Israel Resource Review 3rd December, 2004


Hudna, Hamas and the Continued Armed Struggle
David Bedein

Over the past three weeks, since the death of Yassir Arafat, rumors have been rampant about a major breakthrough with the Islamic Hamas organization.

On Friday, December 3rd, 2004, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency went so far as to state in its headline article that Hamas had proclaimed that it was ready to enter into an era of "reconciliation" with the state of Israel.

This impression was left because two weeks ago, after Israel freed a Hamas cleric, Sheikh Hasan Yusef, from jail, the freed prisoner declared that Hamas would accept a long-term "hudna" in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state on all lands that Israel acquired after the 1967 war. That would mean Israel's withdrawal from the Old City of Jerusalem, the closure of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, and the dismantling of Israel's civilian and military presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (the West Bank).

Sheikh Yusef stated to the Israeli media that the "hudna" that he suggested would last for ten years.

Yet "hudna", often mistranslated as a "ceasefire" or armistice, connotes no more than a temporary respite in the war between Islamic forces and non-Islamic forces.

The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines "hudna" as a "temporary treaty" which can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam, and that a "hudna" cannot last for more than ten years. The Islamic Encyclopedia mentions the Hudaybia treaty as the ultimate "hudna." Arafat also referred to a hudna in his speeches when he would refer to the Oslo accords. In the words of the Islamic encyclopedia, "The Hudaybia treaty, concluded by the Prophet Muhammed with the unbelievers of Mecca in 628, provided a precedent for subsequent treaties which the Prophet's successors made with non-Muslims. Muhammed made a hudna with a tribe of Jews back then to give him time to grow his forces, then broke the treaty and wiped them out. Although this treaty was violated within three years from the time that it was concluded, most jurists concur that the maximum period of peace with the enemy should not exceed ten years since it was originally agreed that the Hudaybia treaty should last ten years."

Hamas spokesman, Dr. Muhammad A-Zahar, held a press conference on Sunday, December 5th to clarify the Hamas position on the "hudna".

A-Zahar, speaking to a crowded room of reporters in Gaza, insisted that "all discussions of 'hudna" have taken place with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority in one context -- expelling the Jews from all of "Palestine."

A-Zahar stated that "The strategy of Hamas is the liberation of all lands of Palestine. This is a well known strategy. We believe in the liberation of all lands of Palestine, as an order from the Koran. As we achieve this reality, we must go through several stages and sustain as few casualties as possible. Yet we will not give up on our goal to return of all of the Palestinian people to all of our land."


One should not assume that Hamas acts in a vacuum and without coordination with the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.

When I covered the Peres-Rabin-Arafat Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo in December, 1994, I asked Yasser Arafat at his press conference about what he was going to do about Hamas, given the fact that then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-foreign minister Shimon Peres had given assurances in their press conference that Arafat would "crush Hamas." Arafat's terse answer was that "Hamas are my brothers. Don't you understand that?"

A few months later, in May, 1995, our agency covered another press conference with Arafat's police chief in which he said that the PA was licensing the Hamas to carry weapons. And in December, 1995, the Hamas and the PA came to a working agreement in Cairo that allowed Hamas to continue its "activities."

Less than a year after the signing of the Oslo Accords, which called for a renunciation of violence, Jibril Rajoub, then head of Palestinian Authority Preventative Security Service in the West Bank, said in a lecture at Bethlehem University:

"We sanctify the weapons found in the possession of the national factions which are directed against the occupation . . . If there are those who oppose the agreement with Israel, the gates are open to them to intensify the armed struggle."[i]

This was an early open acknowledgement of the way in which the PA would be playing both sides at the same time.

Nabil Sha'ath, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and presently a mem­ber of the PA Cabinet, is on record as saying, in 1994: "For us, we have a political relationship with Hamas, a brotherly rela­tionship.[ii]" When he made that statement he was reflecting an on-going interaction between the PA and Hamas that only a few experts were yet aware of. A year later, in 1995, a formal pact was established between Hamas and the PA. Article 12 calls on the PA to cease all preventive security, which means letting Hamas operate without PA interfer­ence. The agreement also gives Hamas a role in the PA government.

