Poor Poor People of Palestine
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9 November 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
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Poor Poor People of Palestine
Sha'ath, Abu Mazen, Abu Ala all corrupt, all despised.

MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 9 November: Collectively and in most cases individually, they are now so impoverished, demoralized, and imprisoned in 2004 as their only world leader since their liberation movement was born passes from the world stage.

Dispossessed of their lands by the Zionists, they have been collectively murdered, tortured, and now, beyond the refugee camps, have been forced into walled-in Bantustans by the Israelis and their complicitous supporters primarily in the United States and Europe.

Repeatedly lied to and tricked by the great powers time after time, "peace plan" after "peace plan", going back to the age of their grandparents, back to Sykes-Picot and the Paris Peace Conference of 1918...the infamous "Peace to end all Peace."

And, in a sense worst of all, for so long now betrayed by a generation of extraordinarily corrupt and selfish "VIP Leaders", often-times actually working in coordination if not in concert with their worst enemies, who have repeatedly sold their own people down the river while enriching and impriviledging themselves.

And tragically -- even realizing all the more uplifting things that he was and did -- it was Yasser Arafat, the man the Palestinian people still look to in near-death as they did when larger than life, who oversaw all that has happened for the past fourty+ years, including allowing so much of the curruption and incompetence and duplicity to take firm root.

And now...in the final end...Arafat is suffering in his final moments, and for much history to come, not only from what his enemies have done to him and his people but from what those around him are doing as well.

All three of the senior Palestinians now in Paris are hugely politically and financially corrupt, and thus widely despised by their own people.

This is hardly the first time MER has commented harshly and candidly about Nabil Shaa'th, or Abu Mazen, or Abu Ala. We have in fact done so for years now as upcoming FlashBack articles will serve to remind.

As for Suha Tawil, Arafat's "wife", she has proven time and again what a self-serving extortionist and political witch she has truly been -- taking after her mother Ramonda who managed to steal and embezzle more limited millions from the PLO in her own days before introducing her dumpy daughter to Yasser and moving from Palestine to her luxury-life in exile.

Will $1 billion be buried with Arafat?

By Paul Martin

THE WASHINGTON TIMES - 8 November: LONDON Palestinian officials who gathered around Yasser Arafat in recent weeks have been anxious to extract from their ailing leader the secret codes and locations of bank accounts they believe contain more than $1 billion diverted from official Palestinian funds.
"A huge scramble has been going on to get the codes he holds in his head for various bank accounts he holds in secret," says a senior Palestinian banker.
"It's an uphill struggle, and we may never get the bulk of it," says the official, who declined to be identified out of fear for his safety.
"It's been his key to holding on to power and influence, and some of it may go to the grave with him. If the numbers die with him, then the Swiss bankers and other bankers worldwide will be rubbing their hands in glee," the Palestinian banker says.
Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath were flying to Paris and hoped to see Mr. Arafat today.
Mr. Arafat's wife lashed out at his top lieutenants, accusing them of traveling to Paris with plans to "bury" her husband "alive," the Associated Press reported today.
In a screaming telephone call from Mr. Arafat's hospital bedside, Suha Arafat told Al Jazeera television that his top aides were conspiring to usurp her husband's four-decade role as Palestinian leader.
Jawad Ghussein, who was secretary-general of the Palestinian National Fund until 1996 but now lives in London, charged last week that Mr. Arafat had for years misappropriated Palestinian funds much of it donated by oil-rich Arab governments for personal use.
"The billions Arafat has stolen over the years from the Palestinian people facilitated the corruption of the Palestinian leadership, and is the source of his power over them," Mr. Ghussein says.
Mr. Ghussein says that for 12 years he had deposited $7.5 million to $8 million each month into Mr. Arafat's personal bank account.
"The money is in personal accounts under his complete control," he was quoted as saying. "Only one person knew where [the money] went, and that was Arafat."
Saudi contributions until 2003 amounted to $15.4 million every two months, and the United States has increased its annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority to $223 million.
An International Monetary Fund report, "Economic Performance and Reforms under Conflict Conditions," released in September 2003, concluded that $900 million in Palestinian Authority revenues from 69 commercial enterprises had "disappeared" between 1995 and 2000.
The report also found that $34 million out of the $74 million 2003 budget for Mr. Arafat's own office was missing after having been transferred to pay unidentified organizations and individuals.
The IMF report traced some $1.1 billion diverted by Mr. Arafat to a "special account" at Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv. It is not clear what happened to that money but, according to some Palestinian reports, during the past year Mr. Arafat and his close aides have switched banks and have diversified the portfolio.
Shortly before Mr. Arafat was flown from Ramallah for treatment in France, his wife received $60 million in her Paris bank account. According to French press reports, authorities in France are investigating the transfer.
Banking sources in Geneva say some accounts, either numbered or in the name of the Palestinian leader's wife, have been moved from Switzerland to Caribbean financial havens. These apparently include about $300 million previously held by Mr. Arafat at the Odier Bank in Geneva.
The New York-based American Center for Democracy said in a report in July that Mr. Arafat also personally controlled 60 percent of the security-apparatus budget, which left him with an additional $360 million per year to spend as he chose.
The center said that from July 2002 to September 2003, Mr. Arafat transferred $11.4 million to bank accounts controlled by Mrs. Arafat, who is living luxuriously in Paris and is known for her extravagant shopping habits.
As of August 2002, the center reported, Mr. Arafat's personal holdings included $500 million that rightfully belonged to the Palestine Liberation Organization. In all, his holdings were estimated to total $1.3 billion at that time.
The money "is enough to feed 3 million Palestinians for one year, and also buy 1,000 mobile intensive care units, as well as to fund 10 hospitals for a decade," the center said. At least 60 percent of the Palestinian Authority's budget comes from international aid contributions, of which the European Union is the largest donor.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, individual EU member states have donated at least $1.3 billion to the Palestinian Authority. Total aid from Europe including EU donations from 1998 to 2001 has totaled at least $4 billion.
In December the United States, Japan, the European Union and Norway, joined by the Arab League countries and the International Monetary Fund, approved another $1.2 billion to the Palestinian Authority for the 2004 budget.

