Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

June 24, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

George Tenet: Bush's Middle East Envoy
    CIA Director George Tenet, the Bush administration's de facto envoy to the Middle East, began mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict six years ago. After a spate of Hamas suicide bombings rocked the peace process in early 1996, Tenet -- then CIA deputy director -- was sent to help Yasser Arafat combat the terrorists by professionalizing the Palestinian security forces.
    In October 1998, when former President Bill Clinton dragged Benjamin Netanyahu to Wye River to revive the faltering Oslo process, Tenet (by then CIA director) was present throughout the nine-day-long talks. Netanyahu only agreed to additional Israeli withdrawals because Tenet assured him he would personally oversee Arafat's crackdown on terrorism.
    After an initial six months in which the George W. Bush administration tried to distance itself from the Israeli-Palestinian train wreck, a hideous June 2001 bombing at a Tel Aviv discotheque led Bush to turn to Tenet -- the only prominent peace processor left over from the Clinton administration -- to forestall massive Israeli retaliation.
    In the absence of a peace process, Tenet's security process -- his ongoing efforts to get Israeli and Palestinian security officials to cooperate to prevent terrorism -- became the only game in town.
    According to the oft-repeated formulation, the parties had to agree to "Tenet" (the security agreement) before they could proceed to "Mitchell" (the road map to talks about land-for-peace).
    But the parties never really got to Tenet -- the violence never stopped for very long -- and the CIA director kept shuttling back to the region to put his finger in the dike. (New Republic)


Useful Reference:

Comparison of Palestinian and Israeli Fatalities

  • Over 50 percent of the Palestinians killed were actively involved in fighting. Almost 80 percent of those killed on the Israeli side have been noncombatants.
  • Women and girls account for almost 40 percent of the Israeli noncombatants killed by Palestinians. In contrast, over 95 percent of Palestinian fatalities are male.
  • Palestinians have killed at least 154 noncombatant Israelis aged 40 and over, while 69 Palestinian noncombatants in the same age bracket have been killed. (International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism - Herzliya)


