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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How Did Arafat Pay for the Karine-A?
How Did Arafat Pay for the Karine-A?
News Resources - USA and Europe:
President Bush is considering calling for a "provisional" Palestinian state as part of a new statement on the Middle East, but has not yet made a decision. "You would have two sovereign states debating a border dispute, as opposed to one state openly questioning whether there is any right or reason for the other state to exist," one official said. (CNN)
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members in Nablus acknowledge, as do their colleagues in Bethlehem and other West Bank towns, that Israel's spring offensive has thrown them on the defensive. One leader of a small al-Aqsa Brigades cell acknowledged that the main commanders in Nablus have been killed or are in jail. A member of Arafat's intelligence service said that the Palestinians will not repeat the frontal defense they mounted two months ago when scores of gunmen died in a futile attempt to slow Israel's entry into the city: "This time, everyone disappears when the Israelis come." (Washington Post)
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), late 60s, a founder of Fatah. Marwan Barghouti, 42, general secretary of Fatah in the West Bank, currently under arrest. Muhammad Dahlan, 40, recently resigned chief of preventive security in Gaza. Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), mid-60s, one of the main authors of the Oslo agreement. Jibril Rajoub, 49, chief of preventive security in the West Bank. Sheik Ahmad Yassin, mid-60s, spiritual leader of Hamas. (New York Times)
Saudi citizens continue to plot terror attacks against Americans -- the latest an alleged plot uncovered by Moroccan officials to target U.S. and British ships in the Strait of Gibraltar. The Saudi government also remains at odds with the U.S. over how to deal with those accused in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 U.S. servicemen. A year ago the U.S. indicted 13 Saudis and a Lebanese for the bombing, but Saudi officials have said they will not recognize those indictments. (Washington Post/AP)
The U.S. Middle East diplomatic program is based on Prime Minister Sharon's proposal for a long-term interim agreement under which a Palestinian state would be established without defined borders, according to Israeli sources. The sources said Washington also accepted Sharon's position that instead of setting a timetable, diplomatic progress should be conditioned on performance benchmarks. The U.S. will serve as the judge of whether the benchmarks have been met, thereby enabling advancement to the next stage. (Ha'aretz)
Two female Palestinian would-be homicide bombers were arrested in the West Bank, including a 15-year-old teenager and a 23-year-old teacher. Five other bombers remain at large in Ramallah. (Jerusalem Post)
Eight years ago, Golani brigade company commander Major Yoav Yarom, 28, lost a leg from an exploding mine in south Lebanon, but fought to return to active duty. Yesterday, with an IDF force operating in Tubas, southeast of Jenin, Yarom was hit by gunfire as he ran to help a wounded officer. During the operation, the IDF discovered a car bomb and arrested 7 wanted terrorists. (Maariv)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis
(Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Norwegian unions have imposed a boycott on Israeli goods, the Danes are no longer buying Israeli oranges, the Germans are holding back on tank parts, and the Belgians couldn�t leave politics out of the Eurovision song contest. But the people of Norway or Denmark have never suffered from living under the constant threat of terror, a situation where a child cannot go to a birthday party, or even to school, without fear of being killed or maimed. (Jerusalem Report)
Operation Defensive Shield has been remarkable in combating the feeling of helplessness which is the chief objective of all terrorism. What despair there is tends to be generational. The parents -- the ones who made the great leap of faith into the Oslo peace process -- are depressed. The kids -- the young people in the army -- are defiant. (Washington Post)
The full text of Charles Krauthammer's recent speech, "Jewish Messianism and the Oslo Peace," is now available.
The government of Israel has decided to build a security wall that will generally match the 1949 armistice lines. But Arafat, drunk with accomplishments, won't stop at the wall. He will find a way, just as the Egyptians did with the Bar-Lev Line along the Suez Canal, to breach it or sow death over it. (Ha'aretz)
When the Kuwaiti religious affairs minister ordered a halt to "cursing all Jews and Christians" during weekly Friday sermons, a compromise was reached with the prayer leaders, who now single out specific American officials. "Now I can say, 'God punish Bush, God punish Rumsfeld, God punish Rice,'" said Abdel Razak al-Shayegi, an Islamic spokesman. (New York Times)
Steps Needed Prior to the Resumption of Political Negotiations
From remarks by Israel's Charge D'Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington, Ambassador Rafi Barak, before the Zionist Organization of America, in Washington, D.C., June 11, 2002
The following steps must be taken before political negotiations can resume.
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