|Israel Resource Review
||18th March, 2003
Israel Media Overview:
of How Israel Prepares for the War with Iraq
What Are We Waiting For
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 1) by Alex Fishman (news analysis) -- The precise
timing will be whispered by President Bush into Arik Sharon's ear only. But
it really doesn't matter. The operational warning about the impending war
has been issued publicly already
President Bush's speech before dawn this morning [Israel time] moved the
Middle East out of the twilight zone of the drawn-out waiting period and
into a clear situation of war. Now it is only a matter of hours.
So that all of the security establishment's stammering as to whether to tape the plastic sheets to the windows or not are odd, to say the least.
The lessons of the previous war notwithstanding, the hundreds and dozens of exercises in the realm of public information that have been completed
notwithstanding, when the moment of truth nears they treat the Israeli
public like a herd of panic-stricken calves. What else is there to wait
for? The picture of the situation is clear. War has been declared between
the United States and Iraq. The level of danger to Israel is very low, but
existent. Now let all Israeli citizens use their common sense, complete
their preparations and not wait for further instructions from above. The
citizen's common sense is just as good as any general's.
The war games that were played out by the security establishment
anticipated that the United States would attack Iraq last night. They
weren't off by a lot. The ultimatum issued by President Bush to the Iraqi
president is non-binding. In any event the Iraqis already have said that
they reject it. As such, the timing of the attack is now in the hands of
General Franks, the commander of American CENTCOM, who will decide on the
basis of operational conditions.
As of this morning the IDF will also begin to operate on the basis of
different procedures too, now that we are in the period of war. As a direct
result of the heightened state of alert, the chief of staff from now on
will head the team that makes the daily situation assessments. The call-up
of hundreds of reservists that began last night is geared to bolster the
intelligence services, the IAF and core members of Home Front Command
units, such as the non-conventional weaponry identification units. These
core Home Front Command units are supposed to give a preliminary response
if Israel is hit some time around the beginning of the war. More reservists
will be called up and added to these core units in the course of the war if
Israel has two sensitive scenarios in the first stage of the war. The
first is the possibility of some sort of early Iraqi strike on Israel even
before the Americans attack. That scenario is considered to be very low
probability. The second is the possibility that Saddam Hussein remains
alive and in control of the situation after a week of an American
air-strike, at which point he is liable to decide to attack Israel. Here
too one needs to bear in mind that his capabilities are not great. In any
event, nearly a year and a half of intensive preparations by the IDF that
cost billions are expected to provide an answer for those scenarios.
Everything is ready: the orders have been written, the training has been
completed, the equipment has been bought. The level of IDF alert will be
bumped up another level after the first shot is fired.
Meanwhile, the Americans are trying to make up for their disgraceful
conduct in the UN Security Council by building a Hollywood diplomatic drama
geared to enlist public opinion at home. The drama build-up began at the
summit in the Azores islands, which looked like a poor-man's Yalta summit,
progressed with an American-British show in the UN Security Council
corridors, continued with the cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street and
peaked last night with Bush's speech. Thus far, Bush's drama has borne
fruit: he crossed the 60% approval rating at home.
The Real Danger
Ma'ariv (p. 2) by Amir Rappaport (news analysis) -- The leaders of the
security establishment were calm, even buoyant yesterday on their way to
the meeting at which it was decided to raise Israel's level of alert. The
reason for this: Their feeling that the preparations that have already been
taken are, in fact, a waste of time and money.
The significance of the instructions to prepared sealed rooms, truth be
told, is mostly psychological. Everyone is certain that Israel will not be
subjected to missile attacks, and if we are, plastic sheets are not going
to help. In addition, the sealed rooms will likely awaken the traumas of
the Gulf War and partially paralyze the country. Parents will hesitate to
send their children to school, and there will be people who will choose to
leave Section A [referring to the division of the country according to
missile danger with A being the Tel Aviv area ] after the directive to seal
rooms is given.
Despite this, instructions to begin sealing rooms are about to be given.
It can be seen in this way: The leaders of the security establishment are
covering themselves. But it is more correct to treat the preparations as a
kind of insurance: Just as hundreds of thousands of people insure their
houses against earthquake damage, though they are not really afraid that
their homes are about to collapse, the preparations for the war with Iraq
are being carried out because of the gravity of the potential damage should
Israel be attacked with chemical or biological weapons, even though the
chances are minimal.