    Key Links

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  • News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Israeli Counteroffensive
    IDF helicopters killed the Hamas commander in the Rafah area of the southern Gaza Strip early Monday. IDF tanks and troops also surrounded PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, and are continuing searches in other major Palestinian cities for terrorists and weapons. (New York Times)
  • Bush Plan for Palestinian Statehood Questioned
    It's time for Arafat "to step aside," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., on CBS's "Face the Nation." "I don't know how you can create a Palestinian state at the moment with all of the violence that's going on, all of the terrorist attacks," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., on ABC's "This Week." Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., noted: "Arafat is not a partner in this process. He cannot be a partner." (FOX News/MSNBC)
  • Support Ebbs for Palestinian State
    Support for the creation of a Palestinian state has fallen to near its lowest point in eleven years -- from 39% in May to 34% in June, while opposition rose from 30% to 32%. (CBS News)
  • Saudis Boycott U.S. Goods
    A sharp fall in U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia has resulted from a boycott of U.S. goods by Saudis, diplomats and economists report. Campaigners wearing Palestinian checkered headscarves distribute leaflets at mosques, schools, and shopping malls urging Saudis to boycott U.S. products, reflecting the depth of anti-U.S. sentiment in the conservative Muslim kingdom. (Reuters)
  • At the Hadassah Trauma Unit in Jerusalem
    At the Hadassah Ein Kerem trauma unit, a young woman was brought in after the bus blast, fully conscious and with barely a scratch, but Dr. Avi Rivkind could tell within seconds that her condition was grave, recognizing the signs of massive internal injuries. There was a preternatural calm about her, he recalls, an eerie stillness. “You could look into the face, hear the voice, see how she was slowing down.” (Newsweek)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Hizballah Gunfire Damages Homes in North
    Hizballah gunfire damaged a number of homes in the Galilee Panhandle on Sunday, the third such attack in a week. Hizballah has accumulated more than 8,000 katyusha rockets and longer-range Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets capable of reaching Haifa. Israel has repeatedly warned Lebanon and Syria that it would not tolerate the continued shelling. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Gaza Kindergarten Graduation Celebrates Lynching of Jews
    Sunday's Maariv includes a photo of a young Palestinian girl at her kindergarten graduation holding up hands dipped in red paint in emulation of the scene at the lynching of two Jewish reservists in Ramallah. The children also burned an Israeli flag and paraded with plastic rifles. Education Minister Limor Livnat plans to ask UNESCO to end its financial support for such Palestinian Authority education programs. [See photo of child holding up "bloody" hands; article is in Hebrew] (Maariv)
  • Mortars Hit Synagogue, School
    Five mortars fired by Palestinians in Gaza landed in a Jewish community in the southern Gush Katif district on Monday, damaging a synagogue and a school but causing no injuries. (Ma'ariv)
  • CNN to Stop Covering Suicide Bombers' Families
    The change in policy was announced by CNN's chief news executive, Eason Jordan, following a recent incident when CNN broadcast less than a minute of an interview with an Israeli woman who lost her mother and daughter in an attack in Petah Tikva, and then spent several minutes talking about the plight of the suicide bomber's mother. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also CNN to Stop Broadcasting Pretaped Statements by Suicide Bombers (New York Times); CNN's Chain of Bias (Jerusalem Post)
        CNN has announced a week-long, prime-time series on Israeli victims of terror to be broadcast by Wolf Blitzer, June 24-28 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Israeli Peace Camp Leader Breaks with Arafat - Sari Makover
    Knesset Opposition leader Yossi Sarid of Meretz has no more time for Yasser Arafat. "I simply reached the conclusion that there was absolutely no connection between what Arafat told me directly and what actually occurred....I realized there was no point in meeting and talking with him, and since I'm a busy person, I've stopped this....I see no possibility of negotiating with Arafat these days." (Maariv)
  • "Understand" Palestinian Suicide Murderers - Shlomo Avineri
    Who could be more desperate than the Jewish people after the Holocaust? Yet young Jewish people did not go about killing innocent European children on buses in post-1945 Europe. Nor were they encouraged by their leaders to do so. Only among Palestinian youth -- and among the relatively well-off Egyptians and Saudis who committed the September 11 massacres -- have feelings of frustration, anger, and alienation transformed themselves into a murderous rage. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Killing Mantra - Diana West
    Where are the demands to dismantle the PA's poisonous propaganda machine? As de-Nazification was once required, "de-martyrfication" is one of today's most urgent challenges. (Washington Times)
  • The Real Nazis - Jonah Goldberg
    The Arab world is the only place on this planet which bears a reasonable resemblance to Germany in the 1930s. The Palestinians are the Arab world's Sudeten Germans. The "liberation" of their coreligionists and ethnic brothers is used as a utopian carrot guiding brainwashed donkey after brainwashed donkey to murder and suicide. (National Review)
  • Don't-Rock-The-Boat Diplomacy - Jackson Diehl
    How about conditioning aid to Egypt, as to the Palestinian Authority, on respect for the rule of law and an end to hate-mongering by the state media? Why shouldn't Arab states be pressed to commit themselves formally to guaranteeing basic political and religious rights? (Washington Post)
  • Are We Our Brothers' Keepers? - Editorial
    Israelis who live on the settlements are people with the same rights as anyone else. Their communities were built by successive Israeli governments, both Labor and Likud. The settlers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are our brothers and sisters. It is time we started treating them as such. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Talking Points:

    Explaining Israel's Case - Words That Work

    • The side that seems to want peace more will win the support of the non-aligned American public.
    • Nothing will build support for Israel more than linking it to the culture and values of the United States.
    • Challenge Arafat's policies, methods, and actions, but do not question his authority -- at least not initially.
    • Contrast Arafat's aggression and dishonesty with the constructive cooperation of other well-known and respected Arab leaders such as Anwar Sadat and King Hussein.
    • Just as every American foreign policy issue during the Cold War was examined in the context of the Soviet threat, every Israeli foreign affairs question must now be viewed through the prism of the war on terrorism and the preservation of freedom. (Luntz Research)


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