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December 14, 1990 - Image 64

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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PLO Drug Sales, lntifada

Are Linked, Says Expert

GARTH WOLKOFF

Special to The Jewish News

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llegal drugs produced by
Syria and the Palestine
Liberation Organization
are helping finance the in-
tifada and terrorism
worldwide, according to an
Israeli narcotics expert.
Those drugs are the latest
wrinkle in their ongoing at-
tempt to destabilize Israel,
says Rachel Ehrenfeld,
whose book Narco-Terror-
ism was published last mon-
th by Basic Books.
The PLO allegedly sells
the drugs — heroin, cocaine,
opium and hashish — on
international markets, as
well as inside Israel, accor-
ding to Ms. Ehrenfeld.
Proceeds from those sales
by Palestinians now provide
a sizeable income source for
the PLO, and go directly to
support the 3-year-old upris-
ing in the territories, as well
as other PLO operations,
declares Ms. Ehrenfeld, now
a New York University
research scholar and expert
in "narco-terrorism,"
defined as the use of drugs as
a political weapon.
That "money is used to
buy arms and safe houses, to
pay for propaganda, to fi-
nance publications, to fund

Garth Wolkoff is a reporter for
the Northern California Jew-
ish Bulletin, where this article
first appeared.

all their activities" in-
cluding the closing of Arab
shops during PLO- man-
dated strikes in Israel proper
and the territories.
Ms. Ehrenfeld estimates
that the PLO earns $150
million annually from nar-
cotic sales, a big boost to the
$600 million it collects each
year from Arab nations.
Drug sales are particularly
important to the PLO now,
Ms. Ehrenfeld says, because
Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein has curtailed fun-
ding to the Palestinians be-
cause its funding sources
here dried up since the start
of the Persian Gulf crisis and
the invasion of Kuwait.
Arab countries that
formerly contributed to the
PLO's budget, such as Saudi
Arabia, have cut their con-
tributions because the Pa-
lestinians have supported
Iraq.
Syrian coffers purportedly
are being filled even faster
by drug sales, with Syria us-
ing the proceeds to finance
terrorism directed toward
Israel in particular and the
West in general.
Although the United
States has full knowledge of
Syria's drug trafficking, it
hasn't branded Syrian pres-
ident Hafez Assad or ar-
rested him as it did
Panama's Manuel Noriega
"because it's inconvenient
politically," charges Ms.
Ehrenfeld, who has been
interviewed on a ABC-TV's

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