At the same time, it seems that the large amount of attention devoted to
the chance that Israel will be attacked by Iraq is not just a waste of time
and money, but also a diversion of the real focus, which is the possibility
that Saddam Hussein will respond to the American offensive with a
world-wide terror war that will also target Israel. Apart from terror
actions carried out by Iraqi agents, there is concern that the Palestinians
and international terror organizations like al-Qaida will ratchet up their
attempts to attack targets in Israel or Israeli and Jewish targets abroad.
There is no concrete warning of this option, which should be treated as
seriously as the missile threat, but in any case there is no psychological
response to it along the lines of plastic sheets. One thing is certain:
Even if everyone is calm, it would be best not to be complacent before the
war in Iraq. There are too many people who are interested in getting us to
attend this party.
Back to the Sealed Room
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 4) by Eitan Glickman and Yehudit Yahav -- Despite the
military assessment that the probability of Israel coming under Iraqi
missile fire is very low, OC Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Yosef Mishlav
instructed the public to equip itself fully with all of the materials
necessary to seal a room. Instructions to the residents of Israel to
prepare a sealed room are expected to be issued this morning.
A decision to issue these instructions was made last night in the course
of a security establishment situation assessment meeting that was held in
response to the ultimatum that President Bush was anticipated to give
Saddam Hussein. At this stage the security establishment has decided not to
instruct citizens to carry their gas mask kits with them. Defense Minister
Shaul Mofaz said that the security establishment's assessment that there
was very low probability of Israel being attacked by missiles remained
However, the instructions to buy sealing materials had a clear effect on
the public. After three weeks of relative calm, the stores that sell "war
goods" were flooded yesterday with people once again.
The Home Center chain reported that a rise in the number of shoppers was
clearly discerned even in the morning, before the Home Front Command issued
its instructions, and in the course of the day the number of shoppers
continued to increase. Home Center reported that their sales of emergency
lighting, batteries, plastic sheets and duct tape had risen by tens of
A spokesman for the Ace chain said that a 100% rise was recorded
yesterday in the sale of war goods relative to the preceding days.
The supermarkets reported a sharp rise in the sale of mineral water,
canned food and batteries. Super-pharm reported a 70% rise in mineral water
sales. Sales in relaxants rose less dramatically-only by 15%.
An Industry and Trade Ministry spokesman said that there was a large
enough supply of emergency equipment that was needed for the war and that
there was no reason to hoard more than was needed. Home Front Command
officials also said that there was no need to buy too much duct tape or
plastic sheets. [ . . . ]
As part of the preparations for the offensive in Iraq, the Home Front
Command and the IDF Spokesperson's Office held a drill in which they
examined the readiness of the various electronic media. The exercise was
geared to drill issuing emergency messages to the public and the regular
flow of these messages. In the course of the exercise a special test
broadcast was to have been carried out via Channel One and the cable
channels that was to have lasted 15 minutes.
Mofaz: "This Time We Will Respond"
Ma'ariv (p. 5) by Itai Asher -- On the eve of war with Iraq, Defense
Minister Shaul Mofaz found time in his busy schedule to answer questions
from worried surfers on the Ma'ariv Online website.
A surfer named Udi asked the question that worries us all: "What are the
chances that Israel will be attacked?" In response, Mofaz repeated the
calming messages that have been emanating from the security establishment
over the past weeks: "The danger of attack is low. There are no missiles
in western Iraq that threaten the State of Israel, and so our assessment is
that the danger is very, very small."
Up-to-date surfers mentioned the recent report on the Fox TV network saying that Scud missiles had been deployed in western Iraq. Mofaz said that Israeli intelligence looked into the report and found it to be baseless.
Regarding the timing of the beginning of the attack, Mofaz emphasized
that this would be decided only by the Americans, but said, "The offensive
is unstoppable, and will begin soon." He said that he believes it will last
So should we begin sealing rooms? Mofaz suggested that we not act
according to rumors but instead we should "obey the instructions of the
Home Front Command on this subject. It is important that we be prepared
even when the chance of Iraqi missiles falling on Israel is small." In
this current round of the conflict, if we do have to enter the sealed
rooms, Mofaz promised, "The stay will be short."
