Jenin: “The Massacre that wasn’t”

April 17, 2002

LIES ABOUT JENIN

[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach five pieces counteracting the "news reports" being broadcast by certain BBC journalists and others about Israeli "massacres" and "genocide".

For those of you who don't have time to read them all, here is a brief summary:

(1) A New York Post editorial outlining how a few American reporters, such as the correspondents for Newsday and the Washington Post, have exposed "Arafat's Big Lie" about a massacre in Jenin, but how the "international media especially in Europe refuse to acknowledge the truth."

(2) A piece by Barbara Amiel in the Daily Telegraph on the malevolent reporting of the British press, outlining how some of them are even doing "the work of Goebbels without bothering to wear the brown uniform identifying their agenda"; and how recognition of Israel by the Arab world is not merely a question of announcing that the Jewish state has a right to exist. It means a cessation of the endless hate-mongering against Israel in the Arabic media and textbooks. It means an end to the funding and encouragement of suicide murderers.

(3) A column by Jonathan Foreman in the New York Post about how the reporters covering Israel's incursion into the West Bank know next to nothing about war, and if the world is not going to give the Israelis any credit for their humane tactics, Israel might as well "do a Grozny" next time.

(4) An article titled "Liar, Liar, abaya on fire" about how the totalitarian regimes that surround Israel have a habit of lying a lot, and how the media just laps these lies up, such as the claim broadcast by CNN's Rula Amin that Israeli soldiers had fired on the St. Mary's Church and killed "Father Jackie" when in fact Father Jack Amateis is alive.

(5) A piece by Ariel Cohen in the National Review, titled "Jenin: The Big Lie". He writes that we know why Arafat invented the "Jenin massacre" a story that never was. But why the Arab and European media hastily reported it is another question.

(Both Barbara Amiel and Jonathan Foreman are subscribers to this email list.)

-- Tom Gross



FULL ARTICLES

THE MASSACRE THAT WASN'T

The massacre that wasn't
Editorial
The New York Post
April 17, 2002

For days, Palestinian, U.N. and aid-group officials declared flatly that Israeli troops had perpetrated a horrendous massacre of innocent civilians at the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

Once outside observers were allowed into the camp, they charged, it would be clear that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's soldiers had committed a monstrous war crime that would eclipse the killing fields of Kosovo.

On Monday, journalists entered Jenin. And what they found put the lie to Yasser Arafat 's outrageous propaganda.

To be sure, the physical destruction was enormous, reflecting the intense fighting that took 23 Israeli lives.

But, the Washington Post's Molly Moore: "No evidence has yet surfaced to support allegations by Palestinian groups and aid organizations of large-scale massacres or executions."

One U.N. official told Moore, "Everybody was thinking mass graves in the way we think of Kosovo." But, he added, "I don't think we have seen that."

So much for Arafat's Big Lie.

About 40 bodies were discovered, all but three of them men ammunition belts strapped to their bodies who quite clearly were engaged in armed combat with the Israelis.

Indeed, it was precisely because Israel refused to conduct indiscriminate bombing attacks preferring the more dangerous course of house-to-house searches that 13 of its troops were killed at a booby-trapped house.

As the Israeli corps commander noted, "I could have finished it all with a whistle. Full-corps fire on the center of the camp and the whole thing would have been over. But we behave differently."

In fact, Jenin was a hotbed of Palestinian terrorist activity. Even Israel's dovish foreign minister, Shimon Peres, acknowledges that "there wasn't a house that wasn't booby-trapped."

Arafat's henchmen, confronted by the evidence, now claim that the Israelis secretly spirited away hundreds of bodies under cover of night. Right.

Sadly, the damage to Israel's image already has been done. Far too many people already believe the legend of the Jenin massacre, and international media reports especially in Europe refuse to acknowledge the truth.

It's yet another burden that Israel must carry in its courageous battle to defeat the evil menace of terrorism.

 

"TRUTH ABOUT ISRAELI CASUALTIES IS BEING IGNORED IN THIS WAR"

"Truth about Israeli casualties is being ignored in this war"
By Barbara Amiel
The Daily Telegraph (London)
April 15, 2002

Reading the British press last week, watching the BBC and listening to European politicians reminded one of those lines by TS Eliot: "The rats are underneath the piles / The jew is underneath the lot." What other explanation for the malevolent reporting of Israel's attempt to root out terrorists on the West Bank?

