Roger L. Simon

The Sea Change Continues - A Modest Proposal.

We are living at a time when transitions are so swift sometimes we can barely see them happening. One interesting new one, reported in this Financial Times article (ht: Catherine), is that representatives of Fatah, Yasir Arafat’s own organization, are looking for the late Caudillo’s stolen fortune in aid money in order to fight off the Islamist challenge in their territories. The FT is going through this in detail. Good for them.

In a two-part investigation starting on Monday, the Financial Times describes murky financial dealings by Arafat over more than 25 years, designed to give him sole control of resources raised by the various organisations he led. Information about this money was scattered so no one person knew the whole story.

Palestinian officials trying to unravel the mystery are seeking the many notebooks in which Arafat, who died in November, is known to have recorded important details of his political and financial life.

Organisations controlled by Arafat raised billions of dollars over recent decades, but much was spent or squandered in corruption and bad investments. Nonetheless, some officials in these organisations think assets worth several hundred million dollars may not be accounted for.

They could ask Suha, of course, but that piece of work is so greedy she wouldn’t part with a Euro she could use on room service at the Hotel Bristol. I have another suggestion. Why don’t some of those Swiss bankers or whoever is holding this blood money cough some of it up voluntarily? It would be an amazing gesture–imagine… aid money going to the people for whom it was originally intended.