|Israel Resource Review
||04th October, 2000
Sending children to die on the front-line of battle. From Golda to Gaza
"We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children"- GOLDA MEIR, 1972
During my first year in Israel, 30 years ago, Golda Meir was the Prime
Minister. I remember the affection that I had for her. After all, her
American accent was thicker than mine. Yet there was another reason
for that affection. Golda had a way of saying things about Israel's predicament on the international scene that no one else seemed capable of conveying.
I cannot forget the only time that I ever met Golda in person.
Golda held a meeting with students at the WZO conference in 1972.
She told us that she was filled with hope that our generation would
be one that would live in peace and reconciliation with our Arab neighbors.
Golda then coined a phrase that would reverberate in Zionist circles for
years to come.
Responding to a question about whether she had any regrets and second thoughts as a Zionist, Golda shed what seemed to be a genuine tear, hesitated for a moment, and then said, in a soft, choking voice, that...
"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children"
How appropriate Golda's comment would have been this week, when pictures of
a dying 12 year old Arab boy flashed on TV screens around the world.
That boy was the product of the new school system of the Palestine National Authority Ministry of Education.
When you read the fifth grade Arabic language primer that is being taught in PA schools, a ten year old Palestinian Arab pupil is treated to a special sixteen page section of the primer that details the command for every Palestinian Arab child to engage in a Jihad to wipe the Jews out of Palestine, out of all of Palestine. In case the child did not get the message from the words in the book, the final page of the primer shows the final Arab military assault on Palestine. And the primer explains that a child who dies in the fight to liberate Palestine will become a "Shahada", a martyr, and enter the world to come.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported on a front page feature on August 3, 2000, Arafat had delegated more than 25,000 children to spend the summer in special military training camps where children from ages 8 to 16 were trained in the art of guerrilla warfare, with the aim of engaging
thousands of Palestinian Arab youth in a Jihad to liberate Jerusalem. These
children were taught how to make firebombs, lay ambushes, while practicing the killing
of Israeli civilians and soldiers alike.
At their summer camp, these children were also taught the role that Palestinian Arab children had played in the glories of recent Palestinian history - the role that the RPG ids had played in fighting Israeli troops in Lebanon in the early 1980's, when the PLO had made it a point to distribute small, lethal weapons for Palestinian Arab youngsters to fire at Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers at short range.
The technique was simple. A few seemingly innocent Arab children would stand in the way of Israeli troops, seeming to pose no threat.
And then they would fire deadly RPG missiles at point blank range.
Palestinian children also learned about the role that they played
during the Intifada in the late 1980's and early 1990's when the PLO relegated alestinian with the role of "strategic stone-throwers".
As Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab described in his seminal piece in the Journal of Palestine Studies in February, 1988, Palestinian children in each age category were each given a different role to play in stone-throwing. Kuttab described the public relations effect that the PLO would gain
from children casualties that would result from the riots.
So there you have it. If more Arab children die in riots, 250 news
agencies from around the world will film the death of these Arab children.
And PLO crocodile tears will spill all over the media.
Golda's admonition would have been more appropriate for the real anger that should be expressed when the PLO dispatches children to die in the line of fire:
"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children"
A note of interest: the UN has passed six unanimous resolutions that forbid the use of children as combatants in war. As a result, UNICEF mentions this in the INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD.
On October 2, 2000, after three days in which Israeli Arab leaders had dispatched their children to the front lines of riots, the Maariv newspaper reported that The Israel Association for the Welfare of the Child, well known for its leading role in the fight against child abuse in Israel, had issued a public appeal to the Israeli Arab community leadership in which it demanded that Israeli Arab citizens take their children out of the riots.
The writer is the bureau chief of israel resource news agency
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Text of Letter Sent by Likud Leader Ariel Sharon to US Sec'y of State Madalyn Albright
MK Ariel Sharon
Her Excellency Mrs. Madelaine Allbright
Secretary of State
The State Dept.
Monday October 2, 20000
Dear Secretarv Allbright:
I deeply regret, and I find it totally unacceptable that your
spokesman was quick to make a false statement that my visit to The
Temple Mount "may have caused tension," insinuating that it ignited
the riots and disturbances in Jerusalem that spread to Judea, Samaria
and Gaza and later, to Israel itself.
I find it most regrettable and disturbing that your spokesman has
been swayed by slanderous propaganda on the part of the Palestinian
leaders and media, intended to put pressure on Israel and the US to
make additional concessions in the negotiations, under threat of
violence if their demands are not met.
