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DAILY ALERT
May 14, 2002


Daily Alert is sponsored by the Fairness Project

In-Depth Issue:

Deciphering the Likud's Policy Debate
   Regardless of the political drama and discord over the Likud Central Committee's vote against Palestinian statehood, there is actually a strong security consensus over certain fundamental elements of Israel's future policy.
   All recognize that the West Bank is a highly sensitive strategic area adjacent to the densely-populated Israeli coastal plain. In addition to protective buffer zones for Israel, certain security provisions would need to apply:

  •   Any emerging Palestinian political entity would have to be demilitarized. In order to enforce demilitarization, Israel would have to control the eastern perimeter of the West Bank along the Jordan Valley.
  •   A future Palestinian political entity could not sign defense treaties with hostile states like Iraq and Iran, or import weaponry from them.
  •  Israel must preserve control of the West Bank's airspace in order to have the minimal warning time necessary for an effective defense of Israel's cities.
       The critical diplomatic question for Israeli governments is whether these security provisions could be obtained by Israel in a future negotiation over Palestinian statehood or whether statehood, by definition, implies the very powers for a Palestinian political entity that Israel is seeking to curb.
       The Likud policy debate is over diplomatic strategy, not security.

    Useful Reference:

    Israeli Washington Embassy Report: Saudi Arabia Supports Terrorism
        The Saudi Arabian government has contributed $135 million to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

    An Impossible Occupation - Scott Anderson
        With an IDF paratroop reconnaissance unit during Operation Defensive Shield (New York Times Magazine)

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    Key Links: Media Lists

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    The Washington Rally for Israel
  • Speeches
  • Photos
  • News Resources - USA and Europe:
  • Exile of Palestinian Militants Ends Reign of Terror Against Christians
    Bethlehem residents are expressing relief at the exile to Cyprus of 13 hard-core Palestinian militants, who they said had imposed a two-year reign of terror that included rape, extortion, and executions. Palestinians living near the Church of the Nativity described the group as a criminal gang that preyed especially on Palestinian Christians, demanding "protection money" from the main businesses, which make and sell religious artifacts. "Finally the Christians can breathe freely," said one woman. "We are so delighted that these criminals who have intimidated us for such a long time are now going away." The gang apparently operated under the full protection of Yasser Arafat's Fatah organization and Tanzim, its military wing. Its members often fired into the nearby Israeli suburb of Gilo from church grounds and the homes of Palestinian Christians in Beit Jala. (Washington Times)
        See also Christians Speed Exodus from Bethlehem (Washington Post); also Inside the Siege of Bethlehem (Newsweek)
  • Palestinians Raise the Pressure on Arafat
    Suddenly, after eight years of Palestinian rule, Yasser Arafat, faces a rising chorus of demands from abroad and within to alter the structure and operating style of his administration and multiple security agencies. Some Palestinians, who have long complained of corruption, cronyism and inefficiency among Arafat's approximately 40 ministers, refer to the Palestinian Authority as "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." (Washington Post)
  • Congress Pushes for More Aid for Israel -- and the Palestinians
    Congress is poised to provide $200 million in additional aid to Israel, as well as $50 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. The money for the Palestinians will not be given directly to the Palestinian Authority, but will instead be controlled by the U.S. Agency for International Development. (JTA News)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Arafat's Terror Link Confirmed -- Again
    Captured senior Fatah Tanzim leader Nasser Abu Hamid has told his Shin Bet security agency interrogators that funding for payments to senior terrorists came from the PA treasury through Marwan Barghouti, commander of the Tanzim Aksa Martyrs Brigades. Hamid said he had to fill out forms asking Arafat to provide the funding, and Arafat had to sign the requests prior to payment. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Only 1.7% of the West Bank is Built-up Settlement Area
    The built-up areas of Israeli settlements cover only 1.7 percent of the territory of the West Bank, according to a new report by B'Tselem. If the area covered by settlements is measured by their municipal boundaries -- beyond the built-up area -- the geographic size of the settlements reaches 6.8 percent of the West Bank. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Saudi-Terror Subsidy - David Tell
    The archives of Saudi Arabia's Washington Embassy website document how millions have already been disbursed "to the families of those martyred" -- meaning suicide bombers. The Israelis have also captured and now made public spreadsheets exhaustively chronicling the "third payment cycle" of the Saudi Interior Ministry's intifada "charity." These documents establish in deadpan bureaucratese that the slush fund rewarded the family of Sufian Jabarin, the man who blew up the Number 26 bus in Jerusalem on August 21, 1995, killing Joan Davenny. There you have it. The Saudi royal family, according to its own internal records, has just recently paid a hefty cash prize for the murder of a U.S. citizen. (Weekly Standard)
  • The Real American "Plot" - Shlomo Avineri
    When one looks more closely at the Saudi proposal, one notices that not once did it mention negotiations. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Saudi Oil: How Strategic? - S. Fred Singer
    Under the most extreme scenario of a new regime arising in Saudi Arabia that is unfriendly to the U.S., world oil prices could rise to $65 a barrel, about $40 above the present price -- at least for several months, until demand moderates and new supplies come on line. The impact would be devastating for developing nations, but the price rise would have little effect on the U.S., raising the price of gasoline at the pump by only $1 a gallon and hardly affecting the price of electricity, which is mostly produced by coal, nuclear, and hydro. In case of such a takeover and major price jump, the affected world community may feel compelled to "liberate" the wells of Arabia and restore production, declaring the oil resource to be the "Common Heritage of Mankind." (The author is a noted expert on oil markets and a Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.) (Washington Times)
  • It's Too Early for a Palestine State - Avi Davis
    The decision of the Likud Party's Central Committee in Israel to reject the concept of a Palestinian state reflects the prevailing mood of the Israeli right and a growing acceptance on the left that the Palestinians have forfeited a right to statehood. (LA Times)
  • Where is al-Qaeda Going? -- A New Study - Reuven Paz
    (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Jeningrad - Tom Gross
    Now even the Palestinian Authority has admitted that there was no massacre in Jenin. (National Review)
  • Talking Points:

    Saudi Arabian Peace Initiative Evaporates: Saudis Return to Anti-Jewish Themes

    Crown Prince Abdallah hardened the Saudi line in his interview with Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat on May 11, 2002:

  • He now insists on the "right of return":
    "The return of refugees is also a must."
  • He demonstrates no willingness to compromise on borders:
    "A withdrawal is not enough, there must be a return to the pre-1967 aggression lines and an end to the occupation of Jerusalem so that it becomes the capital of Palestine."
  • Saudi Incitement Against the Jewish People: Saudi Arabian TV2 broadcast a live mosque sermon from Medina by Shaykh Hasan Al al-Shaykh on May 2:
  • "O God, strengthen Muslims everywhere. Oh God, destroy the Jews and their supporters." Anti-Jewish themes were also carried in a mosque sermon from Mecca broadcast on Saudi Arabian TV1.
       (Translation by US Foreign Broadcast Information Service/IMRA)

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