Sex tape, 'Palestinian' styleRemember the sex tape that Fatah whistleblower Fahmi Shebaneh (pictured) threatened to release last week? Well, he released it, and it was shown on cable television's Channel 10 here on Wednesday night. That's shaken up the 'Palestinians' a little bit.
Palestinian officials on Friday rallied around a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after a video surfaced showing him in the nude in an alleged attempt to trade his influence for sex.But this tape is apparently just the tip of iceberg - something to whet our curiosity.
The footage of Rafiq Husseini, shot by a former Palestinian intelligence officer, has raised an uproar in conservative Palestinian society.
In the video, broadcast by Israeli TV earlier this week, Husseini is shown undressing in a bedroom and calling out to an unseen woman, heard speaking off camera, to join him. "Do I turn off the light or do you? What is the procedure?" Husseini is heard asking the woman.
The former Palestinian intelligence officer, Fahmi Shabaneh, said he secretly took the footage in collusion with the unidentified woman. He said the woman had complained to him that Husseini was making suggestive remarks when she went to his office to ask for help with a family problem. Shabaneh said he then installed cameras in the woman's bedroom and filmed Husseini's next encounter with the woman.
The video was first broadcast by Israel's Channel 10 TV on Wednesday, and Husseini has declined comment. He was expected to present his case later Friday on Palestine TV.
Abbas, who is traveling in the Far East and due back in the West Bank on Monday, has not commented.
In the Channel 10 broadcast, Shabaneh produces documents allegedly showing that Palestinian Authority officials have stolen millions of dollars in public funds.I'd love to get Shebaneh in front of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees so that the American taxpayers (and the Europeans - but they'd never have the guts to ask) can find out where all their money has been going.
The TV report did not name the officials who allegedly stole the money, but said they include Abbas confidants. It said one method was to overbill the Palestinian government for real estate purchases made in its name.
Corruption was rampant under Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004.
Abbas' prime minister, respected economist Salam Fayyad, is credited with cleaning up public finances in the Palestinian Authority since Arafat's death. Fayyad handles hundreds of millions of dollars in money from donor countries every year and publishes details on government spending.
Palestinian anti-corruption campaigners said that while nepotism still exists in the Palestinian Authority, money is now tightly controlled.
Let them try to blame the Israelis for that. Heh.
In the second picture, the guy waving his hand is David Welch, then US Assistant Secretary of State. Welch was on his way into a meeting with Abu Bluff in November 2007 with none other than Rafiq Husseini. I wonder if Husseini has lost some weight or grown some hair since then. Heh.