|Israel Resource Review
||16th May, 2001
President Arafat on the 53rd Anniversary of Alnakba
Peace Will not be Achieved While the Palestinian Refugees are Denied eir right of return
Gaza 15th May 2001 Wafa- (Official Palestine News Agency)
President Yasser Arafat said today in a televised speech broadcasted by all Palestinian medias on the 53rd anniversary of Alnakba that the Israeli military force escalation and the cruel siege imposed on the Palestinian lands will not achieve peace and security and will eventually lead to a disaster in the region.
H.E added that the Israeli blind use of force will not stand in the face of
justice and the attempts to change history by missiles, aircrafts, tanks and
shells in addition to other escalations will not succeed.
H.E. wondered whether the world will keep acting the diff, ignoring the
Palestinian bloodshed committed by the Israeli occupation and settlers and
added that the time has come for the world to wake up from its deep sleep
and say enough to the murderers and the occupiers.
The President added that the Palestinians kept trying time after time to
achieve peace but Israel protected by the main force of the international
community, armed with its double standards kept destroying the peace process
time after time throwing aside all international agreements.
H.E. said that there will be no peace or stability as long as the
Palestinian refugees are denied their sacred right of return to their
He explained that the Egyptian-Jordanian initiative and the Mitchell report
and the UN resolutions 242, 338 and 194, and the signed agreements, are the
only way for reaching comprehensive, just and long lasting peace.
The President concluded by calling upon the international community to help
stop the Israeli military escalation against the Palestinian people, and
provide them with international protection.
Hereby is the full text of the President's speech:
"On this day, commemorating the day of the "Naqba" may 15, 1948, our people,
the courageous people, its men, women and children, that declared to the
world with its holy blood and the words of truth and justice and the word of
history that our people, the Palestinian people has been exposed to misery
unlike any other in history and that this great people, which has displaced
by a greater conspiracy, whose homeland has been raped by weapons and
aggression, has not and will not accept this dark future drawn for it by
this greater conspiracy which threatens the people themselves, their holy
sites, their lives and their future.
"53 years of continuous suffering and pain and living outside of their
country, our people still stand firm against this conspiracy with a strong
will that cannot be shaken, will not kneel down, will not surrender. 53
years of continued sacrifice, we gave all this, waiting for the world to
wake from its long sleep and to find the Palestinian truth that lights the
torch with the blood of martyrs for the homeland and freedom.
"Blind power will not be able to survive for so long in the face of what is
right and just and historically true and the attempts to counterfeit history
with rockets, shells, planes and tanks will not succeed, because we are the
rightful owners and a just cause like ours cannot be killed by tanks,
shells, poisonous gas, prohibited weapons and guided missiles, that have
killed innocent babies and civilians living under siege for more than 8
months, facing escalations at every level by every means.
"The time has come for the world to wake up, the time has come for the
international community to tell the aggressors to say stop to the military
escalations, stop the killing and destruction of the Palestinian people. the
Palestinian people will not be defeated, whatever the aggressors use. Held
in the arms of their mothers, they are hit with rockets and their holy blood
is shed while the world remains ignorant of the crimes committed against the
Palestinian people. How much longer will the world remain deaf while
Palestinian blood is spilt?
"Isn't it the right of the Palestinian people to live like any free nation?
We tried, in good faith, for to achieve the peace of the braves, for
peaceful normalization and to become good neighbors. But the executioners
continue with walk through puddles of our blood with their military
escalations and siege on our towns, and villages and refugee camps. This
comes at a time of double standard policy, of walking all over international
resolutions that we had accepted to put an end to this and bring about a
peace of the braves, to bring about a state for our people and to protect
their holy sites, Muslim and Christian.
"A just and comprehensive peace needs to put an end to the occupation and
settlements in our homeland, a fair peace can only come about when the
Palestinian people receive their rights, otherwise there will never be peace
in the region.
"Today, on Al Naqba day, I want to renew my declaration that the way to
achieve peace is as clear as the sun in the sky: a full Israeli withdrawal
of its army and its settlers, from all Palestinian land occupied since June
4, 1967, and for the implementation of resolution 194. Yes, this is the only
road to peace, the peace of the braves, the kind of peace that offers
security and stability, for our children and for their children. Blind
military might will not bring about peace, it will not bring our people to
its knees. We will continue in this way until the day we raise the
Palestinian flag over Jerusalem, over Jerusalem's mosques and Jerusalem's
"From here, from within the middle of the siege and the aggression, we
appeal to the Arab nations, to the Muslim nations, to the Christians all
over the world, to the International community, to protect our Christian and
Muslim holy sites. I call upon our friends in the UN, the United States, the
EU, Japan, China, Russia, to act immediately in order to stop this military
aggression, to offer international protection for our women, men and
children who all face aggression from the occupier by all kinds of weapons.
"Resolution 194 has to be implemented for there to be peace, for those
Palestinians who live expelled from their homes. Their's is a holy right,
and its the responsibility of the international community to secure this
right of the Palestinian refugees.
"And I say to the Palestinian people, who have endured the killing of
innocents, barbaric shelling, destruction of their homes and farms, the
bombing of their factories and the uprooting of trees, "faith, faith,
courage, courage", stand strong in the face of this increasing aggression
for the sake of freedom, and the freedom of our land and our holy places,
the land of the prophets and messengers, the land of our fathers."
"We tell the Israelis that military escalation and building settlements on
our land will not bring peace, but will bring a catastrophe for both
peoples. Let the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative, along with the agreements
signed, and the Mitchell report, the international resolutions, 242, 338,
194, be the basis to launch a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, and to
revive the peace process, to put it back on track again for the future of
the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples and all the world.
"And I say to you steadfast courageous people, that your sacrifices will not
be for nothing, that victory will come from God".
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European Union Sponsors Monitoring of Settlement Activity and Publicizing Findings Around the World
Monitoring Israeli Colonizing activities in the Palestinian West Bank and
Gaza is a joint project between the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem
(ARIJ) and the Land Research Center (LRC).
The project, funded by the European Union, aims at inspecting and scrutinizing Israeli colonizing activities in their different forms in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza,and to disseminate the related information to policy makers in the European countries and to the general public.
Specifically, the project will be providing accurate updates on the expansion of existing Israeli colonies, associated by-pass roads and land confiscation.
It will also provide detailed baseline data related to specific sites where new Israeli colonizing activities are planned or initiated.
Methods used to collect data and monitor the colonizing activities will include remote sensing satellite images, field work, aerial photographs, colonies' masterplans, and topographic maps.
[Source: Website of Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem
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Egypt Acquires Missile Components from Germany
Bureau Chief, Middle East News Line
Egypt has obtained components for guidance systems from German companies in
a renewed effort to complete a medium-range ballistic missile.
European intelligence sources said the Egyptian orders were placed over the
last year, with the latest one submitted in February. They said the Egyptian
government bought the components from Germany through front companies.
