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 24, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Palestinian-Americans Flee West Bank
    There has been a stampede of middle-class Palestinians out of the territories. Many of those leaving are Palestinian-American families who had left suburban lives in the U.S. to return after the 1995 peace accords.
    "The Americans" built hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, stores, and sprawling red-roofed houses on the outskirts of Ramallah.
    Membership in the Palestinian-American Society, which represented 1,000 families in the West Bank and Gaza in late 2000, has dwindled to 200 families. (USA Today)

Assad's Spokesman Claims Al Qaeda-Shi'ite Enmity
    In 1998 Al Qaeda and the Taliban massacred 30,000 Shi'ite Muslims in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, including 12 Iranian diplomats. Therefore, Hizballah, which is part of the Shi'ite community, and the Taliban and Al Qaeda became bitter enemies. (International Herald Tribune)

Saudi Government Panel Says Coke Logo Not Anti-Muslim
    Coca-Cola has created a website to debunk myths about the company and its brands.
    Some claim that the Coca-Cola trademark, when reversed and read from left to right, says in Arabic "No Mohammed, No Mecca."
    A special committee in Saudi Arabia with representatives from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Trade investigated the Coca-Cola logo - and determined that there is no basis to these allegations and that the Coca-Cola trademark does not connote anything defamatory to Islam.
    The Coca-Cola trademark was created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, at a time and place where there was little knowledge of Arabic. (Coca-Cola)

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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • U.S. Calls Israeli Airstrike "Heavy-handed"
    The Bush administration today condemned as "heavy-handed" the Israeli bombing attack that killed a Hamas leader in Gaza City and 14 civilians. (New York Times)
        In the Aftermath of the Airstrike on the Leader of Hamas
    Military Intelligence said that only 4 of the 15 people killed (and more than 100 wounded) were actually in the house: Shehada, his wife, daughter, and an aide from Hamas. The rest of the casualties were residents of surrounding buildings. (Ha'aretz)
        "We did not estimate that houses in the area would be seriously damaged or collapse. Our assessment was that the damage to them would be minor," a senior military official told reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
        A high-ranking general who called the New York Times said the strike against Shehada was "purely pre-emptive" because he had been about to mount a number of major attacks. The general said those included placing a truck bomb under a bridge used by settlers in Gaza, sending a boat filled with explosives to a bathing beach, dispatching suicide bombers to a shopping mall, and gunmen to attack a Gaza settlement. (New York Times)
  • "If We'd Known, We'd Have Put It Off"
    Major-General Giora Eiland, chief of military planning, told the Associated Press that the operation to kill Shehada had been canceled several times because the Hamas commander had been in the presence of civilians. "If we knew that this would be the result, of course, we wouldn't have taken this operation," Eiland said. (Ha'aretz) Former Chief of Staff Dan Shomron said, "We should not have used a one-ton bomb." (Maariv)
        Israeli President Moshe Katsav: "Israel had no choice but to attack the person who was directly responsible for the murders of dozens of innocent Israelis. No country would allow such an arch-murderer to continue to perpetrate his sick desires. Shehada maliciously chose to locate himself in a crowded residential area. I send my condolences to the families of those who were killed, and my wishes for a speedy recovery to those who were wounded, in an action that was designed to foil the continued massacre of Israelis." (IMRA)
        See also Hamas Leader Salah Shehada (Israel Defense Forces); Interview with Salah Shehada (MEMRI)
  • Extreme Views Guide Hamas Militants
    Goal: An Islamic-ruled Middle East in which the Jewish State of Israel would be eliminated. Methods: Since it was founded in 1987, Hamas has dispatched its believers to kill hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers with suicide bombings, remote-controlled bombs, and gun attacks. The U.S. government has declared Hamas a terrorist organization. (AP/Washington Post)
        Hamas's Deadliest Attacks - which murdered 151 Israelis. Civilian deaths are the purpose, not a regrettable side effect, of Hamas attacks. (Fox News)
  • Forces Poised for Saddam Raid
    American and British special forces have started preparing for operations in Iraq, according to military sources in Washington, and U.S. forces have started building "tent cities" in Kuwait and Qatar. Analysts believe the Pentagon has been mounting a deliberate disinformation campaign to stress the difficulties of mounting a conventional ground and air operation to topple Saddam. "It looks as if it is going to kick off much sooner than expected," said Major Charles Heyman of the Jane's Information Group. (Evening Standard - UK)
  • Saudis to Flog Briton
    The first Briton to be flogged in Saudi Arabia for 17 years is to receive 800 lashes and eight years in jail for running an illegal drinking club. Six Britons are being held in Saudi Arabia and could face the death penalty over involvement in the lucrative trade in bootleg alcohol. (The Australian/The Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Palestinians Fire Kassam Rockets at Sderot
    Palestinians fired 3 Kassam rockets at the town of Sderot in southern Israel Tuesday night; there were no casualties in the attack. Shortly before the rocket attack, Palestinians fired four mortar shells at an Israeli community in the northern Gaza Strip. Two Israeli civilians were lightly wounded and treated at the site.
        Earlier Tuesday, IDF soldiers killed three Palestinians near the village of Tel in Samaria who were involved in the shooting attack on a bus near Emmanuel last week in which nine Israelis died and scores were wounded. The terrorists, affiliated with Hamas, wore flak jackets and olive tiger-striped uniforms and were equipped with weapons, grenades, and ammunition clips.
        Meanwhile, the IDF lifted the curfews on Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin, and Ramallah during the day. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • What Occupation? - Efraim Karsh
    There are limits to Israel's ability to transform a virulent enemy into a peace partner, and those limits have long since been reached. It is not the 1967 occupation that led to the Palestinians' rejection of peaceful coexistence and their pursuit of violence. Rather, what is at fault is the Arab view that the creation of the Jewish state was itself an original act of "inhuman occupation" with which compromise of any final kind is beyond the realm of the possible. (Commentary/FrontPageMagazine)
  • Iran's Dialogue of Deceit - Michael Rubin
    The State Department report errs in documenting only Iran's anti-Israel terror. While annihilation of the "cancerous tumor" of Israel remains a pillar of the Islamic Republic, Iranian terror reverberates throughout the region. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Tolerating Intolerance: The Challenge of Fundamentalist Islam in Western Europe - Bruce Bawer
    Nearly half of Amsterdam's population is of non-Dutch origin, and most of these are fundamentalist Muslims. While in America, the U.S.-born children of immigrants are American citizens, in the Netherlands, the Dutch-born children of immigrants are called "second-generation immigrants." (The same is true in Germany and Norway.) (Partisan Review)
  • Talking Points:

    The Israeli Airstrike on the Leader of Hamas

    • Salah Shehada was one of the most notorious terrorists in the history of the Middle East.
    • Shehada was a "ticking bomb" in the process of preparing a large-scale terrorist attack inside Israel. Thwarting his murderous plans was a matter of urgency.
    • Terrorism is the greatest obstacle to the renewal of negotiations and the return to the peace process.
    • Israel regrets any loss of life among Palestinian civilians in the course of its operation, especially children.
    • Israel does its utmost, as a matter of policy, to avoid harming innocent civilians. Several attacks against Shehada were halted in the past because of his proximity to civilians.
    • Palestinian terrorists operate with the premeditated intention of killing innocent women and children.

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