Palestinian Family Infighting

As interesting as the report that Arafat “diverted $900 million in public money in 1999 to a special bank account he controlled,” the more peculiar aspect is the name of the person reporting: Karim Nashashibi, the “IMF resident representative in the West Bank and Gaza.”
Why is that peculiar? It has to do with a bit of the history of Palestinian society. Way back before there was a coherent Palestinian national identity–meaning, before the 1940s–the peoples of southern Syria were organized based on family. One of the largest and most powerful families was the Nashashibis, and their history, in brief, can be found here, and I think it is safe to assume that Karim is one of the heirs to their throne.
When Jordan conquered the West Bank and occupied it, the Nashashibis–along with the other powerful families–were placated by being given positions of power. Those positions held up their importance until Jordan relinquished muninciple authority over the West Bank in 1988, and was reborn by the Palestinian Authority, which gave the finance protfolio to Zuhadi Nashashibi. But Zuhadi was replaced by Salam Fayad.
And now, here comes Karim Nashashibi and, according to Hanan Ashwari, begins “a campaign against the president and the (Palestinian) Authority.” Could this mean that the landed gentry of southern Syria has begun to tire of Arafat’s reign, and will take steps against the Authority? I’m not sure, but I would love to hear the answer if someone has it.

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  1. Palestinian Family Infighting

    As interesting as the report that Arafat “diverted $900 million in public money in 1999 to a special bank account he controlled,” the more peculiar aspect is the name of the person reporting: Karim Nashashibi, the “IMF resident representative in…