|Israel Resource Review
||13th August, 2004
As the Headlines
Remembering Mordechai Yosepov, Killed in Sderot on June
Special Correspondent, Israel Resource News Agency and
Co-editor of Hakol, Jewish Voice at Hunter College in New York
It is very intimidating to walk in.
The family is mourning shiva for the death of a loved one.
An Unexpected death.
Yet another victim of Arab terror.
This time, the fatalities occurred in Sderot, a southern city atop of a mountain overlooking Gaza, which has become a target of Palestinian rockets since the beginning of the Intifada.
Although Sderot lies on Israel's side of the 1949-67 armistice lines, Palestinian refugees who have lived in the squalor of UN refugee camps in Gaza since 1949 have been inculcated to fight for the "right of return" to Arab villages which existed before 1948 where Sderot now exists.
Arabs from UN camps in Gaza had fired close to three hundred rockets at innocent civilians in Sderot for the past three years. The first fatalities occurred on June 28, 2004. One was a four-year-old boy en route to nursery school, whose story was told and retold all week in the media.
The other, Mordechai Yosepov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, whose story did not receive as much attention from the media due to a language barrier.
I, being from the former USSR, knew the Russian language. Together with two other reporters, I was privileged, to pay a visit to the victim's family during the week of mourning.
We made the trip to Sderot to see the family who had experienced this loss and were now thrown into the same group as all the other victims of terror families. We needed to see, face to face, how human beings who willingly chose to live in Israel, and moreover in Sderot, could possibly feel after losing a beloved father, grandfather and husband by a rocket deliberately thrown at them just because "they were Jews."
As we approached the mourning family, we felt their grief and shock. We spoke to them to find out their story and relay it to you- to paint a face of yet another victim of terror.
Mordechai Yosepov was among the many other Soviet Jews who emigrated from the former Soviet Union in the promise of a better future. He arrived from Uzbekistan with his second wife Nina in 1993 to reunite with his two children who had made Aliyah three years prior. He, like the others, was seeking a new life in the Jewish homeland. No one could have predicted how short lived that new life would be.
The family first settled in Tel Aviv, but soon relocated to Sderot due to the more affordable housing costs there. In Sderot, Mordechai lived among an extremely close-knit Russian-speaking Sephardi community, along with his two children Eduard 26, Albina 24 and his five grandchildren.
Upon his arrival, Mordechai served in the Israeli army and then returned for reserve duty in the last few years before his death. Despite all the hardships that he encountered with the strains of arriving to a new land, Mordechai maintained an excellent health record. His son Eduard related "He was in perfect condition. He never felt a need to visit the doctor."
On that fateful Monday morning, Mordechai joined his relative for a stroll to take his grandson to the nearby nursery school. .
After the boy was safely inside the building, Mordechai crossed the street and it was at that precise moment, at 8:15 a.m., that he met his death.
When we spoke to the bereaved children, both faces were aged and lined with the experience of sufferings. Both had immigrated to Tel Aviv with their mother Frida, and after resettling to Sderot, Eduard became employed as a security guard at nearby University Sapir College. It was in Sderot, as well, that Eduard met his wife, and she along with Albina continues to busy herself daily at home with their children.
When Eduard received that dreadful phone call informing him of his father's death, he was outraged and enormously shocked. He told us that he had always felt safe in Sderot, far safer than in Tel Aviv. He remarked, "I always breathed a sigh of relief after returning home to Sderot. I never imagined that this could happen here."
Now, when Eduard walks to synagogue each morning, he notices the empty streets and he knows that people are reluctant to leave their homes. Since the rockets are usually heard in the morning hours, Mordechai's death has frightened the neighborhood and turned the sounds of the rockets into a realistic possibility of death.
During our visit, a Russian-born Knesset member, MK Dr. Yuri Shtern stopped by to pay his respects, along with several of his aides. We were comforted to see government officials who also arrived to show support for the victims' families and assure them that they would help with expenses of the funeral arrangements.
After the member of Knesset left the house, Eduard proceeded to tell us about the Bukharian community in Sderot, which he was part of. He mentioned that the community was trying to build a synagogue for a long time but could not continue due to the lack of funds. On a more uplifting note, Eduard shared with us that the "government" promised to finish building the Bukharian synagogue and dedicate it to his father's memory.
That day we built a connection with Mordechai Yosepov's family.
The headlines of the attack faded soon after. People move on with their lives and forget the victims shortly after the horrific tragedies. Yet the shock and the pain of the family and of the close ones linger.
Almost two months have gone by since that fateful day in June. I maintain contact with Eduard Yosepov. It was very upsetting to find out that no one has kept contact with the family to offer help and show support since after the shiva. Eduard hasn't heard from any government officials or funds that would offer help, which was due to him. He was promised minimal financial help to cover the costs of a grave monument and to help with the shiva expenses. The promises were not kept.
Eduard's interests are not for selfish reasons. He stressed during our conversations that this support should have been given only out of respect for his father's memory. After all, his father died "fighting a war" for his country.
Is this the treatment deserved by the innocent victims? That they should be forgotten by the government and people of Israel?
Address of Mordechai Yosepov's son,
Noga St, Sderot, Israel
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
UN Dollars for Terror
Investigative Reporter, Israel Resaource News Agency
Reading the material on the website for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA), one gets a picture of "a relief and development agency, providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid." This benevolent view of UNRWA is the one that most people embrace.
But this vision, unfortunately, is not the reality, since this supposed humanitarian enterprise contains substantial links to terrorism that have been incontrovertibly documented. The record is clear: UNRWA policies foment terrorism, UNRWA practices allow it to flourish, and American money donated to UNRWA ends up in terrorists' hands.
In February of 2002, the Israelis arrested Ala'a Muhammad Ali Hassan, a member of Tanzim (Fatah's armed faction) in Nablus. Hassan admitted he had carried out a sniper shooting from the UNRWA-run school run in the al-Ayn refugee camp near Nablus. More significantly, he reported that bombs intended for terrorist attacks were being manufactured inside the school's facilities.
Shortly thereafter, in the spring of 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield, Israel Defense Forces entered UNRWA camps in response to horrific terrorist attacks and discovered there small-arms factories, explosive laboratories, and suicide bombing cells.
