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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May 16, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

The "Occupation" Deception
    PLO spokesmen frequently justify the intifada violence that Yasser Arafat launched against Israel in September 2000 as "resistance to occupation." The Palestinian argument is baseless, for up to September 2000, by implementing the Oslo Accords, Israel withdrew its military government over the Palestinians and transferred 40 of its powers to the new Palestinian Authority.
    As a result, according to former Prime Minister Barak, 98 percent of the Palestinian people were under a Palestinian government led by Yasser Arafat -- not under Israeli military rule. True, the Palestinians did not have a state, but they weren't under military occupation either. In any case, nothing can justify or offer a "context" for the deliberate use of terrorism against Israeli civilians.
    For fuller treatment, see Dore Gold, "From 'Occupied Territories' to 'Disputed Territories.'"

The Hudaybiyya Agreement
    In his address to the Palestinian legislature, Yasser Arafat again made reference to the Hudaybiyya Agreement. The Hudaybiyya Agreement was a 10-year truce between Mohammed and the tribe of Qureish. After 2 years, when Mohammed had improved his military position, he seized upon an incident between a tribe allied to him and Qureish, and consequently tore up the agreement. Thus Hudaybiyya means a temporary truce that can be violated.
    The intentional reference to Hudaybiyya leaves knowledgable listeners with serious doubts about whether Arafat has changed and is ready for permanent reconciliation with Israel.

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  • Speeches
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  • Daily Alert will not appear on Friday, May 17,
    the Jewish Holiday of Shavuot

    News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Admitting Errors, Arafat Promises a Wave of Reform
    Yasser Arafat responded to growing Palestinian and international pressure for reform by acknowledging mistakes and promising changes to his administration and new elections, though he presented scant details. Abdul Jawad Saleh, a leader of the legislative opposition, waved a copy of a speech that he said Mr. Arafat gave more than a year ago. "It's the same," he said. "Nothing he said last year he has implemented." (New York Times)
        The AP reported: "Legislators listened in silence, his words only acknowledged from time to time with a smattering of applause." (
  • Terror, Lies and Videotape
    Enemies of the United States are using a videotape entitled "The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl," which depicts the murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter, to recruit new soldiers for the cause. The tape is a testament to the depth of the hatred against the United States, not just among terrorists but throughout much of the Arab world. (CBS News)
  • Leader of Hamas: Attacks to Continue
    Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, interviewed on NBC, declared that attacks against Israel will continue, despite a call by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to end such bombings. Yassin added, "We consider all of our homeland is occupied, but regarding the international position, I would accept that, in the first stage, that the Israelis leave the West Bank and Gaza." (MSNBC)
  • Anti-Semitic Riot at San Francisco State University
    After a campus pro-Israel rally by SFSU Hillel members on May 7, drawing some 400 participants, Palestinian supporters descended on a group of 50 students who stayed behind, screaming at the Jews to "Get out or we'll kill you" and "Hitler didn't finish the job."
        SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan reacted strongly: "A small but terribly destructive number of pro-Palestinian demonstrators... abandoned themselves to intimidating behavior and statements too hate-filled to repeat. This group became so threatening... that we interposed a police line between the groups and eventually escorted the Hillel students, and the faculty with them, from the plaza. No one was physically assaulted, but that encounter puts at risk all that we value and represent as a university community." (Jerusalem Post/San Francisco State University)
  • Israel Pursues Focused Attacks
    A series of almost nightly raids by the IDF targeting people accused of involvement in terrorism have been pursued in the West Bank with little publicity since the end of Israel's large-scale offensive. (Washington Post)
  • New Bill Would Toughen Sanctions on PA
    U.S. lawmakers are considering a bill that would impose tough sanctions on the Palestinian leadership. The bill, supported by AIPAC, would restrict Palestinian leaders´ movement in the United States, and limit the reasons the U.S. president could use to avoid imposing sanctions. (JTA)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Voice of Terror Victims Speaks Out
    South African-born Sharon Evans of Ashkelon has been traveling the world to raise money for the Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund-One Family, which has been providing financial and other support to terror victims and their families since the beginning of the intifada. Her 20-year-old daughter, Monique Goldwasser, has undergone eight major operations since being run down by a Palestinian bus driver last February. (Ha'aretz)
  • New Saudi Anti-Americanism: "You Will Vanish"
    A columnist for the Saudi government English daily The Saudi Gazette responded to President Bush's demand that Arab leaders cease calling suicide bombers "martyrs": "In case you do not have the time or stamina, let me tell you this: we are as old as the stone that Jesus walked on, pure as the water Muhammad was given to wash for prayer from, and severe as the laws Moses brought down from the Mount. You will vanish, but we will remain." (Saudi Gazette/MEMRI)
  • Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Culture of Martyrdom - David Brooks
    Suicide bombers go through indoctrination processes similar to the ones that were used by the leaders of the Jim Jones and Solar Temple cults. They are told that their families will be guaranteed a place with God, and that there are also considerable rewards for their families in this life. Finally, the bombers are told that paradise lies just on the other side of the detonator. (Atlantic Monthly)
  • The Saudi’s Con Game - What “Special Relationship”? - Jerry Taylor
    The Saudis, no matter what they might like us to believe, are not doing us any favors by selling us oil at $24 a barrel that, without the collusion, would probably go for no more than a third of that. Threats that the Saudis might turn hostile if we don't change course in the Middle East are laughable -- they went hostile a long time ago. (National Review)
  • Chomsky's Immoral Divestiture Petition - Alan M. Dershowitz
    Who is Noam Chomsky and why is he seeking to compel universities to divest from corporations that have ties to Israel? (The Tech - MIT)
  • Talking Points:

    From Briefing by IDF Central Command on the Current Situation, May 15, 2002

    • The Palestinian Authority continues to function. In the Church of Nativity standoff every action was carried out with the Chairman's approval and consent.
    • The terror infrastructures are attempting to rebuild themselves. The rate at which they recover will depends on our ability to operate. We are determined to operate everywhere to stop and delay the development of the infrastructures.
    • In the past few days IDF forces have captured both terrorist suicide bombers and their dispatchers.
    • The Palestinian Authority has the ability to stop suicide bombers. The Palestinian security services in Gaza are completely intact. The question is, does it want to? There is no such will nor any operation to stop terror activities.

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