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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July 11, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Sari Nusseibeh: Palestinian Moderate?
    Israel's closure of the Jerusalem offices of Al-Quds University president and Palestinian Authority Jerusalem representative Sari Nusseibeh was criticized by the White House and the New York Times.
    While Nusseibeh signed a petition against suicide bombers within Israel's 1967 borders, Israeli officials have a large file on his less-than-moderate actions:

  • In 1991, Nusseibeh was arrested for providing missile-targeting information to Iraqi sources. After reviewing evidence, opposition leader Yossi Sarid told an interviewer that if he had been judging Nusseibeh, he would not have given him three months imprisonment but ten years.
  • In December 2001, Nusseibeh spoke on Al-Jazeera TV in favor of the Palestinian "right of return" and the "stages" strategy.
  • In February 2002, he told a Jerusalem Post interviewer that Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods of Gilo, French Hill, Pisgat Ze'ev, Neveh Ya'acov, Ramot, East Talpiot, and Ramat Eshkol are "settlements" that must be abandoned. He suggested that Palestinian refugees be resettled in these neighborhoods.
        Israeli law prohibits the operation of Palestinian Authority offices in Israel. Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau explained, "'A civil representative of the Palestinian Authority was operating from the heart of Jerusalem with the aim of putting our sovereignty in question.''

    The Lesson of EgyptAir 990 - Arnold Beichman
        Picture a Palestinian state with its own airport located a short flying distance from the center of densely populated Tel Aviv. Then recall the story of EgyptAir Flight 900.
        On Oct. 31, 1999, EgyptAir Flight 900 went down in the Atlantic Ocean with 217 people aboard -- 100 Americans, 89 Egyptians (including 33 army officers), 22 Canadians, and others. The crash was not caused, as Egypt claimed, by any mechanical failure but by the intentional act of a pilot.
        The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the crash had been caused by EgyptAir pilot Gameel al-Batouti who, while alone in the cockpit, disengaged the autopilot, cut the engines, and dove the giant plane into the ocean, all the while muttering an Islamic prayer, as recorded by the recovered flight tape recorder. (Washington Times)
        See also William Langewiesche, The Crash of EgyptAir 990 (Atlantic Monthly)