A report made by the Fatah unit in Jenin to Marwan Barghouti, then head of the Tanzim, was picked up by the IDF during this operation. It said the Jenin refugee camp is "characterized by an exceptional presence of fighters," and is known as the "suiciders' capital."
But even beyond this, there is substantial evidence of UNRWA employees' direct connection with terrorism.
Nidal abd a-Fattah Abdallah Nazzal, an UNRWA-employed ambulance driver and a Hamas "activist" in Kalkilya, was arrested in August, 2002. He confessed to transporting weapons and explosives to terrorists in an UNRWA ambulance. Another employee, Nahd Rashid Ahmad Atallah, a senior UNRWA official in the Gaza Strip was also arrested the same month. He had used his UNRWA car to drive armed men to carry out attacks, as well as to transport a 12-kilogram explosive charge.
And as of September 11, 2003, Israel was detaining at least 16 other UNRWA staff members for various security-related matters, while the Isralei military court has already convicted at least three UNRWA employees for terrorist-associated activities such as throwing firebombs at a public bus.
Precisely what is going on? Actually, several things at once.
A predilection for terrorism within the Palestinian Arab refugee population is not surprising, coming from a culture that condones a considerable degree of violence to begin with. As well, the Palestinians have been living in UNRWA camps for more than fifty years without final determination of their status or an opportunity to get on with their lives. Frustrated to the point of rage, they have been told that resolution of their problems will come only with their "return" to Israel, drawing them to the ideology of groups that openly condone Israel's destruction.
What also exacerbates the situation here is that UNRWA hires from within its client population. Out of 23,000 employees, all but a handful of "international" high-level administrative employees are Palestinian Arab refugees. It is from this population that UNRWA draws managers; teachers; social workers; custodial workers; clerks; and medical personnel.
There is a general rule of thumb, however, that it is not appropriate for an agency to do large scale hiring of staff among the population it serves. Certainly no other UN agency does this; the United Nations International Children's Fund and United Nations High Commission for Refugees, by design, maintain a certain distance from their client base.
The argument is made by UNRWA that refugees best understand the situation of other refugees and can thus best provide them with services. But a conflict of interest is almost guaranteed in a situation as professionally incestuous as this. Staff, rather than maintaining a professional objectivity, shares the passions and perceptions of the other refugees, and sometimes acts on them inappropriately
However, it even goes beyond this. Yoni Fighel, a former military governor in the territories, has stated unequivocally that UNRWA workers are permitted to openly affiliate with terrorist-advocating radical groups:
As long as UNRWA employees are members of Fatah, Hamas, or PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], they are going to pursue the interests of their party within the framework of their job.Who's going to check up on them to see that they don't? UNRWA? They are UNRWA.
So pervasive is this situation in the camps that Hamas has gained control of the UNRWA workers' union. In the Gaza Strip, the 2003 elections for union representatives saw Hamas-affiliated candidates gain substantial majorities in all union sectors, securing control of all seats in the teachers' sector. Moreover, Hamas candidates fully constitute the union's executive committee.
In Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan (all places where UNRWA operates), UNRWA does make an effort to secure information from the respective governments on the terrorist connections or history of prospective employees. However, for political reasons, UNRWA does no vetting of prospective employees in the West Bank and Gaza. While it is the Israelis who have, and if requested, would share pertinent information, UNRWA refuses to recognize Israel as having any jurisdiction in the territories. Imagine, if you can, the Palestinian Authority - which UNRWA does recognize as having jurisdiction - giving up information on terrorists. This extraordinarily perverse situation would be funny if it were not so serious.
And when it comes to the issue handling evidence of terrorism within its jurisdiction, the UNRWA stonewalls and dissembles.
Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, is clearly in deep denial on the question of UNRWA-terrorist connections. In his (mandated) annual report to the UN General Assembly for July 1, 2001 - June 30, 2002, the period that included Operation Defensive Shield, Hansen managed to avoid any mention of what was uncovered in Jenin. What makes this all the more incredible is that he alluded to damage done by Israeli soldiers to UNRWA facilities in Jenin, but did not place this damage in its context by explaining that it was collateral to Israeli pursuit of terrorists. So blatant are the report's omissions that it is possible for someone not in possession of the facts to conclude that the Israeli soldiers simply conducted themselves with arbitrary malice.
This spring, at a conference at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Hansen was equally astonishing. When asked about terrorism in UNRWA camps, he drew quotation marks in the air as he said the word "terrorism," thereby delivering his message. It is all "made up," he explained, "to delegitimize" the UNRWA's work. Then he added, "There hasn't been a single case documented."
When asked what this meant, he replied there has not been a single case of actions by an UNRWA employee "that would lead to conviction in a military court." A stunning answer, as it implies that UNRWA is "clean" with regard to terrorism as long as a military court can convict none of its employees of terrorist activities. It treats as irrelevant evidence of weapons factories and storage areas, terrorist training locales and places for terrorists to hide in UNRWA facilities.
But even more pertinent is the fact that UNRWA employees have been convicted for terrorist activities in Israeli military courts. Hansen himself seemed to acknowledge this. Hesitating after making this statement, he then equivocated: "Well, there was one case." However, the data above makes clear that there have been not one but several cases, and they are a matter of public record.
Nor does this represent the end of Hansen's official denials. The money provided via USAID comes with legal constraints. Section 301(c) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, as amended, states that "all possible measures" must be taken to ensure that no US contributions are used to help refugees who have engaged in acts of terrorism, or have undergone guerilla-type or Palestinian Liberation Army military training
In 2003, the US General Accounting Office did an on-site assessment of the UNRWA and issued a report, in which Hansen attested that:
UNRWA has no evidence that would justify denying beneficiaries relief or humanitarian aid owning to terrorism.
How could the head of the UNRWA put out such a statement?
The answer lies with the word "evidence." We are looking at a "don't ask, don't tell" situation. UNRWA does not note terrorist convictions on refugee registration cards, does not receive (or seek out) information on terrorist related convictions of beneficiaries, and does not ask beneficiaries if they have engaged in terrorism.
The identification of UNRWA staff with Palestinian radicalism suggests the possibility that UNRWA simply has adopted a policy of turning a blind eye. UNRWA, however, presents another reason for looking the other way, which is also credible: There is a fear that UNRWA staff would be in danger if questions were asked or benefits cut, especially since staff is vulnerably housed in or near the camps and their families are known to terrorists.
