Israel Resource Review 19th March, 2002


The Saudi Media Libel Against Jews
Menachem Milsom

You have to rub your eyes and read it two and three times to believe that the Al-Riyadh newspaper, where every word undergoes the inspection of the Saudi royal house with a magnifying glass, whipped out from the dark Middle Ages the traditional blood libel and recycled it last week with a monstrous twist. We are talking about March, 2002, the 21st century.

The new director of the "blood bank" is in fact a woman -- "Doctor" Umaya Ahmed el-Jalahma of the King Faisal University in a-Dammam. She earned her reputation in sociology (and her degree, apparently, in Latvia, in exchange for a few thousand rials), and her anti-Semitic words of wisdom attest that her poisoned veil still hides from her the fact that the world has progressed a bit over the years.

Those who had hoped in their heart of hearts that the Saudi initiative, which may be presented soon in Beirut, would perhaps herald a new era about to begin in the (literally) blood-filled Israel-Arab relations, or a new wind blowing, can only despair now. And the more carefully one reads this new blood libel, the despair does not grow any lighter.

For anyone who for some reason missed the Saudi genius of the ignorant sociologist, let us mention that she has finally discovered the red dessert we Jews like best, particularly during Purim and Passover.

The story began in Norwich, England in the year 1144, and has now made it to Riyadh. Here is one foul example from the Saudi text: "These vampiric activities of the Jews give them pleasure. Let us now examine how they take the blood of their victims. To this end, they use a container with an opening. The container is the size of a human being. It is inlaid with needles on all sides. These needles stab the human body from the moment it is placed inside. These needles do the job and the human blood flows out slowly. The victim suffers terrible death agonies, a torture that gives the vampiric Jews great pleasure as they oversee every feature of the blood-letting with pleasure and love."

The people of Israel suffered many blood libels, and countless numbers of Jews were burned at the stake because of this kind of dark, violent and inciteful ignorance. And here, when from out of the fire blazing in the Middle East we hear a fresh Saudi voice, some would say a brave voice, the princes of Riyadh -- without whose approval the article would never have been published -- found an "academic" messenger to chill the enthusiasm.

Those with any sense are asking themselves now: What do we need the milk for if the Saudi cow kicks the jug? How can there ever be peace in our region -- and there is no country in the world that seeks peace more than the Israeli people -- if they feed poisoned water to their millions of ignoramuses, who are easily incited by their vile "doctor"?

This blood libel once again exposes -- to anyone needing proof -- that we are surrounded by a culture of lies and deception, libel and treachery, by eternal victims who have all the justice on their side, by pathological whiners, who therefore deserve to pay a high price and get nothing in return. There can be two conclusions from this. One: we should understand them, explain, say nothing, turn the other cheek; after all they, or their brothers, are in distress. The other: not to close our eyes for a second, because every "initiative" and any idea of peace is nothing more than "kalam fadi," and all their willingness to accept Anthony Zinni's mediation is meant only to play for time, as yesterday's terror attacks will attest.

And true peace, what will become of it? It, apparently, will come only when those who recycle blood libels, along with those who spread myths of IDF uranium bombs, internalize that the world has moved on a bit since the days of Mohammed, and that they will achieve nothing this way. When will they achieve something? When they link up to the 21st century or the one after it.

And until then? We must beware of serial liars, of blood-libel spreaders, who mean to feed us frogs. [This expression, which means to be compelled to accept something one dislikes, may also allude to the Ten Plagues of Egypt which are commemorated during the upcoming holiday of Passover, of which blood was the first and frogs were the second. -- INT]

This article ran in Yediot Aharonot on March 18, 2002

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"ARD" German TV Report:
Mohammed a-Dura Did Not Die From IDF Gunfire
Helen Hazan
Vienna Correspondent, Yediot Aharonot

-- An investigative report by the ARD German television concludes that Mohammed a-Dura, the 12-year-old boy from Gaza who was killed at the beginning of the Intifada and whose picture was broadcast around the world, was killed most likely by Palestinian gunfire and not IDF gunfire.

Mohammed a-Dura was killed on the second day of the Intifada at Netzarim junction, after he was caught along with his father in the middle of exchanges of fire between IDF soldiers and Palestinians. Foreign television crews documented the father protecting his son, and then the boy's death and the father's injury. The pictures of the two, hiding behind a wall, terrified, were published worldwide They came to symbolize the Intifada and served as a dramatic indictment against the State of Israel.

Esther Shapira, the editor of the prestigious documentary series, The Fourth Square on the German television network ARD, decided to investigate whether the boy truly had been shot by IDF soldiers, and what the boy and his father were doing in so dangerous a place. The report, which was broadcast yesterday, is based on an analysis of the footage of the event and on testimonies. Many people were interviewed for the program, including the father, a Palestinian photographer who was on the scene, IDF soldiers and eye-witnesses.

The conclusion drawn by the investigation was that Mohammed a-Dura was probably not killed by IDF fire. "It cannot be concluded with absolute certainty that it was the Palestinians who shot the boy, but the numerous proofs point to a high probability that it was not the Israelis who did so", the program editor, Esther Shapira, told Yedioth Ahronoth yesterday. She said that three pieces of data are lacking for a conclusion of absolute certainty: No autopsy was performed, the bullets that killed the boy were not sent to a lab for ballistic inspection -- which would have allowed for a determination as to which gun they were fired from, and the wall behind which the father and boy hid was destroyed by the IDF a short time after the incident, so that the military positions and the gunmen's positions could not be determined with certitude.

