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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August 1, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Defining Donor Requirements for Palestinian Reform - Matthew Levitt (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

    The PA claims it needs $58 million per month to cover the salaries of its public servants. However, seized PA documents indicate that PA salary expenses came closer to $40 million.
    The documents show that Fatah branch offices requested that the PA pay the salaries of its activists, adding their names to the rolls of the Palestinian security agencies.
    Israeli authorities discovered over sixty copies of checks made out to various Fatah branch offices in the West Bank from the PA Finance Ministry's "salaries account," yet this account is intended only to fund the salaries of PA employees, not Fatah activists. Furthermore, the checks could have been used to finance any kind of activity, including terrorism.
    If the PA is determined to fund terrorists, streamlining and efficiency may only facilitate the transfer of more money to the terrorists.

Hamas Leader's Wife Won't Let Son Become Homicide Bomber (Israel Radio)

    When the homicide bombing recruiter phoned the wife of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi to ask if her son was available for an operation, she turned him down, according to a transcript of a telephone conversation recorded by the Palestinian security services that was found by the IDF in Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah.

Does America Still Need the Saudis? (Time)

    Saudi Arabia today accounts for 15% of the U.S.'s crude-oil imports, less than half the amount the U.S. imports from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. In 1973 that figure was 25%. With promising new oil sources opening up in Russia and Central Asian states like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, the U.S. has alternatives it didn't have in 1973.

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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Palestinians Murder 7 - including 5 Americans - in Hebrew University Bombing
    Palestinian terrorists set off a bomb in the crowded Frank Sinatra cafeteria of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at lunch hour, murdering 7 and wounding 97, 13 seriously. (FOX News)
        Bomb Triggered by Cellular Phone - Ze'ev Schiff
    The entire incident reveals that the story of how Hamas, Tanzim, and Palestinian Authority officials were about to declare a unilateral cease-fire is nothing but a fairy tale. (Ha'aretz)
        Story of the Rescue (Jerusalem Post)
        Palestinians Celebrate
    In Gaza City, thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children celebrated by clapping, singing, and distributing sweets. (Reuters)
        To Attack a University
    "This is beyond the pale, to attack a university, and it shows what the war is about. It's not about the settlements. It's not about occupation. It's about the very existence of a Jewish population in this country," said Hebrew University political science professor Shlomo Avineri. (New York Times)
  • Iraq's Arsenal Grows Deadlier, Senate Told
    The threat from Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons arsenals grows by the day, and the current containment strategy cannot succeed in the long run, two former top UN weapons experts told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. "If you defer, put off to another day the solution to this serious problem, it will only be harder and costlier in the end," said Richard Butler, who headed the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) until 1998. (Washington Times)
  • UN Report Says Jenin Not a Massacre
    A highly anticipated UN report says that Israeli contentions that Palestinian fighters used the Jenin camp as a base were correct, and that Palestinian leaders' claims of the number of deaths were exaggerated. According to the report, Palestinian claims that as many as 500 people died were "not...substantiated in light of the evidence that has emerged" - only 52 Palestinians died in Jenin. (MSNBC)
  • Gaza Exiles Living the High Life
    The "Bethlehem Boys," 24 Palestinians exiled to Gaza for their involvement in the Church of the Nativity siege, have been given cushy apartments and salaries. (Fox News)
  • Drama as a DMZ in Israel
    Israel's several Jewish-Arab theater troupes, founded in less volatile times as living examples of how a Jewish majority and Arab minority could coexist in Israel, now operate in a climate of fear, hatred, suspicion, and terrorism. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Israeli "Executed" Near Tulkarm
    The body of an Israeli who had been bound and shot in the head at close range was found Thursday morning near Tulkarm. The commander of IDF forces in Judea and Samaria, Brig.-Gen. Gershon Yitzhak, said the murderers took advantage of the lifting of the curfew in Tulkarm in order to carry out the "lynching." (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Sharon Approves "Gaza First" Plan to Ease Tensions
    Prime Minister Sharon has approved the "Gaza first" plan proposed by Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer to promote quiet in the territories. Israel proposes to implement the plan first in the Gaza Strip, where PA security mechanisms have not been disrupted, along with selected cities in the West Bank (Jericho, Hebron, and Bethlehem). Palestinian security men are to take responsibility for security affairs in those areas, including arrests of terrorists and the confiscation of weapons. In exchange for Palestinian action, Israel will reduce troop deployments and dismantle roadblocks. (Ha'aretz)
  • Bomb Factory Discovered in Jenin PA Legislative Council Building
    A bomb factory was discovered Wednesday in the Palestinian legislative council building in Jenin. About 300 kilograms of the TATP compound used in manufacturing explosives was found, along with dozens of containers of acid compounds used for the same purpose. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The Coming Revolution in Iran - R. James Woolsey
    The ruling mullahs in Iran are beginning to lose control. The ideology of Iranian theocracy is reeling. Iran's Shi'ite clergy are finding it harder and harder to get the police to repress the demonstrators and are importing Syrians and Palestinians to do the dirty work. If theocracy dies in Iran as it has died in Afghanistan, then its remaining advocates - the Islamist terrorists and Saudi Arabia's Wahhabis - will be substantially weakened. [The author was Director of the CIA in 1993-95.] (Wall Street Journal/FrontPageMagazine)
  • Affecting Egyptian Public Opinion - William F. Buckley, Jr.
    The government of Egypt owns Al-Akhbar, in which columnist Ahmad Ragab calls out to "give thanks to Hitler, of blessed memory." We mustn't accept as the modus vivendi of great Islamic nations the proposition that Hitler was a saintly figure in history. There are things that we could do to affect Egyptian opinion. We could stop sending them $2 billion per year, we could ban U.S. travelers from visiting Egypt. (National Review)
  • U.S. Values Won't Sell in the Arab World - Zev Chafets
    The Council on Foreign Relations proposes that the U.S. allocate vast sums to sell American values to the Arab world. If there are masses of Arabs who long for democratic government, they are masters of secrecy. When demonstrators in the Arab world take to the streets, it is usually to demand greater religious repression or revenge against a neighbor. Women in most Arab societies are property. The notion that there's a market for freedom, secular democracy, and modernity in the Arab world is delusional. (New York Daily News)
  • Talking Points:

    New Plan to Counter Homicide Bombers (Ha'aretz)

    Israel's security cabinet on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan presented by Security Services chief Avi Dichter and Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi aimed at countering homicide bombings:

    • Transfer relatives of terrorists from the West Bank to Gaza. Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein has presented a legal opinion that deportations can be ordered against family members if there was substantive evidence linking them to terrorism.
    • Demolish the families' homes
    • Confiscate or destroy the families' property and vehicles
    • Attempt to prevent financial support from reaching the families
    • Strike against those inciting the public at mosques
    • Prevent parades by armed, masked men in Palestinian towns

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