REVOLUTION and wealth do not meet. Revolution lives in trenches, while wealth lives in hotels. If they meet at one table, there is a big question that must be answered – Whose revolution is this when its leaders accumulate wealth at the expense of the blood of the people?
Since the beginning of the Palestinian revolution in the 1960s, we have known a group of leaders who did not suffer like the rest of their people, starting with Yasser Arafat, to Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal. All of them did not dust their shoes in the soil of the military bases where their fighters were deployed in a number of Arab countries.
In 1973, Israel assassinated leaders of some organizations in the Lebanese capital Beirut. I mean Muhammad Yousef Al-Najjar, Kamal Nasser, and Kamal Adwan in the elegant Verdun area. At that time, refugee camps spread over all the Lebanese land were shantytowns.
They were not the only ones who gave up the misery of their people. Ali Hassan Salamah, known as Abu Hassan Salamah, the intelligence official of the Fatah movement was also killed near his home in that area. Also, the assassination of Abu Jihad and Abu Iyad took place in one of the most prestigious areas, Hammamet, in the Tunisian capital. The leader of As-Sa’iqa Movement Zuhair Mohsen was killed in the French city of Cannes where he was spending his vacation.
The leaders of the Palestinian revolution who were not killed ended up dying in their beds and leaving behind a huge fortune for their children, including Yasser Arafat, whose wealth was estimated at a few billion dollars which he bequeathed to his wife and daughter.
Therefore, we are not surprised to learn that Ismail Haniyeh’s bill in a Doha hotel came to around a million dollars for the eleven days he spent in that hotel during the last conflict in Gaza.
This happened at a time when the Palestinians were being roasted with Israeli fire power. At that time, Haniyeh was spending time in saunas and savoring delicious food while uttering slogans and claiming delusional victories. His counterpart Khaled Meshaal continues to live in a luxurious house. He has not wasted any point of race for Palestine, which he will liberate from the river to the sea, as he claims, even though he is thousands of kilometers away from it.
All revolutionary movements have won their wars … but that is because its leaders did not leave the trenches. They lived like any fighter, just like Fidel Castro who remained with his comrades in the forests until the independence of Cuba.
It is also reported that the Vietnamese General Giap chose to sleep on the floor in the apartment of a Vietnamese student in Paris during the negotiations with the Americans over his country’s independence. He rejected the State Department’s offer to accommodate him in a luxury hotel in the French capital.
If the revolution was free of the suspicion of wealth, the Palestinian issue would not have reached the corridors of settlements. The PLO would not have split into 18 factions, divided between leftists and the Muslim Brotherhood Group, Baathists, Nasserists, Arab nationalists, and others. Each of them are seeking to monopolize the rhetoric of liberation in a manner that generates wealth.
Also, the revolution wouldn’t have reached the point of hawking at the gates of state capitals. In fact, there wouldn’t be fighters of those factions launching their famous slogan to express the transformation of the Palestinian struggle when the PLO became a de-facto authority in Lebanon.
Therefore, all the talk about victory in the last conflict, in which innocent Palestinians in Gaza incurred a heavy price in lives and properties, is feign intended to obtain more money. This is due to the fact that the revolution is in fact a revolution to the last dollar, which means its leaders are seeking to increase their wealth.
These leaders, with their greed, have become like the one who drinks from the sea … the more he drinks, the thirstier he becomes.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times