A surfer named Assaf wanted to know if Scud missiles could reach
Nahariya. Mofaz reassured him that there is a double-layered defense
system around Israel: "The first layer consists of the Arrow missile
batteries, and the second of the Patriot batteries," saying that the
combination of the two guarantees a high level of defense should missiles
indeed be launched.
Mofaz added that the Patriot missiles, which originally were used as
anti-aircraft weapons, were improved after the first Gulf War in 1991.
"Today the Patriots have a good chance of hitting missiles," said Mofaz.
Minister Mofaz said that Israel's deterrence capability was damaged by
the country's policy of restraint in 1991. "In an historic perspective, it
is true that the policy of restraint eroded our deterrence capability. If
we are attacked this time we will defend the citizens of the country."
Mofaz made clear that the decision to retaliate for a missile attack was
not dependent on any US approval. "The State of Israel is a sovereign
state. If its citizens are in danger, we will act." Mofaz told the web
surfers that there was no need to leave the country or their homes. "We
must continue our daily routine," he said.
Israelis who are currently abroad can be calm: at the moment there is no
plan to close Israel's airspace during the offensive in Iraq. "When the
war begins we will evaluate this question. As of now, Israelis abroad will
have no problem coming back to Israel." Mofaz also reassured parents,
saying, "During the war in Iraq, schools will operate as usual."
Regarding the chance that Hizbullah would take advantage of the war to
heat up the northern front, the defense minister said that as of now the
northern front was under restraint, but said that if the IDF needs to
retaliate, "plans have already been prepared." Mofaz denied the recent
spate of reports that senior doctors had been instructed to stay in Israel
until the end of the war in Iraq.
The defense minister once again repeated the necessity of the move to
topple Saddam Hussein. "On the day after, Iraq will have a different
regime, and its non-conventional capabilities will be removed" he said. He
added that the American offensive will have global repercussions:
"America's success in toppling Saddam Hussein will send a message to the
other countries in the axis of evil, ones in which the unholy trinity
exists: an extremist regime, the desire to achieve nuclear capability, and
the encouragement of terrorism."
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 9) by Eitan Glickman and Itamar Eichner -- In the
wake of the military assessment that the war in Iraq is going to begin some
time this week, the IDF has begun to call up hundreds of reservists by
means of emergency notices to the IAF, the anti-aircraft units, the
non-conventional weaponry identification units, intelligence units and the
Home Front Command.
Concurrently, the IAF has remained on a heightened state of alert. Even
though the security establishment believes that the chances that Iraq will
attack Israel are negligible, the IAF has been on a high state of alert for
quite some time already to thwart any attempt by enemy aircraft to
penetrate Israeli air space. The practical meaning of this state of alert
is that there is never a moment in which armed IAF jets are not patrolling
the Israeli skies.
The American liaison units that have been working these past few weeks
closely with the Israeli teams yesterday held extended talks about the
possibility of missiles being fired at Israel at some time in the course of
the American attack on Iraq.
In addition to the two Arrow missile batteries that are deployed at
Palmahim and Ein Shemer, three American Patriot missile batteries are
deployed with improved missiles in Jaffa, the Tel Baruch beach and Haifa.
These batteries are geared to be used in the event that the Arrow batteries
fail to intercept an incoming missile. Today a decision will be made
whether to deploy additional Israeli Patriot missile batteries-in addition
to the batteries that are deployed currently along the northern border and
at the reactor in Dimona. The additional batteries in question would be
deployed in Haifa and its suburbs. These batteries are on a state of alert
that would allow them to be deployed within 24 hours.
Senior Israeli political sources said yesterday that if Iraq were to
attack Israel the US administration will apply heavy pressure on Prime
Minister Sharon to refrain from responding militarily. US administration
officials recently asked Israel to commit not to respond militarily to an
Iraqi attack, but this request was refused.
Prime Minister Sharon and Defense Minister Mofaz believe that the
absence of an Israeli response in 1991 was a mistake. The Americans are
deeply concerned that an Israeli response against Iraq could disrupt the
course of the war.
In order to prevent an Israeli response, the Americans have shared
information with Israel about all of their activity in western Iraq. By so
doing they hope to prove that they are making every effort to do away with
any threat to Israel.
What Will We Do Without the "Eastern Front?"
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 2) by Yaron London -- The government of Israel could
not have hoped for a better date than the one set by the Americans for
their attack on Iraq. The din of war will silence the criticism of the
budget bill, the opposition will be hard put to direct public attention to
its drawbacks, and the Histadrut will deliberate extensively before it
calls a strike and gathers demonstrators.