Yigal Carmon-now head of MEMRI and a former advisor on terrorism to Prime Ministers Rabin and Shamir -confirmed the reality of the Hamas PA Cairo agreement on January 7, 1996, when he wrote:

"Two years of negotiations between the PLO and Hamas concluded in an agreement a few days ago, formalized in a joint statement.

'According to the agreement, Hamas will continue to adhere to its principles regarding the struggle against Israel. It will continue to attack from anywhere it can, except Zone A (to avoid embarrassing the Palestinian Authority, which controls that zone). In return, the PLO, which does not consider itself responsible for areas outside Zone A, will not act against Hamas.

'It will also release Hamas activists still in its jails, and demand that Israel release Hamas prisoners it is holding, particularly Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

'If the PLO-Hamas agreement was…about Hamas's ceasing terror in favor of politics, there would be nothing wrong with it. But the pact contains the precise opposite: It allows Hamas to continue on its path of terror (outside Zone A), with the PLO refraining from action against it, in flagrant violation of the essence of its agreement with Israel.

'Moreover, in recent media interviews, the chief PLO negotiator with Hamas has actually been encouraging Hamas to carry on along this path."Everyone must understand,' he keeps declaring, 'that we are not the defenders of the Israeli entity [sic]. If Israel wishes to spare itself Hamas's activities, it must speedily withdraw from the entire West Bank, and wherever it remains in the Gaza Strip'.

'His colleague, Hamas's negotiator with the PLO, is in perfect agreement. Hamas activities, he proclaims, 'strengthen' the Palestinian Authority vis-a-vis Israel.

'Thus the PLO-Hamas understanding and agreement takes shape. The two 'complement each other,' said Freih Abu Medein, in charge of PA justice, some months ago. Added Hamas's Sheikh Mahmoud Zahar lyrically in Gaza:"Like the wings of a bird, they must work together.'

Is Yasser Arafat aware of the agreement his associates and Hamas have worked out together? The chief PLO negotiator reported:"I contacted [Arafat] and read the final communiqué to him, and he said, `Allah bless you, it's good, it's good.'"[iii]

The first confirmation of overt anti-Israel cooperation between Hamas and the PA followed the next year when Palestinian Authority cabinet secretary Ahmed Abdel Rahman declared that:

"From now on, resisting settlements will not be through words, condemnation or complaints to the U.N. Security Council…All means should be considered."

At a Gaza meeting, he announced establishment of a joint PLO-Islamic committee to resist settlement.[iv]

Confirmation of the Hamas-PA connection has come from PLO political chief Farouq Al-Qaddoumi, who said on January 3, 2003:

"[Fatah was] never different from Hamas…Strategically, we are no different from it. [v]"

So much for the hoopla over a truce with Hamas that has the diplomats and news media in a whirl. The more things are said to change, the more they stay the same.

End notes
[i] Yediot Aranot, 1994
[ii] Reuters, October 28, 1994
[iv] Jerusalem Post, march 10, 1997
[v] Memri dispatch 462, January 28th, 2003

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Koby Mandell Act Passes

Koby Mandell Act passes us Congress: opens Justice Deptartment office to capture all foreigners, including Palestinian Arabs, who have murdered Americans overseas.

NEW YORK - The Koby Mandell Act, named for a 13-year old American citizen murdered in Tekoa, Israel by a Palestinian Arab, has passed both houses of Congress. It is part of the FY2005 Omnibus Bill that will soon be signed by President Bush.

This bill, initiated by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in 2001 with key Senate and House co-sponsors, will create a new office in the Department of Justice to capture all foreign nationals who have killed or harmed Americans overseas, including Palestinian Arabs

The bill was initially introduced to help rectify the U.S. government's conspicuous failure to act against Palestinian Arabs who have murdered 52 a.m.ericans and injured 69 since the Oslo Process began in September, 1993; in stark contrast the government has pursued non-Palestinian Arab killers of Americans (a total of 107 a.m.ericans have been murdered by Palestinian Arabs since 1968; 120 more have been injured.)

The Koby Mandell Act was introduced in the Senate (S.684) by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Wayne Allard (R-CO), Kit Bond (R-MI), Zell Miller (D-GA), Don Nickles (R-OK).

