Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with Access/Middle East
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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June 10, 2003

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In-Depth Issue:

Will Harvard Take $2.5 Million From a Man Tied to Holocaust Denial? - Rachel Lea Fish (Wall Street Journal)
    In July 2000, the Harvard Divinity School accepted $2.5 million from the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, for the creation of an endowed professorship in Islamic religious studies.
    Sheik Zayed is also a backer of Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.
    Amnesty International has repeatedly documented the terrible human-rights record of Sheik Zayed's country: its lack of elections, use of corporal punishment on political prisoners, and trafficking in Bangladeshi child slaves.
    Sheik Zayed also funds the Abu Dhabi-based Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up, a prominent think tank of the Arab League, founded in 1999.
    The Center, described on its web site "as the fulfillment of the vision of Sheikh Zayed," promotes Holocaust denial, anti-American conspiracy theories, and hate speech in its lectures, symposiums, and publications.

Iraq Had Secret Labs, Officer Says - Bob Drogin (Los Angeles Times)
    Saddam Hussein's intelligence services set up a network of clandestine cells and small laboratories after 1996 with the goal of someday rebuilding illicit chemical and biological weapons, according to a former senior Iraqi intelligence officer who held the rank of brigadier general.
    He said they worked on computers and conducted crude experiments in bunkers and back rooms in safe houses around Baghdad, in order to be able to quickly develop weapons of mass destruction if UN sanctions against Iraq were lifted.
    "We could start again anytime," said the officer. "It's very easy. Especially biological." "The point was, the Iraqis kept the knowledge," he explained.

