Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with Access/Middle East
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
If your email program has difficulty viewing this page, see web version.


September 24, 2003

To contact the Presidents Conference:
[email protected]

In-Depth Issue:

Arafat: The KGB's Man - Ion Mihai Pacepa (Wall Street Journal)
    Yasser Arafat is a career terrorist, trained, armed, and bankrolled by the Soviet Union and its satellites for decades.
    Before I defected to America from Romania from my post as chief of Romanian intelligence, I was responsible for giving Arafat $200,000 in laundered cash every month throughout the 1970s. I also sent two cargo planes to Beirut a week, stuffed with uniforms and supplies.
    After meeting with KGB chairman Yuri Andropov in February 1972, I was given the KGB's "personal file" on Arafat. He was an Egyptian bourgeois turned into a devoted Marxist by KGB foreign intelligence. The KGB had trained him at its Balashikha special-ops school east of Moscow and in the mid-1960s decided to groom him as the future PLO leader.
    The KGB's disinformation department turned Arafat's four-page tract called "Falastinuna" (Our Palestine) into a 48-page monthly magazine for the Palestinian terrorist organization al-Fatah, which Arafat has headed since 1957.
    Right after the 1967 Six-Day War, Moscow got Arafat appointed chairman of the PLO.
    We Romanians were directed to help Arafat improve what the KGB file called "his extraordinary talent for deceiving." "You simply have to keep on pretending that you'll break with terrorism and that you'll recognize Israel - over, and over, and over," Ceausescu told him.
    Ceausescu failed to get his Nobel Peace Prize. But in 1994 Arafat got his - all because he continued to play the role we had given him to perfection. He had transformed his terrorist PLO into a government-in-exile (the PA), always pretending to call a halt to Palestinian terrorism while letting it continue unabated.

Hamas's Use of Charitable Societies to Fund and Support Terror (Government Press Office/IMRA)
    Hamas's charitable societies provide food and money to the families of those who have been killed, wounded, or imprisoned for their involvement in acts of terror. They also provide financial assistance for the rebuilding of homes that have been demolished due to their owners' involvement in terror.
    The movement's network of mosques and Islamic preachers disseminate incitement against Israel, encourage suicide terrorism, and recruit terrorists.
    Palestinians injured in confrontations with Israeli security forces or during "work accidents" receive initial grants and monthly allowances, as well as either subsidized or free medical care and treatment.
    See also Hamas's Incitement to Terror and Hatred (Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center)
    A detailed study of extremist Islamic messages inculcated into high school students by the Hamas civilian infrastructure.