The missile transaction was traced by both European and U.S. intelligence
services, the sources said. They said the components were delivered from
Germany to Japan, where the shipment disappeared. They said the components
were sent to North Korea for modification and are now believed to be in
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Israel and the Jews in the Schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority
Prof Shlomo Sharan
What concepts and perceptions of Israel and the Jews has the Palestinian
Authority taught Arab children in its territory since the adoption of the
Oslo agreements? Can these perceptions and ideas serve as the basis for
cultivating peaceful co-existence between Arabs and Jews? The response to
these questions would appear to provide a window into the official
political-cultural climate prevailing in the two entities. The adoption of
the agreements between them was intended to serve as the basis for a
peaceful settlement of their conflict.
A study of school textbooks cannot ascertain the nature of the attitudes and
perceptions current among the general population, but it certainly can and
does reflect the official policy that the government seeks to disseminate
regarding its relationship with other social-political entities and their
populations. In both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a central
educational authority must sanction textbooks, and in both instances a
Ministry of Education actually authorizes the content of the textbooks
employed in the public schools. (There is no private education in the PA
territories and relatively few private schools in Israel, the majority of
which belong to ultra-Orthodox groups).
The questions posed here are particularly significant in light of the long
history of Arab anti-Jewish and anti-Israel acts as well as statements
published in a wide variety of media over the past several decades.
Researchers whose scholarly credentials and reputations for objectivity are
beyond doubt (Bodansky, 1999; Harkabi, 1972; Lewis, 1984, 1986; Porat,
Stauber & Vago, 1997; Yadlin, 1988) have documented the fiercely
antagonistic views about Jews, Israel, and Zionism, current in many Arab
nations, in addition to overt acts of hostility. A meaningful peace between
Jews in the territory of Israel and Arabs in the territory now governed by
the Palestinian Authority obviously demands a distinct change in official
Palestinian political, social and cultural policy towards Israel and the
Jews from the attitudes that have prevailed thus far.
That is one of the necessary conciliatory steps that must be taken, in addition to the cessation of overt acts of hostility, if the people of Israel are to consider the intentions of the Palestinians as directed toward peace.
The demonization of Jews and Israel, cultivated by the Arab nations for decades, should have been terminated immediately after the Oslo agreements (Stav,1996).
In many parts of the world, once warring nations negotiated the
cessation of hostilities, the diabolical images of the enemy disseminated by
official and non-official groups in each nation were abandoned. Indeed, the
need for this change in socio-political-cultural policy was explicitly
reiterated in the Wye River agreement with the PLO of October 1998, where it
was generally acknowledged that similar proclamations agreed upon in the
Oslo accords still await implementation.
Research on Political Socialization in the United States
An extensive research literature on the political socialization of children
was published in the United States over the past three decades. At first
blush it would seem that such a large body of knowledge could provide
insight and theoretical direction for understanding the phenomena relating
to the political education of children in the Palestinian Authority. Yet,
several major differences between the social-political conditions reflected
in the research literature in the United States and those prevailing in the
Israel-Arab relationship must be emphasized.
First and foremost, the US research literature on the political socialization of children was generated in a democratic society.
True, not all of the investigators were uniformly
satisfied with the effects of children's political socialization in the
family setting, in schools, or in peer groups, in terms of providing
American society with a firm foundation for the intergenerational continuity
of democracy (see, for example, Dennis, 1973; Greenstein, 1965; Hess &
Nevertheless, it is a monumental fact that the United States
does not offer investigators examples of totalitarian political
indoctrination of young people into a dominant and centrally determined
Some researchers observed that the United States in general, apart from some radical fringe groups, was a remarkably a-ideological country and US citizens were singularly unconcerned with political ideology of any kind (Merelman, 1969).
The youth of the US express generally positive attitudes toward the government as benevolent and protective of human rights. Political cynicism, or a critical perspective on political institutions and leadership, does not emerge in children's thinking until they are of high school age or older.
Another important feature is that US books on political socialization
reporting theory and research reflect a geographical horizon limited to
mainland United States.
What transpired elsewhere in the world is largely ignored, hardly even mentioned in passing. This state of affairs is particularly remarkable because social science research about political socialization of children and youth emerged following the second World War, long after the examples of Italian (Fascist), German (Nazi), Soviet (Communist) and Japanese political education had become known.
Consequently, rather than providing a basis for comprehending or explaining most of the important manifestations of political socialization, the horizons of the US research literature remained parochial.
This fact alone limits the scope of generalization that legitimately can be made from this body of knowledge because, ipso facto, it limits the variety of political and educational phenomena encompassed by this research.
Interestingly, a relatively recent text on political socialization written in Israel (Ichilov, 1984) is divided into two separate sections, one that surveyed the research literature from the US and UK, and the other that addressed the problems of Israel's political system and of political socialization in Israel.
Apparently the author was convinced that, even though Israel is also a democracy, its political history and system were so unlike that of the United States, that it is patently unjustifiable to employ the existing research to explain the process of political socialization in Israel.
This conclusion is applicable, a fortiori, to understanding and explaining the political socialization in non-democratic regimes such as monarchies and dictatorships.
But, not only Germany, Italy, the former Soviet Union, and Japan - all of
whom participated in WWII - are beyond the scope of most of the US research
on political socialization. Equally so are the Moslem nations of the Middle
East (most of whom are monarchies or religio-military dictatorships) whose
social institutions and processes have rarely been studied by social
scientists, and whose culture and society are described primarily by
Orientalists or political scientists specializing in the relevant nations.
Their work is based on available documents or on a few direct observations,
but not on systematic data that could be taken to represent the major trends
of the society.
These nations simply have not cultivated the social sciences, nor do they sanction the use of Western systematic research.
Hence, there is as yet no reliable body of knowledge on which to base an
analysis of the social processes in these countries, including the manifold
phenomena of education. As a result, research on political socialization in
the US has not been exposed to, or come to grips with, the two fundamental
features of the political regime in the territory of the Palestinian
Authority in particular, or found in most of the Arab nations of the Middle
East in general, namely: a dictatorship or absolute monarchy coupled with
the prevailing religious civilization of Islam.
The Sources Used for this Chapter
Several experts in the Arabic language examined 140 textbooks intended for
all grades of public education (1 to 12) published by the Palestinian
Authority's Ministry of Education during the period of 1995 to 1998. Prior
to that, during the period of 1993 to 1995, the PA followed the curricula of
Egypt and Jordan.
The topics taught in these books are: Civics, Grammar, Literature, History, Geography and Islamic Studies.
The examiners made selections from peace-sensitive themes, and all selections are representative of a larger body of material with identical or similar messages.
None of the statements cited here appear only once in a given text.
