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 29, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Arafat Corrects a Mistake: Executed Collaborator Declared a Martyr

    Ibrahim Abdo was kidnapped on April 22, dragged to the main square in Ramallah, and shot at point-blank range in front of a crowd of several hundred people.
    Abdo's family contacted representatives of all the PLO factions in Ramallah, seeking to clear his name, but all the groups denied any responsibility.
    After appealing to Yasser Arafat, PA officials have now told the family that Ibrahim Abdo would be considered a martyr - a victim in the war against Israel - and that his family would receive a monthly stipend.
    There are no statistics about the number of Palestinians killed on suspicion of collaboration that were later found to be innocent, but some Palestinians estimate that there are many.


    Last Saturday in Tulkarm, Ikhlas Khouli, 36 and a widowed mother of 7 children, was kidnapped by three Fatah members who later shot her and dumped her body in the street. Three days earlier, members of the Aksa Martyrs' Brigades had kidnapped her 17-year-old son Baker, who was tortured until he told his kidnappers that his mother was working for Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
    See also New Phase in Mideast Bloodshed (Los Angeles Times)

Useful Reference:

Progress Report on Palestinian Security, Economic, and Political Reforms (AIPAC)

    What have the Palestinians done since Bush's speech?

The Dossier Against a Dictator

    The London Times details the evidence against Iraq in the realms of nuclear weapons, chemical warfare, biological weapons, and terrorism. (Times - UK)

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Protesters Disrupt JNF Session in Johannesburg
    Mirroring the efforts of anti-Israel demonstrators to prevent Jewish groups from participating in sessions of last year's UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, pro-Palestinian demonstrators disrupted an ecological workshop Wednesday of the Jewish National Fund at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. (JTA)
  • Jordan Trapped in the Middle
    To the Western world, Jordan is seen as a moderate country with a secular government, one of only two Arab nations to have signed a peace treaty with Israel. But its people are strongly anti-Israel - and, by extension, increasingly anti-American - with more than half the population ethnically Palestinian. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Worried Saudis Try to Improve Image
    The Saudis have hired several public relations firms and have already spent more than $5 million, according to new Justice Department filings. Patton Boggs received $170,000 in the first six months of this year. Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld received $161,799 in the same period. Frederick Dutton, a former special assistant to President John F. Kennedy and a longtime adviser to the Saudis, received $536,000. The Saudis have also turned to lobbyists with Republican credentials, including James P. Gallagher and the media-buying firm of Sandler-Innocenzi. (New York Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • IDF Fires at Intruders at Night, Hits Civilians
    Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer expressed regret over Wednesday night's deaths of four Palestinian civilians killed by IDF tank fire in Gaza. An initial investigation revealed that an IDF force near Netzerim spotted Palestinians crawling toward their position in the dark in an open area where movement was forbidden. (Ha'aretz/Maariv)
  • Palestinian Mortar Fire Hits Jewish Kindergarten
    Five mortars were fired at Jewish communities in the Gush Katif bloc in Gaza on Wednesday night. One mortar exploded inside a kindergarten. The building sustained damage but no injuries were reported. (Maariv/IDF)
  • The Capture of the Karine A
    Israel Navy operations chief Eli Marum details for the first time aspects of the eight-minute capture of the Karine A. (Jerusalem Report)
  • Peres Pledges to Expand Israeli-Palestinian Industrial Zone
    Foreign Minister Shimon Peres toured the Erez and Karni industrial zones near the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, announcing government plans to expand the Erez facility where some 4,000 Palestinians work in Israeli- and Palestinian-owned factories. Clothing factory manager Shosh Levy told Peres the biggest problem is not the Palestinian violence but the closure of the checkpoints between Gaza and the industrial zone. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • On Invading Iraq: Less Talk, More Unity - Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
    Those who counsel going to Jerusalem before going to Baghdad will never complete either journey. Bush has already committed the United States in support of the riskiest of propositions: a secure, democratic, and peaceful Palestinian state. A successful strike against Iraq will surely not hurt that prospect. Does anyone believe that a Saddam Hussein with a growing arsenal of rocket-equipped weapons of mass destruction will help it?
        Ultimately, an American foreign policy, or, for that matter, an international order that allows a country such as Iraq to acquire weapons of mass destruction while violating solemn agreements, is a guarantee of a world on the edge of greater terrors to come. (Washington Post)
  • The War Against "The Ruler of the Planet" - Zvi Barel
    Judging by the extent of Arab rhetoric, the war on Iraq stands to go down as "the Mother of All Wars." In terms of regional significance, it even has the potential to surpass the resolution of the Palestinian problem. "We are at the threshold of a redrafting of the map of the Middle East," wrote political columnist Adli Sadeq in Al Quds al-Arabi. And just as the American administration pressures the Palestinian Authority to carry out reforms, including financial transparence, genuine and not sham elections, the United States also intends to apply this model, in the near future, to all its allies, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whether it attacks Iraq or not. (Ha'aretz)
  • We Need Bush and Not Saddam Calling the Shots - Michael Gove
    We have no alternative but to launch a pre-emptive war against Iraq to prevent Saddam completing his drive to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Massive military force must be deployed to remove Saddam's regime. Reason, and morality, tell us that there is no alternative. (Times - UK)
  • If Churchill were Alive Today, He Would Strike at Saddam - John Keegan
    During the 1930s, when Hitler's strength grew year by year until it was unopposable, the conventionally wise argued that the British economy could not stand the strain of rearmament and that, anyhow, concessions would buy peace. When - it is not a question of if - Saddam acquires nuclear weapons, the moment when he could be crushed without risk to his opponents, or of provoking a wider war, will be gone. (Daily Telegraph - UK)
  • Saddam's Terror State - Ken Adelman
    The relative strength of the case against Iraq is greater than that marshaled against al Qaeda. Unlike bin Laden, who slithered around Afghani caves, Saddam slithers around a state capital. He has his hands on billions of dollars in state oil receipts, hundreds of thousands of troops, scores of scientific laboratories, and myriad manufacturing plants cranking out weapons of mass destruction. (Wall Street Journal )
  • Talking Points:

    Israel's UK Embassy Responds to British Chief Rabbi - Douglas Davis
    (Jerusalem Post)

    In an interview in the Guardian on Tuesday, British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is quoted as saying that the ongoing violence is "forcing Israel into postures that are incompatible in the long run with our deepest ideals." In response, a statement issued by the Israeli Embassy in London noted the following:

    • Israel has been forced to fight for its existence as a Jewish state and to protect its citizens in a war of self-defense.
    • This tragic war, which no other democracy has had to face in recent times, is not of Israel's making and contrary to its wishes.
    • It has been imposed upon Israel by the Palestinian leadership, who rebuffed Israel's far-reaching offer of peace and instead adopted a strategy of indiscriminate terror and virulent incitement.
    • In this war of self-defense, Israel maintains the highest moral ground and adheres to a strict ethical code as a democratic, civic society governed by the rule of law. Any infringements by a few individuals are dealt with accordingly by the judicial system.
    • Those Arab leaders who have renounced violence have reached historic achievements with Israel through peaceful negotiation. Yet the only result of this Palestinian campaign of terror has been to destroy many innocent lives and to shatter families, dreams, and goodwill on both sides.
    • The Palestinians' aspirations can only be addressed through peaceful dialogue. The current national unity government of Israel has repeatedly stated that, once the necessary measures are taken by the Palestinian leadership to end the campaign of terror, it is more than willing to resume negotiations and address all the outstanding issues.

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