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 9, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

The Palestinians Understand that They have Lost - IDF Central Command Head Gen. Yitzhak Eitan

    We are beginning to see that the Palestinians understand that at the strategic level they have lost the game. They understand that in practice they have not succeeded in advancing their national interests. Today there is an "earthquake" occurring on the Palestinian side, and opposition groups against Arafat are emerging that speak openly about the lack of success. Two years of terror and fighting have brought them only hunger, unemployment, and hardship.
    Currently there is no one on the Palestinian side prepared to take responsibility and deal with terror. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah-Tanzim must be stopped by fighting them. Until they are fought, they will not stop, but this will not occur as long as Arafat is pulling the strings.
    The prime minister has said that in the end we want negotiations on a political settlement and peace, but we cannot go in this direction in any form or manner as long as the terror continues. Once the terror ends, then we need to reach an agreement as we did with Egypt and Jordan. (Y-Net/Yediot Ahronot)
    See also Gen. Yitzhak Eitan on the Complexity of the War against Terror (IDF)

The Strategic Dilemma of Homicide Bombings - Ze'ev Schiff

    Since the signing of the Oslo agreements through August 8, 2002, some 135 people have blown themselves up out of 198 attempted suicide attacks. Suicide bombings are only 0.6 percent of all the attacks. But they have caused 50 percent of the Israeli casualties.
    Out of 605 Israeli deaths, 455 were civilians (75 percent). Some 84 percent of all the casualties were civilians. Some 75 percent of the dead, 344 people, were killed inside the Green Line, including Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz)

Candidates Emerge for Palestinian Elections

    Husam Nazzal, 41, a physician from Jenin working for "Tour Hospital" in France, has started his campaign for the Palestinian presidential elections from Jordan, calling for the foundation of a "Parliamentary Palestinian Republic."
    Bassam Abu Sharif, former media advisor to Yasser Arafat, has announced in Jordan the foundation of the Palestine Democratic Party.
    Additional candidates for the Palestinian presidential elections, due to be held in January 2003 - in addition to Yasser Arafat - include university teacher Qasem Abdul Sattar from Nablus, and Palestinian businessman Omar Karsou, 42, from Nablus, who calls his project "Democracy in Palestine." (

Visit Jerusalem by Internet

    See the Jerusalem Archaeological Park next to the Temple Mount - a unique visual Internet Experience offered by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Useful Reference:

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Palestinian Violence and Terrorism
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Palestinian Delegation Comes to Washington
    Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Interior Minister Abdel Razak Yehiyeh, and Economic Minister Maher Masri met with Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Washington on Thursday. "The discussions will be continuing over the next couple of days, and then we're anxious to get some specific actions started, especially with respect to security," Secretary Powell said. (New York Times)
  • Where Do the Bombed Buses Go?
    A scrapyard in Kiryat Ata, a few miles from the Lebanese border, is where the buses are dumped after their 15 minutes of infamy, when the dead have been pulled from the wreckage and the television cameras have departed. The latest arrival is the charred remains of bus No. 361, its roof torn off, in which nine people were murdered by a homicide bomber at Meron junction, near Safed, on August 4. Beside it is bus No. 960, on which eight Israelis died near Haifa on April 10. Nearby is the burnt skeleton of the coach on which 17 people died at Megiddo on June 5. (Times - UK)
  • Promised Land for Donkeys
    Animal rights activist Lucy Fensom, a 31-year-old transplanted Briton, has set up a Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land on a four-acre plot in Gan Yoshiya, north of Tel Aviv. She has rescued 43 donkeys from neglect and mistreatment over the last 2 1/2 years, including an unlucky donkey at a recent Palestinian protest that was deemed to represent Israel, and was punished by the demonstrators, who sliced off both its ears and its tail. (Los Angeles Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Eyewitness to an Execution
    Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh witnessed an execution by firing squad at Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah: "Two plainclothes policemen emerge from the prison with a young, bearded man whose face is badly swollen. He looks me straight in the eye, as if he is trying to tell me something. In my heart I feel something is wrong. It must have been the strange look in his eyes, a look that will haunt me for many years. I feel as if this young man is begging for help. I decide to follow him and see where he is being taken.
        The man was blindfolded and made to stand against a wall. Three policemen, standing about three meters away, sprayed him with bullets from their rifles. He was hit in the head and chest and fell to the ground. I asked a police officer what happened and he replied, "A criminal has been executed. What's the big deal?" (Jerusalem Post)
  • Sharon: No Talks with "Gang of Murderers that is the PA"
    Speaking at the National Security Academy on Thursday, Prime Minister Sharon said: "We can't hold peace talks with the gang of murderers that is the Palestinian Authority. Rooting them out is the only way to reach peace." The prime minister stressed that Israel was not targeting the Palestinian population, but rather those linked to terror, and said Israel would do everything in its power to help Palestinians who were not involved in terror. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Why the West Must Strike First Against Saddam Hussein - Richard Perle
    The Iraqi force today is a third of what it was in 1991, and it is the same third, 11 years closer to obsolescence. By contrast, America and even some of its allies have made enormous improvements in their ability to detect, and destroy with precision strikes, the critical elements of Saddam's military power. Alongside Iraqis eager to liberate their country, Saddam will crumble far more quickly than the critics of pre-emption expect. (Daily Telegraph - UK)
  • What Do Iraqis Think about Life After Hussein? - Michael Rubin
    I taught for nine months last year in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq and met Sunni and Shiite Muslims visiting from all over Iraq. The Iraqis I know would shed few tears if Saddam Hussein were to go. As one university professor in northeast Iraq asked me, "Why do people in the West think we want to live under Saddam any more than they would?" (New York Times)
  • "And Then What?" is No Defense Against Action in Iraq - Tim Hames
    All of the concerns of the "and then what?" lobby lack logic. Even an orthodox military administration in Baghdad would be less sadistic at home or menacing abroad than one presided over by a professional psychopath and his warped offspring. (Times - UK)
  • Baghdad is Not Mogadishu - Gary Schmitt and Tom Donnelly
    The biggest difference would be in the American government's will to win, and the U.S. military would not be fighting in the Iraqi capital with one hand tied behind its back. Whether the leaders of the Republican Guard would fight to the death is unknowable, but it is likely the rank and file would not. Saddam has remained in power by creating overwhelming fear among his subordinates. Once he loses the ability to sustain that fear, how can he maintain the discipline and loyalty of a sufficient number of troops to hold out in Baghdad? (Weekly Standard)
  • Burying the "Massacre" - Editorial
    In the long-awaited UN report on Israel's military action in Jenin, the allegation that hundreds of innocent civilians had been murdered by the Israelis, cited breathlessly by so many news sources three months ago, has "not been substantiated in the light of evidence that has emerged." In fact, fewer innocent civilians were killed in Jenin than in the March 27 Passover suicide bombing. Odd, isn't it, that there was no enthusiasm in the United Nations for an investigation of that incident? (National Post - Canada)
  • We Cannot Let Death have Dominion - Yossi Sarid
    Earlier this week I called Amiram Goldin to express my condolences on the death of his son, Omri, killed in the bus attack at the Meron junction. I've known Amiram for many years as a supporter of peace, a personal friend, and an ideological partner. Amiram told me that Omri was a soldier in the IDF but also a soldier in the Israeli peace camp. (Ha'aretz)
  • Our Enemies the Saudis (Continued) - Michael Barone
    You don't have to be a conservative to regard as an enemy a regime that exports terrorism and totalitarian ideas. The Saudis have been behaving like our enemies and should be treated as our enemies at, to paraphrase George W. Bush, a time and place of our own choosing. The American people and American values will be safer when there is regime change in Riyadh as well as Baghdad. (U.S. News)
  • The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism - Suzanne Fields
    While it is not anti-Semitic to question the military strategy of Israel, it is anti-Semitic to dehumanize Jews. While it is not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel, it is anti-Semitic to condemn only Israel and ignore the Palestinian atrocities toward innocent people. (Washington Times)
  • Bush Should Retaliate for American Deaths - Jacob Schreiber
    Five Americans blown to bits in Jerusalem was the most Americans killed (again) by Arab terror since Sept. 11. By saying little and doing nothing, the White House may have signaled to Hamas and other Arab terrorists that it will tolerate the killing of American citizens - as long as Americans are not the primary targets. The murder of Americans and Israelis - and the general Islamic assault on Western civilization - will end only when the United States puts its military where its mouth is and demonstrates its willingness to fight side by side with its allies against terrorism anywhere. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Talking Points:

    A Non-Marshall Plan for the Palestinian - Patrick Clawson

    • The Marshall Plan provided financing for dollar-starved European countries with good business environments and well-functioning governments. The situation of the Palestinian territories is exactly the opposite - a bad business environment and poorly functioning governance.
    • The Marshall Plan distributed $60 billion (at today's prices), which worked out to $272 per European. By the end of last year, according to the World Bank, the Palestinians had received $4 billion since Oslo, which translates into $1,330 per Palestinian - more than four times as much as the Europeans got from the Marshall Plan.
    • There are many countries much poorer than the Palestinian territories. Ethiopia gets about the same amount of aid as the Palestinians but has more than 20 times the population. The world has become concerned about unemployed Pakistani youth educated in radical madrassas, but aid to Pakistan is one-30th the Palestinian level.
    • Aid from abroad has shot up since intensified violence began. The PA reported that in the first 18 months of the intifada, Arab countries provided $677m. in aid. According to the World Bank, donor funding was $482m. in 1999 before the violence began and ballooned to $929m. in 2001.
    • The problem is not just with the aid agencies, which keep shoveling the money out the door irrespective of results. The bigger problem is that aid cannot provide what the Palestinians need, which is peace and better governance.
    • The biggest single barrier to Palestinian growth is their violence against Israel, which forces Israel to impose closures and curfews. Those who want to relieve the suffering of the Palestinians should concentrate on stopping their offensive, which would allow Israel to lift the restrictions.
    • The Palestinian economy could grow rapidly if we could put in place a non-Marshall Plan: more peace and better governance, without aid money that props up failing leaders and reduces the urgency for needed political actions like ending the violence.
    [The author is deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former economist at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.] (Jerusalem Post)

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