Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, left; Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, right
Sami Jamil Jadallah
Other than Israel and the US, no group or organizations or countries did more damage to the Palestinian cause of liberation and freedom than the incompetent, corrupt and reckless Palestinian leadership past and present. This leadership should be behind bars not sitting at the UN or at negotiating table representing the more than 8 million Diaspora Palestinians and those under Jewish Occupation.
Since taking over Fatah in 1959 and the PLO in 1969 Arafat and the PLO leadership ran the longest political and liberation fraud in history, toped that with Oslo Accord which stand on its own as longest fraudulent “peace process” in modern history. A process that not only legitimized the Jewish Occupation but enticed this leadership for a “fist full of dollars” to manage the Jewish Occupation, saving Israel tens of billions while taking on the unimaginable and shameful responsibility of begging the fund to run such an occupation.
Over the years, this leadership not only looted the people treasury of tens of billions but corrupted the entire Palestinian society, corrupting the political process within this community, failing at every thing and at every turn, putting Palestinians at great risk every where, not to mentions the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the process and over the years.
Fatah and the PLO ran the most sophisticated criminal and political enterprise ever, not even matched by the former Soviet Union. Not only it failed at liberation, it failed at building governing institutions. It snuffed and failed to create a viable dynamic political process allowing the best and the brightest to lead, rather it brought nothing but incompetent thugs and crooks to leads. The only claimed success was to build a security forces that provide effective support and protection to the IDF, to the armed Jewish Terrorists and of course to the Occupation.
Since Fatah leadership (Arafat & Company) took over the PLO, there has never been any accounting of the many failings in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Kuwait, in Tunisia and now in Occupied Palestine. There was never any true and transparent accounting of many of the financial, political and human rights systematic abuse engaged by the Palestinians leadership.
Arafat ran Fatah and the PLO as his own private company, surrounding himself with clowns and “yes” people, corrupting every one around him with financial rewards and bribes to gain their loyalties. Arafat corrupted political discourse, corrupted free and open debates and in certain cases engaging in facilitating political assassination snuffing out any opposition to his leadership. He rendered the Palestine National Congress (PNC) helpless and useless, marginalized the PNC and its role as “representative of the people” with no say so, leaving all political, financial and military decisions in his own hands and the few clowns around him.
That process continued today under the leadership of his successor Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies within the PLO Executive Committee. A PLO and a committee that has no legitimacy whatsoever since the people, the citizens never voted for the PLO, its Executive Committee let alone Fatah and all of various organizations and subgroups.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians died in vain, in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Tunis as a result of a reckless and criminal behavior of the PLO and Fatah leadership resulting, in the case of Kuwait the exile of some 350,000 from Kuwait as direct result of the Palestinian leadership total and unconditional support of Saddam criminal dictator Saddam Hussain. There was never a public hearing or an open accounting of the crimes committed by the leadership against the Palestinian community in Kuwait. And there was never any compensation for the billions lost.
In Jordan and in Lebanon, there was never an accounting of what went wrong and why? More troublesome is the total absence of a formal board of inquiry into the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla, Tel-Zaater and the thousands killed in factional fighting between the various militias within the PLO, nor was there any accounting of the assassinations of key leaders.
On the financial front, tens of billions squandered, looted and remains unaccounted for from the heydays of the PLO in Lebanon and in Tunis and since Oslo hundreds of millions where looted by professional thieves within the Palestinian Authority (PA), within Fatah and the PLO.
According to (Al-Ahram Weekly of 20-26 January 2011) “
The PA Justice Department has forwarded some 80 corruption files to Rafiq Natshe, head of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA). Natshe said the files contained serious charges of fraud, embezzlement and bribery, adding that intensive investigation would start soon. Natshe said he would pursue and hound suspects “wherever they may be”. Al-Ahram continued to quote Natshe “ At the moment, we have all the cases, which include some related to cabinet ministers and former ministers.” Transparency International Perception Index ranked the Palestinian Authority 108 out of 195. Transparency Corruption Index measures malfeasance among government officials.
However the Palestinian leadership of the late Arafat and now Abbas never took corruption chargers and looting the treasury seriously, arresting and later releasing scores of small times thieve within Fatah and the PLO.
Mahmoud Abbas like Hosni Mubarak never made any efforts to go after serious cases of fraud and larceny especially those committed by senior members of Fatah and the PLO and key officers within the PA and in some cases evidence destroyed with no public inquiry.
