|Israel Resource Review
||12th May, 2002
How the Americans for Peace Now
Provided Finance for Barak's Election Campaign in 1999
Senior Investigative Journalist, Makor Rishon
[The "Americans for Peace Now" in the US and "Peace Now" in Israel are
registered as non-profit organizations, a legal ststus in both
countries which would forbid either organization from providing
funds for a political
party. That ststus did not prevent both organizations from doing just that
Yossi Sarid himself and Peace Now naturally
joined forces with Ehud Barak,
and became an integral part of his election campaign in 1999.
Only after he was elected did the close connection between Peace
Now and Barak's election headquarters become known, in the
context of the nonprofit organizations affair.
Three central Peace Now figures worked very closely with Barak -
Janet Aviad and Amiram Goldblum, as the heads of two of the nonprofit
groups, and Yuli Tamir, who would later become Minister Yuli Tamir.
Peace Now took an active role and was directly involved in Barak's second
round headquarters in the final month before the elections. The
headquarters, which was compartmentalized from everyone else, was managed by
Haim Mandel Shaked.
Someone there came up with the idea of running a secret
advertising campaign for Barak, using the figure of the late
But there was a problem how to fund such a campaign, which could not be
directly associated with Barak's election campaign. Its memorable slogan was
"Following in his footsteps." It was planned as a national poster campaign,
which was set in motion with the help of Noar Meretz (Meretz's youth
division) and volunteers from the kibbutzim, but also using Moshe Nur's sign
Musi Raz, then the head of Peace Now and now a Knesset member for Meretz,
suggested that Haim Mandel Shaked solve the funding problem by raising funds
from "American Friends of Peace Now".
Everything remained confidential because Peace Now was
prohibited from any involvement in party politics. Immediatel
afterwards, Haim Mandel Shaked told the poster campaign
operations people, "We have the funding. Ask Musi Raz." "The
amount was about $100,000," Musi Raz confirmed to me. A source
in Barak's 1999 election headquarters says, "The campaign funded
by Peace Now was Ehud Barak's campaign."
Contact was made with Moshe Nur's staff on a purely commercial basis. One of
them told me this week, "In my opinion, what you have is dynamite. The
source of the money is known. The money came from a contribution from the
United States. It was a completely circular deal. The people we were in
contact with were Musi Raz and his assistant."
The posters themselves were done by the Gal advertising firm and the checks
were made out to "DealTov." Photographer Gadi Dagon was paid about $5,000
for the rights to his photograph of Yitzhak Rabin.
At the offices of Meretz on Homa Umigdal Street in Tel Aviv, they were very
proud of the project, a large part of which was handed over to Meretz's
youth division to carry out. They spoke quietly and proudly of "Peace Now's
trick." Two of their main activists, artist Avital Geva and Hemi Sal, both
from Kibbutz Ein-Shemer, were responsible for hanging the huge poster with
Rabin's picture on the gigantic buildings of the Granot factory at the
There was nothing on the posters to identify who was behind them, neither
One Israel (remember them?) nor Peace Now. The reason was that Peace Now is
registered in Israel as a nonprofit organization which does not participate
in party politics, making it possible for it to raise funds in the United
States, for tax purposes. The question is whether the use of Peace Now funds
raised in the United States to participate in the funding of an election
campaign in Israel is not in violation of American law.
"I see nothing illegal in the campaign," says Musi Raz. "What is wrong with
Peace Now running a campaign with a picture of Yitzhak Rabin?"
This piece ran in Makor Rishon on May 10, 2002
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The US State Department Fails
to Interpret Arafat's Endorsement of Murder
Dr. Aaron Lerner
[Independent Media Review and Analyis] noted that a proper
understanding of call by Chairman Yasser Arafat that earned US
President Bush's praise is that the Palestinians should continue
killing soldiers and Israelis residing beyond the Green Line.
IMRA brought this to the attention of Paul Patin Press Attache - U.S.
Embassy Tel Aviv.
In the response below, Mr. Patin provides a response from Washington that
Arafat did not call for continued attacks beyond the Green Line.
This morning, Ahmad Abdul Rahman, Cabinet Secretary of the Palestinian
Authority clarified the position of the PA regarding attacks, explaining
that "activities are to be limited to the areas of 1967" without any
limitation or qualification attached to this activity. His words, first
broadcast in Arabic and then translated into Hebrew, were broadcast this
morning on Israel Radio by Arab Affair Correspondent Avi Yissakharov.
Within hours an Israeli was murdered by his Palestinain employee in the Gaza
One can only hope that one day the State Department will abandon its "say it
ain't so" approach to the Palestinian Authority - a stance they have taken
from the very start of Oslo when they regularly issued compliance reports to
the U.S. Senate that can be best described as barefaced lies that the
Palestinians were completely complying with Oslo.