The GAO report refers to widespread consensus regarding this vulnerability. It also indicates that the US has refrained from defining the phrase "all possible measures", which perhaps giving the UNRWA some leeway in recognition of this problem.
UNRWA, then, by its own admission, is allowing itself to be held up by terrorists in order to continue to function. At a bare minimum (best case scenario), this means UNRWA is out of control. Its Deputy Commissioner-General, Karen AbuZayd, is on record as saying "[everything] is upside down. The refugees are the armed elements."
As matters stand, American taxpayers have solid reason for concern, for the US, via USAID, is UNRWA's single largest donor. In addition to paying approximately one-third of UNRWA's regular budget, America donates millions to the several emergency campaigns UNRWA runs each year, all of which total sums in excess of $100 million annually.
UNRWA may believe that paying extortion money to terrorist refugees is an acceptable price for sustaining its operations. Whether American citizens, whose tax money is involved, would agree is another issue.
This ran in FrontPageMagazine.com on August 13, 2004
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
Ghandhi's Grandson To Kick Off
Unarmed Palestinian Campaign
Arab Affairs Correspondent, HaAretz
currently sponsoring a campaign of premeditated murder that has
plagued Israel for the past four years, invites Ghandi to Israel
to organize what looks like a non-violent effort. When Mubarak
Awad organized the Palestinian Center for the Study of
Non-violence, he told me in an interview on January 8th, 1988
that non-violent groups will work with violent groups in a
coaltion. When I asked Awad how this strategy jived with the
absolute non-violent philosophy of Dr. Muhatma Ghandi and Dr.
Martin Luther King, Awad responded that he was more 'pragmatic'
than they were.
The grandson of former Indian leader Mahatma
Gandhi, Arun Gandhi, is to kick off a Palestinian campaign for
an unarmed, popular struggle against the Israeli occupation.
The campaign is being organized by a group of Palestinian social and political activists in Ramallah, that was formed after a ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague against the separation fence and Israel's occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The group's members are anti-fence activists, members of non-government organizations for water and agriculture development, and central Fatah activists, headed by minister without portfolio and Fatah activist Kadura Fares.
Gandhi, head of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in the United States, will be the star speaker in three mass rallies planned in Ramallah, Abu Dis and Bethlehem on August 26. Gandhi said he intends "to promote the philosophy of nonviolence, the approach that nonviolence is the only venue that can solve our problems."
The Ramallah group resumed its ties with Palestinians for Peace and Democracy in the U.S., and reportedly consists of 400 volunteers. The group's leader, Mohammed Al Atar, said they felt "an urgency to find another way to resist occupation."
The link between Al Atar and the Ramallah group was Terry Boulata of East Jerusalem, the principal of a private school in Abu Dis and a major anti-fence activist. The fence separates her home from her place of work and from her husband's family. Boulata said the Hague decision and Israel's High Court ruling to change the fence route strengthens the position of the proponents of an unarmed struggle. Like Al Atar, she said: "The struggle is our right, but we must be creative."
The two then invited Gandhi in order to learn creative ways of fighting against the occupation.
In a telephone call from the United States, Gandhi said he is coming both to learn and to teach his philosophy. "I understand that many bad things happened 55 years ago, but the attempt to get justice by revenge accomplishes nothing," he said. He said he learned that from his grandfather when he was just a boy, and thought of revenge in retaliation to the apartheid and humiliation he felt in South Africa, where he was born in 1934. Gandhi said his father spent 15 years in jail because he refused to obey the apartheid laws.
It is difficult to tell how the Palestinians will relate to Gandhi's tendency to explain violent conflicts by reducing them to private, inter-personal relations. "I've dedicated my life to explain to people how damaging prejudices can be, and how to form better relations. That is the basis of non-violence. Relations must be based on love, understanding and honor, not on negative foundations," he said.
"I will tell the Palestinians that it is their responsibility to change. If the Israelis do not want to listen, it does not mean we cannot act."
Gandhi intends to tell the Palestinians that the essence of violence is that each side justifies it by saying the other side started. "The question is who is more intelligent (to stop using violence) and who has more power to change. I think the Palestinians have a chance to be more intelligent and not act like the Israelis."
The organizers intend to bring thousands to the rallies and record the talks with Gandhi. The events will cost about $200,000, and contributions have arrived from Switzerland and Norway. It is uncertain how much Gandhi can contribute to the Palestinian struggle, but the invitation indicates a considerable part of the Palestinian public is seeking popular, non-violent ways to struggle. "We want to organize a Palestinian peace camp to explain to Israel and the world that our freedom is the key to peace," Boulata said.
This article appeared August 13, 2004 of Ha'aretz
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
Reality According to Eitan Haber:
The Delusions of Oslo in the
Service of Disengagement
Dr. Joel Fishman
Associate, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
On August 11, the daily tabloid newspaper, Yediot Acharonot, ran an editorial by Eitan Haber, former Director of the Office of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Entitled "There is Nothing More Important," it passionately advocated rapid implementation of PM Sharon's plan of Israel's disengagement from Gaza and made some fantastic claims. As it is brief, a translation reads as follows:
1) From our point of view, here in this grieving and anguished land, there is nothing more important than implementation of the disengagement plan.
2) A thousand press conferences of the Minister of Finance will not help Israel's economy like - how difficult it is to write this - the evacuation of Gaza and all that Sharon's plan involves. Deep in his heart, Bibi Netanyahu knows it better than others.
3) The economic, and certainly, the political and security world [sic], is likely to change course for the good, the day after withdrawal from Netzarim.
4) It is sad and painful, but there is no choice.
5) In the coming weeks and months, all our attention must be focused on the residents [of Gush Katif] who will see the destruction of their home, the soldiers and the people of Israel, most of whom will undergo a difficult trauma.
6) In many ways, Sharon's plan will be a "watershed" in the history of the State of Israel; and it may even fill the pocket of every citizen here more than any economic plan.
7) It is important to note that the plan entails many dangers but these will never be as great as the dangers today.
8) Therefore, the group of politicians in the Knesset, the representatives of the Likud, Labor, Shinui, Shas, and the Aguda and others must put aside all divisions in order to focus on what is major, important and historic.
Let us now analyze its literal and deeper meaning.
