Were you thinking of spending your Saturday night curled up in front of the fire with an Eric Ambler novel? First read Debka’s latest account of the Arafat hijinks. If even half of this is true, the full story is going to be a tale for the ages.
Haaretz’ coverage is equally fascinating and does not seem to contradict Debka:
The entourage [of Palestinians in Paris] is divided into two camps. Suha and Kadoumi [original Fatah terror master] head one camp against Rashid and Abu Rudeina. The tension and rivalry between Suha and the leadership around Arafat have been going on for awhile. One of the reasons Abbas and other senior officials refused to accompany Arafat to Paris was their reluctance to meet Suha, who is taking advantage of the French law giving the wife the authority to decide who will stay beside the husband’s bed.
The fights between Suha and the Palestinian senior officials focus, among other things, on financial matters. Suha got some of her cronies to get tenders and franchises in PLO and PA deals, against the will of Arafat’s people. She accused them of corruption, while they accused her of using her status to advance her cronies’ interests.
Some of these accusations led to legal suits abroad and were among the reasons for Suha’s leaving the territories. Rashid mediated between Suha and PA officials and managed to reach financial compromise arrangements with her. In recent years, Suha claimed that she and her daughter Zauwa were not receiving enough money to live on. Arafat’s confidants, however, leaked reports of huge sums of money that were transferred to her hands.
I wonder how much of this the Palestinian people themselves know about this – and if they do, what they think.
MORE: The Torygraph has an excellent story on the money trail. The numbers are staggering. Suha Arafat makes Marie Antoinette seem like a piker. I wonder where this woman fits in the chain of corruption. We have spent the last decades listening to her lie to the world on CNN. Do these Palestinian leaders hate their own people? They certainly act like it. [Perhaps we should ask Peter Jennings.-ed. He’s not talking.]
UPDATE: Bret Stephens has a good overview of the “Nobelist” in Sunday’s WSJ. I think the root of the “magic” Stephens describes is simple. Most normal human beings are desperate for peace. Arafat knew that and exploited it.