I’m not sure why politicians think they can get away with major indiscretions, without repercussions of some kind. And it’s not just western politicians who believe they are above reproach, every country has had their scandals and it looks like Palestine is the latest. This time it is one of President Mahmoud Abbas’ aides who has been accused of sexual harassment. Of course, all those Palestinians who hate Abbas’ supposedly more moderate politics, as opposed to Hamas’ thug, terrorist tactics, are more then likely delighted about the juicy details of a sex scandal and corruption coming out of the West Bank. I’m sure they have been praying for a Hamas-led Palestine, rather than a Fatah/PA-shared Palestine. But it seems that Abbas’ bureau chief, Rafik al-Husseini, has been a very naughty boy and it was all caught on tape by the alleged victim. And it isn’t only sex, there have been allegations of major corruption, as well.
A leading Israeli television channel Wednesday evening broadcast a tape allegedly showing the head of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office trying to receive sexual favours from a Palestinian woman. The tape was handed to Israel’s Channel 10 by Fahmi Shabaneh, a former member of the Palestinian intelligence from East Jerusalem, who also alleged that PA officials have stolen huge sums of money given as donations to the PA by European and Arab countries.
The tape shows a man who Shabaneh identifies as Rafik al-Husseini, Abbas’ bureau chief, undressing and getting naked into the woman’s bed where he waits for her – until Shabaneh, who had been on a stake-out, walks in.
The woman had earlier complained to Shabaneh about al-Husseini’s alleged repeated attempts to seduce her and he had advised her to install a hidden camera in her home.
Al-Husseini had allegedly offered the woman jobs in his office in return for her sexual favours.
As expected, there were outraged denials which forced Shabaneh to hand over the tape to the TV station as proof. Shabaneh also claimed there were death threats made against him if he went public. And, I’m sure it wasn’t the sex scandal that was so problematic, but the allegations of corruption. After all, what countries would be happy knowing the aid money they were giving to Palestine was lining the pockets of politicians. In fact, Shabaneh stated that
.. if large foreign donors such as Qatar reviewed the documented proof he was holding in his hands – allegedly showing the theft by certain Palestinian officials of huge sums of money donated to the Palestinian Authority – they would no longer pay “not one dinar, not one dollar.”
And I don’t blame them. Why should foreign aid support the often lavish lifestyles of Palestinian officials? And it’s not like this is anything new. Yasser Arafat’s corruption was well-known, including his infamous Swiss bank account and nothing has changed since his death. The world in trying to help the Palestinian people have been paying the corrupt leaders. Had the money been going where it was meant to be, Palestine wouldn’t be in as much of a mess as it is now.