Haber begins with the phrase, "here, in this grieving and anguished land," borrowing nearly the exact words from Yitzhak Rabin's speech on the White House Lawn of September 13, 1993, where he said: "We have come from an anguished and grieving land." This is the rhetoric of Oslo. Next, Netanyahu's work on the budget is far less important than Sharon's plan.
The assertion that even Bibi knows this implies that he is not necessarily acting in good faith. Then, Haber promises an immediate and radical improvement of Israel's economic, political, and defense fortunes, which will take place the day after withdrawal from Netzarim. While disengagement will be painful, there is no other choice. It is a necessary but traumatic sacrifice, particularly for the settlers. In spite of this, Sharon's plan will be a watershed in the history of the State, and will put money in the pocket of every Israeli citizen. It will be painful, but anything is better than the present. And not the least, Sharon's plan is a matter of such historical significance and central importance that everyone must support it.
Haber's editorial offers some extravagant promises: Israel's destiny will immediately change for the better; its position in the world will improve right after withdrawal; the immediate benefit of disengagement will be worth more Netanyahu's efforts and will put an end to our overdrafts. Nearly eleven years ago, similar promises seduced Israelis, and Israeli society is still paying the terrible price.
Golan Lahat, a doctoral candidate at Tel Aviv University, has given us the tools for analyzing this type of language. In his study of the Israeli left and the peace process, entitled, The Messianic Temptation (Hebrew, Ha-Pitui Ha-Meshichi, Tel Aviv, Am Oved 972 series, 2004), Lahat describes the Oslo experience as an example of a failed secular messianic movement with totalitarian tendencies. He identifies four characteristics of secular messianic thought: turning one's back on the existing present; recourse to revolutionary change and rejection of gradual bureaucratic reform; quick and immediate revolution; and certain knowledge that this is the one and only way to the truth.
If one compares Lahat's points with Haber's text, it is obvious that Haber suffers from such secular messianism, particularly in his desire to create a new reality within a very short period of time.
Lahat further explains that gradualism, particularly the gradualism of classical Zionism, requires strength, which is not to be found here. Instead, there is a disturbing expression of weakness and gratuitous despair (schmertz). The author argues that the messianic impulse of the Oslo era played on the desire of Israelis to end their condition of uncertainty. He points out that for the average Israeli, "The Peace" did not mean correcting past injustice but helping to pay for the next vacation or purchasing an apartment for one's children. This assertion applies perfectly to Haber's proposition of putting money in our pockets.
This type of language and thinking is dangerous because it misrepresents reality and rejects rational thought. Further, if one acts on a willfully distorted perception of reality, the results will surely be disastrous. We may give one example where this can easily be understood, namely, the sacrifice and the trauma which Haber so lightly demands of the settlers, who, are our fellow Israeli citizens.
With the outbreak of Palestinian terror after the signing of the Oslo accords, the Rabin government decided not to respond. Yitzhak Rabin rationalized the loss of civilian life by using the cursed and mendacious slogan, "sacrifices for the Peace" (Hebrew, "korbanot ha-Shalom"), an expression which probably was coined shortly after the murder of Ofra Felix on January 6, 1995. In February 1996, after the suicide bombing of Bus No. 18 in downtown Jerusalem, PM Shimon Peres declared: "Peace has its price in human lives as well" (Hebrew, "Le-shalom yesh mechir gam be-nefesh.")
According to Golan Lahat, the feeling that prevailed at that time was that if the bright future was at hand, such losses had to be accepted with equanimity, because the worst would soon be over and a new day would dawn. But it was not to be. For the record, the "price of peace" has amounted to a total of 1,213 casualties as of last spring: 256 from the signing of the DOP in September 1993 to September 2000, and 957 from September 29, 2000 until March 1, 2004.
There has been no evidence of any soul-searching on the part of the architects and the dedicated apologists of Oslo, and none of these have come forward to take the responsibility for its costly loss of life. The great civilian losses which the Rabin government and its successors chose to accept is a subject which has been passed over in silence, but must be examined honestly, thoroughly, and critically and placed on the record. One cannot initiate a new historical era at will. There was only one Genesis (Bereshit). Proclaiming a new beginning of history from time to time may be a good way of repudiating one's past responsibility. But history is continuous, and records are kept. Because those who participated directly and indirectly Israel's most recent messianic misadventure, the Oslo process, have not accepted their responsibility for this great loss of life, they have no moral authority to ask their countrymen for sacrifices of any kind.
This article was published in Makor Rishon
on August 20th, 2004
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
Official list of
demands by Palestinian Prisoners
IMRA: When IMRA first saw this list of demands being circulated by third
parties on internet it did not distribute it as the list is so absurd that
it might possibly have been a hoax. These demands are being made by
prisoners who have already have a record orchestrating numerous murderous
terror attacks from within prison using telephones, weapons, etc. smuggled
into the prisons via family members.
August 15, 2004
Palestinian Prisoners Demands Presented to Israeli Prisons Service (IPS)
One: Family and/or Lawyers Visits
1. To remove the glass/plastic barrier between prisoners and visitors.
2. To increase the period of family visit to one hour.
3. To allow personal contact with children as in the past.
4. To allow all family members and relatives to visit.
5. To allow brothers and sisters to visit as in the past.
6. To allow private visits (without barriers).
7. To allow second and third degree relatives to visit.
8. To relocate detainees/prisoners in areas close to their residential areas.
9. To relocate prisoners who are immediate relatives in one prison.
10. To allow personal belongings and clothes to be brought during visits.
11. To allow prisoners to take photos with family members and children
12. To allow family visits for Arab prisoners once every 6 months for at
least four hours.
13. To allow visitors to bring with them an unlimited number of photographs
14. To allow visitors to bring with them bed-covers, watches, Palestinian
head scarves, head wear, etc.
15. To make family visits on Fridays as in the past.
16. To bring in families to visit as soon as they arrive to the prison. No
delays either at the prison or at checkpoints.
17. To allow prisoners to take out cantina (canteen food and drinks) to the
visit without limitations.
18. To allow prisoners to take to any kind of drinks to the visit and not
limit it to "Sprite".
19. To allow prisoners to be in plain clothes during the visit and not
restricted to uniforms of certain colors or design.
20. To allow prisoners' handwork to be given out at the visit after
21. To allow bringing in all kinds of cigarettes, audio-tapes, and
video-tapes during the visit.