Mysteries multiply over Yasser Arafat's missing monies
By Arnon Regular

Ha'aretz - 8 November: In the wake of Yasser Arafat's unstable condition, rumors have multiplied concerning funds that were previously under the Palestinian Authority chairman's control and which various elements in the PA are trying to locate. Reports have also abounded concerning a power struggle between Arafat's wife, Suha, and his financial adviser, Mohammed Rashid, who is in Paris.

A conservative estimate of the total sum held by Arafat in various
places around the world is about $1 billion, and is largely based on
monies that were clearly taken out of the territories and withdrawn from
PA accounts between 1995 and 2000.

According to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which
reviewed PA accounts and, in particular, the activity of the Palestinian
Commercial Services Co. (PCSC) - Rashid's main agency, which oversaw
cement, tobacco and building supplies' monopolies - an astronomical
$897.6 million that was accrued by the PCSC and its offshoots during
those years was spirited out of the Palestinian treasury and transfered
to mysterious accounts in the course of 1999.

All attempts to trace that money came to naught, but several months
after the report was written in mid-2003, a French prosecutor launched
an inquiry into suspicions of money-laundering involving accounts
belonging to Suha Arafat in France and Switzerland. She claimed the
investigation stemmed from information given to the French authorities
by "the Sharon government."

The bottom line is that the investigation continued, but its results are
not known. The sum discovered in her accounts totaled $11.5 million.

According to the IMF report, entitled "West Bank and Gaza: Economic
Performance and Reform under Conflict," when the PA was hit by a
recession at the beginning of the intifada, particularly after Israel
stopped transfering taxes it had collected, about $119 million was
returned to the PA's current operational account - but the remaining
$778 million or so disappeared.

International officials, especially those from PA donor countries,
demanded that Arafat return the money to the PA's account, particularly
following criticism within the donor countries over lax supervision of
the PA's accounts during the Oslo years, and in view of Israel's charge
that donations were being used to finance terrorist activity.

The money transfered to mystery accounts is apparently not the only sum
that Arafat moved outside the territories. The IMF report explicitly
states that the allegedly smuggled sums do not include the PA's income
from taxes, about which no record has been found, nor investments that
Mohammed Rashid made exclusively outside the territories. Additional
monies that may have gone missing from PA accounts derive from various
taxes levied on PA bureaucrats throughout the years.

In the case of the Karin A ship (seized in 2002 on its way to PA
territories laden with weapons), at least, it is known that the ship's
purchase was handled by the treasurer of the Palestinian security
forces, Fuad Shubaki, who is in detention in Jericho, but it's unclear
where the millions of dollars came from to buy the weapons in Iran.

Additionally, the money that disappeared does not include the income of
the PA monopolies between the beginning of the intifada and the end of
2003, when they were placed under the auspices of the Palestine
Investment Fund, which belongs to the PA and is headed by Finance
Minister Salam Fayyad.

Mohammed Rashid served until two weeks ago as a member of the PIF's
board of directors and was active on all its committees. Immediately
after the news of Arafat's deteriorating health, Rashid resigned from
this fund, which consolidates investments he made over the years. The
fund was set up at the behest of the donor countries, which demanded
sweeping reforms and brought in international accounting firms to audit
Rashid's assets.

The fund reported holdings as of December 2003 that were worth $799
million. The sums in the fund are under the ongoing supervision of
Fayyad and its board of directors, and cannot be withdrawn without the
board's consent.

Other question marks concerning assets and monies held by Arafat remain
with respect to accounts that the PLO and Fatah operate separate from
other PA accounts. The extent and origins of the money in these accounts
have never been fully ascertained.


Palestinian Authority faces financial crisis

Boston Globe - November 6, 2004 - RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Senior Palestinian officials struggled yesterday to stabilize the financial operations of the Palestinian Authority, as Yasser Arafat lingered at what an envoy termed a "critical juncture between life and death."

The authority's ability to carry out day-to-day government functions had been in question even before Arafat's health deteriorated this week as a result of what is widely believed to be a terminal illness. The Palestinian finance minister, Salam Fayyad, told Western donor countries -- which have kept the authority afloat for years -- that the body faces gaping deficits and appealed for help meeting its payroll, according to Palestinian officials, who said the plea was made in a teleconference.

Fayyad told representatives of the donor nations that the authority has only $19 million on hand to meet payroll expenses of $225 million between now and the end of the year, and that other nonpayroll monthly expenses are running at an additional deficit of $135 million. It was unclear whether he requested a certain amount of additional aid.

Arafat has personal discretion over a large portion of Palestinian public funds and is believed to have placed hundreds of millions of dollars in secret, numbered bank accounts abroad. His heirs and possible political successors are angling for control of the money.

The Palestinian leader, who is being treated at Percy Military Training Hospital outside Paris, has been in a life-threatening crisis since Wednesday. His condition was unchanged yesterday, according to Dr. Christian Estripeau, head of communications for French military health services.

"The state of health of President Yasser Arafat has not worsened," Estripeau said at a news conference outside the hospital, where more than 300 journalists from all over the world gathered. "He is considered stable compared to the last medical report."

The terse statement did nothing to resolve rampant confusion about Arafat's condition. Unsubstantiated reports have said he is in a coma; others that he is on life support.

Leila Shahid, the Palestinian representative in France, denied French and Israeli media reports that Arafat was being kept alive on life support.

"I can assure you that there is no brain death," Shahid told French RTL radio. "He is in a coma. We don't know the type, but it's a reversible coma. . . . Today we can say that, given his condition and age, he is at a critical juncture between life and death."

Arafat has habitually kept large deposits of Palestinian funds in secret bank accounts, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials and Arab journalists. An International Monetary Fund report last year found that hundreds of millions of dollars are under the sole discretion of Arafat. The Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera this week estimated his fortune at $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion -- which would make Arafat one of the richest political leaders in the world.

Several Arab media outlets reported that Arafat has written a will transferring control of his assets to the family of his wife, Suha, who has recently been investigated by French authorities examining whether large transfers of funds to her accounts from Arafat included money from French aid payments to the Palestinians.

Al-Jazeera has reported that senior Palestinian officials, including the Palestine Liberation Organization's secretary general, Mahmoud Abbas, assert that Arafat's fortune is part of the public treasury and should be transferred back to the Palestinian Authority, which runs the schools, waste system, and other public services.

The only person who knows the origin of the funds and their location apparently is Mohammed Rashid, a Kurd who is Arafat's confidant and financial adviser. Rashid, also known as Khaled Salam, has lived in the Gaza Strip for the past decade and is a member of the Palestinian delegation with Arafat in Paris.

With 108,000 employees, it is by far the largest employer in the territories, and Palestinians who had become disillusioned with Arafat were saying even before he fell ill that if the authority were unable to meet its payroll it would cease to exist, leaving a void that could lead to chaos and violence in the occupied territories.

The Palestinian Authority television station is repeatedly showing pictures of Arafat in meetings and playing flattering videos. But in public, ordinary Palestinians appear to show little interest in Arafat's condition. Unlike during previous crises involving Arafat's health or personal security, there have been no large demonstrations either for Arafat or against Israel.

The speaker at prayers yesterday at Ramallah's largest mosque did not mention Arafat, and no special prayers were offered in Arafat's behalf. Instead, he referred to flash points in the Iraqi resistance and in the Palestinians' struggle with Israel.

"Let them burn Najaf, let them destroy Fallujah," the speaker said. "Let them devastate Rafah and Gaza. We will never stop our jihad."

Palestinian leaders in Ramallah and in Paris said that they were united and that there would be no power struggle to fill the vacuum left by Arafat.

"We have laws that are very clear about who will take control, and we will follow those laws," said Mohammed Dahlan, a former head of internal security in Gaza who is a member of the Palestinian entourage in Paris.

Abdel Fattah Hamayel, a Cabinet member during the brief period last year when Abbas was prime minister before Arafat forced him out, said "the Palestinian people are passing through a critical stage, a serious crisis" of leadership.

Abbas and Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who have taken over in Arafat's absence, "are only caretakers," he said, adding that only prompt elections could prevent a chaotic power struggle once Arafat is officially removed from the scene.

Dr. Walid Tarifi, a physician in Ramallah, also said Palestinians must have an election.

"We have tired of dictatorship," Tarifi said. "The Palestinian people will not accept less than an election for a new leader to replace Yasser Arafat. . . . We do not want puppets such as Hamid Karzai and Iyad Allawi," referring to the US-backed Afghan and Iraqi leaders. By law, elections should be held within 60 days of a vacancy in the Palestinian chairmanship. But Tarifi said that is wishful thinking.

"There are external pressures on the [Palestinian Authority] officials from the United States, Britain, and Israel," he said. "There are opportunists among the Palestinians who seek power. It is time to fish in troubled waters."

Charles A. Radin of the Globe staff wrote and contributed to this report from Tel Aviv. Ghazali reported from Ramallah; Sennott from Paris.

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November 2004


Condi Rice - Weakest and Worst Sec State in Washington Memory
(November 29, 2004)
"So we are to have a new Secretary of State who dreadfully misjudged the terrorist threat leading up to 9/11 and then misled America and the world about the case for invading Iraq. As if that's not disturbing enough, look who is succeeding her as the President's National Security Adviser... I'm not making this up; it's all on the record. So instead of putting America's foreign policy in the hands of people who might have restored the country's credibility in the world, the President has turned it over to two of the people who helped to shred it." -Bill Moyers

US in Iraq 'worse than Hitler'? Turkish Parliament Leader Has His Say
(November 28, 2004)
"The occupation has turned into barbarism. The U.S. administration is committing genocide...in Iraq. "This occupation has entirely imperialist aims." - Mehmet Elkatmis, Head of Tukish Parliament's human rights commission

Islamabad 25 Years Ago Was Forecast of What Has Since Come
(November 27, 2004)
Twenty-five years ago, as hate-filled crowds invaded the American Embassy in Islamabad and the 100+ Americans hiding in 'The Vault' feared they would be killed, there was already in the air of international affairs an omen of what was to come. What happened then has since politically metasticized into what is happening today, an escalating 'Clash of Civilizations' with the United States doubly tinged with fundamentalist Crusading zealotry and Israeli Zionist ideology. And the hatreds, despair, and sense of grievance in many places in the world, including today's Pakistan, are still growing....

Washington's War-Mongering Military-Industrial-Government Complex
(November 27, 2004)
They could have sub-titled this excellent 48 minute Dutch documentary "Cesspool Washington" for it exposes a significant aspect of how the American capital has incestuously and unethically entertwined big business, big money, and government. Exposed in this documentary is a major part of the U.S. war-making and war-profiteering scene of which few Americans are aware. These realities goe a long way to explain how and why U.S. war policies are what they are.

(November 26, 2004)
Witnesses have claimed that the suspects are frequently bound, gagged and sedated before being put on board the planes,

CIA Purge Converting Agency To Neoconism
(November 25, 2004)
They already have firm control of the Pentagon, which also actually means some 80% of the "Intelligence" Budget. And they've made great progress in recent years taking over the State Department as well as the National Security Council. Now crusading "Neocons" -- many Jewish and nearly all connected over the years with the Israeli-Jewish lobby in Washington -- are determined to finally bring the last resistant power center, the CIA, into line. Washington these days is like the land of the body-snatchers, everyone looking over their shoulders, the fear factor rising higher and higher.

Falluja in Memorium on Thanksgiving
(November 25, 2004)
As for the new killing fields of Iraq -- most recently in Falluja, the 'City of Mosques' -- the alternative-media reports that follow from Green Leaf Weekly in Australia and The Village Voice in New York make for devastating reading. "Sorry Faluya"..."Sorry Faluya"...

January Elections - Truth or Consequences
(November 25, 2004)
Under the conditions that actually exist -- unprecedented military occupation, extraordinary impoverishment and bribery, still-expanding CIA infiltration, massive propaganda manipulation -- the very concept of 'free and fair' elections takes quite a credibility stretch.

New from MER
(November 22, 2004)
New from MER - MER realizes that today situation in the Middle East and in Washington requires new and creative means to provide critical information and independent expert analysis. But this can only be achieved if those who appreciate today's historical moment will dig in and provide the independent financial support necessary. Please make your check to MER and contribute today. MER P.O. Box 4918 Washington, DC 20008

Fearing Bush Assassination
(November 22, 2004)
Over the weekend during Bush's short visit to Chile there was an extraordinary double display of this concern. First Bush himself got man-handled in a crowd of security people literally having to pull his senior protective body man after him through a small blocking crowd of Chilean security. Later the elaborate State Dinner the Chilean President was putting on was abruptly canceled when the American's demanded that every one of the two hundred carefully selected guests go through metal detectors and possible body frisks. The Chileans said not very dignified, no need; the Americans said too bad, no dinner.

Please read and contribute this weekend, thank you.
(November 21, 2004)
If MER is to move forward and have the kind of impact we can and should now have, independent financial support is now absolutely crucial. After all the steps we have taken in recent years to reorganize and improve MER, serious financial support is now the key missing ingredient we must have. Yes we are now positioned to reach far more persons worldwide and to have far greater impact including on radio and TV programs. But this can happen only with your substantial financial support. So please contribute this weekend making your check to MER and sending to: MER P.O. Box 4918 Washington, DC 20008

Israel Buys Another Piece of Washington
(November 20, 2004)
Read the details about Haim Saban, Ariel Sharon's "close personal friend", keeping all this crucial perspective and context in mind which the nation's 'newspaper of record' largely ommitted.

Please read and contribute this weekend
(November 20, 2004)
If MER is to move forward and have the kind of impact we can and should now have, independent financial support is crucial. After all the steps we have taken in recent years to reorganize and improve MER, financial support is now the key missing ingredient if we are to be able to take the steps we now could. We are now positioned to reach far more persons worldwide and to have far greater impact including on radio and TV programs. But this can happen only with your serious financial support. So please contribute this weekend making your check to MER and sending to: MER - P.O. Box 4918 - Washington, DC 20008

Yasser Arafat's Life and Legacy
(November 19, 2004)
There are only a small handful of Western journalists who have the background, the credibility, and the conviction, to write with historical depth and considerable insight about the death of Yasser Arafat. David Hirst, still writing for The Guardian after all these years, the man who authored THE GUN AND THE OLIVE BRANCH, is right up there at the top of that list. This article was published in The Guardian last week just as Arafat's death was announced.

Nuke Attack on U.S. 'all but inevitable' warns top CIA official
(November 19, 2004)
As the new historic purge of non-neocons roles over Washington, firing, resignations, and fear have the CIA, the State Department, and lesser known sometimes secret U.S. Government agencies in a tizzy. One of those now forced out at the CIA is the man who has headed up the great manhunt for Osama Bin-Laden. He spoke up last year in a book written by 'Anonymous' titled "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror." Just days after leaving the Agency he spoke up on the popular CBS News Program Sixty Minutes.

U.S. and ISRAELI Deceptions...over and over again
(November 18, 2004)
Even as Yasser Arafat was being buried last Friday the American President and the British Prime Minister purposefully tried to immediately dim his memory and twist the headlines by holding an unusual joint press conference at the White House. What Bush and Blair spewed forth grabbing TV time that evening from Arafat's Cairo funeral and Ramallah burial twisted and distorted history further beyond recognition. This extraordinary and urgently needed corrective was published by Robert Fisk earlier this week in The Independent.

More on the Arafat 'Stealth Assassination' and Cover Up
(November 17, 2004)
With the 'Stealth Assassination' of Yasser Arafat, following a campaign to kill or imprison most of the popular Palestinian leaders that was greatly stepped up when Ariel Sharon became Israeli Prime Minister, the Arab-Israeli conflict does indeed enter a new phase. But the political cancer has already considerably metastacized region-wide and the 'two-state' cure is not really any longer possible.

The Great Sharon Deception
(November 16, 2004)
"Deception and lies have been a corner stone in Israeli policy, brought to a new level of perfection since Oslo. While the world believed that Rabin promised to eventually end the occupation and dismantle the settlements, the number of Israeli settlers actually doubled during his rule. At the same time that Barak declared he intends to dismantle the Golan Heights settlements, in 1999, he actually poured money into their expansion. As Sharon promised to dismantle at least the illegal settlement posts in the West Bank, their number kept increasing. Still, none of this is ever remembered. Each new lie is received with welcome cheers by the Israeli peace camp, and by European governments. Since Oslo, every Israeli government knows that all it takes, to ease diplomatic pressure, is to come up with a new 'peace plan'."

To Readers of MER
(November 16, 2004)
If MER is to move forward and have the kind of impact we now can and should have financial support making it possible to do so is now the key missing ingredient. We have done so much in recent years. And now we are positioned to reach far more persons worldwide and have far greater impact including on radio and TV programs. Please contribute today making your check to MER and sending to: MER - P.O. Box 4918 - Washington, DC 20008

Powell Out, CIA Purging, Iraq Exploding, Palestinians Erupting
(November 15, 2004)
Just hours after once again fronting for U.S. Middle East policies as today's article in The Guardian points out; just hours, after proclaming about the 'new Palestinian leaders' "We know these gentlemen well, and I hope to be able to see them..."; just hours after the extent of the historic purge of the CIA has flashed into the headlines...; Colin Powell has cashed in his chips in a combination of being pushed and walking away while he still can without even further damage to his once considerable reputation.

ARAFAT - The Assassination and The Cover Up
(November 13, 2004)
Five critical days before it was officially announced that Yasser Arafat was actually dead -- even as leading media organizations were repeatedly parroting officials to the contrary -- MER not only reported the real news that Arafat was all but legally dead but the important news that he had been 'Stealth Assassinated' by blood poisoning by the Israelis. Below are links to MER articles published from 4 to 12 November about the assassination of Yasser Arafat and the cover up that followed.

Israel's Public Threats Against Arafat Telegraphed the Assassination
(November 13, 2004)
These are some of the public threats in the past few years. One can only imagine what has been said when the cameras and microphones were not present.

Sharon's Lethal Words and Cartoons Foretold what was to come
(November 13, 2004)
"Speaking of the Palestinians, they were dealt a lethal blow... It will bring their dreams to an end." -- Ariel Sharon upon returning from his ninth and last meeting at the White House with George W. Bush - 16 April 2004

Public Israeli Threats from top officials to Kill Yasser Arafat
(November 12, 2004)
Public Israeli Threats from top officials to Kill Yasser Arafat escalated in recent months. In any murder investigation, or death under suspicious circumstances, an autopsy is done and those who have threatened the person are investigated. But in the case of Yasser Arafat even though his personal doctor of over 20 years 'demanded' an 'official death investigation' and 'autopsy' those in charge worked feverishly to bury Arafat quickly and prevent any serious independent investigation.

NYTimes Articles on Arafat - 1 to 12 Nov 2004
(November 12, 2004)
New York Times Articles on Yasser Arafat 1 to 12 November 2004

ARAFAT Assassination Coverup as quick and limited funeral and burial take place
(November 12, 2004)
They are racing now to get the funeral over with very quickly and with no real opportunity for the public outpouring of grief and anger that would result if everything were not so closed and controlled by the military. And they are racing as well to get him quickly buried in a rock tomb. His 'wife' has received a huge payoff, $22 million yearly, for her silence. The top 'new leadership' of the Palestinians that has approved these arrangements are all known to be persons closely connected with the Israelis and supported by the U.S. -- Nabil Sha'ath, Abu Mazen, and Abu Ala -- and all known themselves to be politically and financially corrupt.

ARAFAT ASSASSINATION - Article links, Media Interviews
(November 12, 2004)
The personal physician of Yasser Arafat called for an inquiry into the cause of the veteran Palestinian leader's death on Thursday. "I demand an official inquiry and an autopsy ... so the Palestinian people can learn in all transparency what caused the death" of their leader, Dr Ashraf al-Kurdi said on Al-Jazeera television only hours before Arafat was due to be buried... Kurdi, who was Arafat's personal physician for more than 20 years, said he had been surprised by the actions of some members of the veteran leader's office... Yasser Arafat's 'wife' Suha will receive $22 million a year out of the Palestinian Authority budget. Abu Mazen is said to have personally approved this extraordinary arrangement, and it appears to have silenced Suha Tawil from the 'conspiracy' charges she publicly made Monday.

MER on KTSA San Antonio
(November 11, 2004)
Listen to MER on KTSA San Antonio about Arafat's Death; and check links to the past week's MER articles about Arafat.

