The Hamas win can be good news for the US taxpayer if one understands the PLO
By Lee Kaplan, DAFKA National Director
Despite news reports that the Hamas win in the Palestinian elections bodes ill for the “peace process,” all it really did was clarify what and who the Palestinian Liberation
Organization and its leadership are all about. The election results could be
a boon for the American taxpayer who has been fleeced unceasingly since 1993 to support a terrorist protection racket masquerading as a “nationalist movement.” Our naive elected representatives in Washington, and the opportunists and career hacks in our own state department, are finally discussing the holding back of funds from a Hamas-led government.
Few Americans really know the PLO is an organization US taxpayers have literally been pouring their hard-earned tax money into unnecessarily. Created in the mid-1950’s by the late secular pan-Arab nationalist Gamel Abdul Nasser of Egypt, it solidified into a terrorist movement and protection racket under the late terrorist war chief Yasser Arafat in 1964. Arafat himself was born in Egypt, not Palestine. The PLO’s purpose was to work with the Arab League that herded Arab refugees from the 1948 war with Israel into camps where they could fester until Israel’s Jews were finally displaced for another Arab state in Israel’s place. An umbrella group composed of different factions with the same goal—destroying Israel (for example, The PFLP faction is composed of Christian Arabs and communists, Fateh, the biggest and oldest faction, is largely secular but mainly Islamic. Hamas, made up from Muslim fundamentalists, is more recent.
The “right of return” is a nonnegotiable theme that maintains these refugees can never be assimilated into the Arab world. Since 1948, Arabs from the Holy Land were forced to be “Palestinians,” and if they left the camps had to tithe their income to Arafat, the money collected by the governments of any Arab states where they could live only as alien residents. Meanwhile, the United States and other western nations’ taxpayers helped support those in the refugee camps. The Arab League’s donations were always minimal and PLO money usually spent on training and weapons to “take back” and “return” to Israel. From 1964 on, Palestinian terrorism became a protection racket as Saudi billionaires and the Arab League paid the PLO to roil the conflict with Israel’s Jews and keep their own impoverished populations distracted from their personal opulence.
The PLO became a big business during those years. It rented itself out to the Soviet Union and KGB and allied itself to all manner of revolutionary causes from the IRA to the Basque Separatist Movement to Castro’s Cuba to provide training from its military wing. Meanwhile, the PLO also went into legitimate businesses.
By the 1970’s the PLO established SAMED, an Arabic acronym for Palestinian Martyr’s Sons Enterprises. SAMED is actually a worldwide conglomerate swimming in money. Its portfolio includes farms, restaurants, retail stores, factories and even oil refineries. It holds real estate investments in France, Spain and England and owns several newspapers. It even has controlling interest in a Monte Carlo radio station. The portfolio also includes large amounts of money invested in Wall Street and stock exchanges in Tokyo, Paris and Frankfurt including a large share of Mercedes Benz. Airlines in the Maldives, Caledonia,
Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nicaragua and duty free shops all over Africa are also in the portfolio since they serve as covers for moving terrorists around and providing them travel documents while turning a profit.
Palestinians and their descendents who refused to stay in refugee camps since 1948 and who tithed to Arafat while living in other Arab states generated some $50 million dollars a year. Over the years, the Saudis and Gulf States donated billions of dollars to the PLO. Besides SAMED, the Palestine Commercial Services Company today has a monopoly in flour, cement, cigarettes, oil and construction material in the Palestinian Authority. The Palestine Development and Investment Company (PADICO), registered in Liberia, controls 93% of all investments in the merging state of Palestine. Intelligence agencies have estimated that the PLO added $5 million dollars per day to its coffers during the 1970’s and 80’s and British National Criminal Intelligence Services in 1994 estimated the PLO’s net worth at $10 billion dollars.
After their UN negotiated withdrawal from Lebanon in 1982, the PLO expanded its operations to the illicit drug trade. Sallagh Dabbagh, the PLO treasurer back then stated
“the entire future of the PLO operation for liberation may hinge on our exporting more drugs around the world.” The PLO expanded its drug trade operations up until the 1990’s in cooperation with the IRA in Europe. Scattered reports from intelligence communities still exist as late as 2003. Other illegal enterprises included counterfeiting US currency,
money laundering and arms smuggling, murders for hire and even bank robberies. The Guiness Book of World Records estimated PLO organized bank robberies in Europe netted in excess of 100 million dollars.
Despite all this, the PLO was still raking it in by direct aid and through non-governmental organizations to the tune of at least $125 million a month for only 3.2 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank from the US, the EU and Arab League (that gives nominally) at the height of a “peace process” that saw PLO leaders buying and smuggling guns to destroy Israel and rewarding Arafat’s wife an annuity worthy of a potentate. This doesn’t include millions in UN funds for UNWRA, the United Nations Welfare Relief Agency that is run not by the UN but by the Palestinians themselves.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority claims the average Palestinian lives on $2 a day. UN aid estimates that Palestinians received $300 a year per person in handouts as “refugees,” the highest figure given any refugees in the world. While many an average Palestinian may be poor due to graft by the leadership, terrorists in the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade were being paid $50,000 a year, a salary many Americans would love to make, but a fortune in the Middle East where $800 a month is considered a good income.
Even fewer Americans know that Edward Abington, the former US state department consul general in Jerusalem went to work for the PLO as their chief lobbyist in Washington at a salary of 2.5 million dollars annually right after agreeing as part of his former position to donating 400 million dollars of USAID taxpayer money to the Palestinian Authority. If you ever wondered who lobbies for the PLO in Congress now you know: another state department retired hack. Hamas’ election would come as no surprise if the amount of Saudi money put into charitable perks and services in Hamas’ name in the Palestinian Authority also were revealed that goes without criticism from even our president. Most of those perks and services go for “martyrdom” operations like suicide bombings and terrorist attacks. President Bush has yet to strongly censure Saudi aid to Hamas, and even walked hand in hand with Crown Prince Abdullah at Crawford.
It is thus with consummate public relations skills that the PLO and its Arab allies have been generating in the US and EU an image of a movement of poor a dispossessed people endeavoring to return to the homes of their dead relations from a war 1948, a “liberation movement” that requires “social justice” while the American taxpayer shells out.
President Bush’s announcement that the US will not give aid to Hamas may be good news if it finally gives the US taxpayer a break. The real worry is if it is just talk, since Condoleeza Rice has discussed possibly giving foreign aid money to “nongovernmental” organizations in the Palestinian Authority instead of the Hamas-led government. It’s time to turn off the spigot.
It is up to the American taxpayer to stand up for once and say to our own government, “Not one more dime!” for a terrorist protection movement that already is swimming in money but prefers not to disburse it to its people. This year’s projected US taxpayer handouts to the Palestinians are said to be 224 million dollars, considerably less than the 600 million dollars President Bush wanted to give them. That’s 224 million dollars for American schools, roads and infrastructure that should be withheld from the Palestinians for two reasons: 1)They don’t really need it and 2) The American taxpayer is tired of being ripped off by a terrorist racket that is not serious about peace.
Lee Kaplan is senior intelligence analyst with the Northeast Intelligence Network (www.homelandsecurityus.com) and a contributor to Front Page Magazine (www.frontpagemag.com).