Who will dare call for mass demonstrations when there is fear of
missiles and terror attacks? The security tension will also push out of
memory the gravest of all the government's fiascoes: its capitulation to
the army's demands, which forced itself on the budget planners and sicked
Sharon on Netanyahu. Many Israelis will be suckered by their anxieties and
mistakenly will think that this war is the ultimate proof that we live in
an area replete with multiple dangers that need to be met with a large and
The truth is that an examination of the strategic ramifications of the
war ought to lead one to the exact opposite conclusion, since for dozens of
years our defensive concept was based on the understanding that thousands
of tanks could come rolling into us from the east. The fear of an eastern
front was used to justify the establishment of a security zone along the
River Jordan, the construction of settlements and military bases on the
[West Bank] hilltops and the establishment of a massive Armored Corps.
What is left of those arguments after we signed a peace treaty with Jordan,
after the first Gulf War and after a dozen years of an embargo on Iraq?
What will be left of them in another few hours when the decayed vestiges of
the Iraqi army are turned into ashes and dust?
For the sake of precision, even though the validity of those arguments
for holding onto a security zone along the River Jordan and for the
settlement on the hilltops was never formally declared to have expired,
they have not been cited too often in the past number of years any more.
They stopped being professed without the advocates of continued possessing
the occupied territories ever having admitted that they no longer applied.
Now the opponents of withdrawal rely on the "psychological effect," which
is to say the fear that willingness to withdraw would be interpreted as a
sign of weakness that will invite aggression, and the need to control the
Palestinian population centers so as to curb terrorism. The occupation,
like every state of reality that sets down roots and refuses to leave, has
displaced the reasons for its very own existence, even though those
reasons,that should not be discredited-need to be answered differently.
These answers are not territories for deployment in the face of tank
divisions that are rolling in from the east, nor is it thousands of tanks
and APCs that are impoverishing the army and pinning down gratuitous
divisions of reservists. Our land-based might is excessive not only because
the threat from the east has crumbled but also because of the limited
offensive capabilities of the other Arab armies.
The Egyptian army, which is the strongest of all the neighboring armies,
is equipped with all the technological wonders, but its offensive
capabilities nevertheless are not extensive. It lacks for a developed
technological infrastructure and is dependent to a great extent on the
graces of America. Without a dominant air force it would be unable to
traverse the 180 kilometers of the Sinai Desert. The Syrian army froze in
the 1980s and the Syrian economy is incapable of bearing the burden of
The central threats that we now face are not from the Arab
countries' land forces but rather from weapons of mass-destruction and
low-intensity conflicts from without and within.
The IDF is organizing seriously for the next war and is finding it hard
to part with the lessons that were learned from wars past. The excessive
might of our ground forces has sentenced it to budgetary distress and
Israeli society to social distress. The public is exposed only to a small
aspect of the defense budget talks that is almost gossip-like in nature:
the terms of service that are given to career army men and women. It has
not been made privy to the discussions about the structure of the military
forces, which is an issue, aside from its academic importance, that also
has far-reaching economic implications. The decision is about to be made
hastily, in a paralyzing economic and security atmosphere, without the kind
of open debate that befits a society that is going to have to live by its
sword for many years to come.
Prestige is a Bad Adviser
Ma'ariv (p. B7) by Dan Margalit (op-ed) -- Shaul Mofaz spoke of the past
and sent a message for the future. In an interview with Shelly Yehimovitch
and Roni Daniel on Channel 2's "Meet the Press," the defense minister was
asked if he had criticism for the government which showed restraint in 1991
when 40 Scud missiles were fired at Israel by Iraq and scattered the
residents of Tel Aviv to the four corners of the country.
It is worth noting the phrasing of Mofaz's answer: "I will say it in the
softest words that I can…It is true that the government headed by Yitzhak
Shamir faced serious dilemmas, but I think that in the long term,
historical view it would have been correct to retaliate, because this sent
a message that the State of Israel, in such a situation, would not
retaliate. More than anything, this eroded Israel's deterrent power."
The interviewers understood that the restraint of 1991 would not be
repeated in the coming war. "As long as it is up to me," Mofaz promised,
bringing Sharon into the picture, "the answer is that we will defend the
citizens of Israel…Including with clear offensive actions, yes."
