From CBS’ 60 Minutes:

…part of the Palestinian leader’s wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion — with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands. Although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat…

…The stockpile went well beyond the portfolio. Arafat accumulated another $1 billion with the help of — of all people — the Israelis. Under the Oslo Accords, it was agreed that Israel would collect sales taxes on goods purchased by Palestinians and transfer those funds to the Palestinian treasury. But instead, Indyk says, “that money is transferred to Yasser Arafat…

…Palestinians certainly paid dearly for something else [Salam Fayyad, a former World Bank official] uncovered: a system of monopolies in commodities — like flour and cement — that Arafat handed out to his cronies, who then turned around and fleeced the public. Fayyad says it could accurately be seen as gouging his own people. “And especially in Gaza which is poorer, which is something that is totally unacceptable and immoral, actually.”

Of all the monopolies, none was as lucrative or as corrupt as the General Petroleum Corporation, the one for gasoline. The corporation took the fuel it purchased from an Israeli company and watered it down with kerosene, not only defrauding the Palestinian drivers, but wrecking their car engines. Fayyad says the Petroleum Corporation charged exorbitant prices, and Arafat got a hefty kickback

…There’s yet another stash of money Arafat might be asked about: the funds he collected when he was chairman of the PLO in exile. The PLO’s former treasurer told us he saw Saddam Hussein hand Arafat a $50 million check for supporting him during the first Gulf War. And there were other large gifts from the KGB and the Saudis. [Arafat’s Billions, November 9, 2003]

Voice of Capitalism

Capitalism news delivered every Monday to your email inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest