PALESTINIANS: The Well-Heeled Guerrillas

When Syrian forces began attacking Palestinian troops and their Muslim leftist allies during the Lebanon civil war, a worried Yasser Arafat flew to Saudi Arabia seeking help. To the dismay of the Palestine Liberation Organization leader, the Riyadh government refused to intervene with Damascus. But as a kind of consolation prize, Crown Prince Fahd expansively wrote Arafat a check for $5 million.

That modest gift—no strings attached—was in addition to the $25 million that the Saudis annually fork over to fedayeen organizations. Depending on their oil wealth, other Arab states chip in with similar but smaller tokens of support, while...

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