August 16, 2007

The Maltese Falcon

The widow of Yasser Arafat has apparently made herself persona non grata among her late husband's fans. In fact, Suha Arafat has managed to get herself kicked out of every place she's landed so far. As the Telegraph reported yesterday, she's running out of options -- but not out of cash:

Suha Arafat - the widow of the Palestinian leader - who enjoys a reputation for lavish living, has been stripped of her citizenship in her adopted home of Tunisia and forced to leave the country amid allegations that she secretly married the president's brother-in-law.

Tunisian officials said yesterday that the 44-year-old widow, who was 34 years younger than Yasser Arafat, had moved to Malta where she is living with her Palestinian brother.

According to one official source she was stripped of her "moral and material rights". It is not clear if this includes her bank accounts, widely rumoured to be full of millions hidden away by her notoriously corrupt late husband.

Suha had relied on that Tunisian grant of citizenship to travel. She was born in Jerusalem, and Israeli citizenship would be problematic for her. She left Ramallah and Gaza not long after her husband's death and probably would be less than welcome in both, especially in the latter after the Hamas coup. When she left, Suha and the government had engaged in bitter recriminations over money and her accusations that the Palestinian Authority had poisoned her husband.

Speaking of money, Suha has little over which to fret. As a lovely parting gift, the PA agreed to provide Suha a pension as the widow of their hero. The amount? The Telegraph reports it at $21.8 million dollars per year. This comes from a government so broke that it can't even pay its own workers. Not only that, but the French had to conduct an investigation into multi-million-dollar transfers into her accounts from a variety of other sources before they too invited her to leave.

Now she's landed on Malta, living with her brother on the storied island. Where will she fly next? And who will be paying her next?


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Comments (7)

Posted by Fausta | August 16, 2007 6:57 AM


Posted by MarkD | August 16, 2007 7:19 AM

Why do I flash back to Imelda Marcos' shoes? Another corruptocrat has problems.

Posted by Corky Boyd | August 16, 2007 7:20 AM

Her $20 million/year income was agreed to by the PA in exchange for access to Yasser Arafat's secret bank accounts and the money he had squirreled away over his tenure. His money came from skimming the UN contributions and a percentage of contracts the PA let, and was rumored to total over $2 billion.

Arafat's moral corruption knows no bounds.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 16, 2007 7:30 AM

Pardon me while I tune up the nano-fiddle and prep some crocodile tears for her...

Posted by Bennett | August 16, 2007 8:27 AM

Poor Suha. Cast adrift from her ancestral homeland after losing her devoted husband, she now wanders the earth looking for love in all the wrong places. Tragic really. Well, there has to be a dictator somewhere eager for an instant cash transfusion. Perhaps Fidel can find a place for her. Or Hugo.

If she runs out of money she can always find a job doing what her late husband encouraged other Palestinians to do so often, and often so well.

Posted by onlineanalyst | August 16, 2007 9:11 AM

Maybe, should Madame Hillary regain the keys to the White House, Suha Arafat can assume permanent digs in the Lincoln Bedroom. After all, Madame Hillary was known via photos to croon "Sweet Embraceable You" (or was that "Sealed with a Kiss"?) to the beleaguered Suha. When everything is for sale in the Clintonian world, one has to ask, "Why not?"

Posted by jeff | August 16, 2007 10:24 AM

Malta... land of flexible banking laws (and as a result I suppose, online gambling).

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