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 24, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Don't be Fooled by the Relative Lull: Palestinian Terrorists Seek Major Escalation
    Since Operation Defensive Shield, several homicide bombers have been intercepted before they could carry out their attacks or have died in "work accidents."
    While the bombings this week in Rishon Lezion and Netanya did not cause the major casualties on the scale of previous suicide bombings, terrorist organizations are planning major strategic attacks on an unprecedented scale.

  • The attempted bombing of the Pi Glilot gas tank farm yesterday was designed to cause a massive fireball with catastrophic effects on the surrounding highways and apartment complexes.
  • Last week a senior IDF officer revealed Palestinian plans to detonate a truck loaded with a ton of explosives in the underground parking garage of the Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv.
  • The IDF uncovered a plan by terrorist organizations to simultaneously attack seven coastal cities.
  • Israeli security forces remain on high alert against a terrorist mega-attack.
        The Palestinian Authority has done nothing to discourage or block the planning or carrying out of new attacks.

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  • News Resources - USA and Europe:
  • Iraqi Invasion Put on Hold
    The Bush administration still appears dedicated to the goal of removing the Iraqi leader from power, but partly in response to the military's advice, it is focusing more on undermining him through covert intelligence operations. (Washington Post)
  • Bush Urges Europe to Deal With Saddam; Calls on Russia to Stop Arming Iran
    President Bush told European leaders Thursday, "We've got to use all means at our disposal to deal with Saddam Hussein," and urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to sever nuclear ties with Iran. "If you arm Iran, you're liable to get the weapons pointed at you." (Newsday/AP)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Security Guard Foils Attack on Tel Aviv Nightclub
    Early Friday morning, a quick-thinking security guard shot a terrorist as he tried to enter a Tel Aviv nightclub, preventing a major tragedy. The guard spotted the terrorist's vehicle speeding toward the entrance to the club, shouted to the guests to lie on the floor, and opened fire. The vehicle exploded, lightly wounding 5 people. (Israel Radio)
  • IDF Destroys Rocket Plant in Gaza
    IDF forces destroyed a factory for the manufacture of Kassam rockets Thursday night, during an operation in Gaza City. During the past week, two Kassam rockets were fired at Israeli settlements in Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
  • Grenade Found in Foreign Journalist's Car
    Israel security forces discovered a fragmentation grenade in a car belonging to a foreign reporter traveling in the Gush Katif bloc in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • A New Approach to the Middle East - William Kristol
    It is time for the United States to rethink its relationship with Riyadh. In addition to the September 11 attackers, a large proportion--perhaps as high as 80 percent, according to some reports--of the "detainees" taken from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay are Saudis. We are now at war--at war with terror and its sponsor, radical Islam. And in this war, the Saudi regime is more part of the problem than part of the solution. (Testimony of May 22, 2002, before the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia) (Weekly Standard)
  • Why Middle America Loves Israel - Greg Garrison
    Numerous denominations of Protestants have begun placing more emphasis on the uniquely Jewish beginnings of our own faith and, as a now-popular bumper sticker proclaims, we discovered that "my boss is a Jewish carpenter." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Land Without a Name - Dov B. Fischer
    The Arab world does not even have a name for the West Bank. "Palestine" is the name the ancient Romans gave the Land of Israel in the year 135. During the British Mandate the Jews were known as the "Palestinians," and the American support group for Menachem Begin's nationalist Irgun underground called itself "The American League for a Free Palestine." (National Review)
  • The Last of the Patriarchs - Aluf Benn
    Israelis have stubbornly clung to 74-year-old national father Ariel Sharon, one of the few figures remaining from Israel's early days. Sharon has profited from two precious assets: a national consensus over Arafat's blame for the failure of the peace process, and a strong popular belief that the Palestinians are indeed out to destroy Israel. (Foreign Affairs)
  • The Message in the Palestinian Maps - Jeff Jacoby
    All of the Palestinian agencies, publications, organizations, and web sites show maps of Palestine that encompass all of Israel. Palestinians and Israelis will never know peace until the word ''Israel'' appears on Palestinian maps. (Boston Globe)
  • Why I Won�t Talk to the BBC - Douglas Davis
    Would I, asked the BBC researcher, be available to discuss whether Israel is a morally repugnant society? The BBC has become the principal agent for reinfecting British society with the virus of anti-Semitism. (The author is the London correspondent of the Jerusalem Post.) (Spectator-UK)
  • Protesting Middle East Coverage - Brooke Gladstone
    The day after a rally of several hundred thousand pro-Israeli marchers, the New York Times ran a large photograph with a sign saying "End the Occupation." (NPR/WNYC)
  • Talking Points:

    Damning Documents Showing Palestinian Authority Support for Terrorism -- Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz

    Israeli intelligence experts, sifting through a treasure trove of documents seized in Operation Defensive Shield, have so far compiled 20 volumes of evidence on Palestinian Authority support for terrorism.

    • Yasser Arafat was deeply involved in even minor financial affairs. He made out checks to the Al-Aqsa Brigades and the Tanzim militia when they began to carry out suicide attacks.
    • The leader of the Tanzim, Marwan Barghouti, whose interrogation in Israel is continuing, was directly involved in terrorism.
    • Palestinian intelligence organizations are highly involved in terrorism. Additionally, they warned Hamas and Islamic Jihad about impending Israeli operations.
    • The involvement of the Fatah organization in terrorism is supported by the written documents.
    • Funds received from donor countries found their way to terrorist groups such as the Tanzim and the Al-Aqsa Brigades.

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