I have expressed my concern and regret at the widespread violence and
the senseless loss of lives and injuries on both sides. But it must
be clearly understood that it wasn't my visit to The Temple Mount the
holiest site for Jews and under full Israeli sovereignty - that
ignited the current outbreak of violence.
Israel's Security Establishment has publicly presented its
conclusions that the violent riots and armed confrontations, are part
of a premeditated and organized campaign initiated by the Palestinian
Authority (P.A.). This campaign began over ten days ago in the
Netzarim area in Gaza, starting with stone throwing and escalating to
the use of firearms and explosives against Israeli soldiers and
civilians travelling there,
These riots have spread out through the deliberate incitement (prior
to the visit) by the 'Tanzim' (the armed militia of Chairman
Arafat's Fatah organization). Last Friday Arafat instructed the
'Tanzim' to escalate the riots. Moreover, Palestinian Security
Chiefs have been directly involved in inciting the violence and in
ordering Palestinian Police to open fire on Israeli soldiers, Police
Arab Members of the Knesset (MKs) have contributed to and joined this
violent campaign by repeated incitement calling Arab Israelis as well
as Palestinians to resort to violence prior, during and after my
visit to The Temple Mount.
This is not the first time I'm visiting The Temple Mount. The
Inspector General of the Police has explained that the large Forces
which the Police deployed to safeguard the visit, were required due
to Palestinian threats prior to the visit to resort to large scale
violence in order to take control of the Western Wall area below The
I wish to emphasize, Mrs. Secretary, that Prime Minister Barak has
already stated very clearly that every Israeli citizen, be it Arab or
Jew, has a right to visit any place which is under Israeli
The united city of Jerusalem, which you are all very familiar with,
as well as The Temple Mount, are under full Israeli sovereignty.
Neither I, nor any Israeli citizen need to seek permission from the
PA or from any foreign entity to visit there or any other site which
is sovereign territory of the State of Israel.
As for myself, I wish to assure you that despite the recent violent
events I remain fully committed to achieving peace with all our Arab
neighbors including the Palestinians.
I believe we can reach peace, but it must be durable and real peace
based first and foremost on complete negation of violence.
Furthermore, it requires Arab Palestinian recognition and acceptance
of the historical inherent rights that Jews have on their land in
their undivided Capital Jerusalem and particularly sovereign rights
and free access to our most sacred site on The Temple Mount. This
right is granted and has only been safeguarded to every Israeli
citizen as well as visitors, regardless of race, creed or religion
since Israel united the city in 1967.
Ariel Sharon, Chairman
38 King George St. Tel Aviv 63298 ISRAEL
the writer has served as the minister of defence, foreign affairs and housing in the government of Israel
Tel. 972-3-5252925 Fax 972-3-5252932
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Did Major General Yaakov Or Fool Himself or Did the Israeli Government Fool Itself about the Damage of Arms Supplies to the PA?
By Amos Harel
Ha'aretz 3 October 2000
Major General Yaakov Or, the coordinator of government activities in the
territories, has invested the last three-and-a-half years in slowly and
carefully building up a broad network of contacts with the Palestinian
Authority. Or has met with everyone - often with Arafat himself, with senior
officials in the PA chair's office and his Fatah faction, merchants and
businessmen, the heads of the Palestinian security services and ministers in
the Palestinian cabinet.
These ties have helped Or to nurture an atmosphere of virtual normalization
in the relationship between the two sides. They have helped him solve
problems and remove bureaucratic obstacles. But first and foremost, these
ties were designed to help him "put out the fires" should Israelis and
Palestinians start shooting at each other.
Since the end of last week, Or has been watching his handiwork go down the
drain. This time, unlike during the Western Wall tunnel riots in 1996, the
cellular phones have at least remained open: Senior PA officials have
returned their Israeli colleagues' phone calls, yet verbal agreements were
Again and again, the Palestinians promised to stop the shooting, but failed
to honor their commitments. Or and other senior security officials gradually
began to suspect that Arafat is simply not interested in stopping the
violence just yet. On the one hand, he sends the heads of his security
services for talks with Israel; while on the other, he urges the Tanzim
leaders to continue the rioting.
The theory that Or marketed to several prime ministers and defense ministers
was that economic development would prevent violence. Joint projects,
industrial and commercial parks along the border between Israel and the PA,
even high-tech ventures would increase the cost of violence for the PA and
would cause many Palestinians to think twice before supporting a
confrontation with Israel.