The material below appears in reverse chronological order:
Response from Paul Patin Press Attache - U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv
From: "Patin, Paul"
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2002 8:46 a.m.
Subject: FW: Arafat calls to stop attacks on civilians but keep fighting
army and Israelis beyond the Green Line
Good morning Dr. Lerner, I have checked with Washington about this matter. Our
position is that we note the recent steps taken by Chairman Arafat following
the heinous terrorist bombing on Tuesday that left 15 Israelis dead,
including the arrest of 14 Hamas operatives in Gaza, his condemnation of the
attack, and his instructions to confront and prevent terrorist actions
against Israelis. These are steps in the right direction - steps which the
President clearly welcomed the day before yesterday - and Chairman Arafat
must show leadership by continuing to signal clearly to his people that
terror and violence cannot help the Palestinians achieve their national
aspirations, and move decisively to confront terror and violence.
We do not subscribe to the interpretation that Chairman Arafat was, in the
translation that you forwarded to me yesterday, actually calling on
Palestinians to attack Israeli settlers and soldiers in the occupied
territories or the West Bank or Judea and Samaria or whatever term you
prefer. If we did believe that Chairman Arafat were calling on Palestinians
to attack Israelis, then we would condemn it. Our position is that Chairman
Arafat has not done enough to confront terror and violence, and that he must
exercise leadership and do so - oppose and confront all violence, that is.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Lerner, Having read this, and before having sent it to Washington, one
thought does occur to me, which I suspect will occur to people in Washington
as well - The IMRA commentary says "according to the Palestinians . . . " which
Palestinians? All Palestinians? Is this official PA policy? How and where is
this enshrined? We know that some Palestinians feel this way, but that's not
the same as saying that Arafat is calling on Palestinian security forces to
attack any Israelis east of the green line. That is one interpretation. In
any case, I will point this out to Washington and solicit a response.
Paul Patin Press Attache
U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv
Message to Paul Patin Press Attache U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv from IMRA
Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org[mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 1:39 p.m.
To: Patin, Paul
Subject: Arafat calls to stop attacks on civilians but keep
fighting army and Israelis beyond the Green Line
Dear Mr. Paten -
Further to our telephone conversation.
Look forward to your comments to this item.
Best regards, Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA
Text: Arafat calls to stop attacks on civilians but keep fighting army and
Israelis beyond the Green Line
[IMRA: The following is the text of the declaration by Yasser Arafat that US
President George Bush said he read and praised. It should be noted that
under Oslo Yasser Arafat solemnly committed the Palestinian People not to
use violence. There is no "loophole" for killing soldiers or Israelis beyond
the Green Line.
Unfortunately, it would appear that President Bush, by his praise, gives a
green light to the Palestinians to continue murdering Israeli security
forces as well as Israeli civilians beyond the 1967 line. According to the
Palestinians, the very presence of Israelis beyond the Green Line (including
inside the Old City of Jerusalem) constitutes "aggression", so this
statement, that Mr. Bush finds so promising, is actually a call to arms
against even the Jews praying at the Western Wall.]
President Arafat: Palestinian Commitment to Fighting Terrorism Unwavering
I call on
and request the important deployment of an international force to help us
put an end to the aggression, help us, and impose peace May 8, 2002
Palestine Media Center-PMC
President Yasser Arafat issued the following statement today, condemning the
terrorist attack against Israeli civilians, which took place last night.
Below is a transcript of the statement's translated version:
As President of the Palestine Liberation and the Palestine National
Authority, I reiterate my commitment to and sharing with the United States
of American and the international community in their fight against
terrorism. I have issued my orders to the Palestinian security forces to
confront and obstruct any terrorist act against Israeli civilians from any
Palestinian party while concurrently and in parallel, [I have instructed
them] to confront any aggression against Palestinian civilians by the
Israeli army and settlers, which we completely condemn [as well].
I call on the United States and President Bush as well as the international
community to provide for the needed protection and support to the
Palestinian security forces, whose infrastructure was destroyed by the
Israeli occupation, so that they can carry out their duties and execute the
orders issued to them to definitely eliminate any attempt to carry out a
terrorist attack against Israeli and Palestinian civilians as a political
means to reach the goals defined for it. With our commitment to the war
against terrorism, I call on and request the important deployment of an
international force to help us put an end to the aggression, help us, and
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Recapping: How the Media Made a
Massacre in Jenin
U.K. Correspondent, Ha'aretz
IMRA for Noting and Distributing this Article.]
