Israel Resource Review 22nd October, 2004


World Bank Plans to Transfer all Assets of Katif to the PLO
David Bedein

Giora Eiland, head of the Israel National Security Council, appeared at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee on Monday and was reported to have stated that Israel will hand over assets of the Israeli communities in Gaza to an international institution.

However, Israel Resource News Agency obtained a Israel government funded policy paper of that "international institution" , known as the World Bank, where that institution openly states that it intends to transfer assets of Gush Katif to the Palestinian Authority, without any requirement that the PA not engage in terrorism.

This is what the government of Israel decided on June 6, 2004, in clause 7 of the Sharon plan::

"The State of Israel will aspire to transfer other facilities, including industrial, commercial and agricultural ones, to a third, international party which will put them to use for the benefit of the Palestinian population that is not involved in terror"

However, in the monograph that was prepared for the World Bank at the request of the government of Israel, in coordination with the PA, entitled "Disengagement, "Palestinian Economy and the Settlements and issued by The World Bank", and issued on June 23, 2004, and signed by James Wolfenson, the President of the World Bank, the World Bank eliminates the phrase "not involved in terror" and explains "the State of Israel will aspire to transfer other structures, such as industrial and agricultural facilities, to an international third party that will use them for the benefit of the Palestinian population."

In other words, with the commission of the Israeli government and in violation of a specific Israeli cabinet , the World Bank states that it intends to hand over assets to the PA without the anti-terror clause.

Clause One of the Sharon Plan defines the PA as a hostile entity, yet Sharon intends to hand over assets to that same hostile entity.

Itamar Yaar, a senior official of the Israel National Security Council, said to me in a telephone interview that this report of the World Bank is not the final version of their report.

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Early Childhood Indoctrination to Hate Jews
A Review of the New Palestinian Authority School Books
Israel Resource News Agency Staff Review

Well, Palestinian Arab children are in the midst of their sixth week of the school year. These school children are learning from new Palestinian Authority school books, made possible through grants made possible by US AID, CIDA of Canada and special grants from EU countries made available for educational institutions that operate in the Palestinian Authority.

This week, the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, an agency that monitors expression of peace and reconciliation in all educational systems of the Middle East, acting under the mandate of UNESCO that encourages education for peace and reconciliation, provided translations of the new Palestinian Authority school books at a press conference in Jerusalem, and published their findings at

In the new schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority, no Jewish connection to the Holy Land is mentioned whatsoever. Indeed, Jews are only referred to in the context of their wars with Prophet Muhammad, where they are depicted in an unfavorable light, as violators of a treaty they had signed with him and as "employers of trickery". And the 5.5 million Jewish citizens of Israel are not even counted in the population figures of the new Palestinian geography schoolbook that covers all of the Holy Land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

There is a single historic reference in the new Palestinian school books to the role of Jews in "early Palestinian history" - as the people who killed Christ.

At the same time, the new Palestinian Authority textbooks somehow transform the Canaanites and Jebusites of Biblical times into Palestinian Arabs, generations before Ishmael, the primordial ancestor of the Arabs was born, and many more generations before the Muslim conquest ever occurred.

In terms of how the new Palestinian school books define the state of Israel, the Jewish state appears nowhere on the maps in the new PA school books, while series of three maps in the Palestinian Authority history atlas which show the "Jewish Zone" in the 1937 Partition Plan, the 1947 Partition Resolution and the 1949 armistice lines.

However, Palestinian children learn from their new schoolbooks that the Palestinian Arab entity is the sovereign state in the region, encompassing Israeli regions, cities and sites which are presented as part of the Palestinian Arab State. Israeli territory is referred to as "the lands of 1948" or "the Green Line"

The new Palestinian school books describe the Middle East conflict as "a confrontation between "Zionism backed by Imperialism" - and its victims - the Palestinians. Not one word is mentioned in these new textbooks about the UN Partition Resolution of 1947 or about the invasion of the nascent state of Israel by seven Arab nations on the day of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948.

And how do the new textbooks of the Palestinian Authority explain the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948 to a new generation of Palestinian Youth? As nothing less than the "outcome of a premeditated plan by Zionism and British Imperialism to expel the Palestinian Arabs from their land". The new Palestinian textbooks suggest only one solution to their plight" the return of the refugees (or, rather, their descendants) to their former homes inside today's Israel.

