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 6, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Saudi Arabia, Stability, and International Islamic Terror - Mordechai Abir

    One key problem of the Saudi populace is the extraordinary degree of contempt for manual labor. Even an engineer who works with machines is considered inferior for marriage purposes because his occupation is related to manual labor.
    The Saudis look down on all foreigners and especially Westerners who hold most of the skilled positions in the country. This haughty attitude stems from the Saudi belief that they are chosen by God, and that all others are inferior. Saudi Wahhabism, an Islamic trend that developed in the mid-17th century, even considers all non-Wahhabi Muslims as infidels.
    The oil era has brought revolutionary changes to the formerly nomadic Bedouin. Some still maintain camels but transport them in padded GMC trucks. The new upper crust of Saudi technocrats is purchasing camels as a status symbol at exorbitant prices.
    The legendary wealth and indulgence in luxuries of the corrupt Saudi royal princes further skews the gap between rich and poor. Much of this wealth was amassed through the "commission system" which required foreign businessmen to use the services of well-connected members of the Saudi ruling class as patrons for their business dealings.
    In 1990, suddenly half a million American soldiers were on Saudi soil, among them "amazons" wearing pants and carrying guns who were seen walking into supermarkets as if they owned the place.
    Over 70 percent of the curriculum in the four "secular" universities involves religious studies and Arab and Islamic history, whereas only about 25 percent is devoted to other subjects.
    The Saudi state closed its eyes, if it did not contribute directly, to the flow of Saudi funds that enabled Wahhabi influence to reach into every corner of the world including Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, central Asia, Chechnya, southern Sudan, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia -- all locations which have suffered from the rise of fundamentalist Islam.
    (Jerusalem Viewpoints - Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Useful Reference:

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

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Extradite Murderers of Americans to the U.S.
    Twenty-four Americans have been killed and 43 wounded in Palestinian terror attacks since September 2000. Just as the U.S. requested extraditing the murderer of American journalist Daniel Pearl, several U.S. leaders have called for the extradition of Palestinian terrorist murders of Americans to stand trial in the U.S. (JTA/Jerusalem Post)
  • Betrayed by the State Dept. - Sherri Mandell
    The State Department's Rewards for Justice program, to help catch terrorists who killed Americans abroad, totally omitted Americans killed in Israel until last year. The program's website has only one page translated into Arabic, which does not focus on Palestinians. Ads publicizing the program have appeared in the New York Times, Al Hayat, Paris Match, Die Welt, and Pravda, yet not one ad has appeared in a Palestinian newspaper.
        The Koby Mandell Act (S.1377.IS; H.R.2098.IH) would establish an office in the U.S. Department of Justice to bring Palestinian killers of U.S. citizens to justice. (New York Post)
  • The Funeral of Bombing Victim Marla Bennett
    More than 2,000 attended the San Diego funeral of Marla Bennett, 24, one of five American victims of a terrorist bombing at Hebrew University in Jerusalem last week. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Briefing Depicts Saudis as Enemies
    "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader," stated a Rand Corp. analyst at a briefing on July 10 to the Defense Policy Board, a group of prominent intellectuals and former senior officials that advises the Pentagon. During the briefing, only former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger objected to the anti-Saudi conclusions. (Washington Post)
  • UN Demands Immediate Israeli Pullback
    By a vote of 114 to 4, with 11 abstentions, the UN General Assembly adopted a call for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian areas. U.S. UN Ambassador John Negroponte said the debate should have begun with a rejection of terrorism. "For too long the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council have been silent when Israelis are victims of terrorism," he said. (Voice of America)
  • Sept. 11 Hero Buried in Israel
    Abraham Zelmanowitz, praised as a hero by President Bush for remaining with his quadriplegic friend rather than flee the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, whose remains were identified only last week, was buried in Israel on Aug. 5 according to his final wishes. (AP/New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Human Rights Worker Confesses to Spying for Israel
    A Palestinian investigator for the B'Tselem human rights group, Haider Mahmoud Hasin Ghanem, 39, appeared on Palestinian TV and confessed to spying for the Israeli intelligence services since 1996. (Ha'aretz)
  • Court: No Prior Warning Needed in Home Demolitions
    The High Court of Justice has rejected the demand that families of Palestinians involved in terror attacks and whose homes are scheduled for demolition be given advance warning to enable them to appeal the decision. The three-judge panel ruled that the courts should deal with demolitions on a case-by-case basis. (Ha'aretz)
  • Arafat to be Expelled to Gaza?
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ordered the preparation of a plan for the expulsion of Yasser Arafat to Gaza, an idea that has been discussed in quiet contacts between Israel and the U.S. (Maariv)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Israeli Public Opinion on National Security 2002 - Asher Arian
    The latest survey in this annual series, done in February, indicates a continued turn to the right in Israeli public opinion in the wake of the heightened violence of the Palestinian uprising. The past year saw a dramatic drop both in the percentages of respondents who thought that an end to the Israeli-Arab conflict would be achieved by reaching peace agreements with the Palestinians and the Arab states, and those who supported the Oslo peace process. (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Take the Offensive against Baghdad - Garry Kasparov
    No shield, no airport checks, no intelligence budget will be sufficient if militant Islam retains its foothold, its access to cash, training and propaganda. It is easier and cheaper to execute a terrorist attack than it is to prevent one. If the war on terror is to be won swiftly, Mr. Bush must not lose sight of the war's twin imperatives: a decisive counterattack and a total unwillingness to appease our enemies. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Culture of Hate - Bat Yeor
    Arab racism consists of calling the Land of Israel, Arab land, whereas no Palestinian province, village, or town, including Jerusalem is mentioned either in the Koran or in any Arabic text before the end of the ninth century. The Bible, which tells the history of this country, tells it in Hebrew, the language of the country, and not in Arabic. Palestinian racism consists of asserting that the kings and prophets of Israel were Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim kings and prophets, as were Jesus, his family, and the apostles. This Arabization and Islamization of the Bible thus robs not only the Jews but also the whole of Christianity of their history. (National Review)
  • Talking Points:

    Is Palestinian Statehood Inevitable? - Zalman Shoval (Washington Times)

    • President Bush's proposed three-year timeline leading to Palestinian statehood is a target date that will remain hypothetical unless the preconditions clearly set out in his speech are met. In other words, the clock isn't ticking yet, and the countdown to Palestinian statehood isn't about to start until there is an absolute end to terror and violence, the dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure, and a new and changed Palestinian leadership.
    • Though Mr. Bush's vision is one of a "democratic, stable, peaceful, viable and credible" Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel - like Canada bordering on the United States - there is always the possibility, some would say the probability, that a future Palestinian state, right there in Israel's backyard, would turn out to be another brutal, corrupt, undemocratic rogue state - like so many others in the Arab Middle East.
    • No less problematic is the term "viable" as applied to a future Palestinian state. Palestinian society has never been able to constitute well-functioning institutions of any sort - not under the British mandate and not after "Oslo." This is contrary to the Zionist movement which, under far worse initial conditions, successfully created a virtual "state-within-a-state" long before achieving independence in 1948.
    • Perhaps this is so because, until quite recently, most Arabs living in the country quite simply didn't see themselves as a people apart. Or maybe, as the recent U.N.-sponsored "Arab Human Development Report" makes clear, not even the existing Arab states, whether Islamist or secular, have been able to become part of the modern world.

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