At the same time, Or warned Barak several times that without real progress
in the talks with the Palestinians, an explosion could be expected. Barak
did offer concessions at Camp David. But this weekend, the explosion took
The IDF believes the events are a clever ploy devised by Arafat, exploiting
the opportunity presented to him by the visit of Likud Chairman Ariel Sharon
to the Temple Mount to focus the struggle of the Palestinians on the issue
Security sources, noting the presence of one of the heads of the PA security
services, Tawfiq Dirawi, on the Temple Mount on Friday, believe that Arafat
lit the fire, even if he is now having trouble controling the intensity of
The Palestinians reject this theory. They say that Arafat has no control
over what is happening, that he is simply being dragged along by the events
in the street and that the confrontation was brought on by a sense of
profound frustration and injustice over issues such as land, water, Israel's
use of military force and, more than anything else, Jerusalem.
Israeli security officials are having trouble deciphering the behavior of
the Palestinian street. Army officers, and intelligence experts in
particular, tend to see the events in an organized fashion: Someone is
issuing the orders and others are executing them.
Analysis of the Palestinian mood has been lacking, especially since most
Palestinians no longer live in territory controlled by Israel. On the other
hand, there is evidence to support Israel's assessment: the conversation
Arafat had with the heads of the Tanzim on Friday, in which he urged them to
escalate their demonstrations, the organized transport to demonstration
sites and the conspicuous involvement of Tanzim leaders and PA security
forces in some of the confrontations.
The heads of the PA security services, said Deputy Chief of Staff Major
General Moshe Ya'alon on Sunday, are caught between a rock and a hard place.
The IDF charges that Arafat is sending unclear instructions to Mohammed
Dahlan and Jibril Rajoub. And if the PA is truly going to war, Ya'alon said,
Dahlan and Rajoub have no interest in trying to calm the situation and
thereby appearing as collaborators with Israel.
On Saturday afternoon, Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz believed that he had
succeeded in extinguishing the fire. At a press conference in Beit El, the
military headquarters in the West Bank, Mofaz said he had spoken with Dahlan
and Rajoub and the three had agreed to make an effort to stop the fighting
at 4 P.M. A minute after Mofaz left the room, professional army officers
expressed grave doubts about the validity of the ceasefire agreement.
"Ten more funerals are still to come," said one. "There is no chance that
things will calm down."
In the end, the latter viewpoint turned out to be true. Dahlan was
infuriated by Mofaz's statement, which, in his opinion, painted Dahlan as a
"collaborator." He quickly issued a public statement declaring the chief of
staff a war criminal, in light of the firing of missiles at the Netzarim
Junction in Gaza, and said he would refuse to meet with Mofaz.
Early Sunday morning, Avi Dichter, head of the Shin Bet security services,
and Major General Yitzhak Eitan, GOC Central Command, met with Dahlan and
Rajoub in Ramallah. Arafat declined to attend. The Israelis were given the
impression that the Palestinians understood that the time had come to stop
the shooting. But their promises again came to naught. The Israelis feel
that Palestinian compliance with their requests is still minimal.
Last weekend forced a rude awakening from many illusions. The harsh
statements made by the commander of the northern police district, Alik Ron,
about Israeli Arabs suddenly took on a different character against the
background of the blockades of the Golani Junction and Wadi Ara, roads that
are intended to serve the IDF in the event of a war.
The open scorn displayed by ministers for the dangers of arming the
Palestinians also appears in a different light now: If this much damage can
be done with a few hundred firearms, how much damage could 40,000 rifles in
the hands of the PA cause? It is also difficult to see how the trust between
the security services of the two sides can be rebuilt or when Border
Policemen will again agree to participate in joint Israeli-Palestinian
A new picture has emerged both in the territories and inside the pre-1967
borders and it will be some time before we are able to put all the pieces of
the puzzle together.
the writer is a senior security correspondent for the Israeli daily newspaper, haaretz
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Arafat in Amman: No Need to Stop the Fighting
JERUSALEM [MENL--10/3/00] -- Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat arrived in Amman in a better mood than usual.
Arafat kissed both cheeks of Jordan's King Abdullah and then pulled the
monarch toward him and kissed his forehead. Later, the two men sat
down and Arafat reviewed a list of demands he wanted Abdullah to relay to
Israel and the United States.