All of them are repeated often in the same book and in most of the
other textbooks as well. The quotations from the Palestinian schoolbooks
cited here are only a few out of hundreds of statements collected. However,
the material is so repetitive that even the relatively small selection of
statements presented in this article suffices to convey both the tenor and
substance of the entire collection.
Another source of information about Palestinian education employed in this
article are the educational programs broadcast by the PA's television
station. The PA's television is a division of the Authority's Ministry of
Education. Viewing of the programs broadcast during the period of March to
August 1998 revealed that many of the messages appearing in the schoolbooks
were repeated on the PA's television.
No material was included in this article derived from classic Islamic
sources even when they portray the Jews negatively. All quotations and
references to textbooks refer to, or are taken from, contemporary
publications of the Palestinian Authority.
Three Main Themes about Israel and Jews in the Schoolbooks of the PA
Three topics appear as central leitmotifs throughout the books that were
examined. These themes emerge clearly from even a cursory reading of the
texts. They are:
- A hostile portrayal of Jews, Judaism, Israel and Zionism;
- The call for jihad and martyrdom against Israel and its people in order
to reconquer all of Palestine for Islam;
- A radical revision of history denying the relationship between Jewry and
the land of Israel, affirming the Arabs' ownership of the territory of
Israel since pre-Biblical times.
1. Hostility Towards the Jews
Hostility toward Israel, the Jews, Judaism and Zionism permeates the PA's
schoolbooks. The schoolchildren in the Palestinian Authority are actively
taught that the Jews and Israel are the enemy. They are the enemy of the
Arabs, of Islam, of believers, and of people in general since the Jews are
evil and dangerous. They are killers and robbers, and have stolen Arab land.
Zionism is a synonym for Nazism, both of which are the prototype of racism.
The Jews hate Moslems (from the text: Our Arabic Language, Part 2, 3rd
grade, #523, p. 9), they have killed and evicted the Moslem and Christian
inhabitants of Palestine. Those Arabs who remain (in Israel) still suffer
oppression and persecution under Jewish racist administration (Islamic
Education, 9th grade, #589, p. 182). "One must beware of the Jews for they
are treacherous and disloyal." (Islamic Education, 9th grade, p. 79). "The
clearest examples of racist belief and racial discrimination in the world
are Nazism and Zionism." (The New History of the Arabs and the World, p.
123). "Zionism is a political, aggressive and colonialist movement, which
calls for the Judaization of Palestine by the expulsion of its Arab
inhabitants . . . "(Modern Arab History and Contemporary Problems, Part 2, 10th
grade, #613, p. 49). "Jewish gangs waged racial cleansing wars against
innocent Palestinians . . . large scale appalling massacres saving no women or
children." (PA television, May 14, 1998).
One final quotation concludes this section on the teaching of hostility
toward the Jews.
Mankind has suffered from this evil both in ancient as well as in modern
times, for, indeed, Satan has, in the eyes of many people, made their evil
actions appear beautiful until they thought that their race was the best of
all, and their kind better than all others, and that other people are their
slaves and do not reach their level. Such a people are the Jews. (Islamic
Education, 8th grade, #523, p. 9).
2. Jihad and Martyrdom: The Moslem "Children's Crusade"
Jihad and martyrdom are central to an understanding of the entire political
orientation of Palestinian education regarding the Jews, and indeed of
education in other Arab countries as well. Turning first to jihad, it can be
noted that there are different kinds of jihad but the highest level and most
frequently stressed meaning is the jihad (Holy War) that involves risking
one's own life, as the following quotations from the textbook on Islam for
the 7th grade explains unequivocally:
Jihad involving risk of one's life: This is by fighting enemies and standing
firm against them in wars and battles. This is the highest level of jihad
because the jihad fighter sacrifices himself for Allah's way and for his
religion, and to defend the Islamic nation . . (Islamic Education, 7th grade,
. . . if the enemy has conquered part of its (Muslim) land and those fighting
for it are unable to repel the enemy, then jihad becomes the individual
religious duty of every Muslim man and woman, until the attack shall have
been successfully repulsed and the land liberated from conquest and Muslim
honor satisfied. (Ibid., p. 108).
The reference in these quotations to an enemy who conquered Muslim land is
to Israel as the conqueror of Palestine, and the name Palestine refers to
all of Israel, not just to the territory presently controlled by the PA. In
a textbook called Geography of the Arab Homeland directed at the 6th grade,
there are 19 maps where present day Israel is marked "Palestine" (see pp.
12, 20, 23, 36, 48, 50, 53, 55, 61, 66, 72, 73, 75, 80, 81, 88, 90, 115,
Maps of the Middle East in which Israel does not exist and its area is
marked as "Palestine" appear 11 times in the textbook called Social and
National Education directed at the 5th grade (part A #549, see pp. 81, 84,
88, 89, 103, 107, 109, 110, 120, 122, 124). The children in the PA schools
are being taught to prepare themselves for armed warfare against Israel as
the enemy, and that the Jews residing within the present borders of Israel
are designated as the objects of jihad, namely, targets to be killed! To
dispel any doubt about the meaning and object of jihad and what is taught to
schoolchildren in the PA, we quote the following poem which was read aloud
from a schoolbook by a young girl attending a PA summer camp and broadcast
on the PA's official television on May 14, 1998 (and repeated on other days
My brothers! The oppressors have overstepped the boundary. Therefore jihad
and sacrifice are a duty . . . are we to let them steal its Arab nature . . . Draw
your sword . . . let us gather for war with red blood and blazing fire . . . Death
shall call and the sword shall be crazed from much slaughter . . . Oh Palestine,
the youth will redeem your land . . .
The parallel between this "poem" and many school texts employed by German
educators during the Nazi period is striking. The following lines are taken
from a poem that appeared in the journal called Der Jungman published in
1942 at an elite school in Germany named Napoli that supplied a large number
of trainees for the SS:
Paradise lies in the shadow of the sword,
Courage is more than the power of the sword . . .
No man sees the struggle, which I initiate with steel blades
Effeminate is the man who does not fight with
Weapons which he holds in his hands
etc . . . (quoted from Blackburn, 1985, pp. 136-137)
The Martyr Fights for Allah
The second term to be examined is martyrdom, which is part of jihad
(although not every act of jihad ends in martyrdom). Great importance is
attached to the religious duty fulfilled by someone who dies fighting for
Islam, and on the enormous reward provided by Allah that awaits him/her in
Paradise. Again, the following quotations from PA textbooks are unambiguous:
Martyrdom is when a Muslim is killed for the sake of Allah . . . A person who
dies thus is called a "Martyr" (Shahid) . . . Martyrdom for Allah is the hope of
all those who believe in Allah and have trust in His promises . . . The Martyr
rejoices in the paradise that Allah has prepared for him . . . (Islamic
Education for Seventh Grade, #564, p. 112).