Two: Phone Calls
1. To install pay phones in prison sections and/or yards and/or cells or
allow mobile phones in every cell or for every prisoner.
2. To allow prisoners representatives to make phone calls to prisoner's
organizations and lawyers and to Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs.
3. To remove all signal-distortion equipment - known to cause various health
problems including cancer.
1. To prepare and define a list of quantities of all sorts of food that
prisoners have the right to receive and to provide this list to prisoners
2. To change the basket of vegetables and fruits and end the practice of the
administrations taking part of it.
3. To allow prisoners to buy vegetables, fruits, fish, and meats of all
sorts on a monthly basis.
4. To allow prisoners in all prisons to prepare their own food according to
their customs and religions.
5. To give back kitchen equipment that was taken away from prisoners in all
6. To change old kitchen utensils and replace them with new ones.
7. To open bakeries and allow Palestinian prisoners to work at them; to
allow bread to be brought in during visits.
Four: Health Care / Treatment
1. To develop and expand clinics and equip them for emergency cases
especially at Nafha prison; A practicing physician should be at the clinic 7
days a week.
2. To allow a Palestinian prisoner to be present and working at the clinic.
3. To conduct surgery for prisoners immediately (without the usual
4. To allow physicians from outside to be able to check prisoners and ease
the procedures in doing so.
5. To widen the range of physicians to include all specialties.
6. To allow dental surgeries/ teeth implants at the expense of prisoners by
their own doctors.
7. To perform kidney, cornea and prosthetic transplants for those prisoners
who have been waiting for years.
8. To allow the purchase of medical mattresses, pillows, shoes and some
pharmaceuticals through the cantina.
9. To solve all problems related to the hospital in Ramleh.
10. An overall medical checkup for every prisoner at least once a year.
11. A optician visit to every prison on a regular and constant basis; eye
checkups for every prisoner once every 6 months, changing of glasses when
needed, allow the use of eye lenses; and to provide all needed supplies
to solve health problems related vision.
12. To allow prisoners to have the equipment necessary to measure blood
pressure and sugar levels where needed.
1. To end all practices and policies accompanying counting the prisoners;
allow all those prisoners in isolation back to regular sections
Six: Collective Punishment
1. To end all collective punishments.
2. To end the policy of fines.
3. To end the policy of confiscating personal belongings and punishing
prisoners by denying them family visits.
4. To return all money confiscated from prisoners accounts to be able to use
them in enhancing the health care and the education of prisoners.
5. To compensate prisoners for every item that was damaged intentionally
through raids on cell-blocks.
6. To define the maximum isolation period as a punishment to a week and to
provide humane detention conditions in isolation cells: access to toilets, a
washing sink, a two hour recreation period, to allow a fan, to allow books
and radio and cantina, not to handcuff prisoners inside the cells, to end
the policy of handcuffing prisoners while meeting prison administration.
Seven: Education at Universities
1. To allow prisoners to study at Palestinian, Arab, and International
2. To end the policy of punishing prisoners by denying them the right to
continue their education.
3. To allow newspapers, journals and magazines without any delay.
4. To allow purchasing different electronic dictionaries not limited to one
5. To allow all cells to have access to a computer and not only students.
6. To allocate study rooms and halls and to reopen all libraries.
7. To allow stationary without limitation in type or quantities.
8. To allow photocopying research material, educational material
1. To allow buying from Arab sources and end the monopoly.
2. To cancel the 17% VAT tax.
3. To unify the prices for all prisons.
4. To end all restrictions on the items allowed.
5. To form an investigation committee to check on the legality of the 17%
VAT tax and on the right of prisoners to benefit from the profit of
Nine: Movement within each section and the recreation area
1. To increase the recreation time to four hours a day as used to be the
2. To restore visits between section and cells to day-long visits.
3. To leave cell doors within each section open all day.
4. To restore the right of elderly, ill prisoners, those who spent over
ten years of imprisonment, and prisoners with special needs to get
to yards and recreation areas freely.
5. To allow university students to choose recreation time suitable for them.
6. To allow prisoners representatives to be able to visit sections,
recreational areas, and to be present at family visits in order to
be able to follow up on issues and concerns and solve any problem
without making this right dependant on the mood of security guards.
7. To open the gate to the recreational area every half an hour to enable
prisoners to get to the area or back to sections.
8. To allow freedom of movement within each section without restricting the
time or period.
9. To install water pipes in each section.
10. To restore the weekly general cleaning day as in the past.
11. To install water pipes to the recreation area and the yard as used to be
12. To restore the recreation time from 15:00 to 17:00 and from 17:00 to
13. To allow working prisoners to stay at the recreation area until 20:00.
14. Not to transfer a prisoner from any prison before spending 2 years in it
unless the prisoner applies for a transfer.
15. To cancel the policy of moving certain prisoners constantly around the
prisons, never settling in one.
16. To allow Friday Imams to be able to move from one section to another.
17. To allow having events, debates, celebrations in the recreation areas
and yards as in the past.
18. Freedom to transfer among cells within one section without any sort of
19. To remove the ban on practicing Karate during the recreation period.
Ten: Tools, Instruments, private and general equipment
1. To allow the following to be purchased at the cantina by every prisoner:
a light-bulb for reading, electronic dictionary without restricting the
brand, electric shaving-machine, and electric fan.
2. To install air ventilation in the cells and section as well as air
3. To install air conditioning at the visiting area and waiting cells.
4. To provide electric kettle.
5. To provide an electric toaster for each cell.
6. To provide a small refrigerator in each cell.
7. A small photocopier in each section.
8. To install an Antenna for the radio.
9. To allow winter jackets.
10. To allow waist belts.
11. To allow sport ropes.
12. To allow to have cameras in each section and to be able to take
13. To allow fruits knife in each cell
Eleven: Searching and Security Checks
1. To end the practice of body search by hand and to restrict it to
2. To stop searching children 14 years old and under during visits.
3. End totally strip search.
4. End night searches and the practice of Matsada unit, dissolve it or end
5. Not to handcuff prisoners during the search.
6. Never to damage or confiscate personal belongings while searching.
7. To stop searching prisoners each time they leave to the recreation area
or to prayers.
8. Security search be limited to only once a day maximum and not to force
prisoners outside the section during the search.
