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 27, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

40 Children Crippled by Pipe Bombs They Were Paid to Throw
    Speaking to the Kuwaiti daily Al-Zaman, Arafat's deputy, Abu Mazen, revealed that at least 40 Palestinian children in Gaza have been crippled by pipe bombs they were paid to throw.
    "I oppose that little children go to die. It is a horrible thing. At least 40 children in Rafah became cripples after their hands were blown off by pipe bombs. They received 5 shekels [slightly over $1] to throw them. Why is this done?" (IMRA)

Inside Saudi Arabia
    Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were young Saudis from middle-class backgrounds with limited prospects for success.
    Hundreds of thousands of young Saudis graduate into an economy that creates only 25,000 jobs a year.
    The oil money that flooded into Saudi Arabia 25 years ago led to a population explosion, from 9.9 million in 1980 to 22 million in 2000. The birth rate soared, but so did the number of imported workers. More than 7 million foreigners, with no prospect of citizenship, now live in Saudi Arabia.
    Oil wealth did not keep pace with the population increase. The average income in the kingdom has fallen by more than half, to $7,500 a year.
    Saudis make up 95 percent of the petroleum workforce. But in the rest of the economy, only one in seven workers is a Saudi.
    The Saudi standard of living is still five or six times higher than that of its foreign workers from Bangladesh, the Philippines, and India. (Dallas Morning News)

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:

  • Bush Threatens to Halt PA Funds
    President Bush told his key allies at the G-8 meeting in Canada that the United States would cut off aid to the Palestinians if they failed to embrace the kind of changes he demanded on Monday. "We won't be putting money into a society which is not transparent -- and corrupt -- and I suspect other countries won't either," said Bush. A senior administration official noted that while the Palestinian people were free to re-elect Mr. Arafat, they should know that it would cost them significant aid. "We respect democratic processes," the official said, "but there are consequences." (New York Times)
        Bush Argues for Arafat's Ouster at G-8
    President Bush argued at the G-8 global summit for Yasser Arafat's ouster, but no other world leader joined his call. "I meant what I said, that there needs to be change," Bush said. "The status quo is unacceptable....In this case I'm using diplomatic pressure to work with our friends and allies to convince all parties they have a responsibility to bear." (Washington Post/AP)
  • Syria to Begin Production of Extended-Range Scud
    Israeli defense officials said Syria could produce as many as thirty, 700-km-range missiles a year. The warhead has been designed to contain biological and chemical weapons, the officials said. (Jane's Defence Weekly)
  • Israeli Bus Drivers Absorb Shock of Attacks
    Ninety people have been killed and more than 500 have been wounded in terror attacks on buses or at bus stops since the current Palestinian violence began in September 2000. Every day, more than 1 million Israelis take their chances on a bus. [On Thursday, CNN International's "Victims of Terror" series broadcasts from Netanya.] (CNN)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Mossad Chief: Israel Must Foil Regional Nuclear Arms Plans
    Speaking to a meeting of NATO's North Atlantic Council in Brussels, Ephraim Halevy, the director of Israel's secret Mossad intelligence agency, warned that radical Islamic terrorism poses a "formidable threat" to NATO member states. He added that Israel cannot spare any effort to foil, prevent, or delay the attainment of weapons of mass destruction by countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Sweeps for Terrorists in Hebron
    After surrounding Hebron's government complex based in an old British fort, the IDF has captured over 40 terrorists -- including a senior Hizballah official -- and confiscated hundreds of bombs including explosive belts ready for use by suicide bombers. Some 10 to 15 wanted fugitives are still hiding out in the building. The IDF is in control of all major Palestinian cities in the West Bank except Jericho. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Taking Back the West Bank (MSNBC)
  • New York Mayor to Aid Itamar Family
    The family of Rachel Shabo, who was murdered on June 20 along with three of her sons when two Palestinian terrorists entered her home in the Samarian Jewish village of Itamar, received a phone call from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who offered to help them rebuild their house which was burned in the attack. (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Sharansky: Palestinian Democracy is Possible
    According to Construction and Housing Minister Natan Sharansky, those who say democracy can never take hold in other societies are actually saying this to justify why they support dictators. He suggests that Bush's speech should now be followed up by the establishment of a coordinating body headed by the U.S., together with those Arab states who recognize Israel, for creating a Palestinian administrative authority (PAA) as a transitional government to shepherd a process of democratization. Asked if he doesn't think Arafat would win the elections, Sharansky replied, "If elections were held today he would win, like Stalin won. That is why you need real democracy." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Post-Oslo Mideast - William Safire
    While President Bush is now actively engaged in fostering the creation of the first Arab state that could provide freedom, equality, and the good life to millions of its citizens, the monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Jordan and the dictatorships of Egypt and Syria would be threatened by a successful Arab democratic experiment. The majority of residents of Gaza and the West Bank are denied a peaceful and productive life in a free country not by Israel nor by America, but by the minority of terrorists among them who want totalitarian control of all Palestinians as well as Jews. (New York Times)
  • Arafat Has To Go - Charles Krauthammer
    Europeans have been killing each other for millennia, but not anymore. Why? They discovered democracy, and the peace that comes with tolerant, open societies. The president's proposal for democratizing Palestinian society is a fundamental rejection of the Oslo conceit that you could impose a PLO thugocracy led by the inventors of modern terrorism and then be surprised that seven years later it exploded in violence. (
  • Can the Palestinians Build a Normal Political Order? - Fouad Ajami
    Palestinian society can do better than the autocracy of the Maximum Leader in the Ramallah compound and the cynical, cruel bargain he has made with the perpetrators of terror. There must be decent men and women in the Palestinian world who can see in this new opening an alternative to rule by brigands. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Sympathy for Suicide Bombers is a Sign of Western Moral Failure - Michael Gove
    This ideology of death is not the product of hope denied, but hope fed, above all, by the folly of the West. The hope that terror will bring concessions, the hope that the West is weakening, the hope that fanaticism will prevail, is daily reinforced. The moral confusion which suicide bombing has produced among Western elites obscures the wickedness of ethnic mass murder. (Times - UK)
  • Bush's Speech Brings a Sigh of Relief in Israel - Amnon Rubinstein
    Most Israelis regard the Palestinians not as helpless victims of Israeli armored might -- the prism through which British watchers of the nightly television news see them -- but as the vanguard of an Arab-Muslim sea, which threatens to drown the tiny Jewish state. Most Israelis believe that the very survival of our nation is at stake. [The author, a Member of the Knesset for the Meretz Party, served as Minister of Education in Yitzhak Rabin's cabinet.] (Independent - UK)
  • Talking Points:

    Decoding Diplobabble - Martha Brant (Newsweek)

    A glossary for decoding the most common talking points at White House briefings:

    • Talking Point 1: "Yasser Arafat has not earned the president's trust."
      Meaning: Arafat is a liar. After the Palestinian leader denied knowing about the arms cache from Iran discovered aboard the Karine A, Bush wrote Arafat off completely. As one administration official puts it, "Next!"
    • Talking Point 2: "This conflict is bigger than any one person."
      Meaning: Yasser Arafat is a terrorist. The White House brass believes this. So they try to pretend that Arafat's not there while working around him to develop relationships with others in the Palestinian Authority.
    • Talking Point 3: "Israel has a right to defend itself."
      Meaning: Green light. (Unless followed by Talking Point 4.)
    • Talking Point 4: "Israel has to be aware of the consequences tomorrow of any actions they take today."
      Meaning: Warning to Sharon. Don't go doing anything -- like exile Arafat -- that will scuttle the whole thing.

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