Despite flimsy evidence British papers jumped the gun to apportion blame
when a West Bank refugee camp was attacked, says Sharon Sadeh. As a result,
the reputation of the press has been damaged
Monday May 6, 2002
Reporting from a battlefield has always been a risky, uncertain and
frustrating business, all the more so when the dominant military forces are
hostile and often non-cooperative. And yet, skimming through the pages of
the British and US mainstream papers over the past month might leave even
the least inquisitive reader baffled: how couldreputable correspondents
produce such different accounts of the Israeli assault on the refugee camp
in the West Bank town of Jenin?
The battle of Jenin was indisputably fierce and bloody. But while the
British papers, almost unanimously, presented it from the outset as a
"massacre" or at least as an intentional "war crime" of the worst kind, the
US and Israeli papers - Ha'aretz included - were far more reserved and
cautious, saying that there was no evidence to back such claims. The
left-liberal press in Britain thought differently. The Independent, the
Guardian and the Times, in particular, were quick to denounce Israel and
made sensational accusations based on thin evidence, fitting a widely held
stereotype of a defiant, brutal and don't-give-a-damn Israel.
Consider, for instance, the following reports, which appeared on April 16.
Under the headline "Amid the ruins, the grisly evidence of a war crime", the
Independent's Phil Reeves wrote: "A monstrous war crime that Israel has
tried to cover up for a fortnight has finally been exposed." Reeves, like
his Times and Telegraph colleagues, all quote the same lone individual,
Kamal Anis, who said that he "saw the Israeli soldiers pile 30 bodies
beneath a half-wrecked house. When the pile was complete, they bulldozed the
building, bringing its ruins down on the corpses. Then they flattened the
area with a tank." The verdict of Times correspondent, Janine di Giovanni,
was no less harsh: "Rarely in more than a decade of war reporting . . . have
I seen such deliberate destruction, such disrespect for human life." This
was followed by an emotive leader in the Guardian, on April 17, which
compared the effects of the Israeli operation in Jenin to September 11.
Cotrast that to the descriptions in US and Israeli papers of the same
events. The New York Times said: "Since the Israeli assault on Jenin began . . .
aid groups have complained that Israeli soldiers have blocked ambulances
and prevented aid from reaching the camp . . . Saed Dabayeh, who said he
stayed in the camp through the fighting, led a group of reporters to a pile
of rubble where he said he watched from his bedroom window as Israeli
soldiers buried 10 bodies . . . The Palestinian accounts could not be
The Washington Post was even less equivocal: "Interviews with residents
inside the camp and international aid workers who were allowed here for the
first time today indicated that no evidence has surfaced to support
allegations by Palestinian groups and aid organisations of large-scale
massacres or executions by Israeli troops."
A week later, the picture became clearer. In the absence of credible
evidence to substantiate insinuations of cold-blooded "massacre" or "summary
executions", the British press changed its tone slightly. Many of the papers
carried highly detailed accounts of events in Jenin, which discounted
Palestinian claims that a massacre had taken place. Nonetheless, these same
accounts were at pains to argue that lesser Israeli "war crimes" had indeed
occurred, ranging from denial of medical care to Palestinian wounded to
indiscriminate and wanton destruction of houses and property. This charge
was often repeated in leading articles, especially in the Independent and
In fairness, Israel's own blunders have contributed to the initial damning i
mpression of events in Jenin. Statements by the foreign minister, Shimon
Peres, that the Palestinians might present the Jenin battle as a massacre,
and that of the IDF spokesmen, to the effect that "hundreds" of Palestinians
were killed - both statements were later hastily retracted - fuelled
confusion and suspicion. These errors were compounded by blocking
journalists and aid agencies from entering the camp, which led to another
charge, also widely reported, of an alleged cover-up by the Israeli forces.
But does all this justify the overall line and tone of coverage? Pictures of
the devastation in Jenin commanded substantial space and were accompanied by
emotional descriptions taken from survivors, without a serious attempt to
cross-examine their claims, and often without even recording the Israeli
version of events (which was meticulously documented throughout the
In line with the prevalent tradition, the liberal British press has made an
extensive and creative use of figurative language in its reports, which
betrayed both bias and an attempt to elicit emotional response from the
readers which could be translated into increased sales circulation.
In British broadsheets, the style of reporting is such that the distinction
between commentary and news reporting is blurred. More often than not, this
comes at the expense of accuracy, depth and perspective. Israel - which
perceives the liberal European press as manifestly hostile and
systematically biased - is entitled to be concerned about the effects of
this approach, but it should also worry the UK audience. British reporters
are entitled to form their own opinion on Israeli policies, but it cannot be
based on anything but facts.