Jerusalem is presented by the new Palestinian Authority as an Arab city from time immemorial. Its Jebusite founders are Arabized and the Israelite or Jewish historical ties to this city, both national and religious, are not mentioned. Jerusalem is declared to be the capital of Palestine.

Jihad and martyrdom are still exalted as ideals, though to some lesser extent than in the earlier books. Individual Palestinian terrorists who were killed in the act of terror are defined as martyrs and prisoners-of-war, and praised in the new Palestinian textbooks as role models for the Palestinian youngster to emulate.

Perhaps what is most worrisome about the new textbooks of the Palestinian Authority is that the western democracies are funding them - the first school system since the Third Reich to inculcate Children to make war on the Jews.

Not only are Western democracies funding the new Palestinian school system. Jewish organizations in the US and Canada and throughout Western Europe encourage their respective countries to aid Palestinian Authority education. Despite wishful thinking that the Palestinian education would change for the better, the brand new Palestinian school books convey another impression entirely.

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Israel plans fast-track anti-missile project
Middle East News Line exclusive

TEL AVIV [MENL] -- Israel has been examining the feasibility of a fast-track project to develop a system that could protect communities from short-range missile and rocket attacks.

Officials said the Defense Ministry has sought options for the fast-track development of a system that could intercept Palestinian Kassam-class short-range missiles as well as Hizbullah surface-to-surface rockets. They said the ministry would spend at least 50 million shekels, or $11 million, to determine the feasibility of short-range missile defense before deciding whether to advance to the engineering and development stage.

The ministry's decision, officials said, marked an acknowledgement that Israel could not count on the near-term development of a laser-based anti-missile system. Officials said the Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser, developed jointly by Israel and the United States, would not be completed before 2010.

Officials said the ministry has issued requests for proposals from several Israeli defense contractors for an interim solution to the Kassam threat. The Israeli city of Sderot has been the main target for Kassam gunners in the northern Gaza Strip.

"I don't want to delude Sderot residents or any other Israeli citizen," Defense Ministry director-general Amos Yaron said. "The Israeli defense establishment has not made any breakthrough toward the interception of Kassam missiles during flight, and there is no intention to invest astronomical sums in the technology that would not lead to such a breakthrough."

The ministry expects the defense firms to submit proposals by November. Officials said this would be followed by the drafting and submission of ministry requirements for the proposed system.

Officials said the focus would be on the development of a battery that could detect Kassam launches and fire a small and inexpensive projectile to destroy the missile. They said the solution would seek to utilize existing military assets, including artillery systems, or technology from the Arrow-2 missile defense system.

"The good news is that the Kassam is a slow-moving missile," an official said. "The bad news is that it is also small and hard to hit through kinetic means."

In September 2003, the Defense Ministry approached Israeli defense contractors for proposals to counter the Kassam threat. So far, the ministry has allocated funding to Rafael, Israel Armament Development Authority for a system to detect and provide an alert of Kassam launches. The system, deployed in Sderot, was said to have provided civilians with warning of up to 20 seconds of a Kassam landing.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has sought to resolve the Kassam threat by September 2005, when Israel plans to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. Officials said Mofaz was prepared to request more than $100 million for a short-range missile and rocket defense system that could also be deployed against Hizbullah along the northern border with Lebanon.

Oded Amihai, an Israeli physicist and a former Rafael employee, has recommended that the Defense Ministry utilize a THEL prototype developed by Israel and the United States in the late 1990s. In 2001, Israel's military rejected the system because it was too large for operational use.

In a letter to Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Yuval Steinitz, Amihai said THEL represented a near-term solution to the Kassam threat. He cited the THEL's interception of artillery, mortars and Katyusha rockets in tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and said that within months the system could be modified to intercept Kassams.

US Congress has approved a $46.5 million allocation for the development of the mobile, or M-THEL, in fiscal 2005.

"The defense establishment is leading us down the wrong path, while a preferred solution is within reach," the letter said. "I find it very strange that despite the Israeli investment of more than $2 billion in the Arrow system, the defense establishment hesitates to participate in the U.S. Army's attempt to turn the Nautilus [Israel's name for the THEL] into an operational mobile weapons system. This, while Israel has no solution against the Kassams or Hizbullah's long-range rockets."