"Abu Mazen's Children Received Fancy Cars from the PA" - Itamar Eichner (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew)
    According to a report on corruption in the Palestinian Authority prepared by the IDF Coordinator of Activities in the Territories, Abu Mazen's son, Tarik Abbas, drives a Jeep Cherokee owned by the PA. The wife of Yassir Abbas, Abu Mazen's second son, drives a BMW owned by the PA.
    Moussa Arafat, head of military intelligence, also acts as a contractor to collect payments from businessmen who have fallen into economic difficulty.
    Manzar a-Sharif, deputy coordinator of health in the PA, transferred a new medical laboratory, donated by Germany to the PA Health Ministry, to a private hospital in Gaza where he receives part of the profits.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Israel Begins Dismantling Jewish Outposts in West Bank
    Israeli troops have begun dismantling illegal Jewish outposts in the West Bank, in line with Israeli commitments under the "road map," following a pledge by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during last week's summit with President Bush. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz presented Jewish settlers with a list of 15 illegal outposts, four of them inhabited, that the army intends to dismantle in the near future. Adi Mintz, a spokesman for the settlers' council, said his organization would protest the government's policy, but only through peaceful means. "We think Jews have the right to live anywhere in the State of Israel. This is our land. It is a Jewish land. It is state land. We never took somebody [else's] land," he said. (Voice of America)
        See also IDF Dismantles 10 Outposts; Settlers Vow to Return (Ha'aretz)
  • Sharon Aide Links Peace Progress to "Tolerable" Terrorism
    In a Thursday conference call with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Dov Weisglass, Sharon's chief of staff, told Jewish leaders the peace process will continue as long as terrorism remains at "a tolerable level," provoking an uproar among some Jewish leaders, appalled by the idea that any terrorism is "tolerable." According to a transcript of the call, Weisglass said, "If Palestinians will seriously fight terrorism and they will exert 100% of an effort fighting terrorism - therefore, of course, terrorism will be reduced into a tolerable level - then we can continue." (New York Sun)
  • U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Face Growing Resistance
    Attacks on American troops are growing in frequency and sophistication across central Iraq. Almost every day, well-organized groups of assailants using assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars are ambushing U.S. Army convoys, patrols, checkpoints, and garrisons. In response, U.S. forces are trying to crush resistance through house-to-house searches, arms seizures, and deadly force, in some cases with fatal consequences for innocent bystanders. Army commanders attribute the attacks to "remnants" of the Baath Party. (Washington Post)
  • Chicago Tribune Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Cartoon
    A May 30 cartoon by Dick Locher, published in the Chicago Tribune and syndicated through Tribune Media Services, depicted a hook-nosed grotesque figure - presumably Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - with a Star of David on his jacket, standing before a chasm labeled "Mideast Gulch." A kneeling figure, presumably President Bush, is carefully laying dollar bills across the bridge. The Sharon figure stares at the money and says, "On second thought, the pathway to peace is looking a bit brighter." On Sunday the newspaper apologized, saying it had "failed to recognize that the cartoon conveyed symbols and stereotypes that slur the Jewish people and that are offensive." (JTA)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Hamas Leader Hurt in Israeli Rocket Attack
    Rocket fire from Israeli helicopters lightly wounded Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi in Gaza City Tuesday. Palestinian sources reported that 3 people were killed and more than 20 wounded in the attack. One of the founders of Hamas, the hardline Rantisi had opposed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas's call for an end to the "armed intifada." (Jerusalem Post/AP/Yediot Ahronot)
        See also Rantisi: Hamas' Hardline Leader
    Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi has a long history of orchestrating terror against Israel. He is considered the most vocal opponent of a ceasefire and one of the more ardent supporters of continued attacks against Israel. In January, he urged the Iraqi people to stage suicide attacks against the U.S. "I call on Iraq to establish an army of future martyrs (suicide bombers) and to prepare tens of thousands of explosive belts. Explode next to American soldiers....Scorch the earth that the Americans walk on in every Arab capital city." On the Hamas Web site, Rantisi called "to establish a suicide army that will strike fear in the hearts of the enemy. There is no choice but to set up thousands of secretly operating suicide cells with thousands of explosive belts." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Bush "Rides Herd" on Israel - Akiva Eldar
    According to one of the participants in the three-way meeting at Aqaba, a lot can be learned about the swinging American pendulum from the Israeli side to the Palestinian side. According to the source, Dahlan gave an excellent five-minute synopsis of the security situation, and concluded by saying to Bush: "But we will need help." At the end of Dahlan's presentation Defense Minister Mofaz said: "They won't be getting any help from us; they have their own security service." You could see that Bush was irritated, says the participant, and he turned on Mofaz angrily: "Their own security service? But you have destroyed their security service." Mofaz shook his head and said: "I do not think that we can help them, Mr. President" - to which Bush said: "Oh, but I think that you can. And I think that you will."
        Abbas outlined the economic situation of the territories, saying that the insertion of new funding was necessary. Sharon then interrupted and said: "The insertion of new funding must be dependent on your good behavior." Bush was again visibly irritated: "You should release their money as soon as possible. This will help the situation." Sharon shook his head: "We have to deal with security first, and we will condition the release of their monies on this alone." Bush interrupted him: "It is their money, give it to them."
        After that meeting, Bush turned to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and said, "We have a problem with Sharon I can see, but I like that young man [Dahlan] and I think their prime minister is incapable of lying. I hope that they will be successful. We can work with them." (Ha'aretz)
  • Abbas Snubs Berlusconi for Not Meeting Arafat - Herb Keinon
    Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas refused to meet Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Monday because Berlusconi refused to meet Yasser Arafat. Berlusconi is widely considered the European leader closest to Sharon. Last month Abbas refused to meet Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy for the same reason. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Repudiate Arafat - Editorial
    On Sunday, three Palestinian terror groups carried out a joint attack at an entrance to the Gaza Strip, killing four Israeli soldiers. Two of the groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are militantly Islamic. The third, Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, is associated with Fatah, the nationalist movement of Yasser Arafat. The events underline the need to repudiate Arafat, something Arab and some European governments fail to do by continuing to meet with him. It is also time to recalculate the divide within Palestinian society, distinguishing between those that favor a negotiated two-state solution and those that pursue violence and terror. Arafat and Fatah radicals have become dangerous obstacles and must be seen as every bit as hostile as Hamas, which rejects Israel's existence. (New York Times)
  • Letting the United Nations Steer - Anne Bayefsky
    The road map fundamentally alters the Middle East peace process and, in so doing, drives a stake in the heart of the war against terrorism. The first seismic shift is from a negotiated settlement to imposed solutions, with the road map putting negotiated outcomes at the end of the road. Imposed solution number one is the achievement of the primary Palestinian goal - the "creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders" - by December 2003, and not 2005 as is constantly misreported. UN member states will be encouraged to recognize the state and to accord it UN membership. The likelihood that international monitors will fairly evaluate Palestinian compliance with ending terrorism is nil. UN member states continue to insist that blowing up Israelis is one thing, terrorism another. (New York Sun)
  • Observations:  

    Blood Money - Matthew Levitt (Wall Street Journal)

    • President Bush's initiative in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking is threatened by the continued flow of financial and logistical support for Hamas terror attacks through the group's social-welfare infrastructure. European and Arab governments continue to whitewash the role of Hamas social-welfare organizations in facilitating the group's terror attacks.
    • The social-welfare organizations funded by Hamas play a direct role in facilitating suicide bombings. Hamas is known to use the hospitals it maintains as meeting places; to bury caches of arms and explosives under its own kindergarten playgrounds; to use social welfare operatives' cars and homes to ferry and hide fugitives; and to transfer and launder funds from abroad for terrorist activity through local charity committees.
    • The international community must insist that humanitarian support for Palestinians be divorced from support for terrorist activity - both to obstruct Hamas efforts to torpedo President Bush's peace initiative and to clear the names of humanitarian groups untainted by terror.
    • It is essential that the EU, Gulf states, and others strictly regulate which Palestinian charities receive international aid and shut down front organizations raising funds for Hamas and other terrorist groups.

      Matthew Levitt is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

        See also Mosque Football Team Was Terrorists' Cover (Telegraph-UK)
    Eight Palestinian footballers who played for a team from their local mosque in Hebron have killed 34 Israelis and injured scores of others in a series of suicide attacks during the past two months. The three remaining players have been arrested by the Israeli authorities. The football team's activities revealed the deep-rooted culture of hatred within the local Palestinian population.

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