Selective use of details or information and occasional reliance on
unsubstantiated accounts inflict considerable damage on the reputation of
the entire British press, and more importantly, do a disservice to its
readers. The US media, especially the press, were wilfully oblivious, prior
to the September 11 attacks, to the issues which might have captured more
accurately and profoundly the realities regarding the Middle East and the
Muslim world, and the appropriate way of approaching and handling them. Are
the British media in a similar state of self-denial?
This ran in Ha'aretz on May 11, 2002
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Saudi Crown Prince Clarifies
That His Plan Means Unilateral Withdrawal and The "Right of
[At a time when the media continues to publicize the "peace" initiative of
the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, the Crown Prince continues to make it clear
that the unlateral withdrawal of Israel to the 1949-1967 armistice lines and the "right of return" for all Arab refugees to be allowed to return to
their non-existant homes from 1948 remain the preconditions for the Saudi
Arabian plan to suceed. How many people know this?? d.b.]
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah said in an interview published Saturday
that Israel must withdraw from all Arab territories captured in the 1967
Six-Day War, including East Jerusalem, as the price for real peace with the
Arab world. Abdullah, speaking to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, added that Israel would have to be open to discussion on the rights of return for Palestinian refugees.
The prince, who held talks with Bush on the Middle East crisis last month,
said that Arabs would not accept a partial Israeli pullout and Israel had to
return all Arab land.
"A withdrawal is not enough, there must be a return to the pre-1967
aggression lines and an end to the occupation of Jerusalem so that it
becomes the capital of Palestine," said Prince Abdullah, the architect of a
Middle East peace initiative that won Arab and international backing.
"The return of refugees is also a must," he told the London-based paper.
The de facto ruler of the oil superpower praised Bush for supporting the
long-standing Arab demand for the creation of an independent Palestinian
"I must say that President Bush has played an active role . . . by insisting on
the necessity of the creation of a Palestinian state at a time the Israeli
forces tried to annul the Palestinian Authority," the paper quoted him as
Prince Abdullah said it was "too early" for the kingdom to say whether it
would take part in possible peace negotiations with Israel. "Our priority is
to lift the suffering of our brothers in Palestine, and we will do our
utmost to restore Arab rights."
This piece ran in Ha'aretz on May 12, 2002
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Sharm al-Shaykh Summit
Statement: from Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia: Implement the
"Right of Return"
[IMRA: While the Israeli media presents the
Sharm al-Shaykh summit statement
as "moderate" statement, an examination of the text finds that it uses
terminology that means only one thing: right of return of refugees.
"Just and comprehensive peace within the framework of international
legitimacy" and "the Arab rights endorsed by all international legislations"
both include UN Resolution 194 - right of return of refugees.]
[FBIS Transcribed Text]
Sharm el Sheikh, May 11 (MENA) -
President Hosni Mubarak, Syrian President Bashar el-Assad and
Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Ben Abdel Aziz underlined the
necessity of implementing resolutions of the UN Security Council
and General Assembly on the dispatch of a fact-finding panel on
war crimes perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces in Jenin.
In a joint statement at the conclusion of their summit late Saturday, the
three leaders stressed the need to continue to work on enhancing Arab
solidarity in all fields to preserve Arab security on the basis of
safeguarding the supreme interests of the Arab and Islamic nation.
The leaders saluted the Palestinian people's stamina, hailed the heroic
intifada in face of the Israeli occupation forces and war machine and
condemned the massacres perpetrated by the Israeli occupation against
children, women and elders.
The three Arab leaders specifically condemned what Israel did in Jenin.
They also reiterated commitment to the peace initiative endorsed by the
Beirut Arab summit, reaffirmed a genuine Arab interest in peace and voiced
rejection of all forms of violence.
The leaders tackled the regional and international situation, especially the
grave situation in the occupied Palestinian lands and its repercussion on
world and regional security, said the statement.
They also discussed the U.S. position as regards the latest developments in
the region and the current events in the occupied Palestinian lands in light
of Prince Abdullah's briefing about the outcome of his key visit to the U.S.
and his talks with U.S. President George Bush and his administration
officials, it added.
The three leaders underlined that the Arab peace initiative is the basis for
any Arab action to realise the aspired-for just and comprehensive peace
within the framework of international legitimacy, said the statement.
They lambasted the massacres committed by the Israeli occupation forces
against Palestinians without a humanitarian or legal deterrents, it added.
The Arab leaders called on the world community to back the Arab rights
endorsed by all international legislations and to put pressure on Israel to
withdraw from all occupied Arab lands to bring in a fair and durable peace
in the region, said the joint statement.
President Mubarak, President Bashar and Crown Prince Abdullah agreed on
continuing contacts and consultations.
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