The Muslim sacrifices himself for his faith and fights a jihad for Allah. He
does not know cowardice because he understands that the time of his death is
already ordained and that his dying as a Martyr on the field of battle is
preferable to dying in bed . . . (Islamic Education for Eighth Grade, #576, p.
"Song of the Martyr" (a poem to be learned by heart)
I shall take my soul in my hand
And hurl it into the abyss of death (in war) . . .
Upon your life, I see my death
and am marching speedily towards it
Upon your life, this is the death of men
And he who seeks an honorable death - this is that death. : (Our Arabic
Language for Fifth Grade, #542, p. 60), (Guide for Improving Arabic Language
for Twelfth Grade, #719, p. 84), (PA television May 22, 1998).
Teaching Children Self-Immolation for God and Country
The emphasis placed by the PA on jihad and martyrdom is not confined to
lessons taught in school through books. Summer camps under the auspices of
the PLO before the establishment of the PA, and now under the Palestinian
Authority were, and are, military training installations commanded by
officers in the PLO, as they have been for the past twenty years. Hundreds
of boys aged 10 to 15 (contrary to a written order to induct only children
aged 12 or above!) were trained by the PLO to operate rocket propelled
grenades. During the Lebanese war these boys became known as the "RPG kids"
(Israeli, 1983, 222-225). Hundreds others learned to use Kalashnikov
automatic rifles, which, on more than a few occasions, they fired into their
own school classrooms. The Israel army arrested over 200 of these boys
during the Lebanese war and released them shortly afterwards.
Self-immolation in pursuit of a cause considered to be sacred, either
because of its origin in holy writ, as a form of protest (such as Bhuddist
monks during the Vietnamese war), or in deference to a powerful monarch, is
certainly not unknown in history. Yet, the phenomenon of suicide squads
whose main mode of operation is to harm an enemy through their own death,
has not been widespread heretofore. However pathological the educational
indoctrination of the Hitler Jugend in Nazi Germany, or the Komsomol in the
Soviet Union, (whose juvenile members were prepared to spy and inform on
their own parents and thus bring about their ruin or even death) those
countries did not really brainwash their own young children to immolate
themselves while they were still children as an act of patriotism, although
they committed many acts of violence (Blackburn, 1985). Nor were they
ordered as children to confront armed soldiers by pelting them with rocks
while their fathers remained in hiding, as was the case during the
Palestinian uprising (intifada) against Israel, and as is still practiced by
the Palestinians after the Oslo and Wye River agreements.
In the modern world, the primary examples of religious and/or patriotic
self-sacrifice are from the Far East. Two famous examples of children
exploited as warriors who committed extreme acts of cruelty, albeit in
different forms, are the Red Brigades of the Chinese Cultural Revolution
(their average age was reported to be about 14 years old), and the Khmer
Rouge in Cambodia. The 12 to 14 year olds of the Red Brigades reportedly
caused the death of over 40 thousand intellectuals in China. The Khmer Rouge
trained tens of thousands of young people to serve as soldiers whose extreme
cruelty in exterminating vast numbers (reports vary from one to two million)
of their own countrymen is one of the bloodcurdling atrocities of the post
WWII era. Only severe ideological blindness can ignore or underestimate the
potential impact of long years of indoctrination by a propaganda driven
state "education" on the lives of its young victims, and what they, in turn,
will be capable of doing, indeed eager to do, when the opportunity arises.
(I'm not sure that William Golding thought of this eventuality when he wrote
The Lord of the Flies, but it is consistent with his book.) There is more
than ample evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of prolonged exposure
to propaganda on children and adults. Analysts of propaganda, some of whom
are sophisticated observers of human behavior, have already identified the
critical components of effective persuasion, however false the content of
the message may be, and we need not repeat their contributions here (Ekman,
1992; Milgram, in press; Pratkanis & Aronson, 1991).
We are attempting to point out some of the relatively unique characteristics of the Palestinian Authority's particular brand of political education.
The closest precedent to the Palestinian indoctrination of school-aged
children for jihad and martyrdom is the Japanese kamikaze pilots of WWII.
They sought to inflict maximum damage on an enemy they knew was of superior
strength, and they knew too that, in the larger scheme of things, their
mission was ultimately of no avail. Nevertheless the kamikaze considered the
mission that inevitably entailed their personal death to be sacred, as it
intended to restore some of the lost honor of the Emperor and of Japan.
Hence it was motivated by the powerful combination of both religious and
national (not personal) factors. A noted Israeli Orientalist and political
commentator on Islamic affairs (Israeli, 1997), writing about the Japanese
(Kamikaze) and Islamic forms of political suicide, as distinct from personal
suicide (Hara-kiri), suggested the term "Islamikaze" and charted the sources
and development of this movement. It emerged in pre-Taliban Afghanistan,
during the Russian occupation, where it now enjoys considerable support from
the authorities. Some indication of the consequences of this development --
probably with more events of this kind in the offing -- became evident in
the damage inflicted on US installations in Africa. However, use of the
title Islamikaze does not imply that the Japanese kamikaze actually served
as a conscious precedent for the Palestinian Arabs and the training of
children to admire killing and strive to be terrorists.
The Islamic Version of Education for Terrorism
The Islamic version of education for terrorism also shares with the Japanese
kamikaze the feature of public admiration and sanction for their sacrifice.
There are, of course, several differences, the first of which is that the
Japanese kamikaze were older than the Arab schoolchildren and were trained
pilots in the Japanese airforce. Second, the bodies of the kamikaze pilots
were not recovered, so the public acclaim showered on the pilots was
demonstrated before their deaths, and in respect to the families of the
The children in the Palestinian Authority witness many public funerals of
slain terrorists and other rituals where the main theme is support for
terrorism against Jews and Israel, in addition to proclaiming the glory of
the terrorists. Funerals of young men killed in the pursuit of their
missions, including those killed when their dynamite exploded while they
were preparing bombs, are accompanied by a huge entourage. Large pictures of
the deceased are displayed and their deeds extolled. The atmosphere of these
frequent public funerals is charged with high-pitched emotions, loud wailing
and chorus-like chanting of fierce threats to the Zionist enemy, to Israel
and to Jews. Often the same threats are voiced against the United States as
well, and there is the inevitable burning of the flags of the two countries
(Israel and the US). Japanese children were not "socialized" into the role
of kamikaze by constant exposure to the public display of admiration for the
dead kamikaze pilots accompanied by thunderous threats hurled at the US.