But in an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz on October 19, Yaron ruled out the THEL option. He said Israel has invested $7 million a year in M-THEL, adding that this figure would not be increased.

"There is a still a long way until the system would become operational," Yaron said. "There is no deadline for the project. And even if this system becomes operational, I would not guarantee that it will be able to intercept Kassams."

This ran in the October 22nd issue of the Middle East News Line. To inquire about a subscrption to Middle East News Line, write:

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Open Letter from ZOA to Knesset Members:
ZOA Press Office

NEW YORK- In an appeal to Israeli Knesset Members in advance of next week's vote on the Gaza retreat plan, the Zionist Organization of America has reminded them that there is no evidence the United States will stop supporting Israel if the Gaza retreat plan is rejected.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:

"As an organization that is active on Capitol Hill and has close relationships with numerous members of the administration and Congress, it is our duty to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on how U.S.-Israel relations could be affected by the Gaza retreat plan.

"Some supporters of unilateral retreat have attempted to frighten the Israeli public by claiming that the United States will abandon Israel if it fails to retreat from Gaza. There is no evidence that any such thing will happen. Your final decision on this issue dare not be based on misinformation.

"President Bush, the Congress, and the overwhelming majority of Americans - according to all polls - strongly support Israel, even when there is occasional disagreement about a specific policy. Some prominent members of the House and Senate have even said privately that they cannot understand how Israel could make major concessions to the enemy in the midst of a terrorist war. The Knesset does not need to endorse unilateral retreat from Gaza and transfer of its 8,300 Jewish residents in order to maintain American support."

The ZOA pointed out that according to a new poll, only 15% of Israelis believe that the United States will "greatly reduce" its support for Israel if the retreat plan is not implemented.

The ZOA-commissioned poll was taken on October 18 and 19, 2004 by Israel's leading pollster, Hanoch Smith of the Smith Research Institute, and questioned a scientific sample of 500 Israeli Jewish adults.

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

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Poll: Most of the israeli public thinks Sharon has no mandate for disengagement
Hagai Huberman
Correspondent, Hatzofeh

Most of the Israeli public thinks that the prime minister has no mandate to carry out the disengagement plan and ought to obtain authorization by means of referendum before doing so.

This emerges from a poll conducted by Hanoch and Rafi Smith, with a representative sample of the Jewish population on October 18th and 19th.

The poll was commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America.

Question: "To what extent do you agree or disagree with the premise that since the Likud won the elections with a platform which opposed unilateral evacuation of settlements, the prime minister has no mandate to implement the disengagement plan, and it should be submitted to a referendum, or new elections should be held?

Answer: Of the entire sample, 34% said "I very much agree"; 18% said "I agree pretty well"; 11% said: "I don't agree so much"; 33% said: "I don't agree"; and 4% said they had no opinion on the question. According to the poll, 52% of the public agree, or pretty well agree that Sharon has no mandate and has to go back to the people for a decision.

Question: Some people maintain that the disengagement plan may be implemented only if a referendum shows that a majority of the public support it, while others hold that if a majority in the Knesset supports the plan, there is no need for a referendum. Which view is more acceptable to you?

Answer: 57% majority said the disengagement plan should be implemented only if it receives a majority in a referendum. Only 39% said the disengagement plan may be implemented if a majority in the Knesset supports it.

On the question of how big a majority was required in the referendum, opinions were divided almost evenly, although those who thought a special majority was necessary had a slight lead. 47% said a simple majority was sufficient; 48% said a majority of 65% would be needed.

The sample consisted of 500 adults. It was a representative sample of the Jewish population over the age of 18. [Hatzofeh did not mention the margin of error].

The poll also shows that only 35% of Likud voters in the last election never even conceived of the idea that the Likud might carry out a unilateral withdrawal, although a majority of the Likud voters - 56% - said they would have voted Likud anyway, even if they had known this. On the other hand, 37% of the Likud voters said they would not have voted Likud if they had known about the disengagement plan in advance.

It emerges that the public does not believe that the disengagement will improve Israel's situation. Only 28% believe that the disengagement will enhance Israel's ability to withstand international pressure, while 26% think the withdrawal will diminish Israel's ability in this respect, and 36% think it will neither enhance it nor decrease it.