But the behavior of the government in 1991 was not wrong. Shamir-the
proverbial brave man who suppresses his passions-was not dragged after the
instincts of many good men and did not send the IDF to Iraq. You need
public courage to sit with your arms folded while missiles fall and receive
in return something from the US that cannot easily be seen.
Israel would have gained nothing had its aircraft found themselves in
skies ruled by the US. They would only have angered the Americans. The
things that the American planes and missiles could not do to prevent Scud
fire at Israel were also beyond the reach of the IDF's air power.
There was also no point in sending an elite Israeli unit to wander
around western Iraq. It could not have prevented the missile fire. If it
was lucky, it would have returned home in one piece. Shamir was wise to
leave it at home in one piece in the first place.
Israeli involvement would have turned into a diplomatic conflict with
the US. Afterwards, when it would turn out that the work had not been
completed, the White House would have blamed Israel for the fact that its
military involvement hastened the breakup of the international coalition
and allowed Saddam Hussein to escape by the skin of his teeth.
That does not mean that the IDF must never act in Iraq. But in 1991,
restraint was worth more to Israel than military action. In 1991, perhaps,
at situation assessments carried out under fire, it might have been
possible to claim that we must respond with force. But from a distance of
12 years this approach has no justification.
There was also no proven weakening of Israel's deterrent power. On the
contrary, a military action that would have been entirely lost in the midst
of the broad American offensive, one which would not have left an imprint
on the battlefield or in the sky-that would have weakened our deterrent
power. A situation would have been revealed in which the IDF was flying
under American limitations in the skies of Iraq, one of our reconnaissance
units was wandering around there, and there would have been few discernible
This is not a historical debate. Mofaz spoke of the past and the near
future almost in one breath. But it is not fitting to commit Israel to a
causus belli that will do more to make life difficult for Israel than it
will deter its enemies.
The picture of the situation is layered: There is a very good chance
that Iraq will attack Israel, and if it does, it will be stopped by the
American and Israeli defense systems. If, God forbid, these two options
are neutralized, the government has the right and the duty to discuss the
situation under fire without committing itself beforehand to take steps in
which prestige-more than use or need-will play a large and awful role.
Every Israeli and Iraqi knows that the IDF has many ways of defending
itself from missile and airplane attacks.
The ability and the right to do so do not require a declaration of commitment. The government should be given freedom of action when the time comes, and it should look into its options when it has real information. There is no need for a commitment to military action before such time. It depends on the severity of the strike against Israel, and on what we would gain from participating in military
operations. Only one who understands that the restraint Israel displayed
in 1991 was wise will feel that we must not commit ourselves ahead of time
to a military response at any price.
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Abu Mazen: More Radical Than
Former Advisor to Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres
According to Yossi Beilin (Yediot Aharonot, March 11), the political "pragmatist" Abu Mazen, who "declares everywhere that he has foregone his dream of returning to his birthplace Safed," offers the last chance for a historical agreement with the Palestinians.
Beilin does concede that Abu Mazen's positions are more extreme than Arafat's, since "he obstructed the Stockholm talks between Abu
Ala and Shlomo Ben-Ami," and "was among Arafat's 'restrictors' during the
Camp David summit."
But we should listen to the pragmatist himself.
"The refugees of 1948 and the refugees of 1967 have the right reserved
to return to their homeland and every place they have left," said Abu
Mazen. "This is not only limited to land under the sovereignty of the PA.
We demand their return to Jaffa, to Haifa and the other regions that they
came from" (Al-Kuds, February 3, 1998); "Everyone who was expelled in 1948,
including myself, the refugee from Safed, has the right to return and
receive compensation… Personally, I want to return to Safed." (Yedioth
Ahronoth, July 9, 1999).
On July 28 and 29, 2001, about a year after the failure of the summit at
Camp David, Abu Mazen explained in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam that
the Palestinians are unwilling to receive less than 100% of their demands.
"If you have illusions that the Palestinian side can forego … the
refugees," he wrote, "… we want Israel to recognize its responsibility for
the issue of the refugees and the right of return, and then we will agree
on the manner of fulfilling this right." After relating that Clinton tried
to tempt the Palestinians at Camp David by partial fulfillment of their
territorial demands and with USD 40 billion for refugees, he added: "We
replied that it was not an issue of funds, aid or amounts of land, but an
issue of a homeland. We want to reach in full what we have received from
international legitimacy." Israel is required, according to Abu Mazen, to
"bear the historical responsibility and acknowledge the right of return,"
and pay compensation to those who return, those who choose not to return
and the states that have hosted the refugees.