    Key Links

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    Back Issues

  • News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • PBS Documents Baghdad's Use of Poison Gas
    In a new series on foreign affairs called "Wide Angle," PBS airs tonight the horrible -- and lingering -- effects of Baghdad's use of poison gas and other chemical/biological weapons against the Kurdish tribes of northern Iraq 14 years ago. Saddam Hussein has an inventory of the kind of horror weapons al Qaeda has promised to use against Americans. (Washington Post)
  • Amnesty: Palestinian Attacks on Israeli Civilians are Crimes Against Humanity
    According to a new Amnesty International report, "The attacks against civilians by Palestinian armed groups are widespread, systematic, and in pursuit of an explicit policy to attack civilians. They therefore constitute crimes against humanity under international law. They may also constitute war crimes." (Amnesty International)
  • NYC Banker Volunteers for Stint in Israeli Army
    Alan Leventen, 49, of Merrill Lynch, lives on Central Park West with his wife and three cats. Sgt. Leventen, a dual citizen, currently lives in a big tent with 11 other mainly middle-age Israeli men, including bus drivers and kibbutzniks. He has dust in every nook and cranny of his body, and he has not felt so good in years. (Newsday)
  • Settlers See Outposts as Obstacles to War
    The Israeli left calls them obstacles to peace, but the determined, self-styled pioneering Zionists living in trailers on isolated West Bank hills call themselves obstacles to war. (JTA)
  • Saudis Ban Foreign PR Pros
    Saudi Arabia has banned foreigners from working in PR jobs, according to an edict issued by the Kingdom's Social and Labor Ministry as part of its "Saudization" program to increase job opportunities for Saudi nationals. Foreign workers comprise 96 percent of the 5.2 million jobs in the private sector of Saudi Arabia's job market. (O'Dwyer's PR Daily)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Givati Officer Killed by Palestinian Sniper
    Capt. Hagai Haim Lev, 24, the deputy commander of a Givati Brigade reconnaissance unit, was killed Wednesday morning by Palestinian sniper fire while searching for tunnels used to smuggle weapons from Egypt to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. "Hagai was a professional, dedicated, and thorough officer who was involved in dangerous and complex battles in the past," said southern Gaza brigade commander Col. Shlomo Dagan. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Captured Jordanian Terrorist Planned to Rocket Settlements
    Wael Hourani, 30, told police investigators that he helped set up a bomb factory inside the Palestinian Authority's government complex in Hebron, which was blown up by the IDF two weeks ago. Hourani supplied local Tanzim activists with 70 pipe bombs that were used to attack IDF soldiers. He also admitted building a number of rockets, and had conducted several experimental launches. (Jerusalem Post)
  • UN Report Criticizes Lebanon's Failure to Control South
    The UN secretary-general’s report on UNIFIL, due to be released next week, contains its harshest criticism yet over Lebanon’s perceived failure to assert its authority over the South. The past six months have witnessed a significant increase in tension levels along the border, and a well-placed UN source said “patience is wearing thin” with Lebanon. (Daily Star - Lebanon)
  • Palestinian-Bedouin Tensions in Jordan
    As many as 2,000 Palestinians are waiting in Jericho for permission to cross into Jordan; the Jordanians allow in only 150 per day. Since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada, 26,000 Palestinians have moved to Jordan. "Jordanian Bedouin regard the Jordanian Palestinians as usurpers who took the country away from them," said a university researcher of Bedouin origin. (Ha'aretz)
  • Dahlan Appointed PA National Security Advisor
    Former head of preventive security in Gaza Mohammed Dahlan has been appointed by Yasser Arafat to the position of National Security Advisor. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Muslims' Plague of Hatred - Dennis Prager
    The debate about whether to call Hadayet's actions at Los Angeles Airport terror or merely a hate crime is not only foolish, it is suicidal. There are many individual Muslim extremists without any links to any terror organizations who are prepared to slaughter Americans and Jews. Millions of Arab Muslims have been raised with a hatred of Jews and Americans whose intensity is unique in the world. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Palestinians Must Accept Accountability - Dennis Ross
    The Palestinian public not only favors reform but is insisting on it. Yet reform is still a longshot for several reasons. The U.S. should set the standards of performance and evaluate whether Palestinian forces are meeting those standards. (Los Angeles Times)
  • What the Saudis Really Think of Bush's Initiative - Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi
    Bush called on Saudis to begin normalizing relations with Israel "as we move toward a peaceful solution," when we're not keen on normalization even when the process concludes. It's time the Americans appreciated the distinction between our acceptance of Israel as a political fact of life, and our refusal to bestow moral and legal legitimacy on Israel's presence in Palestine. (Daily Star - Lebanon)
  • Sharon at his Peak - Aluf Benn
    Daniel Abraham is a Jewish-American businessman and one of the most important supporters of the Oslo process. Last week Abraham paid Prime Minister Sharon a visit, and expressed his contrition. "You were right about Arafat all along," he said. "We have to have no more dealings with him. So long as he's here, there's no chance for peace." (Ha'aretz)
  • Derail the Saudi Visa Express - Editorial
    Using the Saudi Visa Express service, anyone who is a resident of Saudi Arabia can apply for a non-immigrant visa to the U.S. simply by filling out a form and sending a picture of himself along with the fee to a travel agency and receive a visa in the mail, without any American ever checking whether the person is on a terrorist watch list. (Washington Times)
  • Talking Points:

    Meet the New Chief of Staff, Moshe Ya'alon - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz )

    • Ya'alon accepts the existence of a Palestinian state, but under clear conditions and at the end of a negotiation for a final settlement. If that condition is not met, it is a formula for continued warfare and for negative processes in the Arab world, including Israel's Arabs.
    • Ya'alon knows Arafat's departure from the political arena does not mean a knockout victory for Israel.
    • Ya'alon is said to believe that ousting Arafat from the territories would only revive his international standing. (IDF Radio)
    • Ya'alon does not want the IDF to linger in the Palestinian towns and he supports wide-scale humanitarian aid to the population.
    • Since he perceives the Palestinian terror campaign as an existential one, he led the IDF's campaign against those few who refuse to serve in the territories, and appears to have succeeded.

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