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THE ISRAEL REPORT

January/February 2001

Western Wall

THIS EDITION OF THE ISRAEL REPORT WILL BE REGULARLY UPDATED WITH NEW MATERIAL AS IT IS RECEIVED. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK HERE OR THE WHAT'S NEW PAGE SO YOU WON'T MISS ANYTHING!

  • Nothing Succeeds like Failure
    ...military loss usually does not hurt a Middle Eastern ruler. Instead, he denies disaster on the battlefield and flourishes politically.

  • Canadians Might Understand Now  Cdn Flag
    Speaking last week to Geoffrey York, the veteran Globe and Mail reporter, Hussum Khader, "head of the largest Palestinian Fatah militia in Nablus," told Canadians: "If Canada is serious about resettlement you could expect military attacks in Ottawa or Montreal. Resettlement would be a catastrophe for the Palestinian nation. This is the issue we've been fighting for 50 years."

  • Corrupt Palestinian Officials Said Fleeing in Fear for Their Lives
    Arafat is under growing pressure to get rid of senior officials whose names are linked with the embezzlement of public funds, bribery and abuse of power. The anti-corruption campaign is being spearheaded by members of Arafat's mainstream Fatah faction. Sources in Gaza and Ramallah have told The Report that several "corrupt" bureaucrats, including one of Arafat's top administrators and a bank official, have fled to neighboring countries, fearing for their lives.

  • The Jigsaw Puzzle
    During these troubled times here in Israel, when every day pounds us with more tragedies -- murders, kidnappings, terrorist bombings, desecrations of our holy sites -- the only activity which soothes my over-wrought nerves is working on my daughter's 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

  • Lies and Libel of Israel in the Palestinian Authority
    Libels, lies, and false accusations against Israel and Jews are frequent, prominent components of the Palestinian leadership's public discourse and in the Palestinian media. Suha Arafat's accusation, made while standing next to Hillary Clinton, that Israel was poisoning Palestinians was consistent with standard Palestinian libels.

  • CAMERA Alert: Time Magazine Sanitizes Arafat
    The lengthy Time magazine article (Feb. 26, 2001) about Yasser Arafat by Scott MacLeod was marred by factual error and omission of key information about the Palestinian leader. The four-page feature piece, entitled "Waiting for History to Happen," presented a sanitized image of Arafat by, for example, excluding mention of Arafat's own responsibility in the economic hardship of the Palestinian populace and by giving only perfunctory attention to his terrorist history, without any mention of specifics.

  • Israel at War: On Sharon and Unity
    y the Syrian-backed Hezbollah within Israel, at the Lebanese border, last week indicates that this "northern sector" too may soon become a second "front". Saddam Hussein is building a "Jerusalem Army" to aid the Palestinians, and his threat last week to attack the "Zionist entity", in revenge for the American-British bombing of radar sites near Baghdad, expresses yet another possible destabilization which could lead to a wider war.

  • What Do They Expect from Israel?
    If I could pose one question to a group of senior American and European government officials, it would be the following: Is there any action at all that you would deem legitimate for Israel to take to defend its population against Palestinian attacks - and if so, what?

  • Mourning The Death of Peace   CFICEJ  Special
    Next to God and Jerusalem, the thing most central to Judaism is peace. But my people's fervent prayers for peace - embodied for millennia in every Jewish prayer - every one - again go begging, when they seemed at last so close to fruition. We find our homeland unwittingly immersed in another war, the sixth in Israel's short life.

  • Force Must Be Used
    The negotiating phase is over. There is nothing left for Israel to talk to Arafat about. Ehud Barak's limitless offers clearly demonstrated that Arafat's plans have never changed. His famous statement - "peace for me means the destruction of Israel and nothing else" - is better than any other explanations of his "seemingly unexplainable" behavior during the suicidal Oslo process of the past seven and a half years. The only thing that he will accept from Israel will be Israel itself. Nothing else is sufficient.

