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 6, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Who Controls Islamic Jihad?
    The public announcement claiming responsibility for yesterday's homicide bus bombing came from Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah in Damascus, Syria.
    Syria is prominently featured on the State Department’s “Terrorist List,” but avoided inclusion in President Bush’s “axis of evil.”
    According to the official Patterns of Global Terrorism, the “Government of Syria...continued in 2001 to provide safehaven and logistics support to a number of terrorist groups.
    Ahmad Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Abu Musa’s Fatah-the-Intifadah, George Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Hamas continued to maintain offices in Damascus.
    Syria provided Hizballah, Hamas, PFLP-GC, the PIJ, and other terrorist organizations refuge and basing privileges in Lebanon’s Beka’a Valley, under Syrian control.... Damascus served as the primary transit point for the transfer of Iranian-supplied weapons to Hizballah.”
    While Syria hosts these organizations, Iran is the chief financial and military supplier to Islamic Jihad and Hizballah. Both Iran and Syria exercise different degrees of control, yet Iran is the dominant force determining the policy of both groups.
    Incredibly, Syria will serve as president of the UN Security Council this month.

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The Washington Rally for Israel
  • Speeches
  • Photos
  • News Resources - USA and Europe:
  • Bush Administration Faults Arafat
    The White House questioned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's relevance to the Middle East peace process Wednesday after the latest suicide bombing in Israel. U.S. diplomats are hoping to find new Palestinian leaders willing to curb terrorism, officials said. "In the president's eyes, Yasser Arafat has never played a role of someone who can be trusted or who was effective," said presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer. (Washington Post/AP)
  • Militant's Claim that Arafat Can't End Attacks
    If there is one thing that the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad does not fear, one of its leaders said in Gaza, it is Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority. "Let's be serious," said Islamic Jihad leader Sheik Abdallah al-Shami of the PA's efforts to restructure its security forces and make other reforms. "This is all a lot of nonsense....The military units have to rebuild themselves in order to return to the resistance." (New York Times)
  • Forty-Two Governors Support Israel
    Forty-two governors of both political parties have signed declarations expressing their solidarity with Israel. The initiative by California Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, and New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, had the support of Republican Governors Association Chair John Rowland of Connecticut and Democratic Governors Association Chair Parris Glendening of Maryland. (SF Gate/AP)
  • Petition Scoreboard
    A Harvard-MIT petition calling for those universities to divest from Israel has attracted 533 signatures, vs. 5,832 for an antidivestment petition. The pro-Israel side, in other words, is winning by nearly 11 to 1. (Opinion Journal)
        For more, see "Chomsky’s Immoral Divestiture Petition" by Alan Dershowitz (The Tech - MIT)
  • New Israeli Ambassador to Washington
    Daniel Ayalon, 47, an economist by training and a career diplomat, has served under Prime Ministers Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Ariel Sharon. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Israel Buries Its Dead
    Wednesday's homicide bombing near Megiddo took the lives of 17 Israelis; 13 were soldiers aged 19-22, including 3 young women. 519 Israelis have been murdered by Palestinians since September 2000. (Maariv)
  • IDF Blows Up Buildings Inside Arafat's Compound
    The IDF blew up several buildings inside Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah Thursday morning in retaliation for Wednesday's bus bombing, and then withdrew from the area. (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Plan Includes Return to '67 Borders
    The State Department's latest draft for a regional peace initiative includes the establishment of a Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967, lines, with some minor border corrections, and a three-year timetable for its implementation. Other sections of the administration have reservations about the initiative, and President Bush has yet to receive it. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is slated to meet with Bush on Monday. (Ha'aretz)
  • Calls for Reform in the Palestinian Authority
    Calls for reform by Palestinian leaders have focused on the establishment of a new government, separation of authorities, holding elections, reducing the number of security apparatuses, improvement of supervision over PA funds, and fighting corruption. (MEMRI)
  • Presidents Conference Expands Tourism Efforts
    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has expanded and restructured its National Committee for Tourism to Israel to assist Jewish and non-Jewish groups in organizing travel and missions. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • It's Time to Go on the Offensive against Terrorism - Cal Thomas
    Speaking at West Point on June 1, President Bush said: "Our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives." Let's stop waiting for terrorists to do us harm and start doing them harm. We should be planning to wipe them out, starting now (Jewish World Review)
  • Human Bombs, Human Shields - Hillel Neuer
    Israel should accept UN peacekeepers -- within Israel itself. Let thousands come and circulate randomly among Israelis in Jerusalem's cafes, Netanya's hotels, Haifa's buses. If Arafat and Hamas wanted to kill more Israelis, they'd have to risk killing representatives of their beloved international patron. (New Republic)
  • Refugees First - Avi Beker
    Prior to any decision to renew its mandate, which expires on June 30, 2002, UNRWA must be asked to enforce the ban, required under both international law and UN policy, against using Palestinian refugee camps for military and terrorist purposes, and to draft a rehabilitation program which will build new neighborhoods for refugees outside the camps, wherever they are located. (Ha'aretz)
  • How Did the Infidels Win? - Bernard Lewis
    From the time of Muhammad till the second siege of Vienna in 1683, Islamic civilization regarded the Christian West as a benighted backwater. Then things changed. (National Post )
  • Israel and the Anti-Semites - Gabriel Schoenfeld
    The new anti-Semitism is gathering strength from long-repressed theological hatreds suddenly given license to emerge, from all sorts of misplaced social resentments that have nothing to do with the Jews, and (to judge from the Left-Arab coalition) from broader ideological agendas in which Israel is a mere stand-in, a conveniently vulnerable target for those not yet willing or able to take on the mighty United States. (Commentary)
  • Talking Points:

    The Megiddo Bombing - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)

    • As long as the terror attacks continue, the reform program for the Palestinian Authority and its security apparatus will remain a virtual one.
    • The whole debate over whether there will be four or five branches of a restructured Palestinian security service is meaningless.
    • What is key is the elimination of all of the armed militias, from Hamas to the Islamic Jihad to the Al Aqsa Brigades.
    • This is the moment of truth for the moderate and responsible Arab regimes: They have to move to restrain Yasser Arafat. He is undermining the Saudi peace initiative and the agreements reached between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia on this front.

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