MER and Media Articles about Arafat on day of his death
(November 11, 2004)
"I demand an official inquiry and an autopsy ... so the Palestinian people can learn in all transparency what caused the death" of their leader, Dr Ashraf al-Kurdi said on Al-Jazeera television only hours before Arafat was due to be buried... Kurdi, who was Arafat's personal physician for more than 20 years, said he had been surprised by the actions of some members of the veteran leader's office.

Sharon Kills Arafat? Assassination Coverup Succeeds?
(November 11, 2004)
The message is rather clear: "You Arab and Palestinian 'leaders' have much more to fear from us (Israel and the U.S.) if you don't play ball than you do from your own people. On top of all the other leaders we have killed off or imprisoned one way or another, we can even pull off a 'Stealth Assassination' of Nobel Peace Prize winner, former most frequent foreign guest to the White House, and international famed Yasser Arafat because he refused to do as we told him he must. So beware: COMPLY, RESISTANCE IS FUTILE."

ARAFAT - Assassination Covered Up As Death Announced
(November 11, 2004)
**MER was first, was right, was most insightful** Days before it was finally officially announced early this morning in the Middle East MER reported that Yasser Arafat was all but legally dead. Even as leading media organizations were parroting contrary and purposefully deceptive information MER not only reported the real news but the important realities. In this case that Yasser Arafat had been 'Stealth Assassinated' by the Israelis with help from as yet undisclosed Palestinians and an American OK.

ARAFAT - How and Where to Properly Bury Him
(November 10, 2004)
And when Arafat's body is flown from Cairo to Ramallah representatives of the Arab League, of all the Arab countries, and of all the countries who have long recognized the PLO and long called for a free and independent Palestinian State, should accompany the body whether the Israelis give their 'permission' or not. They should in this way not only show their respects for Arafat the symbolic man but for the imprisoned and all-too-forgotten people he leaves behind, half in refugee camps, half increasingly behind walls and fences in ghettos and concentration camps.

(November 10, 2004)
Yasser Arafat has been all but legally dead for many days now. He has been kept 'between life and death' in a very 'complex situation' (to use the crafty words that have come from key officials) for financial and political reasons rather than for medical reasons. By a preponderance of the circumstances and the evidence Yasser Arafat has effectively been stealth assassinated by the Israelis as MER first reported and explained last Saturday.

China Rocks the Geopolitical Middle East
(November 10, 2004)
As the Americans expend their power, their money, their blood, and their credibility both Europe and China are on the march. Europe is more often discussed, but the Chinese have been taking important steps into Africa in recent years, and now they are doing so into the Middle East in a bigger way than ever via Iran.

Arafat's Death Announced
(November 9, 2004)
MER reported and explained Arafat's death -- indeed his assassination by blood poisoning -- many days ago, in fact last week. This story from Reuters has just moved on the international wires this morning at 9am EST:

Poor Poor People of Palestine
(November 9, 2004)
This is hardly the first time MER has commented harshly and candidly about Nabil Shaa'th, or Abu Mazen, or Abu Ala. We have in fact done so for years now as upcoming FlashBack articles will serve to remind. As for Suha Tawil, Arafat's "wife", she has proven time and again what a self-serving extortionist and political witch she has truly been -- taking after her mother Ramonda who managed to steal and embezzle more limited millions from the PLO in her own days before introducing her dumpy daughter to Yasser and moving from Palestine to her luxury-life in exile.

MiddleEast.Org on ARAFAT LIFE and DEATH
(November 8, 2004)

Arafat is Dead - Frantic struggles underway
(November 7, 2004)
Yasser Arafat is Dead; likely assassinated by blood poisoning by the Israelis. Frantic struggles and manuevers are underway for power, money, and the symbolism of how and where Arafat will be buried. Arafat's long-time cronies neither of whom has any real popular support but who are trying to take total control of the PLO and the PA with Israeli and U.S. assistance -- Abu Mazen and Abu Ala -- are on the way to Paris.

ARAFAT - How and Where to Bury Him
(November 7, 2004)
Far better symbolism than burial under the dictate of Israeli military occupation and today's apartheid conditions is 'temporary' burial of Yasser Arafat in the city where the headquarters of the Arab League is located, indeed in a special crypt on the grounds of the Arab League in downtown Cairo.