Ariel Sharon's initiative is not a pleasant task and it causes great suffering among non-combatants. If you are as callous and bloody-minded as the Palestinian Authority and various Arab factions which encourage women and children to kill themselves and which place their bomb factories in the middle of crowded refugee camps, there will be grandmothers and children dead.

British journalists largely ignore such unhappy facts. If you want to read about what is going on in the fighting, log on to the Israeli Defence Force's website. It is a government source, of course, but journalists relied on the American military for information in Afghanistan.

The IDF site, unlike the BBC reporter Orla Guerin in the Daily Mail, will tell you more than anecdotes about how frightening it was to be stopped by Israeli soldiers in Manger Square. The IDF site lists the terrorists inside the Church of the Nativity and what they are wanted for, as well as giving details of all fighting on the West Bank.

It also has put online evidence linking Yasser Arafat to funding of the suicide bombers: given this, if Arafat does not show himself willing to co-operate with Colin Powell's demands, it is hard to see how the United States can hold off declaring him a wanted terrorist.

British reporting seems to ignore the relatively heavy Israeli casualties, indicating that this is more than unarmed grandmas fighting back. The Evening Standard's Sam Kiley long ago abandoned balanced reporting in favour of stories documenting what his preferred informants call Israel's "staggering brutality and callous murder".

Janine di Giovanni, writing in The Times, seems to see Sharon's efforts to clean out the murderous thugs in the Jenin camp as Israel's excuse to attack children with chickenpox. The scabrous camp conditions she reports on were not linked by her to cold-blooded terrorists or to the 50-year refusal of the Arab world to assimilate the refugees.

Historical context is in short supply. The terrorist attacks on Israel did not start under Sharon. They took place under every leader of Israel, including Eshkol, Meir, Rabin and Barak. They took place throughout the Oslo process. They began one hour after the State of Israel was declared in 1948.

When that war ended, Israel dreamt of making the desert green for itself, as well as for its grateful Arab neighbours. This was Israel's great wet dream - the irrigation dream.

The Israelis report that about 100 terrorists have been killed in the Jenin action, as well as large numbers of civilians caught in crossfire. More than 4,000 Palestinians have been detained to date and there are another 144 terrorists on the wanted list.

It is possible that there may have been isolated acts of Israeli soldiers running amok; the Israeli Supreme Court is investigating. But it is clear that Israel's purpose was not to kill as many Palestinians as possible, which could be accomplished far quicker than this interminable action.

The steam on windows in the photos from Jenin suggest that the Israelis have been using targeted bombs intended to minimise civilian casualties. Contrast this with the terrorist bombs in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, aimed at civilians alone - the more grandmothers and children the merrier.

Our journalists seem to have a bad case of spoilt kids' syndrome. Miss di Giovanni reports the travails of her profession: "Some journalists were detained. One had his press card ripped up. Footage was confiscated." The response of these brave journalists is to publish every last Palestinian rumour about Israeli "massacres".

Frankly, were I the Israelis, I wouldn't bother with a semi-effective job of keeping the press out of the war zone. I'd offer directions the war is down that street, ma'am and see how the press likes finding itself in crossfire or booby-trapped buildings.

The media seem to have taken the vocabulary of a "theatre" of war literally, as George Jonas points out in his Ottawa Citizen column, and believe this is a production in which they should have a lead role. Never mind that many of them have been doing the work of Goebbels without bothering to wear the brown uniform identifying their agenda.

In that vein, the prize of the week is split between the former Foreign Office adviser David Clark writing in the Guardian about the Camp David deal offered to Arafat, and the poet and Oxford professor Tom Paulin, interviewed in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. Paulin is quoted describing Israeli settlers as "Nazis" and calling for them to be "shot dead".

Ehud Barak's deal, refused by Arafat, is a problem for the anti-Israeli cause. The Palestinians have refused many deals leading to statehood, starting with the UN offer in 1947, but the Camp David deal is difficult because it was by any measure "generous" to quote both Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Clark tries to get around this by asserting that the deal was "a myth", and so bad anyway that it "merely added insult to injury".

Clark's column is a farrago of inaccuracies. Barak would not have been deserted by Israel's religious parties and lost his job by a 25 per cent majority if the deal was as Clark describes. But even if the deal offered was not satisfactory, had Arafat genuinely been a "partner for peace", he would not have responded by restarting the intifada and sending out suicide bombers.

He would have negotiated. Everything in the history of Israel pivots around the Arab leader's rejection of a Jewish state in the Middle East. Clark's piece, which he winningly describes as "constructive revisionism", is an insight into the insane logic, to say nothing of the accuracy, of British Foreign Office information.