  • Separation Now!
    Wednesday's murders were bitter reminders of the na•ve belief that Palestinians who are indoctrinated to hate Israelis, can somehow be screened to prevent terrorism. People who are raised in a culture of violence and jihad, and whose hatred is reinforced daily by the unjust "occupation" and the mere existence of Israel, cannot readily be divided into safe and unsafe groups.

  • Arafat and the Big Lie
    Arafat has mastered a propaganda technique known as "turnspeak." Turnspeak is achieved when you attack someone but claim, with some success, to be the victim of the attack. Over and over again, we see this happen in the Middle East on a daily basis. In effect, a purveyor of turnspeak disseminates information that is the exact opposite of the truth -- making it difficult for the real victims to respond in a way that is clearly understandable to the world.

  • Responses to Michael Lerner's Blood Libel Against Ariel Sharon
    Michael Lerner begins his "The scary Sharon"(The Jerusalem Post Feb.14) with the assertion that Sharon's troops at the Sabra and Shatila massacres "only supervised, and didn't personally conduct the shooting of hundreds of civilians." As everyone knows, to `supervise' means "to oversee (a process, work, workers, etc.} during execution ... have the oversight and direction of" (American College Dictionary). There is not the slightest hint to that effect in the Report of the Kahan Commission which investigated the massacres.

  • Allow the PLO and Arafat to Go Under
    Yesterday's terrorist attack on a bus lineup in Tel Aviv does not alter the basic choice the new Israeli government must make as soon as it assumes office: Save the Palestinian Authority or let it collapse and face the consequences? Such is its dire economic position that unless Israel releases funds to the PA, it will be bankrupt by summer. On top of this, aid promised from Arab states at the start of the intifada in October, 2000, has not arrived.

  • Bush's Mideast Autopilot
    It is not clear why the Bush administration would continue the failed Clinton policy of moral equivalence between terrorism and the fight against it. The policy of willful moral obtuseness was considered necessary by the Clinton team when the US was hip-deep in brokering an Israeli-Palestinian final-status agreement. Now that the Palestinians have chosen to blow up the negotiating table, there is no possible rationale for rewarding terrorism by placing it on par with self-defense.

  • Sharon's True Challenge
    Those obsessed with the putative peace process keep asking what Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon can do to put it back on track; as if only further Israeli concessions, rather than less Arab radicalism, will lead to peace, and as if an instant political solution is the only way to build peace, or the exclusive burning task facing Israel.

  • Billion Dollar Saddam Backs Arafat
    Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is now the main financial supporter and strategic ally of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as both men seek to embroil the wider Arab world in a no-holds-barred jihad, or holy war, with Israel.

  • The New Middle East- The Return of Ariel Sharon
    As pointed out by Ehud Ya'ari, a leading Israeli journalist who has known and studied Arafat for over 30 years, a regional war has long been Arafat's fondest dream. He knows the Palestinians will always be too weak to fight the Israelis head on. And he knows that the best he can get from any peace agreement is a small Palestinian state, perhaps with part of Jerusalem. The only way to achieve the real dream of conquering all of Palestine, which would make him Saladin, would be to trigger a replay of 1948 with five Arab states invading Israel, but this time with modern armies, modern weapons, modern leadership, and massive oil wealth behind them.

  • Israel-PA Cooperation in Water - the One Exception
    ...a unique relationship is being maintained even during this difficult period of military conflict: the field of water supply and the infrastructure connected to it. One week before the prime ministerial elections in Israel, a joint declaration was signed by the two sides, in the presence of the Americans, stating that the water and sewage infrastructures are removed from the circle of violence.

  • War Scare Fears Unfounded
    The Palestinians would like to see themselves at the center of regional attention, but the past has shown that the Arab countries have never united in action, in contrast to rhetoric, to further Palestinian causes. They have always taken care of their own interests. Though the Palestinians are likely to continue with the current violence to test and/or provoke the new Sharon government, they are unable to trigger a regional escalation.

  • Terror In Israel - A Factual Look
    Ever since the signing of the Oslo Accord, more than 300 Israeli Jews have been killed and over 1,000 wounded. Israel is a small country, with only a fiftieth of the population of the United States. To put it in perspective, these 300 killed are equivalent to about 15,000 people being killed in the United States in such criminal attacks. Would the American people stand still for that?

