money and there are always suckers in Washington D.C. and Brussels willing to give it to them.

The Palestine Investment Fund is as much Abbas’ playground, as PA finances before it were for Arafat. Mohammed Dahlan, the former Security Minister, had claimed that 1.3 billion dollars had vanished from the Fund since it was turned over to Abbas’ control. Dahlan charged that the PIF should have held 2 billion dollars, instead of only 700 million.

But Dahlan, who ran on an anti-corruption ticket, would also know something about embezzlement, as his own net worth is estimated at 120 million dollars. Abbas’ people have accused Dahlan of corruption and of everything from plotting a coup to poisoning Arafat. More seriously he has been accused of helping fund Al-Qaeda in Gaza as a lever against Hamas. That would mean that American aid to the Palestinian Authority went to Al-Qaeda.

Much of Dahlan’s fortune came from his security forces which ran a racketeering network that controlled fuel and cigarettes. The cigarette monopoly currently belongs to Yasser Abbas, the son of the PA leader, though in Gaza, it was seized by Hamas, and Yasser Abbas has bitterly accused Hamas of stealing and reselling his cigarettes.

Dahlan is closely tied to Mohammed Rashid, Arafat’s former financial advisor. Abbas’ own financial advisor, Mohammad Mustafa, also doubles as Chairman and CEO of the Palestine Investment Fund. That is another way of saying that there is no real difference between the PA, the PIF and Abbas’ assets, just as there was no difference between the assets of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

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  • truebearing

    No wonder Obama is on their side. He and his cronies work the same way. And then they blame all of the problems on those who sincerely seek solutions.

    The cynical irony of the so-called Palestinian Movement is that were Israel to disappear tomorrow, they would have no source of money or any purpose. The industry of hate must have a target. Without Israel as a focus for their hate, they'd be destroying themselves in an endless civil war.

  • truebearing

    No wonder Obama is on their side. He and his cronies work the same way. And then they blame all of the problems on those who sincerely seek solutions.

    The cynical irony of the so-called Palestinian Movement is that were Israel to disappear tomorrow, they would have no source of money or any purpose. The industry of hate must have a target. Without Israel as a focus for their hate, they'd be destroying themselves in an endless civil war.

  • Larry

    Not surprised that they operate like the Mafia, after all, the Mafia learnt their business from the arabs when Sicily was under muslim rule. Tribal shakedown is the name of the game, and it's the only game they know and play.

  • Bamaguje

    So while Palestinian leaders sold the dummy of 72 virgins in Islam's brothel paradise to their mindless jihadi suicide bombers, they (Palestinian leaders) were living up their own paradise here on earth…at the expense of their fellow Palestinians.
    In essence, the Palestinian 'struggle' is a very lucrative scam for the benefit of their supposed leaders.
    Liitle wonder they don't really want peace which would expose and end their thievery.

  • Linda Rivera

    An inferior, IMMORAL health care plan that NO ONE wants and CANNOT afford to pay. The threat to jail and/or fine those who don't purchase the government enforced plan.

    Massive spending as if there is no tomorrow. Fighting wars we have no money for. Massive borrowing.

    The Massive giving away of Billions of dollars every year to other countries, including the OIL-WEALTHY Middle East, Hamas-controlled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority organization who fill their war chests, build mansions and LAUGH all the way to the bank with FREE infidel money. Whilst in America, homeless shelters are filled to capacity; tent cities have sprung up all over the U.S. filled with desperate, jobless, homeless Americans.

    Massive debt. The massive printing of paper money out of thin air to DELIBERATELY create out-of-control inflation. There is no question that the total DESTRUCTION of America's economy is planned. The results will be horrifying. In the once wealthy and great nation of America, millions of Americans will become destitute, hungry and homeless with no money or resources to help them.

  • Linda Rivera

    Not one more infidel dollar to the PLO/Palestinian Authority Occupation Forces Muslim terrorist organization!

    Return every dollar back to American taxpayers now! Why was even one infidel dollar ever immorally given to a Muslim terrorist organization? What a wicked crime and injustice to non-Muslims.

  • Linda Rivera

    If you are a Muslim terrorist organization fighting against Jews and Israel, you will end up being very rich, indeed. America, Britain Europe, and other countries' leaders will almost fall over themselves in a rush to give the Muslim terrorists mega money to fight Jews.

  • poetcomic1

    Gangsters, pure and simple.

  • stern

    Scholomotion, where are you? Nothing to say, as usual, but for once, no attempt to prove it with a wordy, hate-filled screed? Have you finally been silenced by the truth?

  • Drakken

    Can't wait until Israel tires of this nonsense and gives Gaza a Carthage and it will be a lesson to those savages in the West Bank.

  • Stuart Parsons

    These Palestinian gentlemen are merely taking their share of the booty and ransoms as permitted by Allah and his much beloved Prophet and Messenger. Oh you naughty infidels. Fancy suggesting that the followers of the one true religion would act in an improper way. Come the Day of Judgement Allah will make you suffer for uttering such libels against the faithful.

  • Zemplar

    Greenfield, you Infidel! May Allah’s sword strike you down! Insha’Allah, it will

    Or words to that effect, you, ahem, understand…

  • vinni gambini

    Palestinian state decoded is a bamboozle. The worlds largest, longest running skimming scam. The founding mob boss Arafat, modern architect of terror, never investigated, never charged, died of aids in '04 with an estate OVER $1.2Billion. Never a businessman, inventor, manufacturer, retailer, artist how did he get this much money?
    Simply. This so called Palestinian Statehood scheme panders to many and all partners and players. The 'aid' contributions are never properly audited and reconciled. The contributors never demand it either- quite telling. Yet the people get barely nothing, except for U.N. Food aid.