9. Security search to be conducted during the recreation period.
10. To limit the overall general search to once every 6 months.
Twelve: Working Facilities
1. To increase the number of working prisoners in the various facilities.
2. To restore kitchens, laundries, and sewing and allow Palestinian
prisoners to work at these facilities.
3. To allow at least two prisoners to work in the section (corridor) outside
the cells till 22:30 and extend their recreation time till 20:00.
4. To re-allow a prisoner to work in yard and recreation area as in the past
and to make available a storage room and a room for working and working
5. To allow a prisoner to work at the clinic.
6. To restore the special recreation period for workers.
7. To raise payment for workers.
8. To allow an additional worker at the library.
9. To allow a worker to fix electric equipment in each section as in the
10. To allow all tools for hairdressing and to change them once every 6
1. To allow prisoners in the upper beds not to step down at the morning
count and to limit to them just raising themselves up in their beds.
2. To be content by showing the hands for those who are in toilets at the
time of counting taking into consideration to avoid using the toilet around
the time of count unless it's urgent or to pass the cell and return to it
Fourteen: Transfer, Travel and waiting (passing) sections
1. To allow prisoners to have cantina with them while being transferred
(canned food, etc.).
2. To be moved directly to the buses without being held and delayed in
3. To change seats in the buses to more comfortable ones.
4. Each prisoner to be handcuffed separately from others and to stop using
the plastic handcuffs and replace them with the metal ones.
5. To allow prisoners representatives to meet newly transferred prisoners at
the bus as they arrive.
6. To improve all conditions at the passing (waiting) sections in each of
Asqalan, Ramleh, and Birsheva prisons.
7. To remove the darkened windows of the buses.
Fifteen: General Demands
1. To return to prisoners all the cans (canned food) and cups and all what
was confiscated in Asqalan and Nafha after the last raids.
2. To allow handwork and to be able to purchase all needed at the cantina or
to be able to get it during visits.
3. To remove asbestos from the cells to improve ventilation in cells and
4. To provide once again what the administrations used to provide at their
expense: tooth paste, tooth brush, soap, cleaning and hygiene provisions,
5. To make available lists of IPS rules in every section in Arabic.
6. To increase the number of allowed TV channels.
7. To re-install wooden boards to all beds, change the beds each year, paint
cells each year, and to install sides to the beds.
8. To remove all male guards from female sections.
9. To improve all conditions and to meet all needs of imprisoned minors.
10. To end the use of arbitrary transfer of prisoners from one prison to
11. To remove one bed in each cell.
12. To end the use of the special classification of certain prisoners
"prisoners sentenced for serious offences" and end all unjustified
punishments against them and to allow them to be able to work at various
facilities in the prisons.
13. To implement the Geneva Convention and all international human rights
standards and agreements.
14. To use only the buses to transfer prisoners between prisons and/or to
and from court hearings.
15. To allow visits on special occasions as religious holidays.
16. To double the number and the period of visits during holidays.
17. To allow prisoners to send out written material: diaries, poems,
studies, prose, etc. during visits.
18. To define the life sentence as in the case of Israeli prisoners and to
consider seriously the provision of parole.
19. Not to interfere in Friday prayers and/or preaching and not to punish
preachers for whatever they say.
20. To allow hard covers for books and never to remove them.
21. To separate shower area from toilets.
22. To provide prosthetics for those prisoners with amputations.
The Unified Leadership of the Hunger Strike
11 August 2004
Freedom for Prisoners
ADDAMEER Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association
P.O.Box 17338, Jerusalem
Ramallah Office: Al-Isra' Bldg., 7th floor, Al-Irsal St.
Tel: +972-2-2960446 Fax: +972-2-2960447
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
Director, Am Echad: Jewish Media Resources
One of the most striking aspects of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza withdrawal initiative is how little time and energy he has spent explaining and selling his plan to the Israeli public. Both his tactical and strategic thinking remain largely hidden from view. The plan has become something of a tabula rasa upon which supporters across the political spectrum have attached their own explanations and justifications.
Sharon's failure to sell his initiative is no mere detail; it is fundamental to understanding the true meaning of the plan. And what it reveals about the Prime Minister's reading of Israeli society today should concern all of us, whether we support or oppose the Gaza withdrawal.
Above all, the Prime Minister is offering the Israeli public something new - change for change's sake. To those grown weary of the never ending struggle with the Palestinians, to the young and old alike who cannot bear the thought of another fifty years of warfare, the Prime Minister seeks to offer hope for a different sort of future.
Speaking to a meeting of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency in June, the Prime Minister stressed this aspect of his initiative: "Above all, it gives the people of Israel hope for a better future. Do not underestimate the power of hope."
And indeed the Prime Minister is correct to worry about the collective psyche of the Jewish people living in Zion. A people without faith and hope in the future is a people whose future is hopeless. That is not a mere tautology, but rather an expression of the crucial role that such intangible factors as national mood play in the affairs of nations.
At the same time, hope for a utopian future cannot be allowed to obscure very real progress. Sharon is reported to have told his cabinet ministers, "I've been on the job fore three and a half years, and I haven't done a thing to change the situation. "True, he has not made out of the Palestinians a partner for peace. Only the Palestinians can do that. Since the Seder Night Massacre in Netanya two years ago, however, Sharon has significantly reduced the Palestinian terror and done away with the feeling that we are a helpless punching bag, endlessly absorbing blows without the ability to respond.
In addition, Sharon must be given credit for helping the Americans, with varying degrees of clarity, come to view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a subplot of the larger battle between Islamic fanaticism and the West. The first signs that Palestinians are beginning to look to their own leaders, and not just Israel, as responsible for their suffering also owes in part to Sharon's refusal to dance to Arafat's tune.
Israel has never known peace since its birth, except perhaps for the brief period of euphoria between 1967 and 1973. And the latter period turned out to be a Fool's Paradise. What is different today - indeed for the last decade and a half - is that most Israeli Jews are no longer confident that what is being built justifies the price.
Those doubts give rise to despair. Shinui leader Tommy Lapid captured this mood perfectly when he offered his principal justification for the Gaza withdrawal plan: "Things can't go on this way."
Throughout Jewish history despair has too frequently given rise to messianic fantasies. We have been down this road before. Not just at the time of Shabbetai Tzvi, who followed in the wake of the Chmelnicki pogroms, but as recently as the Oslo Accords, little more than a decade ago. Then too, after the first intifada, the Israeli public was willing, even eager, to try anything, new and hope for the best.