  • Compliance is Good Policy
    What would the world say if every Friday, Israel's chief rabbi called on Israel Radio for the Arabs to be thrown out of the country? That's exactly what Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's illegally appointed mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine and his staff do every Friday in their sermons from al-Aksa Mosque, broadcast live on the Voice of Palestine.

  • The Peace Paradox
    When Barak opened the Camp David summit by offering Arafat something like 92 percent of the pre-1967 West Bank territory, he was going far beyond any previous Israeli prime minister. But to the Palestinians, the 1967 borders represent a concession in themselves…

  • Meet Barak's Legacy . . .
    When former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was defeated 56 percent to 44 percent in the last election 21 months ago, this was deemed so severe a rebuke that he immediately gave up not only his leadership of the Likud Party but his membership in parliament, and indeed politics altogether. (He recently came back.) This week's political burial of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, however, makes Netanyahu's defeat look like a Bush-Gore squeaker. Barak was slaughtered. To lose by 25 points (62.5 percent to 37.4 percent) in such a finely balanced political system as Israel's is to suffer a repudiation that can only be termed epic.

  • Yes to Peace, No to the 'Peace Process'
    The overwhelming majority of Israelis want peace, real peace, not the "peace process" to which Arafat clings so fondly. The election results have finally put to rest any doubts on this score. More, much more than just a rejection of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Tuesday's election results have broadcast a resounding No to the Oslo "peace process."

  • The 'New' Sharon?
    Though many Israelis had flirted with "post-Zionism," evidently a strong majority of Jews in Israel awakened to realize that a secular triumph at home and a dreamy belief in the good will of implacable enemies on their borders would lead to the doom of a Jewish state.

  • Israel's Vote for a Safe Peace
    by Benjamin Netanyahu - Prime Minister Ehud Barak's overwhelming defeat by Ariel Sharon at the polls represents not a rejection of peace but a rejection of a failed political process that brought Israel the worst collapse of security in years. Yesterday was the culmination of a political free fall that began seven months ago at Camp David.

  • The Sharon Landslide
    It is impossible to interpret the massive public rejection of Ehud Barak as solely a rejection of him personally; the landslide was a rejection of what the public believed to be a false road to peace.

  • Israel Turns to Sharon: A Veteran of War and Peace
    If all those lopsided opinion polls are reliable, Israeli voters will install Ariel Sharon as their next prime minister on Tuesday, completing a most remarkable comeback for this native-born farmer whose long military and political record engenders considerable doses of both respect and scorn.

  • All Things to All People
    Ariel Sharon has built up the makings of a sweeping electoral victory, but the breadth of his support means he has many different mandates to fulfill. -- Barring any supernatural occurrences, Likud prime-ministerial candidate Ariel Sharon is going to win tomorrow, and win big. Public-opinion pollster Hanoch Smith thinks he's probably going to go over 60 percent.

  • Finding Truth in the Mideast
    Joan Peters' monumental book, "From Time Immemorial," changes the terms of the debate about the conflicting claims of the Arabs and the Jews in the Middle East. After many years of research, Peters documents the complex history of the region and deftly contradicts common perceptions about the role and strategy of each side of the struggle. WorldNetDaily staff writer and talk show host Geoff Metcalf recently interviewed Peters about her book and the current Mideast conflict.

  • Voting to Reflect Reality
    The face of Palestinian extremism is - at its very core - violent, hateful, and racist, but it has nevertheless become the norm on the Palestinian street. A face that craves the blood of any who disagree with its avowed goal of Moslem domination. A face that smiles when Palestinian children are pushed into the front lines and killed. A face that nods approval when Palestinian "poets" talk of killing pregnant Jewish women and their fetuses.

