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 20, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Criticism of Israel Stirs German Furor
    A few weeks ago, Jamal Karsli, a provincial German politician from the opposition Free Democratic Party, described Prime Minister Sharon's tactics on the West Bank as "Nazi" methods, touching off a political firestorm that has become an issue in Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's re-election campaign.
    Juergen Moellemann, deputy chairman of the center-right Free Democrats, defended Karsli, blaming a perceived rise in anti-Semitism in Germany on Sharon's actions and on the commentary of Michel Friedman, deputy leader of Germany's Jewish community.
    To many German political analysts, Moellemann's comments sounded like a calibrated pitch to the far right and to Germany's 700,000 Muslim voters ahead of September's election. The Free Democrats would be a likely coalition partner if the Christian Democrats succeed in their bid to oust Schroeder.
    Chancellor Schroeder said Moellemann's comments proved that the Free Democrats were "unfit" to be anyone's coalition partner. Foreign Minister Fischer also warned of damage to Germany's reputation.
    "Moellemann wants to say that we Jews have to know our place in Germany," said Moishe Waks, a leader of the Berlin Jewish community. "But the Germans did not get rid of the Nazi regime by themselves. Democracy was given to the Germans by the Allied forces as a present....Like a reformed alcoholic, Germany has to be more careful. Even a little anti-Semitism could be a dangerous thing." (Chicago Tribune)
    See also Is Anti-Semitism on the March Again?, a special report in the European edition of Time Magazine.

Useful Reference:

556 people have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists since September 2000
List of names by date
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Palestinians Target Jewish Women and Children
    Seven people were murdered in northern Jerusalem by a homicide bomber on Wednesday evening, including a grandmother and her 5-year-old granddaughter, two young women aged 19 and 20, and an infant girl. Yasser Arafat's Fatah Tanzim militia claimed credit for the attack. (FOX News)
  • Bush to Present Strict Demands to Palestinians
    President Bush has resolved to promote the formation of a Palestinian state within a few years, but only if Palestinian leaders meet specific benchmarks, including a lasting crackdown on terrorism and other broad reforms, according to senior officials and others familiar with the plan. The latest terrorist bombings in Israel have delayed Mr. Bush's speech describing his ideas. (New York Times)
  • Arafat Issues Statement Calling for Halt to Bombings
    A statement distributed Thursday by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reportedly contains an appeal by Yasser Arafat to halt attacks on Israeli civilians after two homicide bombings over two days killed 26 Israelis. While in the past, Arafat has appeared before TV cameras to make similar appeals, he did not do so this time. The Wafa website makes no mention of the statement. (AP)
  • CNN Chief Clarifies Remarks
    Reacting to criticism of his comments that Israeli actions taken to protect its people are equal to terrorism, CNN founder Ted Turner stated, "There is a fundamental distinction between the acts of the Israeli government and the Palestinians." (CNN)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Two Soldiers Killed in Kalkilya
    Two IDF soldiers were killed and three were wounded Wednesday night in a fierce gunbattle at the home of a PA intelligence officer in Kalkilya, near Kfar Saba. In a separate incident, a Palestinian armed with hand-grenades and a rifle tried to infiltrate into a yeshiva in Kiryat Arba and was later killed by IDF troops. Israeli troops, backed by armored vehicles, have taken up positions in the PLO-controlled towns of Jenin, Kalkilya, Shechem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. (Ha'aretz)
  • EU Unblocks Palestinian Aid
    EU lawmakers meeting in Brussels agreed to unblock 18.7 million Euros in aid to the Palestinians that was held up over charges that some money was going to fund terrorism. According to Israeli Minister Dan Naveh, Israel has offered clear proof that money provided by the EU was transferred to terrorists by the PA. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Timeline for a State Must be Linked to Ending Terrorism - Dennis Ross
    A timeline based on performance means that the clock stops if the Palestinians do not fulfill their obligations. In reality, that could mean the clock on the timeline would be stopped for a long period. It is an illusion to believe there will be a peace process so long as the Palestinian Authority makes no effort to stop acts of terror. (Los Angeles Times)
  • A Guarantee of More Violence - Charles Krauthammer
    The reason innocents are dying every day is not because of the occupation but because the Palestinians believe they can get land without peace (as Hizballah got in Lebanon). Giving them their own "interim" Palestinian state -- the rewarding of terrorism -- is not just a moral scandal, it is disastrous diplomacy. (Washington Post)
  • Let Israel Defend Itself - Editorial
    It's important at this juncture for America to show solidarity with the Israelis living every minute of their lives on the front lines of the war on terror. That means this is not the time to establish a Palestinian state, provisional or otherwise. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • The Palestinian H-Bomb: Terror's Winning Strategy - Gal Luft
    Palestinians are coming to see suicide attacks as a strategic weapon, a poor man's "smart bomb" that can miraculously balance Israel's technological prowess and conventional military dominance. (Foreign Affairs)
  • Human Rights Watch Condemns Bus Bombing Atrocity - Hanny Megally
    "When Palestinian groups violate the most basic international law in order to draw attention to their own plight, revulsion is the only appropriate response; any other message is lost." (Human Rights Watch)
  • Response to Henry Siegman - Abe Foxman
    Responding to Henry Siegman's criticism of the American Jewish leadership, ADL Director Abe Foxman wrote, "Mr. Siegman refuses to recognize that Israel is under siege from a foe who resorts to the most brutal form of terror, who incites hate against Israel and Jews, who rejected Israel's offer at Camp David for independence, and who continues to seek Israel's destruction." (New York Times)
  • Talking Points:

    Why Arafat Went to War

    Brig. Gen. Eival Gilady, head of the IDF Strategic Planning Branch, speaking at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

    • When Yasser Arafat unleashed terrorist violence against Israel in September 2000, he was applying mistaken lessons from the conflicts in Lebanon and Kosovo. In Lebanon, Arafat witnessed Israeli public reaction to the average loss of 25 IDF soldiers annually. In Kosovo, Arafat saw a small minority of Moslems, the Albanians, bring in the whole world to intervene -- not only politically but also militarily.
    • An Israeli counterstrategy of restraint sought to minimize the number of casualties not only on our side but also on the Palestinian side as well.
    • Arafat�s Fatah organization is responsible for 42 percent of the attacks; Hamas 39 percent; Palestinian Islamic Jihad 9 percent; and the PFLP 3 percent. Most of the terror activities of the last few months were carried out by Fatah.
    • If the katyusha rockets on the Karine-A weapons ship had reached the Palestinians, most of Israel�s population centers would be within their range. "Just imagine millions of people in Tel Aviv or Netanya or Hadera or Beer Sheva living in shelters, not being able to send their kids to school or go to work."
    • After Operation Defensive Shield, we found evidence that the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority was personally involved in supporting, funding, encouraging, and knowing of terrorist actions against us.
    • Terrorist attacks originating in Jenin killed 93 Israelis and wounded over 640 during the last 18 months. In the fighting in Jenin, the reason why we did not use artillery was not because there was outside pressure or because of world public opinion. It is because of Israeli norms and values. The IDF will never do something that Israeli society will not accept.
    • We pushed more food trucks into Jenin than usually reach the city each month in order to be sure that there was no hunger. We brought oxygen and generators to the local hospital. We offered blood, but they didn't want our blood, so we allowed our colleagues, the Jordanians, to fly in blood.

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