Furthermore, all during the years of the intifada, up to and including this
very day, there have been numerous incidents of Arabs stoning Jews who
unhappily found themselves driving through territory governed by the PA:
They were, and are, attacked by small bands, or by large crowds, of rock
throwing juveniles (and young men in their early twenties). Sometimes these
attacks end in death for the Jews, sometimes they manage to escape with
wounds of varying severity. This public drama makes a powerful impression on
young children of all ages whose daily schooling provides the background for
understanding and accepting the bloody spectacle they see so often before
their very eyes. What should be noted is the fact that, as best we know at
this time, these violent events involving severe physical harm to people,
with much blood pouring from them, do not appear to constitute a trauma for
the young onlookers or participants precisely because they have been
cognitively and emotionally prepared for them. What to other youngsters
without previous indoctrination would be a shocking experience, the
Palestinian children and youth (we will never know how many) rationalize and
accept these events as legitimate and normative. This is especially true
since these acts are carried out with total peer sanction and support as
part of a gang or crowd. The psychological consequences of these experiences
apparently are not traumatic for youth in the PA, but rather they are
assimilated into their character type, becoming part of the personality,
with an increase in aggressiveness and hostility toward others. There are
few signs so far of intra-personal conflicts resulting from these events
that ordinarily, under different circumstances, could produce
psycho-pathological symptoms or other forms of distress or disabled
functioning. (Macksoud, Dyregrov & Raundalen, 1993). This topic deserves
Most important, these acts of extreme violence are carried out in the name
of God. A discussion of the role of religion in general, and specifically in
the modern era, in providing justification for murder and violence of all
kinds cannot be undertaken here. As noted earlier, Islam is not alone in
exploiting children as cannon fodder, such as was done on a grand scale by
Iran in its war with Iraq. Nevertheless, it is deeply distressing to observe
that, at the end of the 20th century, after all that has happened in the
recent past, the God of one of the world's great monotheistic religions is
invoked by its devotees to consecrate acts of murder by young children who
are taught to cry out "Allah Akhbar" (Allah is Great) when smashing the head
of their victim with a huge rock! (Stav, 1989). "For God and country" is a
battle cry that is no longer trumpeted in our time . . . or at least, so some
people thought! Journalists asked some of these teenagers why they throw
huge rocks at a private automobile driven by a Jewish man inside territory
already evacuated by Israel and now governed by the Palestinian Authority?
The youths' response, seen and heard on television, is that they, the Arab
youth, suffered previously at the hands of the Israelis and they are
justified in expressing their rage now at this Jew who was driving his car
in their territory! One youth said during a TV interview that the attack on
the driver of a private automobile was carried out on "orders from above".
Palestinian Arab youth are primed to carry out acts of violence, even
murder, against defenseless people. Their "conscience" is clean while the
victim is the guilty one, and the adults who ordered this atrocity remain
One final quotation from a PA schoolbook reads like a preamble to the bloody
spectacle seen recently on television (December 2, 1998):
The first words the young boy heard were the words "jihad", "attack" and
"conquest". . . These words were constantly on his lips . . . (The boy) Uqba
grew up with the love of jihad flowing through his veins and filling every
fiber of his being . . . For him no joy equaled that of taking part in
jihad . . . Nothing gave him pleasure but the sight of swords and spears shining
in the hands of the fighting horsemen. Nothing was pleasing to his ear but
the sound of the horses charging into battle and nothing gave him joy but
the sight of the enemy lying dead on the battlefield, or defeated and
fleeing for their lives. Uqba showed heroism and courage . . . attacking them
from his horse and hacking the enemy soldiers to pieces, coming down on them
blow after blow, crushing their skulls . . . (Uqba bin Nafi', or The Conqueror
of Africa, 6th grade, #700, pp. 6 to 7, 43, 93, 96)
The Martyr's Reward in Paradise
There is one more feature of jihad and martyrdom that provides a powerful
incentive for the youth to strive to participate in armed war against Israel
and Jews as an ideal in life. That feature is the nature of the personal
reward they will receive in Paradise. Of course, only the elite will be
chosen to progress from the level of a soldier in the jihad, with possible
martyrdom, to the level of being a member of the Islamikaze suicide squads.
However, that topic is beyond the scope of this chapter since it is not
related directly to the subject of school based indoctrination by the PA.
Nevertheless, the fact that the soldier of jihad will be rewarded in
Paradise if he dies for Islam is repeated frequently in the schoolbooks, and
the nature of this reward is not an incidental matter. Based on a variety of
original sources, Professor Israeli described the nature of this reward as
In the popular image of the Moslem Paradise, the martyr can enjoy unlimited
sex with the virgin girls of Paradise. Some say that there will be 70 young
women for every man. After each act of love making, the girl's virginity is
miraculously restored in order to provide the martyr with virginal sexual
gratification. The same is true for the consumption of alcohol, the second
major prohibition of Moslem society . . . which will flow freely. (Israeli,
1997, p. 73, note 21).
Public acclaim, a non-ending orgy of sex and all the booze you can drink,
constitute a powerful combination of incentives for igniting the imagination
and motivation of pubescent youth, aged 12 and up. Along with the
emotionally charged scenes of actually stoning Jews and Jewish property,
what more is needed to convince them that killing Jews is a worthy and
honorable vocation? The PA is certainly preparing a huge army for the future
that, socially and psychologically, will be trained to commit unmitigated
violence against Israel and the Jewish People on behalf of Islam, the Arabs
and Palestine. As already pointed out, the effectiveness of this early and
prolonged indoctrination of school aged children is beyond doubt, nor can
this policy of indoctrination be reconciled with the proclaimed desire to
achieve peace with Israel.
3. Arab Revision of History
Diplomats, political scientists and others concerned with international
relations frequently choose to ignore the historical dimension of conflicts
between groups or nations since, obviously, history is not subject to
manipulation in the present in order to reach solutions to conflicts. Some
authors assert that our so-called post-modern era has sloughed off history
to live "better" in the here and now. Nevertheless, the parties to
inter-national conflicts often derive their identity, and hence their tie to
their claims, on the basis of their historical traditions. Parties to
territorial or cultural conflicts are frequently eager to anchor their
claims in historical precedent, which carries deep significance for those
involved. So much so, that when such legitimacy appears to be weak or
lacking, groups may revise or fabricate the historical record to make it
appear as if their legitimacy is in fact historically founded, or to
attribute their historical legitimacy to factors that heretofore were not
recognized as related to the group in question. Historical revisionism
thereby serves the twofold purpose of de-legitimizing a given group and
attributing legitimacy to another (or to one's own) group at one and the
The Palestinian Authority's schoolbooks present to its pupils a far-reaching
revision of history that virtually erases Jews from all connection with the
land of Israel that is not negative. They also fabricate viciously racist
statements that are attributed to classical Jewish sources such as the
Talmud, much along lines of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that has
served anti-Semites for close to two centuries, including, but not
restricted to, Hitler and Stalin. These fabricated statements, allegedly
formulated some 1400 years ago (the Talmud was completed around the
beginning of the 7th century) in Babylonia, are then cited as reflecting the
views of contemporary Jews. Many readers apparently remain unaware of the
bizarre mental acrobatics inherent in these accusations.