In less than a week, Arafat has risen from being under the thumb of
Israel and the United States to an Arab hero -- leading the fight for
Palestinian rights in a battle that rages in Israel, the Palestinian
territories and even in Jordan. As Arafat met the young Jordanian king on
Monday, tens of thousands of Palestinians, chanting "Death to the Jews,"
demonstrated in refugee camps in and around Amman. Demonstrations were also
reported in Damascus and Sanaa.
Palestinian sources said Arafat is pleased with the current fighting.
The violence, called the worst in Israel since the 1948 war of independence,
has been so intense in the Jewish state that the north has been cut off from
the rest of the country and both domestic and international flights have
Arafat, the sources said, feels he has regained the ground he lost to
Israel during the peace offensive by Prime Minister Ehud Barak since July's
Camp David summit. They point to Western attention on the killing of
Palestinian youngsters by Israeli troops rather than the attacks by
Palestinian gunmen on Israeli positions.
The Israeli sources discount Palestinian arguments that last week's
visit by Likud chairman Ariel Sharon to Jerusalem's Temple Mount sparked the
violence. They said PA and Fatah forces were stockpiling ammunition and
weapons 10 days before the violence erupted on Friday.
Israeli Internal Security Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami said he received a
pledge by PA security chief Col. Jibril Rajoub that violence would not erupt
unless Sharon actually entered the mosques on the Temple Mount. Sharon did
not enter any mosque.
Regardless, the question is what does Arafat do for a closing act? It's
an argument that is raging within Israeli government circles and pits aides of Barak against heads of the security services.
Some Barak aides insist that Arafat wants to end the fighting and return
to the negotiating table in a stronger position. The problem is he simply
can't control the violence. They said Arafat pledges nightly to U.S.
officials that he will end the fighting. But every morning, the clashes
The latest pledge was made on Tuesday when Israeli and PA officials said
Arafat agreed to an immediate ceasefire in the territories. Israeli security
sources don't expect this pledge to be implemented.
"What Chairman Arafat has managed to do is badly hurt the peace process
and the willingness of Israelis to make concessions for peace," Interior
Minister Haim Ramon said.
Israeli security sources disagree. They said Arafat wants Israeli blood
to relay a warning of what will take place if the Palestinians don't get
what they want in any settlement. He has been encouraged by the growing
power of his Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia, bolstered by soaring oil
Arafat, the sources said, wants to provoke Barak into a massive
retaliatory response that will remind the West of Kosovo in 1999. This way,
the sources said, the West will intervene quickly and massively.
PA officials do not deny this. They said they and their Arab and Islamic
allies will demand international intervention when the United Nations
Security Council convenes later on Tuesday in New York.
"What is happening is not merely clashes," said PLO Executive Committee
secretary Mahmoud Abbas, regarded as Arafat's leading aide. "But it is an
Israeli military attack on the entire Palestinian people."
With that, Arafat hopes that the West will provide the Palestinians with
a blanket approval for independence from Israel. Already, Arafat aides have
demanded significant revisions of agreements signed between Israel and the
PA, including the deployment of United Nations forces on the Temple Mount,
an end to Israeli security checks at Gaza border posts and the removal of
Israeli heavy military equipment.
Arafat's goal, the sources said, is Western recognition of a state
without paying a political price. His target date, the sources said, is Nov.
15, the anniversary of the 1988 declaration of statehood.
"This government, this state, this police have no right to rule the
areas," PLO Executive Committee Faisal Husseini said. "The only result is
that Israel must withdraw from this area. They don't have the right to
continue after what they did here."
Israeli officials have been disturbed by the Clinton administration.
They said the United States has been remarkably quiet over the PA offensive
against Israeli forces and that U.S. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright has refused to call on Arafat to stop the violence.
Ms. Albright has scheduled a meeting with both Arafat and Barak in Paris
on Wednesday. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak issued an invitation to the
Israeli and Palestinian leaders for a Thursday summit in the Sinai resort of
For his part, President Bill Clinton has not publicly pressured Arafat.
Instead, he expressed dismay over the killing of Palestinians, particularly
a 12-year-old and his father caught in cross-fire in Gaza.
"I was literally watching it as if it were someone I knew," Clinton
said. "And it was a heartbreaking thing to see a child like that caught in
Israeli security sources said Arafat still wants an agreement. But he
wants this to be limited to what they term "a ceasefire plus," in other
words, an interim agreement that guarantees a Palestinian
state in virtually all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem
but doesn't terminate Palestinian demands.
