Couple of days ago, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority commissioned and dedicated the Yasser Arafat mausoleum at a cost of $5 millions.
For over 40 years Arafat headed the Palestine Liberation Organization as the “sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinians around the world”. For over 40 years Arafat managed the PLO as a true dictator no different from the many around the world, like Somoza of Nicaragua, Noriega of Panama, Marcos of the Philippines, Suharto of Indonesia, Ceausescu of Romania, Assad of Syria, Saddam of Iraq just to name a few of this most infamous and corrupt club.
The PLO was founded to liberate Palestine from the occupying Zionist and restore the Palestinians to their former homes in what is now Israel and of course as an added bonus the PLO was also to liberate Palestine of 67 occupied by Israel in 67. However the fact is that Arafat and the PLO not only failed to liberate one single inch of Palestinian territories either of the historic Palestine or the one occupied by Israel in 67, but made such a big mess of the liberation by producing Oslo and producing perhaps the most corrupt and incompetent leadership anywhere in the world.
Making sure that he is in charge and no one else, Arafat carried out a policy of divide and rule and used money effectively to corrupt the entire PLO and all of those in it and corrupt the Palestine National Congress guaranteeing there will never be any accountability or transparency of decisions and financial matters.
Arafat was no different from the dictators who robbed their countries blind, creating and nourishing a group of parasites around them who did their biddings from killing and murdering innocent people as a way to intimidate the public into silence, but he made sure that his PLO is never in a position to ever liberate any thing but to create a bureaucracy with bunch of misfits whose only mission is to remain on the payroll and whose objective is making sure they keep the PLO alive and themselves at the helm at any costs as we see in Ramallah..
Arafat made sure there was never any room for competency and intellect, let alone loyalty and dedications to the cause of liberation. On the contrary, he made sure the PLO leadership has nothing but yes men and women who were ready to sell their souls to the devil in return for the financial privileges Arafat arranged for them. He did buy the conscious and loyalty of bunch of people whom he has nothing but contempt for and he made sure he treated them that way.
With his death, he left behind a big mess; with many competing security organizations he sawed the seeds of the present conflict. Arafat knowing well his PLO could never liberate Palestine and could never end the Israeli occupation, he made sure he entered into an agreement with Israel where he and his PLO became a security subcontractor and manager of the occupation for Israel. While his PLO and PA were enjoying billions in fees, Israel had free hand in the occupied territories and of course free to continue its outright theft of the people land and properties. Oslo legitimized the Israeli occupation and legitimizes the expansions of settlements and of course now the Apartheid Wall, not mention the theft of water resources and undermined international law and UN Security Council resolutions as core of conditions for peace with Israel.
During his tenure, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians died and where again exiled as direct of his failed policies and where his PLO was unable to provide any protections. Billions were raised and came into the coffer of the PLO but was never accounted for, stolen by Arafat and his army of thieves who made fortunes out of the misfortunes of the millions of Palestinians who trusted their faith to Arafat.
Making sure the Palestinians could never have independent, competent and clean leadership to liberate Palestine, Arafat directly and indirectly got rid of so many potential leaders and made sure the PLO will always be the closed club for his cronies and parasites forming the core of the PLO past and current leadership.
Forty years and billions of dollars, Arafat and his cronies were unwilling and never able to create the kind of efficient, competent institutions that one day will form the core of the new and independent nation. Instead, the Palestinians got exactly what they expected, a PA with police state mentality where security agencies and mokhabarat are the nation, no different from the dictatorship regime of Assad, Saddam and Ceausescu and of course with no institutions to manage the affairs of people.
While other nations put their corrupt, incompetent and failed leadership on trial, the Palestinians celebrate the life of a failed leader and have the money to build a mausoleum to honor his memory. One has to wonder how many hundreds of millions if not billions did Arafat and his family costs the poor people of Palestine. The Palestinian people need to remember Arafat and his PLO did not liberate them and did not succeed in removing one single major Israeli checkpoint and failed to stop the expansion in one settlement and of course failed to stop the uprooting of one olive tree or the demolition of a single home. While Arafat was spending millions on his wife so she can live the good life in Paris, he did not have the money to provide the temporary housing and shelters for those who lost their homes to Israeli bulldozers.