No one ever explained what happened to the billions of SAMED Industries run by non-other than Ahmed Qurai? No one ever explained whatever happened to Arafat billions and why he was able to transfer tens of millions of the “people money” to his wife to enjoy her luxurious life style in Paris while thousands of people in Dier Albalah were living under open skies waiting for tents after Israel destroyed their homes, tents that never came, because Arafat had other personal and family priorities? No one explained the compensation deal reached between Fatah leadership and Suha Arafat for the loss of her husband and why? No one ever explained how Fatah and the PLO leadership allowed Arafat to receive “tax revenue” collected by Israel in his own private accounts and how and why senior members of the Israeli MOSSAD were in charge of Arafat private financial portfolio? No one dare explain how and why Fatah is funded and financed by the people’s money, since its operating budget is not generated from membership fee or contributions by membership? Unless Israel and the US secretly funding Fatah and the PLO Executive budget.
If Hosni Mubarak ran a clepo-regime then Arafat and Abbas were and are doing just that, with many senior PLO and Fatah leadership, ministers, director-generals, mayors and grassroots activist are part of the criminal enterprise presided over by Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad.
According to same Al-Ahran Weekly, the PA security agencies warned the Palestinian leadership that “ an all out campaign against corruption would seriously destabilize the “ the Palestinian national enterprise” and hurt the image of Fatah.
If Mubarak National Democratic Party, Ben Ali’s Democratic Constitutional Rally and Saddam and Bashar Assad corrupted and hijacked the political and economic system in the country and ran a clepto-regime, then Fatah and the PLO leadership did the same, with many senior officials owning together with a close circle of Palestinian Oligarchs many of the key businesses and enterprises in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas can explain to the people and the public at large why there are so many ‘millionaires and multi-millionaires” within Fatah and PLO senior leadership and how these leaders earned these millions? It is common knowledge that many senior officials became direct beneficiaries of the continued Jewish Occupation and key business partners of the many key business enterprises.
The Palestinian leadership went beyond its inability to put an end to financial corruption it became and active partner in nurturing corruption. It even made efforts to prevent any public information and blocked the website Donia-Alwatan website that reported on corruption (Electronic Intifada 18 November 2008).
On the political front the negotiations and signing of Oslo stands alone as sufficient reason to put the Palestinian leadership of Arafat, Abbas and Qurai to stand trial for crimes committed against the people and the nation. And put the PLO and Fatah leadership on trial for it role and partnership with the Jewish Occupation.
Ahmed Qurai was no match to Uri Savir and Mahmoud Abbas was no match for Dr. Yair Hirschfield, Dr. Ron Pundak, and Yosel Singer. The Palestinian Trio of Arafat, Abbas and Qurai were no match to the savvies, intelligence, competence, and strategic thinking let alone loyalty to the cause and their constituent as that of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.
While Rabin and Peres mustered from around the world the best and brightest Israeli with the different needed expertise to negotiate Oslo, the Palestinian leadership with the kind of arrogance and contempt it have for the people did not bother to call on the thousands of Palestinian experts to help with the negotiations ending up with a document that stand as not only shameful, disgraceful, but enough to constitute malfeasance and enough to bring the leadership to trial and put them behind bars for life. More troublesome was the lack of any provisions or course of actions or recourse if things failed as now, and there was never an agreed to framework of reference by Abbas owned admission. And this man thinks he is competent to continue to lead after he made a mess in Oslo.
Arafat should stand trial “posthumously” together with Abbas, Qurai for the reckless crimes they committed against the people and the cause, not only on managing and running a criminal enterprise called PLO, Fatah and PA but for the crimes they committed in Oslo.
Oslo afforded Israel full recognition with open borders, legally transferring to Israel 58% of the prime land and territory to do with it what it want and to have total sovereignty over such areas referred to as Area C.
This incompetent reckless and criminal leadership left Jerusalem out of Oslo, left the key issues of the refugees out of Oslo and it was happy to exchange all of that for the ability to loot and fleece, for the few thousand VIP passes for its senior officials and members of their families, while millions have to endure long hours if not days in hot, cold and rainy weathers to cross few hundred meters. All holders of VIP passes have no sense of shame and keeping these VIP passes shows the arrogant contempt they all have for the millions of Palestinians, totally blind to the suffering of millions, and this is crime of itself. Tell that the families who lost their mothers and children at these check points.
No need to mention the tens of thousands of Palestinians exiled and ethnically cleansed from their homes inside Jerusalem or the tens of thousands who lost their farms and lands to Jewish settlements and Jewish Roads only and to the Apartheid Wall under the blind eyes of a leadership that continued to negotiate for 20 years while Israel was committing one crime after another, with the lead Palestinian negotiator disgraceful and shamelessly offering Israel its “biggest Yurishaleym in history”.
The question that should come to every one’s mind, how can such a leadership that failed at every thing and at every tern, for the last 45 years can be trusted to continue to lead? How can a leadership that failed to incorporate a framework of reference in Oslo be trusted to continue to negotiate under Oslo? How can a leadership that is corrupt and incompetent to the core to be trusted to take to take the case to the UN when it should have done this back in 1988.