Arafat's Murder and Legacy
(November 7, 2004)
It's the worst possible end for Yasser Arafat, and more importantly for his life-long quest for justice, dignity, and a free independent Palestinian State. In the end it appears Yasser Arafat has been killed by fatal poisoning in a kind of stealth assassination by his arch nemesis Ariel Sharon, with help from those inside his own circles. Arafat passes from history not as the father of a Palestinian State but with his people more fractured and dispossessed and in greater bondage, imprisonment, and impoverishment than ever in their history.

ARAFAT - Stealth Assassination!
(November 6, 2004)
Arafat was assassinated by blood poisoning by the Israelis working with some insiders is the conclusion of Professor Hisham Ahmed... Professor Ahmed lives in Ramallah near the headquarters where Arafat was under house imprisonment for nearly three years. He teaches Political Science at Bir Zeit University and has his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has taught at a number of American Universities and been a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Ahmed was born in Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem and he is an astute observer of Palestinian affairs and indeed of international affairs.

MER Experts on Arafat's Death (or assassination), Burial Plans, and Legacy
(November 5, 2004)
Please pass this information on to persons in the media. Bruzonsky, Hamzeh, and others associated with MER including Palestinians living in occupied Palestine will be available throughout the weekend for radio and TV interviews. The link to this email is: http://www.middleeast.org/articles/2004/11/1174.htm MER can now be reached at all times, 24-hours daily, at MER@MiddleEast.Org and (202) 362-5266. Persons in the media can reach MER at all times on a special media number -- 202 Number1 (202 686-2371) and Press@MiddleEast.Org

Arafat's Burial, Monies, Powers, and Legacy
(November 5, 2004)
"Both Gaza Ghetto and Occupied Ramallah are awful choices for Arafat's burial, especially in view of the worse than Apartheid realities that have taken hold during the years Arafat played, and lost so badly, the 'peace process' game with the Israelis and the Americans."

About MiddleEast.org
(November 4, 2004)
Please read carefully and please help make MiddleEast.Org possible.

Arafat Dominates In Death as in Life
(November 4, 2004)
Arafat is now likely to be buried not in a free Palestine, not in Jerusalem, not really as the kind of historic figure he so desperately sought to be. Rather he will be likely buried in Occupied Palestine, in the city of Ramallah, behind the new Apartheid Wall, with arch nemesis Ariel Sharon deciding on the place and giving his 'permission'. How sad...how tragic... And the future now on the horizon appears still more gloomy and more bloody than the past now about to be symbolically buried with the body of the single man who has dominated Palestinian history ever since the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960s.

America, Arafat, and the 'New World Order'
(November 4, 2004)
NBC's Chris Matthews: "I believe we live in a country that is really culturally divided now... maybe the way Pakistan and India are."

Democratic Disaster
(November 3, 2004)
Even as Americans voted and the world watched considerably now in shock, one of the world's most famous scientists, Stephen Hawking, was declaring the U.S. invasion of Iraq a 'war crime' at a protest in London. Now the aftermath of that history-making invasion, of the new Crusade led by the United States and based on major historic deceptions and manipulations, will return to center stage.

Moral Cowards ALL
(November 2, 2004)
Scott Ritter's "The War on Iraq has made Moral Cowards of us all" article should have appeared in the U.S., rather than in The Guardian in the U.K. The article about more mega-billions for the Iraq war did appear in the U.S., on the front-page of The Washington Post last Monday.

Osama Votes Bush Says Fisk
(November 2, 2004)
Robert Fisk is the chief Middle East correspondent for the London Independent and one of the most knowledgeable, insightful, and courageous western journalists about the Middle East. He was exclusively interviewed in 1996 by MERTV for a series of four half-hour programs which we will soon Internet broadcast. He was interviewed yesterday on the 'Democracy Now' program about the recent speech by Osama Bin Laden to the 'people of America', about Yasser Arafat, and about the war in Iraq.

Osama Bin Laden's 'October Surprise'
(November 1, 2004)
Osama Bin Laden: "I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred. So I shall talk to you about the story behind those events and shall tell you truthfully about the moments in which the decision was taken, for you to consider."

Iran Next - Part 2
(November 1, 2004)
Tomrrow the American election itself will become history. The likelihood is the Bush/Cheney/neocon regime will remain in power; hard as that still is for so many to imagine and understand. But should the Democrats win the White House Middle East policies will be largely in the hands of the neoliberals and the super money-men like Israeli-Sharon-connected Haim Saban who have far more in common with the neocons than has yet been realized by many who will vote for them. Whatever happens tomorrow the build-up to attacking and if at all possible 'regime changing' Iran is well underway and the showdown increasingly imminent.

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