Israel Resource Review 25th August, 2005


Palestinian Authority Media Condemns the killing of Jihad terrorists
No problem with murdering Jewish students, however

Dr. Michael Widlanski

Palestinian Authority officials and offical Palestinian Authority media today universally condemned the Israeli army's killing last night of five armed members of the Islamic Jihad terror organization that has carried out mass murder attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in recent months.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (nicknamed Abu-Mazen) and Palestinian prime minister Ahmad Qreia (nicknamed Abu-'Ala) loudly condemned "the Israeli crime," but they were silent about the Palestinian stabbing attack in Jerusalem in which one Jewish yeshiva student was murdered and two wounded.

In its morning news round-up, Abbas's state-run Voice of Palestine radio actually called the dead and wounded students "Israeli settlers" [Arabic: "mustawtaneen Isra'ilyyeen]-a symbolic way of saying that they were legitimate targets for what Palestinians call "resistance operations."

"We will continue to attack Israelis wherever there are still settlers," asserted Hussein Basht, a leader of Islamic Jihad, in an interview on Abu Dhabi satellite television, stressing the argument of Jihad and the Hamas organization that attacking Israelis is still justified despite the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

The Jewish yeshiva students, who study at the Mir Yeshiva in the western part of Jerusalem, were attacked by a Palestinian Arab man wielding a huge butcher knife not far from Jaffa Gate, a noted tourist point in Jerusalem.

The unabashed support of the Palestinian Authority and the state-run or state-supported Palestinian media for Jihad was evident in the way that the newspapers, state television and radio all called the men "martyrs" and "citizens," even though their organization has murdered more than 30 Israeli civilians in recent months.

"ISRAELI ASSASSINATION OF FOUR CITIZENS IN TULKARM CAMP," headlined the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda that is run by Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah organization. [The Palestinian media later announced five Jihad members had died, and Israeli officials said a sixth man, a leader of Hamas, escaped.]

"THE HEROIC MARTYRDOM OF FOUR RESISTERS BY THE BULLETS OF ISRAELI SPECIAL FORCES IN THE TULKARM REFUGEE CAMP," declared the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam in a huge red-letter headline atop its front page. Al-Ayyam is also run by the Fatah organization of Dr. Abbas, the chairman of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.

Today's Palestinian media treatment was far from being a departure from Palestinian policy. The heroic treatment accorded the dead terrorists-and the Palestinian media acknowledged all the men were Jihad gunmen-has continued largely unabated since Abbas came to power following the death of Yasser Arafat in November last year.

A cartoon in one leading Palestinian paper suggested that the Palestinian fighters had driven the Israelis out of Gaza-like a nail in the foot-- and that the pro-al-Qaeda Iraqi "resistance" would do the same to American forces.

While Abbas has periodically removed "martyr videos" from Palestinian television, he has supported the use of other techniques-some of them very sophisticated-that suggest to the Palestinian audience that the "struggle" or even "jihad" has not ended.

Even during the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the Palestinian leadership and media celebrated the victory of "Palestinian resistance" and "Palestinian steadfastness" over "the Israeli Occupation" and even "the Zionist enemy."

For example, in a Palestinian television show last week, Palestinian Authority minister of Communications Imad Faluji continually referred to Israel as "the enemy."

"The members of this Jihad unit were planning further attacks, and some of them had actually been finding shelter inside buildings of the Palestinian Authority," declared an Col. Roni Noma, commander of the Nahal battalion in Tulkarm in the northern part of the West Bank where Jihad has been most prominent.

"The Palestinian Authority is not doing anything against these units, and we cannot just sit idly by," declared Col. Noma, who was interviewed by Israel's Channel 2.

© 2005 Michael Widlanski Associates

[Material may be used with citation]

Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

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Plans for the Gaza Strip:
Not Quite What We Are Led to Believe
Arlene Kushner

Now that the residents of the Katif district of Gaza have been forcibly expelled from their homes, a picture - promoted by the Palestinian Authority and its supporters - is being painted in the mainstream media of the opportunity for the region to become peaceful, democratic and thriving. Once the homes of the settlers are demolished, there will be construction of new housing in the area and the Palestinian population will be able to spread out and be less congested. It will be an important beginning, we are told. From this, good things will follow.

There is, however, a major flaw in this thinking, one that seems to have been totally disregarded in press reports. The Arab population of Gaza is 1.37 million. Of this, 961,000 are registered with UNRWA as refugees. That's a full 70% of the population. There are actually eight UNRWA refugee camps in the Gaza Strip: Jabalia, Rafah, Beach, Nuseirat, Khan Yunis, Bureij, Maghazi and Deir el-Balah.

And so? you may ask. Don't refugees registered with UNRWA deserve the chance to better housing and a better life as well?

This writer would be the last to deny that they do. The issue is where and how they will live that "better life."

In a recent interview in which he discussed housing expansion, Osama Alfarra, the mayor of the town of Khan Younis (which is adjacent to the camp of Khan Younis), took pains to point out that when housing expansion is undertaken, the expansion for refugees will be done with the cooperation of UNRWA and will be considered simply an extension of the camp.

The fiction that they are still in a "camp" will be maintained because refugees are afraid that if they move out of the camps they will be forfeiting their "right of return." Some refugees are actually so concerned about losing that right, that they are reluctant to move at all.

Focus on the "right of return," then, remains at the heart of what will be going on in an all-Arab Gaza. According to that ostensible "right," which in fact does not exist, all Arabs who fled Israel in 1948, and their descendants to the fourth generation now, have an inalienable right to return to the land and the homes from which they fled. This means to places such as Ashkelon, within the Green Line.