We convinced ourselves that the arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat would become our defender from Palestinian terrorism. And we studiously ignored all the evidence that Arafat had neither renounced his dream of a Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean nor prepared his own people to give up that dream.
Then too we armed and trained Palestinian security forces, only to have those forces train their rifles on us during the riots that followed the opening of the Temple Mount tunnel. Under Clause 5 of the Withdrawal Plan, Israel once again undertakes to provide military training to Palestinian security forces, and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has announced that Palestinian security forces will once again be allowed to bear arms. Shlomo Miller, the Itamar security guard killed Sunday by a Palestinian policeman, is the first casualty of that new dispensation.
The gaping chasm between the flimsiness of the justifications for the Gaza withdrawal and the enthusiastic hopes pinned on the initiative by the majority of the public suggest that we are reentering a period of messianic delusion.
At the very least, we would expect proponents of the plan to answer one fundamental question: What happens if after the withdrawal, Kassams, or even deadlier missiles, continue to rain down on Israel and the IDF is forced to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. What will we have to show for the withdrawal other than having destroyed nearly twenty thriving and vibrant communities, built from the sand dunes over nearly four decades, and having uprooted nearly 10,000 Jews from their homes.
Nor is the fear of worsening attacks from Gaza merely theoretical. As Evelyn Gordon points out, since the announcement of the Gaza withdrawal plan, terrorist activity from Gaza has spiked. Thirty Kassams landed in Israel in July, as opposed to 6.6 per month over the previous 45 months.
Proponents of the Gaza plan raise very serious concerns. Where they have failed, however, is to show how the plan will solve any of those concerns. On the security front, the most that is claimed for the plan is that the IDF will save the money currently expended defending Gaza Strip settlers and those in isolated West Bank outposts. Prime Minister Sharon has specifically silenced the IDF in cabinet meetings on the grounds that the plan is diplomatic, not security, in nature.
It is theoretically possible that long-range diplomatic understandings with the United States could justify short-term security damage. The evidence mounts, however, that Sharon has received no bankable commitments from the current American administration (and certainly not from any future administration.) The hue and cry raised recently by the United States over 600 new housing units in Maaleh Adumim, a Jerusalem suburb that virtually every Israeli agrees will remain within Israel in any imaginable settlement with the Palestinians, raises serious questions about just what kind of adjustments of the 1949 Armistice Lines the United States has recognized as inevitable.
Tommy Lapid and others rightly worry about Israel becoming a pariah state much like South Africa once was. But he is crazy if he thinks that the Gaza withdrawal will dramatically improve Israel's diplomatic situation. The reasons that Israel is so unfairly singled out for international calumny are many, but they have little to do with the rights and wrongs of the situation.
The European reaction to the initiative has been mostly a yawn followed by calls for a return to the Roadmap. At most, Europe views withdrawal as a first step towards a Palestinian state on all land captured in 1967. One presumes that Prime Minister Sharon has something different in mind.
Others worry about the effect on our collective soul of ruling at gunpoint over a people that hate us. And they are right to do so. But as long the Palestinians continue to hate us and seek all of our land, the only alternative to doing so is to pull up stakes and depart. Again the withdrawal plan will have achieved nothing on this score, if a barrage of missiles from the Gaza Strip forces the IDF to reoccupy the Strip.
The most often cited reason for the withdrawal is demographic: Within a few years, there will be more Palestinians than Jews between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. That is true. But it will be true regardless of whether Israel withdraws from Gaza or not. Palestinian calls for a one-state solution will not abate just because Israel is no longer in the Gaza Strip. (Nor, incidentally, does withdrawal offer respite from the far greater demographic threat of a hostile Arab minority in Israel constituting 30-40% of the Israeli population within a generation.)
The vast majority of Israelis have long shown a complete willingness to allow the Palestinians complete autonomy to run their own lives, and even to their own state, provided only that state does not become a center for terrorism against Israel. The Palestinians have shown no interest in such a state. Until they do, Israel is left with the unpleasant and soul threatening task of doing what needs to be done to protect its own citizens. Withdrawal from Gaza does nothing to change that calculus.
The Gaza settlers, who will bear the heaviest price of the withdrawal, deserve an answer to the fundamental question: What will be gained if Israel has to eventually reoccupy the Gaza Strip? Until that answer is provided, we are still in the realm of dangerous messianic delusions
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
The Democratic Party's
Prof. Edward Alexander
One of the most prominent figures at John Kerry's nominating convention
was the Rev. Al Sharpton, who seemed almost as fixed a presence at
Kerry's side the night of his acceptance speech as were the nominee's
wife and vice presidential candidate John Edwards.
Yet, it is common knowledge that this failed contender for the
Democratic nomination incited anti-Jewish violence in the Crown Heights
section of Brooklyn in 1991 and in Harlem in 1995. In the latter
incident he encouraged the explicitly anti-Semitic boycott and picketing
of a Jewish-owned store named "Freddy's." Eight employees of the store
were killed in a fire started by one of Sharpton's followers.
But none of this unpleasantness has kept Sharpton from being treated
with oily sycophancy by the Democratic leadership.
Among the victors in the July 20 Democratic primary in Georgia was
Cynthia McKinney, who served five terms in Congress before being
defeated in the 2002 primary by Denise Majette. Like many other
inhabitants of the fever swamps of the Democratic Party, McKinney
believed and said that President Bush knew in advance about the 9/11
plot but allowed it to proceed in order to line his pockets.
She also, as The New York Times said in reporting her victory, had made
"a series of other incendiary, often racial comments." This is The New
York Times' delicate way of alluding to the stridently anti-Semitic
character of McKinney's 2002 campaign, in which "Jews" were repeatedly
blamed for her faltering in the polls and for her eventual defeat. Her
behavior did not deter House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, then the
Democratic whip, from backing her to the hilt.
Also in 2002, the Alabama Democratic congressional incumbent Earl
Hilliard attacked his challenger, Artur Davis, in a flier that read:
"Davis and the Jews, No Good for the Black Belt." (Both men are black.)
