Middle East "experts" insist that the U.S. (and Israel) have no choice but to back Fatah in its struggle with Hamas for "leadership" of the Palestinian people. We've questioned the efficacy of that strategy, noting the absolute moral and fiscal corruption of Fatah, whose leaders have murdered innocents--and lined their pockets--from more than 40 years.
Of course, a fish rots from the head, and with Fatah, absolute corruption began with its founder, the late Yasser Arafat. Now, one of Arafat's closest associates has confirmed what many have known for years: the PLO founder died of AIDS, the result of a dissolute life that he actively concealed. Arafat's demise from AIDS was recently affirmed by Ahmad Jibril, Secretary-General of the PFLP General Command, in an interview that recently aired on Al-Manar TV: the translation was provided by MEMRI:
Ahmad Jibril: When Abu Mazen came to Damascus with his team, I asked them: "What happened to the investigation into the death of Abu Ammar [Arafat]? The Israelis killed him. He was my colleague ever since 1965 and used to sleep at my home. He and I followed the same path." Is it conceivable that when Rafiq Al-Hariri was killed, all hell broke loose, even though he was just a merchant in Saudi Arabia, who later entered politics, whereas the death of Yasser Arafat, who for 40 years had been carrying his gun from one place to another, is not investigate? Is this conceivable? They were silent, and then one of them said to me: "To be honest, the French gave us the medical report, that stated that the cause of Abu Ammar's death was AIDS." I am not saying this, they did. Now they pretend that they miss Yasser Arafat, and complain that [Hamas] entered his house in [Gaza] and so on... I say to every honorable member of the Fatah movement that he should be happy that we got rid of the plague, which had been imposed upon them and upon the Palestinian people. The Fatah movement now has an opportunity to renew itself.
Flash back three years, to November 2004. Though reports of Arafat's homosexuality had been making the rounds for years--with confirmation by various intelligence services, the western press was complicit in protecting Arafat's "reputation" at the time of his passing. CNN described the Palestinian leader's illness as the flu, a stomach virus or gallstones; the Washington Post provided a similar account, and subsequent coverage in The New York Times flatly rejected the suggestion that Arafat had AIDS. As with so many elements of Arafat's life and "career," the MSM was willing to cast a blind eye to the painful truth.
Why does it matter? Because the current generation of Palestinian leaders were mentored and trained by Abu Ammar. And collectively, there's no indication that the folks now running "the movement" are any more honest or ethical than the man who founded Fatah. Most became powerful and rich under Arafat's leadership, and they were quite willing to look the other way while he plundered the Palestinian treasury, supported terrorists, and pursued his sexual proclivities, which (according to Romanian intelligence reporting) trended towards young boys.
Now, the U.S. and Israel are investing heavily in these same "leaders" to clean up Fatah, and prevent Hamas from extending its control into the West Bank. It is a forlorn hope, because the amoral, corrupt legacy of Yasser Arafat is alive and well, three years after his death.