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 26, 2002

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Behind the Bush Speech:

  • Aides to Bush: Arafat Financed Terrorists
        President Bush decided to call for Yasser Arafat's removal after receiving intelligence information that Arafat had authorized a $20,000 payment to the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the group that claimed responsibility for a bus-stop bombing that killed six people in Jerusalem last week, even as he claimed to be cracking down on terror in response to Washington's demands, according to senior administration officials. (New York Times)
        See also Arafat Continued to Play a Double Game (Washington Post)

  • Powell: I Pleaded with Arafat to Choose a New Direction
        The first stop has to be reformed leadership that can then bring the terror under control, condemn it totally, go after those organizations and individuals responsible for it, distribute power more broadly within the Palestinian leadership, so that we have more people to work with and greater accountability.
        The most important thing right now is to end the terror attacks. Every Palestinian leader must not only condemn them, but make sure they are receiving no support whatsoever. (State Department)

  • Anatomy of a Speech
        White House officials told concerned Jewish leaders, in essence, to ignore comments coming out of the State Department, and focus only on what the White House was saying.
        Many Jewish leaders had stressed the need to move away from a strict timeline for a Palestinian state toward a series of performance benchmarks. (JTA)

    Useful Reference:

    Casualty Figures for the Past 21 Months

  • Israelis Killed = 561 (385 Civilians + 176 Security Forces)
  • Israelis Injured = 4,208 (2,992 Civilians + 1,216 Security Forces)
  • Attacks (not including rocks or firebombs) = 13,421: 6,358 West Bank + 6,470 Gaza Strip + 593 Home Front (IDF)

    Names of People Murdered by Palestinian Terrorists since September 2000
    (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

    Key Links

    Media Contact Information

    Back Issues

  • News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • The Terror that Will Not Quit
    The makeshift war room was a green bus fitted with computers, phones, and desks, manned by police, army, and Shin Bet officers coordinating the hunt for Mohammed al-Ghoul, 22, dispatched by a Nablus cell of Hamas to blow himself up among Israeli civilians in Jerusalem. Just before 8 a.m., the officers heard a deep blast three miles away; al-Ghoul had killed 19 Israelis. (Time)
  • Terrorist's Mother Basks in Fame
    "I don't want condolences, I want congratulations. I encouraged my son to sacrifice himself. It is a victory," said Palestinian mother Mariam Farahat of her firstborn, Mohammed, 19, who was killed during an attack on an Israeli school in the southern Gaza Strip. The video she made with her son before the attack, recently beamed throughout the Middle East on Arabic-language television, has made Farahat a celebrity. (Washington Post)
  • It's Not Just the Fundamentalists
    "Some claim that it is the fundamentalists, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that want to destroy the peace process, while Mr. Arafat's Fatah and the Tanzim, his militant organizations, are for peace. Unfortunately, most of the attacks that Israel has been experiencing over the last two to three months come from Arafat-loyal organizations, from the Tanzim, from the Fatah organization, from the PFLP, a component of the PLO," said Ambassador Dore Gold on CNN's Crossfire program. (CNN)
  • Sharon War-Crimes Case Thrown Out
    A Belgian appeals court ruled Wednesday that Belgium cannot investigate war-crimes charges against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon related to a 1982 massacre in Lebanon. The three-judge panel said a case could not proceed against a person who is not in Belgium. (Globe & Mail/AP)
  • Putin Awards Woman Injured by Anti-Semitic Bomb
    Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Russian Order of Courage to Tatyana Sapunova, 28, a non-Jew who suffered burns and eye injuries last month when she tried to pull down a booby-trapped sign reading "Death to Jews" that was placed alongside a highway outside Moscow. The Jewish community sent her to Israel for medical treatment. (Russia Journal/AP)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • IDF Operates in West Bank at More Deliberate Pace
    If Operation Defensive Shield in April was a race against time, Operation Determined Path is proceeding at a far more relaxed pace. A longer-term military presence in the cities is needed to keep the suicide terrorists from leaving them. (Ha'aretz)
  • Toddler Abuse
    The Islamic Society of Gaza presents children burning Israeli flags, marching in uniforms with toy guns to liberate Palestine, dressing up as Hizballah leaders, and raising their "bloody" hands in solidarity with the Ramallah lynching scene. The text is in Arabic, but the pictures are worth a thousand words. (
        See the Islamic Society website in English.
  • Israel Halts Aid to Territories from Iran and Iraq
    Parallel with their assistance, both Iran and Iraq have sought to build up terror networks on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "There is no such thing as 'humanitarian aid' from these two countries," said a top Israeli security official. Enough aid reaches the territories from other sources -- moderate Arab states, the European Union, and international organizations. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Arabs Report Torture in PA Jails
    The Palestinian Authority held some 40 Arab Israelis, in violation of the Oslo Accords, which do not permit the PA to arrest Israeli citizens. Most said they were tortured, abused, starved, and humiliated during their captivity, according to testimony collected by Commander David Givati of the Judea and Samaria District Police. Police believe that some 10 Israeli Arabs are still being held in PA jails. (Ha'aretz)
        And 4 Israeli Arabs were Murdered
    When Israeli forces entered Bethlehem during Operation Defensive Shield, they found the bodies of three Israeli Arabs. A fourth Israeli, Moussa Rajoub -- whose brother Jibril heads the PA's Preventive Security Service on the West Bank -- was killed in a lynching in Hebron. Police believe a fifth Israeli held in Jenin was also killed. The Israelis freed by the IDF included 14 in Hebron, 5 in Ramallah, and 5 in Jenin. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Reactions to the Bush Speech:

  • Democracy for Palestinians - Editorial
    If Palestinians want the world to recognize them as a state, then they need to behave like a civilized one. Mr. Bush's speech put him firmly on the side of a new and very different Middle East, one with democracy at its core. It's a message we think will have surprising resonance in the Arab world, not least among the people of Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Dispensing with Arafat - George Will
    The policy of "land for peace" is a sterile irrelevance as a response to Arafatism, which does not disguise its objective of acquiring all the land of Israel. Today, only the delusional can believe that gratitude for the powers granted to a "provisional" Palestinian state will predominate over resentment about powers withheld. (Washington Post)
  • Arafat or Statehood - Robert Stewart
    Would-be Palestinian nationals must recognize that the largest barrier to freedom, prosperity, and a homeland is not the U.S. or Israel. It is their failure to choose peace and divorce themselves from the terrorists. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Test PA Intentions in Gaza First - Dennis Ross
    President Bush's words are right, but I do not see the mechanism for connecting diplomacy to the realities on the ground. Why not try a rolling approach to new security measures, starting in Gaza where the Palestinian security forces are basically intact? Now is a good time to test whether any part of the Palestinian Authority is willing to act forcefully against Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (New York Times)
  • U.S. Plan Only Way for Middle East - Matthew Tempest
    British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said there was "no other way forward" for the Middle East than Washington's peace plan, though he acknowledged the U.S. statement contained "some uncomfortable messages for the Palestinians." (Guardian - UK)
        For another British view, see Blair in Rift with Bush over Israel (Independent - UK)
  • Bush, Belatedly, Gets Middle East Right - Cragg Hines
    The reptilian Arafat will be looking to crawl into even the tiniest of cracks in the Western facade and exploit the slightest difference. Arafat will play for time, hoping some other Western leader will give him an opening to embarrass the Bush administration. (Houston Chronicle)

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