Only 24% believe that after the withdrawal, the firing of Kassam rockets at Sderot will diminish, while 66% believe it will remain at the present level or even increase. 42% believe that after the withdrawal the chances that Kassam rockets will reach Ashkelon, Ashdod or even central Israel, will increase.

Only 24% believe that after the withdrawal acts of terrorism will decrease, while 70% think their number will be unchanged or will even increase. 35% think there will be more acts of terrorism and a similar percentage think there will be no change in the number of terrorist attacks.

If the disengagement is not carried out, only 15% of the sample thought that the United States would reduce its support for Israel to a significant degree, while 75% think it will be reduced to a certain extent or not at all.

The poll also shows a large decline in support for the coalition parties. Support for the Likud has dropped from 28% to a mere 17%; for Shinui from 11% to 4%, and for the National Religious Party from 4% to 1%.

Support for the Labor party has also dropped from 15% to 9%.

This article ran in HaTzofeh on October 22nd, and was designed by IMRA, and commissioned, as mentioned in the article, by the ZOA.

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A Great Leap Sideways
Joel Fishman
Columnist, Makor Rishon

Last week witnessed an unanticipated level and intensity of violence. It was reported that in ten days, 11 Israelis died at hands of Palestinian terrorists - 7 servicemen, 4 civilians. Nine of 11 were victims of escalating Gaza Strip terror offensive against both sides of border, including 2 Israeli infants struck by Qassam missile in Sderot [Debka website 2.10.04]. More recently, the IDF has returned in force to northern Gaza. If one is seeking the official explanation for Israel's more recent military actions, it is to assure the orderly evacuation of Kush Katif and to prevent the national humiliation that resulted from Ehud Barak's hasty and disorderly retreat from the security zone in southern Lebanon at the end of May 2000. The Arab world viewed this retreat from as an indication of weakness, and this debacle was one factor which at the end of September 2000 influenced Yasir Arafat to begin the Second Armed Uprising.

When we consider the potential for ugliness, one of the questions we should be asking is how effective will Disengagement be in bringing peace and security for Israeli citizens. Since there has not been an extensive public discussion of the subject, it may be worthwhile to examine some of the basic premises behind Prime Minister Sharon's main idea. Let us go to the sources. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon published his thoughts on the subject in a number of interviews. For example, he stated in a remarkable conversation with William Safire (New York Times, 16 April 2004) that, "Back in November so many plans were around, from the Saudis, from Geneva, from the Arab League, and I saw we could not resist those pressures without a plan of our own…. What could I do - destroy the Palestinian Authority? No - Israel cannot take on its shoulders the lives of three and a half million Palestinians." He then said literally, "I discussed this between me and myself and came up with a new initiative." What is noteworthy about this first person statement is that Sharon, in identifying his strategic goal, chose an improvised half-measure. He rejected the option of breaking the PA, which is probably the only way for Israel to win the war being waged against it. Noteworthy is the manner in which he carried out this discussion (with himself).

Sharon's basic idea is that Israel should break the stalemate and go forward without the Palestinians. His logic may be orderly, but the premise upon which he based it is faulty, so therefore the end result cannot be valid. There is absolutely no proof that the demise of the Palestinian Authority would make Palestinians dependent on Israel, any more that after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 the citizens of Russia became the responsibility of the United States. Sharon, in fact, repeated the same claim in his new year's interview the Jerusalem Post of 10 September 2004 where said, "I thought that it would be a mistake [to dismantle the Palestinian Authority], because that would mean Israel taking upon itself the responsibility for the welfare, jobs, education and health of more than three million Palestinians. I thought that would be a mistake; Israel cannot take this upon itself." It should also be noted that following this rationalization, one the advocates of Disengagement promoted the plan as the best way of assuring democracy in Israel. As if it were possible to preserve democracy by carrying out a scheme which does not have democratic legitimacy. If the truth be told, the Palestinians want to have as little to do with us as we would with them, and the situation which Sharon would have us reject in fear is highly hypothetical.

There is one other unstated element in Sharon's train of thought which has been tested and failed. The late Yitzhak Rabin also made this mistake by assuming that what happens within Palestinian society is really of no interest to Israel. Natan Sharansky described the pervasive belief at the time of the signing of the Oslo accords in 1992 that the undemocratic nature of Arafat's regime would serve Israel's interests, because it would be a crucial asset against terror. Sharansky reported that "Prime Minister Rabin coined the phrase that chillingly summed up the government's entire approach: 'Arafat would deal with the terrorists,' he said, 'without a Supreme Court, without Betselem and without all kinds of bleeding heart liberals.'" [JINSA Summer, 2001].