  • Israel's 'Little Napoleon' Under Siege
    Ehud Barak looks pale and weary these days. There is a tinge of bitterness in his voice and an air of sad resignation to his public appearances. Once Israel's most highly decorated soldier, an elite commando and the army's top general, the acting Prime Minister faces the distinct possibility of suffering one of the worst political defeats in Israel's history

  • Israel According to Sharon
    In the Prime Minister's Office, Ehud Barak has no regrets: his mission is to defuse a ticking bomb - for the sake of the future, because there is no alternative. On his verdant ranch, Ariel Sharon is worried: the Jews don't know how to defend the land, feel it, cling to it. One of these two men will be prime minister next week.

  • The Balkanization of the Middle East
    Throughout the four months of the current Palestinian uprising, the PLO leadership has ratcheted up their propaganda efforts to "internationalize" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by equating it to the "ethnic cleansing" and "war crimes" committed in Kosovo. For if such a linkage can be established, it both justifies and necessitates similar military action against Israel.

  • The Referendum on the 'Peace Process'
    ...Israelis will cast their votes in the context of the long- promised referendum on seven years of the Oslo process, and on the efforts and responses of the Barak government during the past 18 months.

  • Back to the 'Wailing Wall'
    Arafat brought the good news to the Jews that he would permit them to pray at the Western Wall according to the rules made by the Shaw Committee. In other words, in accordance with the decrees of the British mandatory rule over the Jewish Yishuv in Eretz Yisrael 70 years ago.

  • Is Sharon Dangerous?
    Precisely because of his bellicose reputation, Sharon's ascent to power could diminish the chances of war. Seen by Arabs as wild, out of control and even crazy, his presence would make Saddam or Arafat think very carefully before making trouble.

  • Truth and Fiction in the Middle East
    It is not just that we are talking about a profession, the world press, that is almost entirely uniform in its attitudes," she writes. "The truth is that Israel, as the Jewish state, is also the object of a contemporary form of anti-Semitism that is no less real for being masked or even unconscious.

  • Navigating through Turbulence
    An American affinity with Israel must not distinguish between one Israeli regime and another. Isolating and estranging an Ariel Sharon regime would be no wiser than former president George Bush toppling the Shamir government. American isolation of Sharon would act as a lightning rod for Arafat's maximalist aspirations.

  • A Failed Peace Process
    We are looking at the ashes of hope. Nothing enduring has come of President Clinton's midnight schemes for a Mideast settlement. And nothing should–for they presume that Yasser Arafat is a partner for peace and that his word on still another agreement can be relied upon.

  • Covering for Arafat the Killer
    YASSER Arafat personally ordered the murders of two American diplomats in Khartoum, March 2, 1973. Everybody with the "need to know" knew it then and knows it now. Everybody but the American people.

  • Israel Under Sharon
    A Sharon victory is not to be feared. Granted, Mr. Sharon is controversial, but interestingly, there are striking similarities between the perception of Mr. Sharon today and that of Winston Churchill before he assumed office in Britain during the Second World War -- and before he went on to become one of the world's greatest statesmen.

  • Palestinian Concessions a Myth
    One of the most popular conceptions, repeated in the media, is the statement that the Palestinians, by agreeing to accept only Judea, Samaria and Gaza for their state, have ceded 80% of their lands to the Israelis. The historical facts are completely different – but that doesn't seem to bother anyone.

  • Preserve the Temple Mount
    According to the red lines Prime Minister Ehud Barak dispatched with his negotiators to Taba, Israel will not "transfer sovereignty over the Temple Mount to the Palestinians." In the meantime, the Barak government is already failing to exercise Israeli sovereignty on the most basic level: ensuring proper preservation and oversight over the Israel's most important archeological site.

  • Bring the Negotiators Home
    In other words, the Palestinians are doing what they have done since Oslo and through Camp David, and will up until Election Day, if they can: pocketing Israeli concessions without ever saying what they will give in return.

  • The Party that Loves to Hate - An Insider's View of the Israeli Left
    The lesson that can be learned from what has been happening in Israeli politics in the last year, and surely from Israel's brief political history before and after the state was established, is that God forbid you should find yourself hated by the Left. Your fate is sealed in that case. Beware. You will have no redemption. Oh, how they know how to hate. Their bile works overtime when an object of hatred falls into their hands.