"However", said Shapira, "What can be proven is that the Israeli soldiers were positioned lower down, while the pathologist in Gaza determined that the bullets that killed a-Dura had been fired from high up". The report also concludes that a-Dura's death was the result of an accident and was not deliberate. "Had this been deliberate gunfire, it would not have taken IDF snipers 45 minutes to hit a stationary target", Shapira said.

Another conclusion reached by the investigation is that the presence of the father and son in so dangerous a place had been staged for media propaganda purposes. This conclusion was reached because "the father had no reasonable explanation as to why he was there with his son at the time".

The findings of ARD's investigation correspond to the conclusions drawn by the IDF, which were first published by Yedioth Ahronoth. These conclusions state that a-Dura was probably killed by Palestinian gunfire. Then OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yom Tov Samia, headed an investigative committee that examined the circumstances of the boy's death. At the presentation of the investigation's findings, Samia said that the holes in the wall behind the boy demonstrated that the bullets had been fired from a different direction than that of the IDF position. Samia also explained that the boy's father said in interviews to the Arab media that his son had been hit in the back, while the boy was facing in the direction of the IDF position.

This article ran in Yediot Aharonot on March 19, 2002

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Youth Radio in California Seeks Young Jewish and Arab Participants
Nishat Kurwa

Youth Radio is a non-profit media training program and an independent producer of youth voices based in California.

Currently one of our students, Melanie, is corresponding with an Afghan refugee in Pakistan. But we're also really interested in getting the first person voices of both Israeli and Palestinian teens and the type of essays we would want them to do would be short pieces, maybe a page, about whatever topic they wanted to write about that describes their life.

I was wondering if you could help me get in touch with some teenagers there who might be willing to share some of their lives with us . . .

So, I'm writing to invite your suggestions on the best way to get in touch with these teens as soon as possible.

if there are any teenagers that you know there who would be interested, please let me know how we could make contact (they would be paid if the commentaries get published.) we'd like to start by developing a phone relationship with them.

You can visit our website to see samples of our students' writings, poetry, and art at

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Perspective on Sharon's Military Victory over the Palestinian Liberation Army
David Bedein

Jews, by their nature and their heritage, cannot bring themselves to say that they have "only" suffered a few hundred losses during a time of war. Jewish tradition has it that murdering even one Jew is rendered as if an entire world has been destroyed.

The 349 Jewish men, women and children who have been murdered in cold blood over the past two years represent 332 worlds that have been decimated, while more than 3,000 Jews continue to suffer from the effects of injuries that they have suffered during this short amount of time.

In an Israeli Jewish community that numbers little more than 5 million people, everyone knows someone who has been hit by a cowardly Arab act of violence.

Yet the price could have been much worse.

Two years ago, our news agency facilitated three public forums with three military analysts - Col (res.) Yoash Tzidon, one of Israel's foremost military strategists, MK Dr. Yuval Steinitz, who wrote the seminal piece, "When the Palestinian Army Invades the Heart of Israel" (Commentary Magazine, December, 1999) and Col. Gal Luft, now doing his PHD on the subject of the Palestinian Authority security forces, who authored "The Palestinian Security Services: Between Police and Army" for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in November 1998.

Tzidon, Steinitz and Luft, who each relied on totally different sources, described the logistical strength of the Palestinian Liberation Army security services in terms of a well oiled army of with more than 50,000 troops, divided into 14 units, and trained by the top security personnel from the US, Canada, Norway and the EU.

Meanwhile, the head of Israeli Research intelligence, provided briefings in August 1999, March 2000 and August 2000 in which he warned that Arafat's PLA security services were indeed preparing for full scale war in September, 2000. Israeli intelligence sources stated clearly and on the record that the PLA's ambitions stretched far beyond the areas taken by Israel in 1967 The war would be fought under the motto of the "right of return", with the aim being to recoup the areas taken by the fledgling state of Israel in 1948. Hundreds of well trained PLA units conducting simultaneous military operations inside Israel was something that Tzidon, Steinitz and Luft agreed on that Israel was simply not ready or capable of coping with.

Needless to say, the prognosis did not look good. The Palestinian Arab rebellion that indeed broke out in the Fall of 2000 indeed galvanized Arabs to fight for the "right of return" - this time, with 50,000 troops ready to continue the 1948 war with Israel.

Yet what most people in Israel do not perceive is that Arik Sharon, as prime minister of Israel for little more than a year, has succeeded in destabilizing and defeating the Palestinian Liberation Army, with a well planned strategic effort that has prevented the PLA from carrying out any massive attacks against the state and people of Israel. Sharon has dispatched intelligence units to infiltrate and to disarm major units of the PLA, while causing havoc inside the PLA infrastructure by systematically destroying their bases of operation.

While some people have criticized Sharon's attacks on military structures rather than killing hundreds of Palestinian Arabs who scream for Israel's destruction, the result has been that the PLA has been stultified and rendered helpless in their attempts to organize attacks throughout Israel.

Most of what Sharon has been doing to defeat the PLA cannot yet be written, because of IDF censorship.

Therefore, the "best" that the PLA can do is to organize indiscriminate drive by shootings, roadside bombs, and suicide bombers…A threat to Jewish lives, yet not to the state or people of Israel.

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