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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June 5, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Palestinian Strategy: "Catastrophic" Terrorism
    The revelation by Israel's chief of military intelligence that the Palestinians planned to use cyanide poison in their Passover-eve attack in Netanya indicates, along with their more recent efforts, that Palestinian organizations hope to inflict strategic-level terrorist attacks against the Israeli public. Their goal is to cause a maximal loss of Israeli lives.
    In recent weeks, indications of this strategy were evident when a Palestinian vehicle carrying 1,000 kilograms of explosives was stopped before it could enter an Israeli city, where it could have brought down a skyscraper.
    Secondly, the attempted bombing of the Pi-Glilot gas farm, just north of Ramat Aviv, must be seen as an act of non-conventional terrorism. The blast area from the successful detonation of this gas storage facility would have been similar to that of a small nuclear device. Thousands could have died in the north Tel Aviv area.
    The determination to inflict catastrophic terrorism against Israel is not confined to the fundamentalist groups; Fatah-Tanzim was responsible for the Pi-Glilot attack.

Useful Reference:

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

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  • Speeches
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  • News Resources - USA and Europe:
  • The American Road to Jihad
    "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh was not alone. As many as 400 American Muslims have received training in Pakistani and Afghan jihad camps since 1989. (U.S. News)
  • Conflict Devastates Tourist Industry
    Tourism represents the largest sector of the West Bank economy and the third-largest industry in Israel. Tourism revenues in Israel have shrunk from $4.3 billion a year to just $2.1 billion, according to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Business Networking Group Reaches Out to Israel
    According to Raphi Salem of J2JNetwork, while investment is down all over the world, investment in Israeli high-tech companies remains comparatively higher than in other countries. Security-related companies, telecom, software, high-tech and biotech are big industries. (Newsweek)
  • Girding for Campus Battles in the Fall
    Hillel -- The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life has launched a proactive advocacy-training program to teach students to counter a well-organized and well-financed anti-Israel campus campaign. Some 350 students were flown to Israel to prepare themselves for the coming battle for the hearts and minds of college students over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (New York Jewish Week)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Car Bomb Destroys Crowded Bus in Northern Israel
    Early Wednesday morning, a car bomb exploded next to a bus full of soldiers and civilians traveling from Tel Aviv to Tiberias, killing at least 16 people and wounding at least 40, 10 seriously. The gas tank of the bus exploded, engulfing the vehicle in flames while many passengers were trapped inside. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility and told Hezbollah television that the assailant was from the Jenin area. The Prime Minister's office placed direct blame on Yasser Arafat. (Ha'aretz/Maariv)
  • Chief of Military Intelligence: Terrorists Planned to Use Cyanide Poison in Netanya Attack
    Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi, Chief of Military Intelligence, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the terrorists who attacked the Park Hotel in Netanya on Passover had planned to use a cyanide bomb that would have led to an enormous number of deaths. (Maariv)
        Ehud Yaari first revealed this story in Cyanide Bombs.
            (Simon Wiesenthal Center)
  • Sharon Asked for Meeting with Bush
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon lobbied for the upcoming meeting with President Bush before the U.S. formulates its new Middle East strategy. The Sharon visit also comes amid growing concern of possible pressure on Israel from Washington to agree to a time line for the diplomatic process to ensure regional quiet prior to any possible U.S. action against Iraq. (Jerusalem Post)
  • 12 Israeli Soldiers Receive Medals of Honor for Bravery
    Kobi Azoulay, 30, volunteered for reserve duty and insisted on serving in Jenin. He was killed while evacuating injured soldiers under heavy fire. (Israelinsider)
  • Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Land of Denial - Thomas L. Friedman
    We don't need Egypt to be our policeman, we need it to be our progressive -- to lead the Arab-Muslim world into modernity. Egypt is the center of gravity of the Arab world, but it has been stagnating to a degree that smaller Arab countries are now passing it by. (New York Times)
  • What Was Is, and Will Be Again - Danny Rubinstein
    Leaks from Yasser Arafat's office to Palestinian newspapers indicate that all the talk about reform of the Palestinian Authority security system has produced no real change -- not even cosmetic ones. Not only will the security branches remain intact, but the same commanders will remain. (Ha'aretz)
  • Pages of History - Daniel Pipes
    The defeat of the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies in a mere six days, 35 years ago, is superbly documented in Michael Oren's new book Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East. The Oslo negotiations were premised on the assumption that the Arabs understood the futility of trying to destroy the Jewish state. But as recent events have so vividly proved, Israel's land-for-peace exchange precipitated aggression, not acceptance, by the Arabs. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Man Who Got Away - Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes)
    Abdul Rahman Yasin tried to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 and was never caught. Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn were the original target, but it was changed to a more efficient one since "The majority of people who work in the World Trade Center are Jews." (CBS)
  • Does Al Qaeda Have Anthrax? Better Assume So - Jonathan Rauch
    Several of the hijackers, including their suspected ringleader, Mohamed Atta, are reported to have looked at crop dusters in Belle Glade, Fla. A doctor in Fort Lauderdale said that he had treated one of the terrorists for what, in retrospect, he believes was cutaneous anthrax. (National Journal)
  • An Education in Violence - Chris Matthews
    It's the grown-ups who promote Palestinian children's violent behavior. (MSNBC)
  • Muslim Children "Kill" Israelis on "Islamic Fun" CD
    A British company is producing an educational CD-Rom that encourages Muslim children as young as five to "kill" Israelis. Board of Deputies of British Jews spokesperson Fiona Macaulay noted: "This CD is the sort of material that breeds violence and hatred." (Independent-UK)
  • Talking Points:

    Journalists Manipulated by Totalitarian Palestinian Regime
        Israel Embassy Spokesman Mark Regev (Washington Times)

    • The press has created an illogical and unjustified equivalence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
    • The media disregards the discrepancies that exist between Israel's largely transparent society and the Palestinians' repressive, despotic regime.
    • The Israeli press challenges the legitimacy of Israeli government actions.
    • The Palestinian press is not dissimilar to that of Syria or Iraq.
    • Given recent documented Palestinian distortions of the events in Jenin and Bethlehem, why do the American media still insist on granting credibility to Palestinian spokespeople?
    • When journalists deal with totalitarian, closed regimes, they know that officially released information must be met with a certain level of skepticism.
    • Why is Yasser Arafat's regime -- one that is internationally recognized as being dictatorial, corrupt, and collaborative in orchestrating terror -- not held to the same necessary level of skepticism?

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