The House Bill (H.R. 401) was introduced by Reps. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Edward Schrock (R-VA), Mark Souder (R-IN), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and Joe Wilson (R-SC).

Tiferet Tratner, 24, is the most recent American killed by Palestinian Arabs on September 23, 2004. Other Americans killed by Palestinian Arabs include Alisa Flatow of NJ, Dovid Boim of NY, Nachman Wachsman of NY, Sara Duker of NJ, Matthew Eisenfeld of CT, Rabbi Hillel Lieberman of NY, and three diplomats: John Branchizio, 37, of Texas, John Linde, Jr., 30, of Missouri, and Mark Parsons, 31, of NJ.

The Palestinian Authority has continued to harbor these killers without pursuit. There are even Palestinian Arab killers continuing to serve as policemen in the PA. In fact, top US Mideast negotiator David Satterfield testified at a Senate hearing (July 20, 2004) about the failure of the Palestinian Authority to arrest the terrorists who attacked a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Gaza (October 2003) killing three Americans, stating, "There has been no satisfactory resolution to this case. We can only conclude that there has been a political decision taken by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority to block further progress in this investigation." Musa Arafat, the head of Palestinian Authority Military Intelligence told Reuters (September 22, 2004), "Palestinian security forces know who was behind the killing of three Americans in Gaza but cannot act against the factions while fighting with Israel continues."

ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, "We wish to express our strong appreciation to the House and the Senate sponsors of this legislation for passing a critical anti-terrorism bill providing an important boost in the efforts to capture all foreign nationals who have murdered or harmed Americans overseas, including Palestinian Arabs. This Bill will begin to rectify the discrepancy between the lack of U.S. pursuit of Palestinian Arab killers compared to the pursuit of non-Palestinian Arab killers of American citizens.

"The ZOA led a three-year effort on behalf of this bill which included full page ads in The New York Times and in newspapers around the country, organizing House and Senate press conferences on Capitol Hill, publishing op-eds and letters in newspapers, delivering speeches around the country, discussing the bill on both TV and radio, and distributing a powerful booklet entitled The Forgotten Victims: American Citizens Murdered by Palestinian Arab Terrorists. The booklet includes biographical entries on Americans murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists and a 'Killers at Large' section revealing the names - and, in some cases, the photos - of Palestinian Arab killers of Americans who are being sheltered by the PA."

Ms. Sherry Mandell, the mother of Koby Mandell, said, "We want to thank the Zionist Organization of America and Congress for initiating this fight for justice. We feel that this helps in the healing process for us. We now know that people care and that Koby and the other Americans killed by Palestinian Arabs won't be forgotten. Even as a young boy, Koby really cared about justice - he would have deeply appreciated this fight for justice by the ZOA and the U.S. Congress."

Stephen Flatow, Esq., the father of Alisa Flatow, said, "We want to thank the Zionist Organization of America for being the only organization to have made this Bill and this fight a priority and being relentless in their pursuit of justice. We also want to thank the House and Senate for their great work in this important step against anti-American terrorism."

It is also clear that the American public cares deeply about this issue. A February 2003, McLaughlin poll found that by a margin of 73% -16%, the American public wants the U.S. to demand that the Palestinian Authority hand over all Palestinian Arabs involved in attacks in which Americans were murdered or wounded.

The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. The past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.

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The Boston JCRC Invitation to Have Lunch with Sari Nusseibah

From: "Nancy K. Kaufman"
Reply-To: "Sheldon Goldberg"
Date: Tue, 23 November 2004 17:05:55 -0500
Subject: Lunch with Dr. Sari Nusseibeh

Please join us for lunch on Friday, December 10 from 12 to 1:00 p.m. at 126 High Street, Room 912 with Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University, on the subject of

After Arafat: What's next?

Presented by JCRC, Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee Dr. Sari Nusseibeh was born in 1949 in Jerusalem.

He received a doctorate in Islamic philosophy from Harvard in 1978 and became a professor of philosophy at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank. He is the Founder and head of the Palestinian Consultancy Group, undertaking research projects on the management of Palestinian infrastructure.