Simultaneously, the Jews are summarily de-legitimized: they are not a
nation, they allegedly fabricated and falsified their ancient and modern
history, and by so doing, they denied the historicity of the Arab claims to
Palestine based on their descent from the Jebusites who lived in ancient
The Moslem claim that the Jews falsified Scripture is a relatively ancient
phenomenon that emerged early in the history of Islam (Lewis, 1984). The
schoolchildren in the PA learn that it begins with the Biblical story of
Abraham was a Moslem monotheist and was not from among the idolaters.
(Islamic Education, 5th grade, #540, p. 143).
Allah sent Moses to his people and sent down to them the Book of the
Torah . . . However, later the Israelites rebelled against their Lord and
distorted His book. They argued and corrupted the land, and Allah,
therefore, threatened them with torments of the Day of Judgement. (Islamic
Education, 6th grade, #551, pp. 31-32).
Dear pupil. Do you know who the Palestinians are? The Palestinian people are
descended from the Canaanites. (National Palestinian Education, 5th grade,
#550, p. 19).
Israel (of the Bible) . . . dwelled near Yemen . . . Their original religion in the
days of our master Moses . . . it is strange that the Torah does not give it a
name, and I almost dare say, it is Islam . . . Mt. Sinai is Mt. Sinin in
Yemen . . . today's Jews have no (biological) connection to the Israelites.
(Palestine: History and Tradition, PA television, May 26, 1998).
Jerusalem is a Palestinian Arab city, and it has no connection to Israel.
(PA television, May 24, 1998: Abd al-Rachman, PA official).
Jerusalem is an ancient Arab city built by the Jebusite Arabs before
Islam . . . (Islamic Culture, 8th grade, #576, p. 50).
Exercise: Distinguish between verb and noun clauses. "The land is our land
and Jerusalem is ours." (Our Arabic Language, 5th grade, #542, p. 74).
The Jews have clear greedy designs on Jerusalem. They believe that their
state is not complete without Jerusalem as its capital, which is what they
claim. The proof of this is that their Minister of Defense declared on the
third day of the war of 1967, together with the Prime Minister, when both of
them were standing by "el-Buraq" which they call the Western Wall: "We have
returned to you, Jerusalem, and we shall never part from you again. You are
not just the capital of 'Israel' but the capital of the entire Jewish
People." . . . Thus do the Jews conspire, before the eyes and ears of the Arabs
and the Moslems. What can we do to rescue Jerusalem and to liberate it from
the thieving enemy . . . ? (Reader and Literary Texts, 8th grade, #578, pp. 96,
Finally, the PA falsely attributes the following quotation to classic
sources of Judaism (though no such statement existed prior to its invention
by the PA):
It is mentioned in the Talmud: "We (the Jews) are God's people on
earth . . . (God) forced upon the human animal and upon all nations and the
races that they serve us, and He spread us through the world to ride on them
and hold their reigns. We must marry our beautiful daughters with kings,
ministers and lords and enter our sons into various religions, thus, we will
have the final word in managing the countries. We should cheat them (the
non-Jews) and arouse quarrels among them, then they fight each other . . . Non
Jews are pigs who God created in the shape of man in order that they be fit
for service for the Jews, and God created the world for them (the Jews)."
(The New History of the Arabs and the World, p. 120)
Islam versus Judaism and the West
Many of the statements found in these texts mention Palestine, invariably
referring to all of present day Israel. However, it is abundantly clear that
the overall context of the jihad against the Jews and against Israel is the
more fundamental war between Islam and the Moslems against Israel and the
Jews, not just the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis.
Indeed, it is a war between Islam and Judaism, and even a war between Islam
and the entire Western world. The PA textbooks are careful to avoid stating
explicitly that this war includes the Christians and the Christian nations.
On the contrary, an effort is made to mention Christians now and then in a
positive light despite the frequent sweeping denunciation of Western
civilization as if it excluded the Christians. Here are a few typical
Remember: The final and inevitable result (of jihad) will be victory of the
Moslems over the Jews. (Our Arabic Language, 5th grade, p. 67).
This religion will defeat all other religions and it will be disseminated,
by Allah's will, through the Muslim jihad fighters. (Islamic Education, 7th
grade, p. 125).
In the present period, which exceeds all previous periods in the material
and scientific advances taking place, social, psychological and medical
scientists in the West are perplexed by the worrying increase in the number
of people suffering from nervous disorders . . . and the statistics from America
in this matter are a clear indication of this . . . There is no escape from (the
need for) a new civilization . . . The Western world is not capable of
fulfilling this role . . . There is only one nation capable of discharging this
task and that is our nation (Islam) . . . We do not claim that the collapse
of Western civilization, and the transfer of the center of civilization to
us (Islam) will happen in the next decade or two or even in fifty years, for
the rise and fall of civilizations follow natural processes . . . Nevertheless
(Western civilization) has begun to collapse and to become a pile of debris.
(Some Outstanding Examples of our Civilization, 11th grade, pp. 3, 12, 16).
The Jews adopted a position of hostility and deception towards the new
religion (Islam). They called Muhammad a liar and denied him, they fought
against his religion in all ways and by all means, a war that has not yet
ended until today, and they conspired with the hypocrites and the idolaters
against him and they are still behaving in the same way . . . (Islamic
Education, 7th grade, #564, p. 123, 125).
Arab Propaganda is Anti-Semitic, Not Anti-Zionist as Claimed
The quotations cited above embody several basic features of Arab hostility
toward the Jews, including the reference to the Jews' role in ancient
history which the Arabs' have traditionally denounced because the Biblical
stories do not corroborate Islam's claim to have inherited Abraham's legacy.
This sweeping denunciation of the Jews encompasses all of known history, and
is uttered allegedly in the name of all humanity. Obviously, such a stance
has little to do with Zionism and everything to do with an inveterate
anti-Semitism that is being passed on unchanged to all Arab children from an
early age in the territory of the Palestinian Authority, just as it appeared
in the publications and media of many Arab nations for decades (Harkabi,
1972). In light of these and many similar statements made throughout the
PA's books for schoolchildren, it is patently contradictory for the PA to
claim that it opposes Zionism and is not anti-Semitic (Israeli, 2000;
These statements confirm once again, if confirmation is still needed, that
the anti-Zionist orientation of the Arabs, of the PLO, and of the other Arab
terrorists groups, was only a thin camouflage to veil a more basic
anti-Jewish animosity during this entire century. Again, this orientation
stems from a long history of enmity between Islam and the Jews, which may
have been relatively benign or latent in some periods, but burst out in
violence in others. Anti-Zionism has become a convenient code to replace the
less palatable term anti-Semitism (Lewis, 1984, 1986; Wistrich, 1985).