Although he asserted that the Palestinians do not want to eliminate
Israel, but rather live in co-existence with it and reach an agreement with
it, he added: "There are four million refugees, all of whom came from the
land of historical Palestine, and they have the right to return to their
homes. We are not compelling the refugees to return, but if some of them
wish to return, they must return." As for Israel's proposals, including
its willingness to absorb refugees within its borders on a humanitarian
basis, he rejected them on the grounds that "I don't think that this
expresses UN Resolution 194 or the right of return," since the refugees
were supposed to "return to Israel in accordance with its sovereignty and
Regarding the rejection of the entire body of Israel's proposals, he
said: "I do not feel any regret. What we did was the right thing to do."
No opportunity was missed, since "the opportunity did not exist." He
illustrated his "pragmatic" approach in the following words: "They say 'we
offered 95% (of the territory),' and I ask why not 100%?" And also "Why
shouldn't all the settlements on our side be dismantled?" Abu Mazen also
attacked Sari Nusseibeh fiercely for proposing to the Palestinians to waive
the demand for the "right of return" in return for establishing their state
alongside Israel. In an interview given about two and half months ago to a
newspaper in Abu Dhabi, he reiterated his positions and demanded the Israel
acknowledge its responsibility for the suffering of the refugees and
"promise them the right of return."
Despite the fact that it is not in his hands, we can discuss the
cessation of war with Abu Mazen (with proper suspicion); he indeed
understands that the Palestinians are forced to suspend the use of terror,
since Israel has demonstrated its ability to strike at them in their home
and continue in this as long as it is required. In this domain he is
indeed a "pragmatist." But if it reaches the point of political
negotiations, the bad old Abu Mazen of the "right of return" could reappear.
This piece ran in Yedioth Ahronoth on March
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Abu Mazen Sources
(1) Mahmoud Abbas (abu Mazen)
In 1983, in an early public example of denial from an indigenous Middle
Eastern source, a Palestinian named Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu
Mazen) wrote The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism
and the Zionist Movement. In the book, Abbas suggested that the six million
figure was "peddled" by the Jews but that in fact "the Jewish victims may
number six million or be far fewer, even fewer than one million." In 1995,
reports of the book's existence reached the Western press, largely because
of the public prominence that Abbas had attained as the chief PLO architect
of the Oslo peace accords and cosigner of the 1993 Declaration of Principles
in Washington. The California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center publicly called
for Abbas to clarify his position on the Holocaust, but no clear statement was forthcoming. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv, Abbas tried to frame the issue in terms of realpolitik. "When I wrote The Other Side . . . we were at war with Israel," Abbas said. "Today I would not have made such remarks . . . Today there is peace and what I write from now on must help advance the peace process."
(2) Less than 1 million Jews died in Holocaust?
Palestinian leader questions number, says 'Zionists' tied to Nazis.
Posted: May 31, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jon Dougherty
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com
A Palestinian leader considered to be second-in-command after
Chairman Yasser Arafat claimed in a pair of doctoral theses that
the number of Jewish men, women and children killed by the Nazis
during World War II is a fiction perpetuated by Jewish leaders and
The secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization's
Executive Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen,
discussed in a 1982 paper "the secret ties between the Nazis and the
Zionist movement leadership." In a separate paper written two years
later, Mazen "raised doubts that gas chambers were used for extermination
of Jews and claimed that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust
might be 'even less than a million,'" according to an interpretation
published by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.
Insinuating that the "Zionist movement" would benefit from
exaggerating the number killed in Nazi death and concentration
camps, Mazen accused Jewish leaders and the West of lying so
"Zionists" would achieve "greater gains" after the war when the time
came to "distribute the spoils."
"Mazen's intention was to undermine the legitimacy of the Zionist
movement by proving that during a critical stage in the history of
the Jewish people the rise of Nazism and World War II the
Zionist leadership stopped at nothing to achieve its aim of establishing
a Jewish state," MEMRI analysts wrote.
Mazen said "the truth [about the Nazi crimes] has another aspect" that
the West preferred to disregard. Rather, the West was working to hide
"a basic partner in crime" in this case, the Zionist movement.