Nusseibeh was appointed the PLO's representative in East Jerusalem in 2001, following the sudden death of Faisal Husseini. Since then, Nusseibeh has been regarded by many as a leading voice of Palestinian moderation, participating in countless meetings with Israeli peace activists.

Dr. Nusseibeh will tell us about his role as the PLO's representative in East Jerusalem and his People's Voice initiative.

He will also share with us his insights into the future of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians in the era after Arafat.

We hope you can join us.

To RSVP for this event, please contact Sheldon Goldberg at 617-457-8645 or e-mail

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Is Sari Nusseibah really a "Moderate"
Whom the Jewish community of Boston Should Honor?
David Bedein and Arlene Kushner

This coming Friday, December 10th, 2004, Boston's Jewish Community Relations Council, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti Defamation League are sponsoring Sari Nusseibah, a Palestinian whom these organizations describe as a "leading voice of moderation".

Indeed, Sari Nusseibah positions himself as a "moderate", speaking throughout the world for reconciliation with Israel and against suicide bombers.

Yet over the past four years, journalists have dispatched countless requests to Sari Nusseibah to ask him when he was going to express such thoughts on the airwaves of the PBC, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, which runs the official Palestinian Authority radio and TV in the Arabic language.

Sari Nusseibah, a most senior member of the Palestinian Authority, serving as the official PA representative in Jerusalem, would have no problem to request an appearance on the PBC.

Yet Nusseibah has refused to make any such appearance.

Sari Nusseibah did address the issue of suicide attacks when he appeared on a panel discussion on the Al Jazeera TV network, widely known as the "CNN of the Arab world" on June 29th, 2002, with Haled Mashal, the head of the diplomatic division of Hamas, and with Uhm Nidal, the mother of a young Palestinian man, Muhammad Pharis, who had been killed in a suicide attack.

On that panel discussion, Uhm Nidal announced to the world that she was proud to dispatch her son on a suicide mission to the Atzmonah Yeshiva, where on March 3rd, 2002, he murdered five Yeshiva boys in cold blood while they were studying at their desks.

The boys were each 18 years of age - Asher Marcus, Eran Picar, Arik Kroglak, Ariel Zana and Tal Kurtzweill

What Sari Nusseibah said in response to the mother of a suicide bomber was something other than condemnation: "What comes to mind when I hear my sister Uhm Nidal speak is the verse in the Koran which proclaims that "The Garden of Eden has been designed for these mothers. All the more honor goes to every Palestinian mother, to every fighter, and to all those women who fight for the Palestinian Jihad (Holy War) in our land".

Sari Nusseibah went on to tell the viewers of Al Jazeera around the world that "suicide attacks are often defensive in nature, like the heroes who carried out suicide attacks when they defend their homeland in the refugee camp of Jenin"

Al Jazeera screens that Nusseibah interview time and time again. Nusseibah has never objected.

The seminal Al Jazeera interview was not the only time that Sari Nusseibah expressed a point of view which was less than moderate.

In 1986 Sari Nusseibeh wrote an article in which he described Israel as "a racist Zionist entity" and called for consolidating the Arab position in order to finally achieve a Palestinian secular state. [i]

Sari Nusseibeh played a leadership role during the Palestinian Intifada riots that broke out in 1987. In the bill of indictment brought against seven leaders of the violence in Lod Military Court in 1989, the Israeli Government prosecutor stated that Nusseibeh served as a conduit for money "for financing the intifada," and that Nusseibeh was responsible for "drawing up reports and leaflets for intifada purposes such as instructing intifada activists [on]…throwing firebombs" at Israelis and "fighting with knives." [ii]

During the 1991 Gulf War, Sari Nusseibah was actually caught contacting Iraqi officials in order to help direct the Scud rocket attacks of Saddam Hussein. According to a statement by Col. (Res.) Shalom Harari, former Arab Affairs Advisor for the Israeli Defense Ministry:

While the rockets were falling it became clear…that…[he]…was telephoning the Iraqi ambassador in one of the neighboring countries to tell the Iraqis where to shoot the missile. [iii]

Nusseibeh was arrested by Israel's Shin Bet Intelligence Agency, and put in administrative detention for several weeks. After the Gulf War ended, Israeli officials allowed Nusseibeh a plea bargain under which he voluntarily left the country for three years.