Honest historians must also remember that this part of the Rabin Legacy was not only shortsighted, it was also immoral, because Israel - like America - should be on the side of those Palestinians who wish to live in a society ruled by laws, enjoy basic human rights, and choose their leaders through fair elections. It was this public that Yithzak Rabin abandoned as did Prime Minister Sharon. Further, if one wishes to speak about real responsibility, and not that of a straw man argument, maybe Israel (along with the European Union and the United States) has some moral responsibility to set right an injustice which resulted when when recognized Yasir Arafat as "the sole representative of the Palestinian People." From what we can gather from the news, it may be understood that Mohammad Dahlan, instead of Arafat will become Israel's contractor in Gaza, and one of the few institutions to be provided for southern Gaza will be a casino. There is no doubt that Dahlan is no more committed to combating terror against Israel than is Arafat.

The fact is that the well being of our neighbors must be a matter of some concern to anyone interested in the security of Israel. If Sharon really wishes to avoid Palestinian dependency, he should want them to be able to run their own affairs, so that they will not need Israel's help or that of interested parties who are looking to gain a foothold in Israel's backyard. And besides, Israel, if it has any plans of being a great country, must have a much more compelling argument than wanting to be left alone so that it can do good business and live comfortably.

Without an idea that offers a political solution, it may be possible to win every battle and eliminate nearly every terrorist and still not win. There is a need for an alternative political solution, and this could well come as a result of encouraging the development of democracy on the other side. If the civilians on the other side replace the Palestinian Authority with the institutions of democratic self-government, this will advance the prospects of real stability. There is a need for a major political incentive which can fortify those on the Palestinian side who want democracy and the rule of law, and we should not block this option. For Israel to win, it is necessary to end the existence of the PA. This means eliminating the engineers, the makers of bombs, the drivers, the lookouts, the terrorists who set the detonators, as well as the people who provide the training, the arms, intelligence information, communications, money, the safe houses, forged documents and planning -- in other words, dismantling the infrastructure which is the raison d'etre of the Palestinian Authority.

Israel is fighting a defensive war against an enemy, waging a revolutionary war on the ground and in the world media, whose sole objective is bring about its destruction. Our government should be seeking a long-term strategic solution to this problem instead of squandering its human and material resources in quest of improvised half-measures whose benefit, if at all, can only be ephemeral.

This piece ran in Makor Rishon, October 8th, 2004

Dr. Joel S. Fishman is an Associate of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

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IDF Website Indicates that a Senior Hamas Operative Benefited from Immunity in the hands of the PA Security Services

A Senior Hamas terrorist, responsible for the developing and the production of Qassam rockets killed in Gaza City. In an Israeli security forces operation in Gaza City, this evening (Thursday), October 21, 2004, the IAF targeted the terrorist Ednan Al Ghoul, a senior Hamas leader.

The terrorist Ednan Al Ghoul was the leading Hamas figure responsible for the developing and the production of the Qassam rockets.

Ednan Al Ghoul knowledge was used to manufacture explosive devices for deadly terrorist attacks against Israeli targets in which dozens of Israelis were murdered and hundreds were injured. He produced the explosive device that was use in the terrorist attack on January 1995 in Beit lid, and the explosive device that was used in the terrorist attack on March 1996 in Dizengoff Street, Tel- Aviv.

Since the beginning of the current conflict on September 2000, El Ghoul was responsible for the manufacturing of the Hamas weaponry in the Gaza strip. He was among those responsible for developing and producing the Qassam 1 and the Qassam 2 rockets. In addition, he was working to produce new anti tank and anti aircraft weaponry.

The terrorist Ednan Al Ghoul also guided Hamas terrorists in carrying out attacks aimed at IDF forces in the Gaza strip.

As Al Ghoul joined the Palestinian penetrative security service he, enjoyed full immunity from the Palestinian security apparatus, and operated in coordination with senior Palestinian security officials.

The IDF is determined to protect Israeli citizens and IDF forces by operating against any group or individual that carries out terrorist activity or supports it.

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