Pointing to an alleged convergence of interests between Nazis and
Jews, Mazen, in his 1984 paper a dissertation for Moscow's Oriental
College that was published in Arabic by Dar Ibn Rushd publishers in
Amman, Jordan said the Zionist movement sought to conspire "against
the Jewish people" and collaborate "with the Nazis to annihilate it," because
the movement considered "Palestine" the only appropriate destination for
"It might be imagined that Zionism would do all it could, materially and
otherwise, to save the Jews, or at least to keep them [alive] until the end
of the war," Mazen wrote. "It might have been expected that it would
arouse world public opinion and direct its attention to the massacres
carried out against the Jews so that the governments would act to rescue
them from their bitter fate."
However, the Zionist movement "did the exact opposite of what could
have been expected," he claimed. Instead, it "sabotaged various aid plans
and withheld information regarding the bitter fate of Europe's Jews 'in
order to free itself from the need to take necessary action,'" the MEMRI
The PLO official himself added, "the Zionist movement led a broad
campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule in order
to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them
and to expand the mass extermination."
He also accused the Western nations of skewering the truth about the
Holocaust because they won the war and were able to "sketch the final
picture" of the war's outcome and define "the crimes committed."
"They locked up details, facts and crimes that they didn't want to exist;
they ignored names, important people, institutions, organizations and
countries that they chose to ignore. In the end, they charged the Nazi
leaders with all the crimes that were committed during the war.
wrote Mazen, according to MEMRI's translation.
How many killed?
The PLO official questioned the number of Jews that were killed in
comparison to all the casualties reportedly produced during the war.
Throughout the war, "40 million people of different nations of the
world were killed," he wrote. "The German people sacrificed 10 million;
the Soviet people 20 million; and the rest [of those killed] were from
Yugoslavia, Poland and the other peoples. But after the war, it was
announced that 6 million Jews were among the victims and that the
war of annihilation had been aimed first of all against the Jews, and
only then against the rest of the peoples of Europe."
Mazen continued: "The truth of the matter is that no one can verify
this number, or completely deny it. In other words, the number of Jewish
victims might be 6 million and might be much smaller even less than
He went on to accuse Jewish leaders of "inflating" the number of Jews
killed to "ensure" great post-war gains.
"This led [the Zionist movement] to confirm the number [6 million],
to establish it in world opinion, and by doing so to arouse more pangs
of conscience and sympathy for Zionism in general," he said, adding
that "many scholars have debated the question of the 6 million figure
and reached perplexing conclusions, according to which the Jewish
victims total hundreds of thousands."
To underscore his point, Mazen quoted Canadian author Roger Delarom,
who once wrote, "To date, no proof whatsoever exists that the number of
Jewish victims in the Nazi concentration camps reached 4 million or 6 million.
Zionism first spoke of 12 million exterminated in these camps, but then the
number decreased greatly, to half, that is, only 6 million.
"Then the number decreased further, and became 4 million, as the Germans
could not have killed or exterminated more Jews than there were in the world
at that time. In effect, the true number is much smaller than these fictitious
millions," Delarom wrote, as quoted by Mazen.
According to the MEMRI translation, Mazen also compared Zionism to
Nazism, claiming both zealously believed in the "purity" of their own race
and that Jewish leaders betrayed "the Jewish people" as other "leaders have
betrayed their people and their country and sold them to their enemies"
"Palestinian Leader: Number of Jewish Victims in the Holocaust Might be
"Even Less Than a Million . . . " Zionist Movement Collaborated with Nazis to
"Expand the Mass Extermination" of the Jews" "A 1982 doctoral dissertation
by Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a.
Abu Mazen, who is considered second to Yasser Arafat, discussed "the secret
ties between the Nazis and the Zionist movement leadership." Two years later, a study by Abu Mazen based on his dissertation for Moscow's Oriental College was published in Arabic by Dar Ibn Rushd publishers in Amman, Jordan. In the introduction to his 1984 study, Abu Mazen referred to well-known Holocaust deniers, raised doubts that gas chambers were used for extermination of Jews, and claimed that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust might be "even less than a million." Abu Mazen claimed that the Zionist movement had a stake in convincing world public opinion that the number of victims was high; thus, it would achieve "greater gains" after the war when the time came to "distribute the spoils."
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