  • The 'Big Lie' Tactic
    that so many well-meaning people can mindlessly parrot the canard that the repatriation of refugees is an "inalienable right" is yet another proof of the efficacy of the well-known tactic of the "big lie" - that any lie, however outrageous, will eventually be believed if repeated often enough. Certainly, it would be hard to think of many lies as easily disprovable as the idea that refugees have a "right of return" to their former homes.

  • Middle East Madness
    A lame-duck American president and a dead-duck Israeli prime minister (opposed by three-quarters of his parliament and running 28 points behind in preelection polls) are racing to try to change the Middle East landscape before they are both consigned to political oblivion. There has not been an exercise of diplomacy this irresponsible -- a breathtaking mix of narcissism and self-delusion -- since Munich 1938.

  • What of the Refugees ?
    Rather than take in these refugees, the surrounding Arab countries -- Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt -- left them to stew in refugee camps, where many remain to this day, an expense, a nuisance and a source of instability for their reluctant hosts. They have been happy to use the Palestinians for propaganda purposes all these years, holding them up as examples of Israeli malice and making sure they lived in appropriate misery.

  • Palestinian Pawns  Cdn Flag
    Their "refugee camps" are not temporary fields of pup tents, but permanent towns. They remain outsiders because their Arab brethren in the host countries have deliberately disenfranchised them and used them as a propaganda tool to bash Israel.

  • Clinton's Farewell Error
    If his aides had prepared a full dossier on the American efforts within the Arab-Israeli conflict, Clinton would have learned that whenever American presidents drafted concrete plans for territorial arrangements, they failed. However, when they worked as mediators, they succeed in helping the two sides reach agreement.

  • Canada Offers to Resettle Palestinian Refugees  Cdn Flag
    We are prepared to receive refugees; we are prepared to contribute to an international fund to assist with resettlement in support of a peace agreement,

  • The Media's Stockholm Syndrome
    Whatever one's views are about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the preferred manner in which it should be addressed, it is difficult to understand how anyone could suggest that a moral equivalence exists between Palestinian violence and terror, and Israel's defensive measures. The difference between an Israeli soldier who fires at an assailant and a Palestinian who places a bomb on a bus is the difference between right and wrong.

  • Israeli-Palestinian Endgame
    ...perhaps worst of all, the peace accord that could be struck between Israelis and Palestinians, though elucidated as never before by this year's negotiations, has been tarnished by Mr. Barak's ineptness at politics, Mr. Clinton's overeagerness to conclude a deal and, most of all, by Mr. Arafat's weakness and refusal to compromise.

  • The American Model
    American minorities identify with the country, and jumped at the chance to prove their loyalty in the armed forces, even going to battle against their former homelands. The Arab Israelis say they will not fight their brothers.

  • The Making of a Terrorist State
    The myths of Middle East peacemaking have finally unraveled, exposing the illusion that the creation of a Palestinian state would bring peace and stability.

  • More on the Palestinian Right of Return
    Here is a riddle: The lives of how many families - out of a total of 420,000 residents of the Gaza Strip still living in refugee camps - have been improved with the large sums of money that the Palestinian Authority has received from donor states, since the signing of the Oslo agreement in 1993? Answer: None.

  • Jews expelled from Arab countries left behind $30b. in assets
    Jews who emigrated from Arab countries between 1922 and 1952 left behind an estimated $30 billion in assets, according to former internal security minister Moshe Shahal, who chairs a world organization of Jews from Arab countries.

  • The Fading Clinton Initiative
    Someone misled Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and sold him an illusion that President Bill Clinton's last days in the White House were the "last chance" for a settlement with the Palestinians.

  • Disheartening, Surreal, Sad and Immoral
    "One of the most distressing aspects of the Palestinians' ongoing campaign of violence and propaganda against Israel has been the response of the western world."

  • Attorney-General Questions Barak's Authority to Negotiate Deal
    "Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein, in an impassioned letter to Prime Minister Ehud Barak last week, questioned both the premier's moral authority to engage in fateful negotiations just prior to the election, as well as the very wisdom of agreeing to the US bridging proposals under discussion."

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