Hilliard's racist rhetoric did not prevent him from receiving support
from 24 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and from the
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, one of the party's funding
The antics of McKinney and Hilliard recalled those of a far better-known
and more powerful figure in the Democratic Party, Jesse Jackson. His
description (in 1984) of New York City as "Hymietown" and his 1979
complaint about being "sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust"
proved no impediment to his holding the Democratic conventions of 1984
and 1988 hostage with his political might within the party or to orating
from the convention podium in 1992 or to being appointed President
Clinton's special envoy to Nigeria.
Some have argued that the Democrats' reluctance to criticize the
anti-Semitic demagoguery of the aforementioned politicians can be
explained by the fact that they are all blacks, and white liberals
believe that blacks are their equals in every sense --- except that of
being equal. Perhaps.
It is true that when Democratic Congressman James Moran of Virginia, who
is white, charged in 2003 that "the leaders of the Jewish community"
sent the country to war in Iraq, he was criticized (no more than that)
by fellow Democrats. Also, on May 20 of this year, Ernest Hollings, the
South Carolina Democratic senator, alleged, on the floor of the Senate,
that Bush had sent the country to war "in order to win Jewish votes."
(Apparently Hollings, during his seven terms, had never discovered that
a majority of Jews would vote Democratic even if Yasser Arafat and Osama
bin Laden were at the top of the ticket.)
To his credit, Kerry on the very next day condemned Hollings for
"lend[ing] credence to . . . anti-Semitic stereotypes that have no place in
America or anywhere else." Nevertheless, it is clear that the Democrats
have a growing "problem" at the grass-roots or Michael Moore level of
the party that they know not how to deal with.
By contrast, the Republicans, when Trent Lott made remarks in 2002 that
could be construed as racist, promptly forced him from his position as
Senate majority leader. More to the point, Pat Buchanan, who never
misses a chance to stick it to the Jews, was roundly denounced for his
anti-Semitic pronouncements, in a 40,000-word National Review essay of
1991 by the party's leading intellectual figure, William Buckley.
Buckley not only labeled Buchanan a menace to the body politic, but
urged Republicans to expel him from their midst, which they eventually
--- though not quickly enough --- did. By 2000, Buchanan was forced to
run for the presidency on the Reform Party ticket, after which he
retreated to the world of journalism from which he had emerged.
Outside of the Islamic world, the anti-Semitic upsurge of recent years
is mainly a left-wing phenomenon. It is therefore not surprising that it
should have brought the Democratic Party, more swiftly than the
Republicans, to that dark and bloody crossroads where politics and
Edward Alexander is professor of English at the University of
Washington and author of, among other books, "Classical Liberalism and
the Jewish Tradition" (Transaction Books).
This piece ran in the Seattle Times on August 9th, 2004
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
Interview with David Bedein About News Coverage of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority
Editor, Baltimore Jewish Times
David Bedein, donned in a knit kippah and trademark broad smile - clearly enjoys sharing that he defies stereotypes.
"It's not many people who say to their wife on the phone when she asks, 'Where are you and when are you coming home for dinner?' 'I'm with Arafat in Bethlehem.' You don't hear that often from people who live in Efrat [on the West Bank]," he told about 30 people during a lecture at Shomrei Emunah Congregation August 4.
So it goes as Mr. Bedein, 54, shares colorful stories, matched by his enthusiasm and relentless energy to share his information.
He directs the Israel Resource News Agency, which he co-founded in 1987 "to give out information that doesn't appear in the mainstream media." The operation employs independent Palestinian journalists and Arabic-speaking Israelis to monitor what the Palestinian Authority and Yasser Arafat say and do.
One of Mr. Bedein's prime causes now is revealing what he considers the U.S. State Department's hypocritical policy in promoting renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks.
"There's a lot you can do to protect Israel from the State Department - not the U.S. government, because that would be arrogant and wrong," Mr. Bedein said in an interview before his talk. "The State Department has done things that do not reflect the policy of the U.S. government, and they're doing it to a friend."
For example, he said that the U.S. Agency for International Development, with the State Department's blessing, is paying for a booklet that trains Palestinians to lobby on Capitol Hill.
"First, it's immoral and second, it's illegal," Mr. Bedein said. He added that the State Department recently gave $20 million to UNRWA, the United Nations operation in charge of Palestinian refugee camps, "which is being used for the right of return, a specific educational program in the refugee camps. President Bush has said that right of return no longer applies."
Later he said, "The State Department has become a rogue operation for 20 years. Any time any of us in the world of journalism meet with Congress people and ask questions and say things matter-of-factly and state what is the State Department doing over there, they're shocked."
When told that it seemed hard to believe that with diverse administrations the State Department would be anti-Israel, Mr. Bedein said that the information speaks for itself. He also noted his frustration at State Department and White House officials not returning his calls.
In his talk, he said, "You are American people, American citizens, taxpayers. There is an accountability factor. Getting away with murder has been what the Palestinian Authority has been getting away with for years."
All this seems to put Mr. Bedein in Israel's right-wing camp. Not so, he quickly explained in the interview.
"I come from the world of Reconstructionism and interfaith dialogue," said Mr. Bedein, a Philadelphia native. "I was the first to uncover arbitrary home demolitions of the Arabs. I was active in the peace movement for 17 years and people forget that. People say the peace movement was territories for peace and I say no territories before peace."
He arrived in Israel 34 years ago as a Hebrew University of Jerusalem student. He dropped out to study Torah at the interdenominational Pardes Institute. He became Orthodox and gained a social worker's degree.
He still believes in talking to a wide array of people. Before arriving in Baltimore, he spent some time at the Conservative movement's Camp Ramah in New England, where his oldest of six children is a counselor this summer.
He also met with a Reform group and spoke to Christian groups, including one he will not name whose leaders he said have been anti- Israel.
"I met Arafat for a few hours in 1996. Right wingers don't go to meet with Arafat," he said. "The day I opened my press office, I said I'll never be involved in political activity. You can label me if you want. It's one thing to hear the mellifluous tones of peace. In the one long interview I had with Arafat, he kept talking about peace and I kept asking what he was saying in Arabic to his own people. He kept avoiding it, and finally he said, 'I speak peace to them, too.' And I said, 'I have no record of that, sir.'
"You can't make an accord with people who are setting up a totalitarian Islamic state," he added. "[The P.A. is] the first entity since Nazi Germany to openly discuss war on the Jews, and it's being supported by the Western democracies."
friendly version of this article
Return to Contents
the Israel Resource
The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by
the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in
Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine
You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.