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Sol Salbe: Media 101 - An Occasional Series

[At first glance the report below looks authentic. The Jerusalem Post is quoting a leading Italian newspaper the Corriere De La Serra, a paper whose reputation is up there with some of the world’s best.

The trouble is that it’s not quite what the Italian paper reported. The paper reported that an Israeli web site, Debka, has made the allegations. If you look below you can work the attribution clearly even without any knowledge of Italian.

Debka does have an occasional gem but, being charitable, fact checking is not its strongest point. It does however have a burrow to push. It is close to the Israeli intelligence community and occasionally does its bidding with the spreading of disinformation. An indication of its agenda is the fact that it maintains that Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction but they are all hidden in Syria. Ergo the US should bomb/invade Syria.

No doubt the Suha Arafat allegations would become established “facts” Indian newspapers are splashing it over their news pages. [They attribute it to the New York Times but I haven’t been able to find it in that paper – maybe it will be there later today.

Debka Hebrew site brags about their international success (that’s where the Italian quote comes from.) Naturally it does not mention it in the English version as that would undermine the credibility of the Jerusalem Post report to the international audience.

Mainstream members of the Jewish community in Australia seem to prefer the conservative Jerusalem Post to the more liberal Haaretz. No doubt they will quote the allegations as fact. It must be true - they read it in the Jerusalem Post. The irony is that it could be true but without proof or a reputable source it is meaningless. - Sol Salbe]

Report: Suha to receive $ 22m. a year from PA
Khaled Abu Toameh
THE JERUSALEM POST
Nov. 11, 2004

Yasser Arafat's widow, Suha, is expected to receive a sum of $22 million a year out of the Palestinian Authority budget, according to the Italian newspaper Corriere De La Serra.

The paper said Suha reached an agreement about the money during a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO's newly elected chairman, who visited while she was staying next to her husband's bed in the French military hospital outside Paris.

It said Abbas personally promised Suha that she would receive $22 million a year to cover her expenses in Paris. The paper noted that in July Arafat transferred to his wife $11 million to cover her living costs for the first six months of the year.

Abbas and the Palestinian leadership were forced to strike the deal with Suha after she refused to allow them to visit her husband in hospital.

The Palestinian leaders reached the conclusion that it would be better to make a deal with her in order to solve the crisis surrounding Arafat's possessions and secret bank accounts.

According to Palestinian officials, the money that Suha is expected to receive will come from secret accounts held by Arafat and his cronies in various countries. They estimated that at least $4 billion were being held in these secret accounts.

This article can also be read - HERE

EREDITA' - Secondo il sito Debka, ritenuto vicino al Mossad, i servizi segreti israeliani, Suha Arafat ha innescato la polemica con i vertici dell'Anp, perché intenderebbe chiedere ai dirigenti palestinesi garanzie circa l'eredità del rais. Suha avrebbe intenzione «di chiedere le loro firme (dei leader palestinesi che oggi si trovano a Parigi) su documenti preparati dal suo avvocato francese, che le garantiscono una eredità plurimilionaria in dollari e una pensione

[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is generously sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

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