Arab-owned banks holding Palestinian Authority accounts have begun trying to persuade the PA to withdraw its money, apparently out of fear that the U.S.and Western European countries will impose sanctions against them for holding terrorist funds. The process, which started following the Hamas election victory in January, picked up speed ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the Hamas government last week.
The Arab banks, some of which are large and have numerous branches around the world, are concerned not only about possible actions against them by governments, but also about the possibility that individuals or organizations will sue them for aiding and abetting terror.
Another question regards control of the PA money that Yasser Arafat held in banks abroad. According to various reports, those accounts hold hundreds of millions of dollars, and the PA leadership under Abbas has never reported publicly on their whereabouts.Reading this reminded me of V.S.Naipaul speakeing shortly after 911,
Since the mid-70's he has been on a short list of Nobel candidates, but even as his artistic reputation grew, he has been regarded as a provocative figure partly because of his outspoken comments on Islam and emerging nations. In conversation Mr. Naipaul said that the attack on the World Trade Center was ''truly horrific,'' and asked, ''How can you overcome terrorism if you have terrorist allies?'' He added that there was no hope until Islam was reclaimed as ''a religion of conscience.''
''If you are someone's guest in a country,'' he continued, ''how can you do this to your host? Surely you violate every precept, even of the ancient world. Extreme measures have to be taken.'' Terrorism was an act of nihilism and ''feeds on money,'' he said, adding,. ''If the money is taken away, it will disappear.''