As the suicide bombings continued partially financed and encouraged by the PA the European Parliament voted non-binding sanctions on Israel. The noxious attitude of the Europeans towards Israel has several sources, some stronger in one nation than another.

They include (1) the sense among European nations that support of Israel is not in their countries' self-interest and is unfair to their own people. The Israelis will not blow up the Eiffel Tower, but the Arabs might. This is akin to the "Why die for Danzig?" syndrome of appeasement in 1939. While I disagree with it, the notion itself is not intrinsically illegitimate.

(2) The multicultural nature of post-war societies has left many European countries with undigested chunks of people from the Middle East and several EU countries fear they have enough suicide bombers in situ.

(3) The EU and most national governments in Europe, academia and the media are heavily Left-of-centre. The Left was pro-Israel until the 1960s, but when the USSR turned against Israel and embraced the Arabs in the Cold War, so did the Left.

In the post-Soviet world, the so-called "progressive" forces still retain the habit of a vocabulary and mindset: they wax lyrical about national liberation, anti-colonialism, support of the indigenous Palestinian peoples, and view Israel as the forward bastion of old Western colonialism.

(4) Unlike America, Europe is heavily dependent on Middle East oil.

(5) For people who know little history and geography, there is a false appearance of David and Goliath in the clash between a well-equipped Israeli army and the guerrilla warfare of children throwing stones. Human instincts naturally support David in the battle against Goliath.

In fact, the nationalities are exactly as they were in Biblical times: namely, David is a Jew and Goliath is a Philistine, but this has been skewed in public perception. A minute's thought would remind one that Arabs outnumber Jews by a huge factor in both population and oil wealth, and if they were not so fixated on destroying the Jews, they could build an infrastructure for the Palestinians and end the misery of the camps.

(6) Anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism.

(7) The pictorial nature and the temporality of today's information sources result in most people getting their information in short, tendentious bursts. Inevitably, these pictorial bursts will be helpless old women and large-eyed children darting behind futuristic tanks.

Our media elites and academia have pronounced Sharon's policy to be "wrong". But pronouncing a policy wrong presupposes that you have a "right" one. What can Israel do? Arafat has never deviated from his refusal to recognise a Jewish state in the Middle East.

Recognition is not merely a question of announcing that the Jewish state has a right to exist. It means a cessation of the endless hate-mongering against Israel in the Arabic media and textbooks. It means an end to the funding and encouragement of suicide murderers.

The Arabs alone can solve this impasse with a genuine acceptance of a Jewish state. Failing this, Sharon or the next Israeli leader might conclude that the dream of an Israeli homeland is finished and the Israelis will not get out alive.

If so, he might further conclude that if we Jews cannot have the sliver of land for which we never wished to hurt anyone, if we must be pushed into the sea either literally or by demographics and attrition, we owe it to the memory of our forefathers to extract the highest price and not to go alone.

After all, some ancient Asian cultures believed that whomever they killed would be their servant in the next world. It is as good an incentive as 72 virgins in Paradise.

 

"THE MEDIA SEEM TO HAVE NO IDEA OF THE DIFFICULTIES THE ISRAELIS FACE"

Media miss Israeli restraint
By Jonathan Foreman
The New York Post
April 17, 2002

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/45813.htm

Do the reporters covering Israel's incursion into the West Bank know anything about war? Their hyperbole about the campaign's bruality shows an ignorance of how other armies have fought hundreds of armed men hiding out in cities and towns.

The media seem to have no idea of the difficulties the Israelis face in opposing guerilla tactics in an urban area against an enemy who don't wear uniforms and who choose to hide among a civilian population. Some civilian casualties are an inevitable consequence of the way that the various Palestinian militias choose to fight.

It took centuries for the European powers to evolve laws of "civilized" warfare rules designed to spare the lives and property of noncombatants. And even after those rules were all but universally adopted (in the 18th century) they didn't always achieve their aim.

But a corollary of those rules was a general detestation of guerilla warfare because it necessarily involved abrogations of the laws of war, not just by the guerillas but by anyone trying to beat them.

All wars involve cruelty, but the task of defeating a guerilla enemy has a merciless logic all its own. This is even more true in an urban environment. This fact makes the Israeli campaign in the West Bank and the hyperbolic international reaction to it all the more remarkable.

Regardless of Ariel Sharon's reputation, the tactics chosen by the Israeli army sending infantrymen from house to house simply make no sense unless the avoidance of civilian casualties was a priority.

