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November 1998 
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MER - Washington - 5 November:

Those who know Arafat the best are well aware that he always has let himself be craftily manipulated by others, surviving all these years by switching patrons and loyalties to suit the political moment.

Arafat long was the captive of various Arab client-regimes -- back in the good old days when they stuffed oodles of hundred dollar bills into big suitcases. And throughout this decade, since the Gulf War and the Madrid Conference, he has more and more come under control of the Americans, Nabil Shaath always at his side to tell him what to do -- Shaath himself with long-time ties to the American government and a kind of Palestinian Rasputin. (Last year the Palestinian "Legislative Assembly" demanded his sacking and indictment, but Arafat has instead relied on him all the more and his worldwide bank accounts are said to be overflowing).

In a recent verdict against Arafat's "Palestinian Authority" a U.S court has ordered Arafat's organization to pay up $18.7 million to a Virginia communications company. It was a contract signed by Arafat personally. Now appealing the case, the PA's economic adviser, Mohammed Rashid, has recently publicly argued in higher court that Arafat does not really understand what he signed because he only has a "modest command of English"!

While on the subject, this is a good time to throw in another little bit of under the table discussion that normally doesn't get into print. If there really were a God insiders have been heard discussing, he/she would have afflicted Arafat not with Parkinsons but with Altzheimers!

With Parkinsons you gradually loose control over your body, your mind remaining as it was. With Altzheimers it's the other way around.

At least with Altzheimers Arafat's political masturbations would be far more explicable and maybe even one of the PA's political advisers could argue, in some future court case, that the combination of modest English and Altzheimers means political documents signed by Arafat can be as easily dismissed as economic contracts.

But before anyone gets too excited and hopeful, with the state of the PA today, they would probably want to hire Alan Dershowitz to represent them and seek a grant from the U.S. Congress to pay his legal fees! And they would as well probably seek a change of venue to courts in Israel -- something that may very well already be written in to some secret footnote Arafat has already signed without reading and/or understanding!



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