But both Israeli and PA officials agree that the violence will not
subside immediately. They said Arafat has succeeded in inflaming the Middle
East in a way that was never achieved by his Islamic opposition.
The officials said Israel will first have to convince its Arab citizens
to end their violent protests. Then, Arafat will have to wait for
demonstrations around the Middle East to die down.
PA officials stressed that they have no plans to discourage the Arab
anger against Israel. "These activities will continue," PA Information
Minister Yasser Abbed Rabbo said.
the writer is the bureau chief of MENL, the Middle East News Line
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Palestinian Schoolbooks Under Fire
BEITUNIYA, West Bank (AP) _ Ask Karam Jamil about Jerusalem,
just a few miles away from his school, and the first-grader's hand
flies up: ``It's the capital of Palestine, and it's where we
Ask him about Israel and Karam _ indeed, the whole first grade _
That's not surprising _ their brand new civics textbook does not
mention Israel at all, and the Jewish state is notably absent from
the map on the classroom wall.
That's hardly the ``education for peace'' outlined in peace
agreements, say Israeli critics who have demanded sanctions against
the Palestinians _ and who have now been joined by first lady
Hillary Rodham Clinton, fighting a close Senate race in New York.
Addressing Jewish groups on Tuesday, Clinton called on
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is also the education
minister, to remove what are alleged to be anti-Semitic passages in
``All future (U.S.) aid to the Palestinian Authority must be
contingent on a strict compliance and an immediate good-faith
effort to change textbooks in all grades,'' Clinton said.
The textbooks have also become an issue for Prime Minister Ehud
Barak as he seeks to complete a permanent peace agreement with the
Palestinians. The leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, whose
backing for a deal could be crucial, says the textbooks must first
``The textbooks of the Palestinian Authority tell how to kill
and destroy the Jewish people,'' Shas leader Eli Yishai told
reporters Wednesday. ``I don't see how we can support an agreement
if this continues.''
Palestinian officials deny that their textbooks contain
anti-Jewish references, and believe that Clinton _ otherwise
considered a friend of the Palestinians _ has been co-opted by
hard-line Israelis to win New York Jewish votes.
Clinton ``has to be very careful about where she gets her
reports from,'' Deputy Education Minister Nabil Abu Hommos told The
Associated Press. ``If she wants more information about the
curriculum we can get it for her.''
Clinton may have been referring to ``Our Country, Palestine,''
by Arab historian Mustapha Mghad al-Dbaa, which advocates Israel's
destruction and denies any Jewish connection to the region.
Material distributed here and in the United States recently by
hard-line Israeli groups charges that the book is used as a
standard text. In fact, although widely read among Palestinians, it
is not part of curriculum.
Still, the new Palestinian textbooks _ colorful, glossy
notebooks used for the first time this year_ stirred much
controversy when Israelis discovered their country was not
mentioned at all.
Until now, Palestinian schools have relied on old Egyptian and
Jordanian texts, which include anti-Semitic stereotypes _ although
the Palestinians insist that teachers did not refer to the
stereotypes in class.
Israelis, who have appreciably altered their textbooks to
include sympathetic portrayals of Palestinians, had hoped that the
new textbooks would adhere to the commitment to ``educate for
peace'' outlined in the breakthrough Oslo accords of 1993.
In its chapter on tolerance, the civics textbook used in Jamal
Husam's sixth grade civics class in Beituniya shows a Muslim imam
and a Catholic priest shaking hands, and includes passages from the
New Testament and the Quran. Jews aren't mentioned.
When references to Israel arise during classroom discussion, they are oblique and ambiguous.
Husam tells his pupils that "other religions" besides Islam
and Christianity merit tolerance. Eleven-year-old Mohammed Jamil,
reviewing last week's lesson for the class, says the Arab nations
would come together to defend Palestine and its borders _ but he
does not say against whom.
Husam denies that the text or his lessons are anti-Semitic, saying: "The Jews aren't even mentioned."
That is precisely the attitude that infuriates even moderate
Israelis. In a statement, Justice Minister Yossi Beilin _ an
architect of the Oslo accords _ described the omissions as "inappropriate."
Palestinians say it's natural for their first self-published
textbooks to focus on instilling a sense of nationhood in a people
Abu Hommos defended the emphasis on Muslim-Christian relations,
saying those were the two religions of the Palestinian people.