Key Links

Media Contact Information

Back Issues

News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Guantanamo Translator Accused of Spying for Syria
    A U.S. Air Force translator who worked with al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison has been charged with spying for Syria, officials said Tuesday. Senior Airman Ahmad Halabi, 24, attempted to deliver sensitive information to Syria, including more than 180 notes from prisoners, a map of the installation, the movement of military aircraft to and from the base, intelligence documents, and the names and cellblock numbers of captives at the prison in Cuba. A native of Syria who moved to the U.S. as a teenager, Halabi has been charged with 30 offenses, including four counts of violating the Federal Espionage Act and three counts of aiding the enemy. U.S. authorities say they are shaken by the possibility that Guantanamo Bay could have been compromised by American service personnel with allegiances to U.S. adversaries. (Washington Post)
        See also Fifth Column II - Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. (Washington Times)
  • President Bush at UN Sends Message to Palestinians
    Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, President Bush said: Iraq as a dictatorship had great power to destabilize the Middle East; Iraq as a democracy will have great power to inspire the Middle East. The advance of democratic institutions in Iraq is setting an example that others, including the Palestinian people, would be wise to follow. The Palestinian cause is betrayed by leaders who cling to power by feeding old hatreds and destroying the good work of others. The Palestinian people deserve their own state, and they will gain that state by embracing new leaders committed to reform, to fighting terror, and to building peace. Arab nations must cut off funding and other support for terrorist organizations. (White House)
  • U.S. Senator Doubts Saudi Help on Terror Funds
    The chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee said on Tuesday that a classified hearing with Bush administration officials left her unconvinced that Saudi Arabia was cooperating with U.S. efforts to fight financing of terror organizations. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said she remained ''skeptical...about the cooperation we are actually seeing from the Saudis,'' and said she worried the U.S. was ''delaying action to combat terrorist financiers in the hope that the Saudis will increase their efforts.'' Her committee had a closed hearing with representatives from the Treasury and State departments, the CIA, and the FBI. (Reuters/MSNBC)
  • Original 9/11 Plan had 10 Jets on Both Coasts
    September 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has told U.S. interrogators that he first discussed the plot with Osama bin Laden in 1996 and that the original plan called for hijacking five commercial jets on each U.S. coast. Mohammed also divulged that in its final stages, the hijacking plan called for as many as 22 terrorists and four planes in a first wave followed by a second wave of suicide hijackings by al-Qaeda allies in southeast Asia. U.S. intelligence has suggested that Saudis were chosen in the end because there were large numbers willing to follow bin Laden and they could more easily get into the U.S. because of the countries' friendly relations. (AP/Washington Times)
  • Israel and U.S. "Agree to Disagree" on Expelling Arafat
    Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom believes there is no chance to have peace while Arafat is still in power. No moderate leadership can emerge while he's still here. He also noted that some 10% of the Palestinian budget is going to the expenses of Arafat's bureau - $100 million. "We know what hudna [ceasefire] means. We saw that they took advantage of this period to dig more tunnels, to smuggle more weapons, to train their activists, to extend the range of their missiles....The Roadmap says clearly and sharply that they must dismantle the infrastructure of terrorist organizations," he said.
        "I think the fence is the only way to keep the peace process alive, for two reasons. It will minimize the possibility for terrorists to carry out attacks, and it will allow us to hand out more work permits. The Palestinian Authority is against the fence because they will lose the main weapon they had against us. They have always arrived at every negotiation with an imaginary gun on the table, saying if they don't get what they want they'll resort to using it." (Newsweek)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • U.S. Expert to Review Israeli Security Fence Demands - Aluf Benn
    An American defense specialist will review Israel's contention that the separation fence should be constructed east of Beit Aryeh in order to prevent terrorists from firing shoulder-launched missiles at planes near Ben-Gurion International Airport. The U.S. opposes the inclusion of the Beit Aryeh enclave, saying some 15,000 Palestinians live in the area.
        Presenting plans for the fence to U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice on Monday, Defense Ministry director general Amos Yaron argued that the inclusion of Ariel and Kedumim would ease matters for Palestinians living in the area, enabling the IDF to dismantle a number of roadblocks.
        The Americans oppose the construction of a continuous fence between Ariel and the "green line," arguing that such a fence would create political facts on the ground, and make it more difficult to establish a Palestinian state that has an adequate measure of territorial contiguity. Prime minister's bureau chief Dov Weisglass and Yaron said the location of the fence was designed with a view to security considerations only, and not in order to create future political borders. (Ha'aretz)
  • Terrorist Attack Warnings Up - Ze'ev Schiff
    The number of warnings about possible terrorist attacks, including suicide bombers, has gone up to 49. About 40% relate to Hamas, and another 40% to Tanzim. Military Intelligence says the problem is the Tanzim gangs that received money from Hizballah and Iran. (Ha'aretz)
  • Chirac: Arafat is to Blame for the Failure of Peace Negotiations - Eitan Amit and Itamar Eichner
    French President Jacques Chirac sees Yasser Arafat as having a large part of the responsibility for the failure of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians because "he always wanted a little more." Nonetheless, he added that Israel would be mistaken to reject Arafat. (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew; 23Sep03)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Without a Change in Palestinian Leadership, Mideast Will Never See Peace - Efraim Karsh
    Just as the creation of democratic societies in Germany and Japan after World War II necessitated a purge of the existing political elites and re-education of the entire populace, so the Palestinians deserve a profound structural reform that will sweep Arafat and his corrupt Palestinian Authority from power, free West Bankers and Gazans from the stifling PLO grip, eradicate the endemic violence from Palestinian life, and teach the virtues of peaceful coexistence with Israel. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Syria-ous Problem - Peter Brookes
    Ignoring complaints and warnings from most of the rest of the world, Syria continues to sponsor terrorism, pursue weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and allow foreign fighters and terrorists to seep into Iraq. Until Syria cleans up its international deportment, it should be shut out of the Israeli-Palestinian road map negotiations, and denied any opening on an Israel-Syria track. In addition, economic pressure on Syria could be multilateralized to include the EU, since Germany, Italy, and France are major trading partners. (New York Post)
  • Let Jews Live in Homeland - Israel Harel
    The U.S. is dotted with towns named for biblical cities in Israel: Hebron, Shilo, Bethlehem. But according to the terminology of many in the U.S. press, the Israeli Shilo, the original one, is a "settlement," and consequently must be cleansed of Jews. If someone decided to expel Jews from Shiloh, Ohio, or Hebron, Neb., USA Today might be among the first to come out against what it would likely term racism. Why then does it support the expulsion of Jews from the original Shilo - the Jewish one? Why are Jews living in their own homeland considered "an obstacle to peace"? It is not the presence of Jews in the settlements that is a provocation to Palestinians; it is the presence of Jews anywhere in Israel. (USA Today)
  • Observations:

    Arafat Must Be Stopped - Mortimer B. Zuckerman (U.S. News)

    • It took Yasser Arafat just 100 days to torpedo the hope of President Bush that the Palestinians could be served by a new leader.
    • Israeli intelligence, using sources and intercepts, has concluded that Arafat is a central factor in the resumption and escalation of terrorist acts that blew up the peace process. Four months into the intifada, on Feb. 12, 2001, Arafat asked a group of Palestinian senior officials, "Why don't the Israelis have more dead?" Then he added, "You know what you have to do" - a statement that marked the beginning of the suicide bombing onslaught.
    • Since the cease-fire was officially announced on June 29, 2003, there have been no fewer than 240 terrorist attacks on Israelis, an average of three per day.
    • Arafat has never dropped the mentality of the "national liberation organization" - formed before Israel was in the West Bank, whose purpose is to liberate all the land of Israel from the Jews. As the Washington Post summed up in an editorial: "It is obvious that he will never renounce violence against Israel or agree to a final peace settlement with a Jewish state."
    • When I met with him at his request two years ago, he had the nerve to tell me that the terrorist bombing of a discotheque on the Tel Aviv beach that killed 21 youngsters was an Israeli sting operation organized to inspire sympathy for Israel around the world.
    • This is not the "cycle of violence" that the media keep mentioning, only the continuous and gratuitous murder of Jews. The Palestinian militants' hatred of the Jews is open, unapologetic, and unrivaled on the world stage since the Third Reich.
    • This is the Palestinian export to the world: suicide terrorism. Suicide terrorism cannot be appeased but must be defeated and destroyed. The Israelis understand that terrorism involves the collaboration between the bomber and his controller; those behind the suicide terrorist can be deterred by inflicting unacceptable damage on them through targeted killings and by occupying their sanctuaries.
    • President Bush in a speech on the Middle East on June 24, 2002, made two things clear: One was that Arafat and his gang of thugs tainted by terrorism must go; the second was that the obstacle to a Palestinian state is not Israel but Palestinian tyranny, corruption, and terrorism, and until that is ended, there will be no progress to a Palestinian state and no American support for it.

    To subscribe to the Daily Alert, click here to send a blank email message.
    To unsubscribe, click here to send a blank email message.