If the Israelis were truly as callous or reckless about civilian casualties as CNN and the BBC imply, they could have destroyed the "terrorist infrastructure" at much less risk to their own men:

* The last time American troops fought guerillas in an urban area was the battle of Hue in 1968. We didn't hesitate to use artillery and jet aircraft in support of the Marines.

* The early French response to the uprising in Algeria included the naval bombardment of a rebel-controlled town, randomly killing up to 8,000 people.

* The Russians literally pulverized the Chechen capital of Grozny in 1999.

And if the Israelis were as monstrously cavalier about human life as their enemies claim, they would simply have shelled or bombed Ramallah and Jenin into submission. That's what Syria's then-President Assad did at Hama in 1982 where he crushed the Muslim Brotherhood at the cost of at least 10,000 lives.

It's possible that atrocities were committed in "Operation Defensive Shield." But we don't know that, and certainly shouldn't trust rumors and propaganda from people with a record of distortion some of whom have also claimed that "the Jews" destroyed the World Trade Center.

If some crimes did take place, it's hardly surprising: This kind of warfare has a brutalizing, disinhibiting effect on even the best-trained soldiers. (Historically, democratic societies have certain strengths at war but ironically find it harder to restrain their soldiery in the face of provocation.) It took the highly disciplined troops of the British Army in Northern Ireland at least a decade to develop effective techniques that did not involve "Bloody Sunday" type incidents.

The fact is: If the enemy blurs the distinction between civilian and combatant, you'll likely wind up doing so yourself.

The opposite is also true: If you know that women and children are not going to fight you, then you will find it easier to keep them out of your gunsights.

The Israelis could be forgiven for learning the wrong lesson from the past two weeks: That next time they go after the people who've been suicide-bombing their kids, they might as well just level Ramallah and Nablus and Jenin. Why take the risk of fighting from house to house if you're going to be treated as if you've done a Grozny anyway?

 

"THE TOTALITARIAN REGIMES THAT SURROUND ISRAEL HAVE A HABIT OF LYING A LOT"

Liar, Liar, abaya on fire
By Ilana Mercer
WorldNetDaily.com
April 17, 2002

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27264

Besides the bodybags that accompany their Islamist beliefs, inhabitants of the totalitarian regimes that surround Israel have a habit of lying a lot. For every statement the collective Arab world issues, there is a parallel subtext. Lying spinning tales, if you prefer a more multicultural finessing is as much a part of Arabic culture as is baksheesh (bribery), haggling and baklava.

"Liar, liar, pants on fire!" used to pack a punch as an insult not only on the playground. In the spirit of the times, habitual lying is not the barrier to acceptance in civilized society that it used to be. The idea of truth itself is in disrepute, so why would lying pose a problem?

In a speech at Georgetown University, Bill Clinton, whose allergy to the truth needs no introduction, ventured that, "We don't believe you can have the whole truth." Evidently, Clinton thinks a belief in an objective truth is inimical to peace, which is why the Philosopher King of licentious liberals lumps truth absolutists in an epistemological camp with terrorists. An intransigent belief in relative truth, of course, can just as well inspire cold-blooded murder. Was it not under Clinton's pluralistic watch that Waco and Ruby Ridge transpired?

Add the general disregard for truth to the acceptance of many competing perspectives as versions of the truth and the tolerance for Arafat and his Arab League buddies becomes understandable. Perhaps the lies they spout are simply a form of these multiplying truths?

What habitual liars also seem to have going for them is counterculture chic. Graft a heady intoxication with multiculturalism onto a fascination with extreme forms of baseness and you tap into something even more primitive. Islamists are, in a manner, holding us hostage. A hostage situation is an atmosphere of heightened emotional arousal, in which "girlie boys" and silly chicks can be struck by the Patty Hearst syndrome, and can become, well, turned on to the enemy.

Does CNN's Aaron Brown find a would-be killer like the Hamas spokesperson a "Sexy Beast"? I dunno, but Brown, who is more visceral than intelligent, sure fawns all over the Hamas hottie without ever disclaiming, "Beware, very bad man ahead."

What's even kinkier is President Bush's solution to Arafat's lies: "Give it to me in Arabic, Yasser!" Bush is calling on Arafat to "speak out in Arabic" against terror. The guy lies in English, so, unless Bush has some sort of fetish, why would he want to hear Arafat lie in Arabic?

Mistaking Palestinian military weakness for moral innocence seems to further amplify the inattention of journalists to the culture of lies.