How can the people trust of have any confidence in the lead negotiators after he promised Israel its “ biggest Yerushalayim in history” and who gave up everything but the kitchen sink, and who failed at every thing be trusted to formulate and develop strategies leading to taking the case before the UN this September?
The insistence of the Palestinian leadership to rely on a closed circle of cronies as advisors is nothing but contempt for the people and their sensibilities and is part of the ongoing crimes committed against the Palestinians and their cause of liberation and freedom.
Another fraud and lies committed by the Palestinian leadership is the claims of building “state institutions” in anticipations of a “sovereign state” on whatever left after the total give away by the negotiating team. Such claims by Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas are false and wrapped in the full “security cooperation’s” blanket with the IDF and armed Jewish Settlers.
All Palestinians institutions talked about by Abbas and Fayyad are part of and in fulfillment of the security agreement between the PLO/PA and the Israeli Occupation and are part of a pacification projects that serve the Jewish Occupation and goes beyond the fulfillment of security commitments under Oslo. That is why senior Palestinian and Israeli security officers have been meeting on regular basis to coordinate efforts to snuff out any public outrage that may result if the UN bid fails. Even Mahmoud Abbas made the promise and commitments to Israel to make sure that all of the public demonstration will remain at distance from contact points with the Israelis.
Arafat built his security forces around securing his management contract and commitments to the Jewish Occupation and as part of his efforts to build and run a police state. Mahmoud Abbas continued on the same bath with no material reforms in the security agencies, which are no different in training and in mentality of that of Mubarak infamous Mokhabarat and Public Security or of Bashar Assad Mokhabarat and Security Forces.
Torture, corruption, human and civil rights abuse, arbitrary and political arrests are the trades mark of the Palestinian Security Forces specially those of the Preventive Security Forces. There are no reasons for not having both Mohamed Dahlan and Jibril Rajoub stand trail for their abusive and management role as heads of the Preventive Security Forces.
The announcement in Cairo on Sunday of the agreement between Fatah and Hamas to release all political prisoners is a confirmation of what I am talking about. Keep in mind that many key security officers also became very successful business leaders.
Of course Hamas should not escape the need to have its leadership too stand trial for crimes committed and for the wanton and reckless death of many innocent people in Gaza. A case in point is the death of some 40 persons as a result of Hamas reckless disregards of public safety by having a truck loaded with explosives, a time bomb in the middle of a large crowd as part of its ceremonies. No investigations ever took place into what happened and no responsible person was ever brought to trial for the wrongful death of these by-standers.
Another case that will always remain, as testimony to such reckless and wanton behavior is the scattered bodies of scores of recent graduates at the police academy, killed by Israel in the first hours of the War on Gaza. Who is ever responsible for the decision to have and proceed with a public ceremony knowing that Israel will attack imminently should stand trail for the reckless decisions taken and must be held responsible the wrongful death of so many policemen. The Gaza leadership should answer for all those who died as a result of its reckless management of its armed militias.
Hamas shameful and criminal behavior during the take over of Gaza also stand as a black mark in the history of Hamas with its militia destroying public and private properties, hurling bodies from the roof of buildings, stomping and walking on the desk of Abbas office in Gaza.
Both Hamas and Fatah share the same criminal mentality and behavior when it comes to citizen’s rights, public and free speech, the rights of journalists to cover and report the news without hindrance and risk of jails.
If Hosni Mubarak and his regime deserve to stand trial for political, financial corruptions and presiding over a police state then both Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies and Ismail Hanyeh and his lieutenants should stand trail too. Fatah, Hamas and the PLO should all disband as first step toward ending the Occupation and freedom.
Sami Jamil Jadallah
Sami Jamil Jadallah is an international legal and business consultant and is the founder and director of Palestine Agency and Palestine Documentation Center www.palestineagency.com and founder and owner of several business in technology and services. Sami also runs an online website (Jefferson Corner). His articles are also featured on PalestineNote and Veterans Today.
Articles on RamallahOnline by Sami Jamil Jadallah
Born in the Palestinian city of El-Bireh ( presently under Israeli Military Occupation, Armed Jewish thugs and settlers). Immigrated to the US in 62. After graduating from high school in Gary, Indiana was drafted into the US Army ( 66-68) received the Leadership Award from the US 6th Army NCO Academy in Ft. Lewis, Washington. Five of us brothers where in US military service about the same time. Graduated from Indiana University with BA-72, Master of Public Affairs-74 and Juris Doctor-77, and in senior year at IU,was elected Chairman of the Indiana Student Association.