By 1995, Sari Nusseibah assumed his position at Al-Quds University. He attracted considerable attention when he wrote the following letter to Saddam Hussein in January 2001:

In the name of Al-Quds University…allow me to express the admiration of the Palestinians for your honorable positions…You represent the vanguard of steadfastness…We, in Jerusalem, are inspired by you…We are proud to belong to a nation, which (sic) considers you a symbol of resistance and a symbol of greatness…We are certain of your support… [iv]

Appeal From Victim's Parents to the JCRC Goes Unheeded

On Tuesday, Yithak and Rivka Marcus, the parents of Asher Marcus, one of the boys murdered in Atzmoneh, appealed to the Jewish Community Relations Council in Boston to cancel the luncheon event in honor of Sari Nusseibah, quoting the talmudic saying that "He who [wishes] to take a wife should inquire about [the character of] her brothers." [Baba Bathra 110a; Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud]. Likewise one should strictly investigate a person one is about to honor" and asked the JCRC to cancel the event because Nuseibah praised the murderer of their son.

Nancy Kaufman, a senior official of the JCRC, responded by saying that the Jewish community had "no intention of honoring Nusseibah", and that all they wished to do was "to meet with Sari Nusseibah to hear what he has to say and to challenge him with our concerns".

Yitzhak and Rivka Marcus responded to Kaufman's defense by noting that "the greatest honor that you can bestow upon an Arab in the Middle East is having him over for a meal. Please understand that by inviting Sari Nusseibah to the "Brown Bag Lunch, is the greatest honor you can bestow upon him …We trust that the Jewish community in Boston will do their outmost to cancel the event".

However, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston would not budge, and their invitation to Sari Nusseibah was not been rescinded.

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An Appeal from the Parents of Terror Victims in Atzmoneh to the Jewish Community in Boston:
Cancel the Event with a Man Who Praises the Murderer of Our Son
Yitzhak and Rivka Markus

December 8th 2004

Ms. Nancy K. Kaufman
Mr. Sheldon Goldberg
The Jewish Community Relations Council

It has come to our attention that the Jewish Community Relation Council, the Anti Defamation League, and the American Jewish Committee have decided to honour Sari Nusseibah on Friday December 10 at 126 High Street Room 912.

"Raba said: He who [wishes] to take a wife should inquire about [the character of] her brothers." [Baba Bathra 110a; Soncino edition of the Babylonian Talmud]. Likewise one should strictly investigate a person one is about to honour.

On June 29, 2002, Sari Nusseibah and Uhm Nidal, the mother of a terrorist, appeared on Al Jazeera television.

Her son, a terrorist, carried out a suicide attack mission, murdering five students who were studying Torah at Atzmonah Yeshiva.

She was proud that her son murdered in cold blood my son Asher Markus and his four friends: Eron Picar, Arik Kroglak, Ariel Zana and Tal Kurtzweil. Nusseibah endorsed the murder. What Sari Nusseibah said in response was something other than condemnation: "What comes to mind when I hear my sister Uhm Nidal speak is the verse in the Koran which proclaims that "The Garden of Eden has been designed for these mothers. All the more honor goes to every Palestinian mother, to every fighter, and to all those women who fight for the Palestinian Jihad (Holy War) in our land".

Sari Nusseibah went on to tell the viewers of Al Jazeera around the world that "suicide attacks are often defensive in nature, like the heroes who carried out suicide attacks when they defend their homeland in the refugee camp of Jenin"

We received your e-mail dated Tuesday December 7th, 2004. We appreciate that you wish to meet with Sari Nusseibah to hear what he has to say and to challenge him with our concerns. I would like to bring to your attention the fact that the greatest honour you can bestow upon an Arab, in the Middle East, is having him over for a meal. Please understand that by inviting Sari Nusseibah to the lunch that will take place this coming Friday December the 10th, is the greatest honour you can bestow upon him.

I don't understand how our Jewish brothers and our Jewish sisters in Boston can honour a person who endorses and praises those who murder our children. I trust that the Jewish community in Boston will do their outmost to cancel the event.

Yitzhak and Rivka Markus
Kiryat Moshe
Jerusalem, Israel

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