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 31, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Saddam Buys Popularity in Jenin
    The Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian group loyal to Saddam Hussein, is handing out $25,000 checks to families who lost their homes in Jenin. Thirty awards have been made so far and another 30 to 40 will be made next week.
    The families will not have to use the money to rebuild their homes since that expense is already being covered by UNRWA, thanks to a promise of $25 million from the United Arab Emirates. "The Iraqi money is a gift, no more than that. They can put the money in their back pockets, or build another house," said Saddam's agent, Mahmoud Besharat.
    The ALF is also doling out generous bounties for the dead and injured in the 20-month intifada. Payments are on a strict scale: $500 for a wound, $1,000 for disablement, $10,000 for death as a "martyr," and $25,000 for a suicide bomber.
    The rules for rewarding suicide attackers are strict: only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. This has angered the parents of six young men from Jenin who went to the nearby Israeli town of Afula with a gun and opened fire, only to be shot dead themselves.
    On being told that they merited only the $10,000 reward for an ordinary martyr, they complained to the Iraqi embassy in Jordan and sent a telegram to Saddam.
    Overall, the donations are generating enthusiastic support for Saddam and contempt for Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian Authority leaders, who have been accused by some Palestinians of skimming off international aid for personal use.
    (Boston Globe/Daily Telegraph)
    For more information, see "Arafat's Iraqi Connection."
    (Jerusalem Center)

Useful Reference:

  • Twenty Facts about Israel
  • Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict

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  • News Resources - USA and Europe:
  • House Approves $200 Million in Emergency Aid for Israel
    The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $200 million for Israel's counterterrorism effort. The bill also includes $50 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinians. (JTA)
  • Extradite Bethlehem Killers of American
    More than 50 Congressmen have written to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, urging him to indict and extradite two of the Palestinian Arab terrorists from Bethlehem who were involved in the murder of American citizen Avi Boaz on January 15, 2002. The two were among the terrorists who occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem last month, and now reside in Europe. The letter to Ashcroft was initiated by U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-OK), House Majority Leader Rep. Richard Armey (R-TX), and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). (ZOA)
        See also "Congressmen Seek Terrorists� Extradition." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Poll of U.S. Muslims: Only a Third Blame Al Qaeda for 9/11
    Other findings: 43 percent believe that U.S. military action in Afghanistan was unjustified; one-third describe U.S. response to 9/11 as a "war on Islam." Of the 500 Muslims polled, 1 in 3 were born in an Arabic-speaking country, 1 in 6 in Pakistan, 30 percent are American-born. (Hamilton College)
  • Fake Bomb Directions Set to Backfire
    Palestinians are distributing leaflets with step-by-step recipes for homemade explosives -- but some flyers may be Israeli fakes meant to trick would-be terrorists into blowing themselves up. "In the past, intelligence has distributed material that gives instructions on how to make a bomb, with the correct instructions changed so that it will detonate in the hands of the makers," a source said. (New York Daily News)
  • Settlements Expanding Under Sharon
    In the past few months, Israeli settlement agencies and settler organizations have set up the nuclei of three dozen new settlements, according to two Israeli groups that monitor construction and oppose the program. Government spokesman Raanan Gissin said Sharon's policy expands existing settlements to meet the demands of natural population growth, without building new communities. "These may seem like new settlements, but they are not. They are old decisions," he said. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Terrorists Attack Jewish Village
    Arab terrorists cut through the fence of the Jewish village of Shavei Shomron in Samaria early Friday morning and began shooting in all directions and throwing grenades at a kindergarten. A local resident killed one terrorist and a second was pursued by the army. No casualties were reported. (YNet - Yediot Ahronot)
  • Jewish Woman, Palestinian Husband Linked to Bombing
    A Jewish woman and her Palestinian husband, linked with Tanzim, transported the suicide bomber to Rishon Lezion last week, security sources revealed. The attack was to have been a double suicide bombing, and the couple had driven the suicide bomber together with a Palestinian woman to the city. The woman was supposed to wait for the emergency crews to arrive and then detonate herself, but she changed her mind at the last moment. Security forces have now rounded up all those involved in the attack. (Jerusalem Post)
  • PA Running Short of Ammunition
    PA security chiefs have complained to Chairman Yasser Arafat about a severe shortage of rifle ammunition. Sources said Arafat ordered his aides to obtain ammunition from smugglers in Egypt or Jordan, and directed the PA to construct a factory to produce bullets. Arafat's chief financial officer, Fuad Shubaki, bought equipment from Eastern Europe for ammunition production, but it never reached the PA. (Middle East Newsline)
  • Jewish Groups Compile False Charges on Jenin "Massacre"
    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has submitted a 150-page report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan detailing the true story of Israel's battle in Jenin. The report, which includes eyewitness accounts by soldiers, doctors and others, details the deaths of less than 60 mostly armed men in Jenin, compared to the original charge made by the Palestinian leadership of 3,000 dead.
        The Anti-Defamation League report, "Anatomy of Anti-Israel Incitement: Jenin, World Opinion, and the Massacre That Wasn't," charts the international community's reaction to Operation Defensive Shield. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Real Reform Means Free Elections - Ghassan Khatib
    The litmus test for any calls for reforming the Palestinian political system and their significance or seriousness is whether they include calls for regular, free, and democratic elections that will empower the public and enforce accountability, transparency, and efficiency. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Saudis Channel Their Anger into Charity - Scott Peterson
    Television images of bloodied Palestinians are triggering a flood of pro-Palestinian support and anti-American feeling in Saudi Arabia. "Don't take me to McDonald's," said the daughter of Saleh Al-Khathlan, a U.S.-educated political scientist at King Saud University in Riyadh. "The teachers tell us that money goes to Israel." (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Jerusalem, We Have a Problem - Jonathan Petre
    How do you observe the Sabbath while in orbit? Col. Ilan Ramon, an Israeli member of the NASA crew for the shuttle Columbia to be launched in July, has asked his rabbi when exactly he is to mark Judaism's day of rest as he orbits the earth every 90 minutes. (Daily Telegraph)
  • Egyptian Weekly: Bad Examples of the Women Who Rule America
    The Egyptian weekly Al-Usbu': Condoleezza Rice - "like the dangerous anaconda snake that attacks anyone in its path." Nancy Reagan: responsible "for the mental retardation that afflicted" her husband. Bill Clinton: "in love with the Jewess Madeleine Albright." (MEMRI)
  • Talking Points:

    Israeli Defense Policy after Operation Defensive Shield

    • As long as the Palestinian Authority does nothing to stop terrorism, the IDF will continue seek out the terrorist infrastructure anywhere in the territories.
    • Bolstered with intelligence information gained from Operation Defensive Shield, the IDF has arrested terrorist planners as well as homicide bombers on their way to Israeli civilian targets.
    • The IDF intelligence efforts involve human intelligence, signal intelligence, observation points, and aerial observation platforms.
    • The IDF is thus able to carry out intelligence-driven, quick forays into Palestinian areas to conduct its mission to disrupt terrorist activity. It has been able to shift the war on terrorism away from helicopter attacks on terrorist leaders.
    • There has been little or no local resistance to these Israeli forays.
    • While an estimated 90 percent of Palestinian attacks are blocked, some terrorists get through. The post-Defensive Shield situation gives Israel�s security forces the opportunity to quickly identify the planners and carry out arrests.

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