Palestinian Reaction to the Quotations from the Schoolbooks
In an interview with an Israeli journalist, the head of the Palestinian
Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Radwan Abu Ayyash, commented on the large
collection of quotations from the PA's schoolbooks compiled and made
available by the Jerusalem-based Palestine Media Watch. As reported by
Isabel Kershner, writing in The Jerusalem Report of December 21 (1998), he
said, inter alia:
If some sheikh says live on TV that all Israelis should be thrown into the
sea, what can I do? Cut off his tongue? . . . I can't change the hearts, the
brains, the language of my people. I can't make them fall in love by force.
We are journalists, mirrors, reflectors. I'm not here to lie, or to make
propaganda. (p. 32).
The Palestinian Authority TV director's response to the mass of quotations
from current schoolbooks is, of course, a skillful avoidance of the issue.
It is precisely the official policy of the government that is reflected in
the books that all children in school must read, not the sentiments of the
population or of any particular individual, in Israel or in the PA's
territory. At the outset of this article we explicitly disclaimed the
assumption that a review of textbooks informs us about the ideas, attitudes
or feelings of the general population. Mr. Abu Ayyash was certainly aware of
that fact when he skirted the question and disingenuously claimed that the
quotations, in the schoolbooks as well as those made by children (often
reading from those books) on the PA's television, were expressions of
popular opinion about which he can do nothing. Whether the quotations
express popular opinion or not is irrelevant.
The point of the entire matter is that the Oslo and Wye River agreements
refer to the nature of official policy that the PA undertook to disseminate
among the Palestinian Arabs in its territory through official media. Among
these media are included the textbooks used in the schools, the radio,
television and newspapers. These media are under direct control of
government agencies in the PA, they are not privately owned corporations
that enjoy protection under a bill of rights or any other law. What they
express is government policy, not personal opinion. No one would assert that
every citizen of Israel loves the Palestinian Arabs. I would venture to
guess that not many Jews in Israel entertain illusions about the feelings of
the Arabs in the Palestinian Authority for the Jews. Yet, investigators
would search in vain in official publications in Israel and/or of the Israel
government, for any expression of hostility toward Arabs anywhere, of the
kind found in the schoolbooks of the PA. The assertion made by Abu Ayyash
that the television is a reflection of popular sentiments, is a transparent
attempt to deny responsibility for what is published and broadcast in the
name of the Palestinian Authority. That and other attempts to avoid the
truth cannot obscure the basic fact that the Palestinian Authority's own
"educational" doctrine allows for no room in the territory known before 1948
as Palestine, and now known as Israel and the territories of the Palestinian
Authority, for the Jews and Palestinian Arabs to live side by side without
expecting perpetual warfare.
Israel's Educational Policy Regarding the Palestinians Following the Oslo
Israel's official educational policy never sought to indoctrinate children
with any ideology that expressed animosity toward any nation or religion,
the Arabs and Islam included. However, I leave that subject for others to
investigate and to report their findings as they see them. Here I will
concentrate on Israel's official educational policy immediately following
the Oslo accords. Israel (population just over 6 million) has a centralized
educational system controlled by one Ministry of Education. The executive
director of the Ministry regularly issues a circular setting policy on a
wide variety of topics for all of the schools in the nation. This circular
is to be found in every school and in the hands of each and every school
principal. Some of the guidelines for behavior appearing in this circular
are in the form of suggestions regarding which school principals retain a
degree of discretion as to their adoption. Other provisions are in the form
of requirements that the principal is legally bound to implement. Every year
a topic is determined by the Ministry called "The Central Topic" about which
a special circular is issued. All schools are asked to discuss that topic
throughout the year with the students, often during a particular class
session called "the educator's hour" or "the social hour", by which is meant
one hour during a week devoted to a topic affecting society at large. Often,
though not always, it is "The Central Topic".
In May 1994, the executive director of the Israel Ministry of Education
issued a circular entitled "The Central Topic for 1995: 'The Peace Process -
Israel in the Middle East', General Guidelines" (Executive Director's
Special Circular, 1994). Similar topics, such as "Democracy" and "Respect
for Others", were announced for succeeding years. These circulars are in the
public domain and available in Israel's main libraries for anyone to read,
as well as in all of the schools. A short overview of the general direction
and tenor of this particular (1994) circular follows, including several
Peace is a broad topic, but the primary purpose of proclaiming this subject
as the year's "Central Topic" is to undertake an in-depth discussion and
exploration of the process of achieving peace with the Palestinians and with
the Arab nations. What will Israel and the Middle East look like in an era
of peace? In these discussions, care must be taken to distinguish between
the Arabs of Israel (i. e. Arab citizens of Israel), Palestinian Arabs, and
the Arabs of each and every Arab nation surrounding Israel and with whom
there are now, or will be in the future, negotiations for achieving a peace
agreement. The achievement of such agreements is to be presented as an
existential need and goal of Israel. Students should understand that
disagreements between Israel and the Arab nations are legitimate.
The overriding goal is to cultivate a tolerant citizen, aware of the values
of peace, sensitive, attentive, involved, knowledgeable and one with a
political perspective that is supported by well-grounded reasoning, one who
can conduct a cultured dialogue with those who disagree with his/her
perspective, and to develop empathy and understanding, without necessarily
reaching agreement, for those with different ideas. (p. 8).
The circular goes on to explain to teachers the need for emphasizing the
benefits of peace to both Arabs and Israel from social, economic and
cultural points of view. Teachers should emphasize the democratic aspects of
the peace process, such as accepting the decision of the majority of the
population regarding peace, the need for expressing dissent through accepted
channels only, the basic rights of each and every person, etc. Israel has
begun a process of peace negotiations with groups that thus far have been
its sworn enemies. That process could possibly change the political status
quo that prevailed in the region heretofore.
Teachers and students alike are undergoing change that is necessary for
adapting to the new situation. In particular, students must learn to accept
the need for political compromises, and to appreciate the need for
"empathy . . . toward the Arabs with whom Israel is negotiating peace". (p. 11).
"There is an objective difficulty in the degree to which Israelis are
prepared to establish close relations with Arabs and to trust
them." (p. 13). Teachers must help students overcome such difficulties after
years of war and terrorism.
This summary of Israel's official educational response to the Oslo agreement
conveys the depth of the chasm between the official educational policies of
the Palestinian Authority and of Israel. Obviously the two policies derive
from totally different belief systems, as well as reflecting fundamentally
incompatible intentions as far as the nature of peace between Arabs and Jews
is concerned. This state of affairs begs the question: How long can this
asymmetrical set of expectations persist? How long can the Israel public
maintain its striving for rapprochement with the Palestinian Arabs in the
face of such brute hatred and rejection? Will the Arab media really change
their attitudes and depiction of Jews and Israel? Some social-science
investigators in Israel claim that stereotypes of Arabs found in children's
literature in Israel theoretically could ultimately lead to violence against
Arabs. These researchers are curiously silent about the presence and effects
of relentless and flagrant incitement of Arab children and youth by the
Palestinian Authority and by various Arab nations to mercilessly slaughter
Jews. Will the political socialization of children and propaganda among the
adult population continue as it is now, while Israel will be expected to
ignore these facts and pursue a unilateral policy of peace (which, of
course, is a contradiction in terms)? It seems that Israel is being
browbeaten into submission by the Western powers upon whom Israel relies for
its survival, and who are largely indifferent to the price Israel pays now,
and will pay in the future, for these agreements with the Palestinian Arabsn
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"Peace Now" Delegation Visits with Arafat
Senior Correspondent, Yediot Aharonot
At 11:30 a.m. yesterday, an assistant to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat came into his office in Gaza, carrying a small note. Arafat, without glasses, carefully read the note. Then he turned the note over and placed it on the table. He did not want the contents of the note, regarding the death of the Romanian workers at the Kissufim border crossing, to cast a shadow on the meeting with the four Meretz MKs which was then in session.
