Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Dahlan Is Not Innocent
By Khalid Amayreh
In Occupied Palestine
Al-Jazeera, CCUN, January 3, 2011
The former Fatah
strongman, Muhammed Dahlan, is due to appear before a Fatah court in
Ramallah to face charges pertaining to corruption, including
embezzlement, bribery, graft, nepotism, and breach of trust.
Prior to the conclusion of the Oslo Accords, Dahlan was a petty Fatah
activist, suffering nearly abject poverty. According to a neighbor, he
didn't have enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes.
Now, the man
the Americans once picked and provided with the wherewithal to repress,
topple and even decapitate Hamas, is probably one of the richest people in
How he has been able to amass all these millions
is a question awaiting a satisfactory and honest answer.
It is not
Dahlan's credibility that is at stake, for he probably has none. After all,
the man seemed to have utilized his membership in Fatah and especially
proximity to Yasser Arafat to expedite his own ambitions, amass obscene
wealth and build a business fiefdom of his own.
What is at stake is
Fatah's credibility, and in order for the movement to preserve that
credibility, it will have to cut off Dahlan's numerous tentacles since he is
not going to surrender easily and soon.
Dahlan should be asked
how many millions of dollars he levied on every fuel truck entering the Gaza
Strip from occupied Palestine in the period between 1994-2000 when he was
Head of the Preventive Security Force-the Gaza Branch.
He should be
asked how he was able to make enough money which enabled him to purchase
numerous palaces and luxurious buildings, probably including a huge hotel in
one of the Gulf emirates.
It is true that he should be treated as
innocent until proven guilty. But it is also true that there is a huge mass
of indicting and irrefutable evidence that if studied and cross-examined
carefully leaves no room for any pretension of innocence on his part.
In May 1997, during the height of Dahlan's lordship in Gaza, David Hirst
wrote an article in the Guardian, entitled "Shameless in Gaza."
quoted one of Gaza's merchant princes, a former Fatah fighter himself as
saying the following:
"We live in amazing, shameful times, but
you should know that every revolution has its fighters, thinkers and
profiteers. Our fighters have been killed, our thinkers assassinated, and
all we have left are the profiteers. These don't think even primarily of the
cause, they don't think about it at all. They know that they are just
transients here, as they were in Tunis, and, as with any regime whose end is
near, they think only of profiting from it while they can."
Islam, as in all other justice systems, there is a golden rule known as "min
ayna laka hatha" meaning "how did you acquire this"? This rule should be
applied to all the lords of corruption who have acquired a huge wealth in a
matter of few years, when only a few years ago they could hardly make ends
Perhaps Dahlan is one of "the big onions." But maybe he is
not. The PA, ever since its creation in 1994, has always been shameful
embodiment of corruption, financial and otherwise. Hundreds, if not
thousands of people, amassed huge wealth, employing shamelessly
unlawful and illegitimate means.
One PA official once told me that
"in order to have the slate clean, the entire structure would have to be
thoroughly destroyed, because corruption has infested every part and every
aspect of the Palestinian Authority."
The West and Israel knew quite
well of the rampant corruption. They actually encouraged it, hoping that the
corrupt PA would be blackmailed and bullied into signing a peace agreement
with Israel, one that would seriously compromise fundamental Palestinian
rights, including the right of return for the refugees and the issue of East
But justice postponed is still better than justice
ignored, and in all cases we should learn from our enemy, Israel, that no
one, irrespective of his status, or stature, is above the law.
Zionists are not more deserving of justice, transparency and clean
governance than us.
None the less, the belated discovery of
Dahlan's implication in corruption, is by no means the man's most scandalous
breach of trust or felony against the Palestinian people.
actively collaborated with Israel against the Palestinian resistance groups
under the rubric of carrying out official policy. He
co-planned and co-plotted and connived with Israel against Hamas. In Gaza ,
he commandeered the notorious firaq al mawt or death squads to
liquidate people he deemed hostile or non-conformist.
2006-2007, he closely colluded and conspired with the Islamophobic
neocons in the Bush Administration to topple and decapitate the
democratically-elected government of Hamas. He wanted to nip Hamas
while still in the bud.
That was the very man who said in an
interview with Radio al Huriiya in the late 2006 that he would rough
up (iy-bahdel in Arabic) any Fatah member who might think of
joining the Hamas' government."
In short, Dahlan was the person who
stood behind the national rift if only by willingly agreeing to carry out
treacherous instructions against Hamas, issued by such notorious
Israel firsters in Washington such Eliot Abrams, to whom Keith Dayton
was answerable. And as we all know, Dahlan was answerable to none other than
Needless to say, it was this murderous, blasphemous,
and nefarious treachery that eventually forced Hamas to defend
itself against "Mission Decapitation."