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 10, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

New PA Interior Minister Aided Pro-Iraqi Terrorists
    The new Palestinian government "reform" includes the creation of the post of interior minister, responsible for overseeing all the PA security forces, to be held by Maj.-Gen. Abdul Razek Yehiye.
    Last fall, Israeli security services cracked a 15-man terrorist cell in the West Bank belonging to the Iraqi-based Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) of Abul Abbas.
    The PLF unit was actually trained by Iraqi officers at the al-Quds military camp outside of Baghdad and enjoyed close ties with Iraqi intelligence.
    Its weaponry was smuggled in the car of PA Gen. Abdul Razek Yehiye, who had benefited from immunity at Israeli checkpoints with his VIP pass (Ma'ariv, Nov. 26, 2001).
    Yehiye, born in 1939, advanced to the rank of general when he commanded the Palestine Liberation Army in Jordan in 1968.
    See Arafat's Iraqi Connection. (Jerusalem Center)

Request for Photos
An exciting book documenting the historic April 15th National Israel Solidarity Rally in Washington, D.C., will be published in the coming weeks.
    Interesting, high-quality photographs of the event, particularly scenes from en route to Washington, in Washington, and of participants, may be submitted to the Conference of Presidents to be considered by the editors of the publication.
    Email the images and your contact information to [email protected].
    Selected photos will then need to be submitted as hard prints. Deadline for submission is June 14.

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Back Issues

News Resources - USA and Europe:

The Way Forward in the Middle East - Ariel Sharon (New York Times)

Main points made by the Prime Minister:

  • Disputed Territories: Because Israel acted out of self-defense in 1967, UN Security Council Resolution 242 did not call for Israel to fully withdraw from the territories but to new "secure boundaries." The West Bank and Gaza, in effect, became disputed territories, where Israel had rights, as well.
  • Prior to Intifada, No Israeli Military Rule over Palestinians: Israel, operating under the 1993 Oslo agreement, withdrew its military government over the Palestinian population so that by 1999, 98 percent of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were under Palestinian rule.
  • To Move Forward, Defeat Terrorism: Israel will not negotiate under fire and insists that principles renouncing violence, which underpinned negotiations with President Sadat and King Hussein, be applied to Israeli-Palestinian talks.
  • Camp David/Taba Parameters Unacceptable: The Israeli people witnessed the Palestinians exploiting Israel's vulnerabilities, desecrating holy sites, and smuggling massive amounts of weapons. As a result, Israel's vital interests in any peace settlement include:
    • Defensible Borders -- Israel cannot return to the vulnerable 1967 armistice lines, and does not have to withdraw fully according to Resolution 242.
    • Unified Jerusalem -- Israel will not redivide Jerusalem.

News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Young Couple Murdered in Etzion Bloc
    Yael and Eyal Sorek, both 24, were gunned down outside their mobile home in the community of Karmei Tzur early Saturday morning; Yael was nine months pregnant. IDF reservist Shalom Mordechai, 35, of Nahariya, father of two, was killed in the same attack. See also report on the funerals. (Jerusalem Post)
  • IDF Surrounds Arafat's Ramallah Headquarters
    A large IDF force thrust into Ramallah early Monday, taking effective control of most of the West Bank city and surrounding Yasser Arafat's headquarters compound for the second time in five days. Meanwhile, the accidental explosion of a bomb being prepared in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza early Monday wounded 40 Palestinians and damaged 8 houses. (Ha'aretz)
  • Fatah Threatens to Vote Against New PA Government
    Fatah-Tanzim leader Hatam Abdel Khadar criticized Arafat's "reform" cabinet, charging that "only cosmetic changes were made, and this is not what the street wants. Most of the members of the Legislative Council will vote against the new government." Fatah and its supporters hold 66 of the 88 legislative council seats. (Yediot Ahronot)
  • EU Suspends Funding to PA in Wake of Terror Victim's Law Suit
    The European Parliament's budgetary committee has temporarily suspended its financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of a law suit filed by an Israeli terror victim alleging that the PA diverted the European Union's "humanitarian aid" to Palestinian terrorist groups. The EU has been donating $10 million to the Palestinians each month. (IMRA)
  • Bullet-Proof Baby Seat Latest in Security
    Bullet-proof baby car seats, cameras that detect potential explosives planted in public places, and robots that x-ray bombs were among the latest in gadgetry on display at Israel's annual Security and Defense Exhibition in Tel Aviv. (Reuters)
  • Women Take On Leading Roles in IDF Command
    Ruth Yaron, the IDF's new Spokesperson, is one of four women officers who have been appointed to high-level positions in the army. (Israelinsider)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Sharon and Mofaz Forced to Compromise on Strategy - Ze'ev Schiff
    Israel's reaction to the deaths of 17 young men and women in the Megiddo bus bombing by destroying a few buildings near Arafat's headquarters was the result of a compromise decision. Sharon, backed by Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, had wanted to destroy all of Arafat's compound. (Ha'aretz)
  • No Quick Fix - Ehud Barak
    The idea that the Palestinian Authority could conduct an effective anti-terror campaign and carry out real reform is an illusion so long as Arafat is in power. Arab leaders do not have real leverage on Arafat, who is empowered by the continuous stream of TV coverage of events, and Arafat's ability to stir the Arab street gives him considerable leverage upon them. Moreover, the Saudi plan is the old Arab position in an extreme version, avoiding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; its adoption by the international community would be a reward to terror. (Washington Post)
  • Project Moral Purpose - Victor Davis Hanson
    Israel is still a confident and muscular state, one that has faith in its own values and the willingness to defend itself against great odds. Most Americans, as the descendants of immigrants with a similar pioneering heritage, appreciate that assurance. (Jerusalem Post)
  • NGOs with Hidden Agendas - Gerald M. Steinberg
    Prominent "non-governmental organizations" (NGOs) have been captured by the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel lobby. The myths of the "Jenin massacre" were propelled by NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Physicians for Human Rights (the list is much longer), with hidden political and ideological agendas. (Australia Financial Review)
  • Not What the Prophet Would Want - Sohail H. Hashmi
    What drives the bombers is not just a volatile combination of frustration, hatred and political ambition, but the potent sanction of religion. It is the religious scholars as much as the bomb makers who are responsible for sending young men and women -- often impressionable teenagers -- on their murderous missions with promises of a martyr's reward. (Washington Post)
  • The House that Yasser Built - Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
    The Islamists get much more mileage out of being independent of a PA administration seen by many as corrupt and weak than they would by sitting closer to the governmental plate. In addition, Hamas and Islamic Jihad want to remain free to continue suicide bombings against Israelis. (National Review)

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