Each curriculum in every country talks about its own people," he said.
the writer is a staffer for the Associated Press
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When the ADL Went Soft on Arafat's Textbooks
In September, 2000, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti Defamation League(ADL), led a delegation of donors to dedicate a new ADL office in Jerusalem, and then meet with parties to the sensitive negotiations that continue between the Israeli gov't and the Palestinian Authority.
Foxman brought the delegation to meet Yassir Arafat, inviting a select
group of journalists and photographers to witness the session.
Since ADL had been assured by Arafat in April 1999 that Arafat would
initiate a new curriculum, I wondered how ADL would confront Arafat with
the fact that the new school books that have just been published for the
first time by the PA and introduced to the first and sixth grade still
continue to prepare Palestinian pupils for war with Israel.
Our news agency had indeed purchased a set of these texts from the PA
curriculum center in El Birah, and we've begun to peruse them.
In the Palestinian sixth grade civics text, you see the picture of the
Hamas icon, Izzadin Al Khassam, eulogized as the ultimate Palestinian folk
hero. Jaffa and Acre are described as occupied lands that must be
recovered. Jews are mentioned as a target for scorn in Islam. According to
the new Palestinian texts, not only does Israel not exist - no Jews even
live there, while all natural resources belong to the Arab nation.
Yet when Foxman led the delegation to meet Arafat , Yediot Aharonot
reported that they held a lively discussion of the peace process. ADL
delegation members told me that the discussion with Arafat did not mention
Palestinian education. At the conclusion of the session, Abe Foxman handed
Arafat a letter about the school books. Although Foxman and the ADL staff
had never seen, perused nor studied the new PA school books, Foxman wrote
Arafat that "we are encouraged by reports that the new textbooks do not
have incendiary anti-Israel or anti-Jewish passages. However, we are
disappointed that the textbooks appear to do nothing to educate
Palestinian children on the peace process, the existence of the state of
Israel, or promote tolerance between Palestinians and Israelis…Indeed, the
maps of the region do not designate the state of Israel"
ADL had apparently relied on misleading "reports" which had stated that
the new schoolbooks were be devoid of anti-Israel and anti Jewish passages.
ADL's lack of desire to examine or peruse the schoolbooks of the PA is not
Each year, the annual survey of worldwide anti-semitism that is funded by
the ADL has been devoid of any study of the schoolbooks of the Palestinian
Authority, even though the schoolbooks have always been made available to
the ADL for review.
Yet even without school books at hand, Foxman could have raised other
aspects of Palestinian education with Arafat, such as the "educational
summer camps" of the Palestinian Authority that were held this summer for
which the New York Times on August 3rd reported as nothing less than a
training ground for young Palestinian terrorists.
Foxman could have used the Arafat meeting to question the daily call for
liberation of all of Palestine and all of Jerusalem that is communicated on
the official media of the Palestine Broadcasting Corportation, a media
outlet that is under the direct control of Arafat.
Instead, Foxman used the meeting with Arafat to inform the Israeli public
that American Jewish leaders had found Arafat to be a "healthy, stark,
alert and ready" for negotiations with Israel, as Foxman portrayed Arafat to Yediot on September 21st.
Before departing from Israel on September 25th, Foxman was invited to
speak from the rostrum of the Knesset forum on Antisemitism, where he
declared that "no true peace can come until Arabs in their education are
innoculated against anti-semitism.
In that light, I asked Foxman why ADL staff would conduct a study of the
new books of the Palestinian Authority, and why the ADL had never included
them in its studies on anti-semitism. He responded by saying that that he
stood by his letter to Arafat, saying that Arafat's new books were a step
in the right direction. I then asked him how he could say that if he had
never seen the books, which I took out from my briefcase to show him. Foxman shrugged his shoulders.
Abe Foxman went on to say that the older schoolbooks in the Palestinian
Authority were published by Egypt and Jordan, noting that Israel had never
objected to the Jordanian and egyptian schoolbooks. Foxman apparently
forgot that Israel had censored the anti-Israel passages in these books
until the PA took over in 1994 and reinstated them.
Foxman also neglected to mention that these books remain in the curriculum
of the Palestinian Authority school system, with their persistent calls for
Jihad and their constant description of Israel as a Nazi entity.
Meanwhile, the ADL website section on PA anti-semitism has not been updated in two years. Why?
The writer is the bureau chief of the Israel Resource News Agency
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