Yesterday was a full day for Arafat in terms of Israeli issues. In the
morning, he spoke with Yossi Beilin, and discussed the phrasing of a joint
Israeli-Palestinian position paper, of Beilin's school of thought.
After Beilin, the Meretz MKs arrived: Avshalom Vilan, Anat Maor, Mossi
Raz and Hosniya Jabarra. Yisraela Porush, the secretary of the kibbutz of
Nahal Oz which was recently hit by mortar shells, joined the meeting, as
"The Israelis are making me tired," complained Arafat. "I didn't sleep
last night. I'd finished working in my office at 1:00 a.m. and had just
returned home when the phone was already ringing. Mohammed Dahlan was on
the other end of the line and he told me of the Israeli shelling on Rafah.
This was after 48 hours without Palestinian shooting, and suddenly, an
Twenty minutes after the Meretz MKs left, along with me, the time had
come for a message from Sharon which took the form of a missile attack on
the building of the general security forces and Fatah headquarters in Gaza.
I got an urgent phone call from Brig. Gen. Usama Ali, the chairman of
the High Commission for Security Coordination in Gaza. "I'm phoning you so
that you can hear the missiles exploding," he yelled. "This craziness,
shelling in broad daylight! Without warning! This is crazy."
Arafat is in distress. The economic situation is difficult. "It has been
nine months that Israel hasn't released the monies owed us. With what am I
supposed to pay Nabil, Nabil and Nabil," he asked, referring to the three
"Nabils" sitting beside him, Nabil Shaath, Nabil Abu Rudeineh and Nabil Amar.
He is also in diplomatic distress. "I am looking for any way to save the
peace process," he claimed. "We have to work hard together to stop the
violence. I sent Saeb Erekat and Nabil Shaath to meet Shimon Peres. They
talked and talked, and finally Peres said, 'I have no mandate,' and the
talks were stopped. Now the Egyptian-Jordanian proposal is on the table.
Also the Mitchell Committee Report is on the table. I'm prepared to begin
the negotiations anywhere - in Washington, the Security Council, Sharm
el-Sheikh, Paris or Rome. We have to move forward.
Yisraela Porush reminded Arafat: "You are firing mortars at my house,
and I've still come to talk about peace."
Hearing this, he jumped up from his seat: "We are firing mortars? The
people who are firing are the people that Yitzhak Shamir, your former prime
minister, trained, gave them power, gave them weapons." He did not say the
name Hamas explicitly, but it was clear he was referring to that
organization: "They are firing, and now they continue to get arms and money
Yisraela Porush kept at it: "So how do we get out of this vicious
circle? This is like kindergarten, each one blaming the next one."
Instead of an answer, Arafat chose a defensive tack: "Shells were also
fired at my house."
Porush was still not convinced: "Mr. President, God has given you the
key to peace. What are you doing with the key?" And Arafat answered
evasively: "I can't find the door."
The visitors would not let up. "And still, how can the shooting be
stopped?" asked MK Vilan. "Go ask Amnon Shahak," answered Arafat. "He sat
here with me in Gaza , we decided how to stop the shooting, how to stop all
the provocations. And then Sharon came. He, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Shaul
Mofaz and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer admitted they gave a free
hand to the commanders of the sectors to operate and initiate operations."
"I want to ask the Israelis," added Arafat, and requested that I take
this down: "Would you be prepared for me to give my officers a free hand to
operate? I didn't and I won't give such instructions, because it's dangerous."
This answer did not satisfy Anat Maor who asked: "Children are being
killed, babies in Khan Yunis and children in Tekoa. The violence must be
stopped." And then Arafat got angry and claimed with regard to the Tekoa
murder: "Israel has officially notified us that it has not yet been proven
that this is a terrorist act and that it is possible it was criminal
He also shook off the Katyusha boat captured by the Navy earlier this
week. "This is not a good sign for the future," he said. "This was the
initiative not only of Syria, but of other Islamic countries as well. We
have to stop these phenomena at once, otherwise the whole region will be
Arafat concluded and left the stage for his assistants sitting beside
him in the room. Mohammed Dahlan, Head of Preventive Security Service in
Gaza said: "Two or three days ago, we wanted to get the mortar operators
out of the field, but your regiment commanders didn't agree. They wanted to
do the job themselves."
The cabinet secretary of the Palestinian parliament, Ahmed Abdul Rahman
said: "With Sharon and Uzi Landau one can't make peace. Seven ministers in
Sharon's cabinet said Arafat is a terrorist and should be killed. What
peace are you talking about? You want two countries - the State of Israel
and a state for the settlers. In Netzarim for example there are only 26
families." Arafat was quick to correct him: "Nine, only nine families," he
said and held up nine fingers
And Dahlan did not hesitate to declare: "I will not arrest even one
Hamas man as long as the construction continues in the settlements. I once
fought Palestinians to protect people like you, now I'm not ready to do so
This article appeared in Yediot Aharonot
on May 12, 2001
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Fatah Tanzim Terrorize Palestinian Arab Citizens in Bethlehem and Beit Jalah
Dr. Aaron Lerner
Israel Radio reported today that Israeli security sources say Palestinian Arabs living in Bethlehem and Beit Jalah are so frustrated with the reign of
terror they are subjected to by Yasser Arafat's Fatah Tanzim that they are
providing Israel with information so that they might be stopped from
The Palestinians are not just concerned about the return fire that Tanzim
attacks draw to Palestinian neighborhoods, they also complain of Tanzim
violence against their own community.
Recently a local Palestinian girl was raped by Tanzim members in the Tanzim'
s club in Beit Jalah. The girl's family slaughtered her since the rape
defamed the family. No action was taken against the rapists.
The report also noted that Tanzim collects protection money from local
businesses. They also get payments from the PA for attacks against Israeli
targets. The reporter observed that while Arafat may not be able to
instantly halt Tanzim attacks, his control on the purse strings that PAY for
the attacks enable him to put a halt on the action within a short period of
time if he wants to.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director
This appeared on the May 16th, 2001 internet edition of "IMRA" at
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
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