The flip side of this demand for repatriation to Israel is the insistence that the refugees do not belong permanently in the areas where they live now. This not just the policy of UNRWA, it is the policy of the Palestinian Authority. The PA, from its inception, has made clear that those registered with UNRWA as refugees are not part of its body politic and would not be considered citizens of Palestine should an independent state arise. The PA defines itself as a temporary host to the refugees and no more. As they see it, to incorporate them with permanency would be to seriously undermine if not totally nullify the right to return.

So seriously do the refugees themselves take this that there are instances of their having rioted inside the camps at precisely the point at which the interests of the PA had been advanced and the refugees suspected that their cause was going to be sold out (i.e., the refugees were afraid the "right of return" was going to be negotiated away for a state).

It is no accident that the terrorism - including the manufacture and shooting of rockets - is centered in the UNRWA camps of Gaza. There reside the people who have been fighting not to "liberate" Gaza from Israeli control, but to defeat Israel sufficiently so that they can return to homes within the Green Line. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that these people will now become pacific and cooperate in developing a Palestinian state in Gaza. They have no vested interest in doing so! Their vested interest is in intensifying their attacks in order to achieve their larger goals. If anything, they are hoping that now, with Israel gone, they will have increased latitude to launch attacks into Israel. What is more, Israel is currently seen as weak and likely to withdraw under attack. This provides yet more motivation for attacks.

In sum, within the population of Gaza as the PA must now contend with it, 70% of the people are not interested in building a Palestinian state. What is more, there is talk about bringing Palestinians - euphemistically referred to as "militants" - from Lebanon into Gaza as well. The only Palestinians in Lebanon are refugees. This means the percentage of the Arabs in Gaza invested in and working towards "return" rather than establishment of a democratic state, or any Palestinian state, would increase.

The pie-in-the-sky notion that the PA is about to establish a civic society that is stable in Gaza is dashed against the hard rock of the reality of the situation there. Until that reality is accepted and contended with, there cannot be even a remotely positive scenario established in the wake of the Israeli pullout.

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Gaza terror group said to have rocket that could hit Ashkelon
24th August 2005

[Sources in Israeli intelligence note that the PRC, the Popular Resistance Committees, is run by none other than Muhammad Dahlan, Israel's "partner" for negotiations in Gaza - DB]

The Popular Resistance Committees organization, which has carried out a number of high-profile terror attacks in recent years, has said that it has developed a rocket capable of striking targets 15 kilometers away, which after a planned IDF pullout from the Gaza Strip, would put southern Ashkelon within range of the projectile, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The group identified the rocket as a Sajil.

A shadowy breakaway organization, the PRC has resisted bids for a truce in attacks against Israelis. Founded at the outset of the intifada by former Fatah and Tanzim member Jamal Abu Samhadana, the PRC's ranks are made up of former members of Fatah including the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, as well as ex-Hamas and Islamic Jihad men.

The PRC is believed responsible for the October, 2003, bombing of a U.S. diplomatic convoy at Beit Hanoun, which killed three security guards and severely wounded a diplomat.

Among the other attacks attributed to the PRC are the November 20, 2000 bombing of a bus full of children as it passed near Kfar Darom killing two and maiming several others and a May, 2004 terror ambush in which Katif resident Tali Hatuel and her four daughters were shot dead.

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How a battle was won; Why a battle was lost; How the war could be won
David Bedein

On May 2nd, 2004, the opposition in Israel suceeded in overwhelmingly defeating PM Sharon in the Likud referendum.


By training people to appeal to the Likud electorate and to the media with a universal message The Sharon Plan as a threat to all of the people of Israel, and not only to the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Katif.

The teams that went out to canvas voters got people to read the Sharon Plan for what it is: PLO empowerment.

The campaign against the Sharon Plan, since that time, used a totally different tactic

Appealing to people to endorse the narrowly focused idea of sentiments for people who live in Katif and the Shomron.

This tactic only appealed to the convinced to become more convinced, and did not reach outside of the ideologically strong circles.

The only way for Israel's opposition to win now would be to adopt all of the principles of outreach, in what is know as the "kiruv" methodology . . . to develop an approach which will convince the movers and shakers of the Jewish people that withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and the creation of a PLO State represents a threat to A L L of the Jewish people . . . and represent a threat to the West.

The opposition must understand why the battle was lost and how a war has yet to be won.

The time has come for the opposition to learn the lessons of arrogance, and to realize that no one took the time to educate the movers and shakers of the people of Israel.

  • Most people in Israel never even knew location of Katif or the Northern Shomron, nor their proximity to the population centers of Israel.

  • Most people never read the easily accessible Sharon plan.

  • Most people have no idea that the focus of the plan is to arm and fund the PLO entity without any quid pro quo whatsoever.

  • Most people have no idea that the PLO strategy of phases is still in force and that the PLO covenant has never been changed.

  • Most people have no idea that 70% of the Arabs in Gaza wallow in UNRWA camps, under the premise and promise of the right of return, and that they are pushed by the Palestinian Authority to reclaim their lands from beyond Gaza.
In sum, if a massive effort to educate and reach out to all of the Jewish people is not launched, Israel will stand to lose its hegemony in Judea, Samaria and even Jerusalem . . .

The reality is that if the business community of Ramat Gan and the population of 33 development towns are not convinced that Judea and Samaria should stay in Jewish hands, the opposition to Sharon will lose the war.

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