Israel regularly intercepts Palestinian ambulances because, very plainly, some have been rigged with explosive belts, while using the time-honored Arab decoys: women and children. As the motorcade of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell sped toward Jerusalem, Israeli security was in the process of foiling an explosives-laden ambulance, on a collision course with the Powell entourage.

If a peek at Arafat's "shahid's" ("martyr's") shopping list was not as potent as a truth serum gets, the Church of the Nativity fable compensated. Hiding in the Bethlehem Church are not "Christians seeking sanctuary," as CNN claimed, but hostage-taking Palestinian terrorists. The hostages are the Christians, members of a dwindling community, living in fear of the Muslim majority.

Breaking news we never got came from the Vatican's Cardinal Pietro Samari. Apologizing profusely, he told the Israeli Defense Forces that a report filed by CNN's ignoble Rula Amin, claiming Israeli soldiers had fired on the St. Mary's Church and killed "Father Jackie" was false. Father Jack Amateis is alive.

The many small lies coalesce into larger ones.

"Cycle of violence" suggests a sequence of events that has no beginning or end. Do the media ever pause to pose the no-brainer the Edmonton Journal's Lorne Gunter poses? "If Palestinians stopped their attacks today, tomorrow there would be no Israeli attacks. But if Israel stopped unilaterally, would you trust the Palestinians to follow?"

Another "oft-repeated Arab claim repudiated by the facts, and disproved by historical reality" is that the Israeli 1967 "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza is the cause of Palestinian terrorism. As the "Independent Media Review and Analysis" documents:

"Arab and Palestinian violence against Israel started well before 1967. In 1952, when "fedayeen" terrorist border incursions reached their height, there were about 3,000 incidents of cross-border violence, extending from the malicious destruction of property to the brutal murder of civilians. In the years 1951-1955, 503 Israelis were killed by Arab terrorists infiltrating from Jordan, 358 were killed in attacks from Egypt, and 61 were killed in attacks originating from Syria and Lebanon."

So many lies, so little space.

(Ilana Mercer's work has appeared in the Calgary Herald, Insight Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, the Financial Post, the Colorado Gazette, Report News Magazine, LewRockwell.com and other publications. For more information about Ilana Mercer, please visit her website.)

 

JENIN: THE BIG LIE

Jenin: The Big Lie
Fighting the media war.
By Ariel Cohen, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation
National Review
April 16, 2002

As the Israelis were busy hosing pools of blood off the streets after the latest murder-suicide bombing at Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda market, the Palestinian propaganda machine was busy churning out yet another Big Lie: the "massacre of Jenin."

Palestinian mouthpieces claim that the Israeli military killed as many as 500 civilians in Jenin, a stronghold of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. When the Israelis cleared the booby traps and allowed Western media into the city on Monday, the reality turned to be completely different: difficult door-to-door infantry fight; 23 Israeli soldiers fallen in battle; dozens of terrorists killed. No massacre.

When Israeli troops surrounded Jenin, it was widely reported by the Western and Arab media that the local terrorist commanders swore to fight them to the death. Arafat, holed up in Ramallah but still pushing for more violence, had called for a "million martyrs" to march to Jerusalem and Jenin looked like a good place to start.

There were important assets to be protected in the refugee camp. Several dozen chemical labs where explosives for suicide-bomber belts and Kassam rockets were being manufactured, and arsenals of machine guns and anti-tank weapons, and a cadre of would-be suicide bombers. Trapped.

The fierce fighting went on for days in the small, winding alleys of the town and in the Jenin refugee camp that Arafat did not even think to eliminate despite years of his rule. Many houses were booby trapped by the terrorists who hoped to blow Israelis to smithereens. The IDF repeatedly ceased fire and demanded that all civilians leave the area, but the top Palestinian terrorists, true to form, were using them as human shields.

If this action had taken place in Afghanistan, U.S. troops would have called in the "vitamin B": B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers. If it had happened in Chechnya, the Russian generals would have called in artillery and flattened Jenin, just as they did Grozny. Israeli tanks were there, and they could have shot straight into town and the refugee camp. Instead, Israelis fought on foot, placing themselves at risk while trying to protect Palestinian lives. One of the fighters, reportedly a young boy, detonated a booby trap in a building already taken by the Israeli reservists, and 13 were killed on the spot.

After the city fell, 1,000 Palestinian fighters surrendered. In any other place, in any other war, there would be no one left to surrender. The air force, rockets, and artillery would have done the job. The Israeli Army is putting the number of Palestinians killed in a five-day battle at about 200, while 30 Israeli soldiers were killed. While crying foul in English, the Palestinian and Arab media are praising the "martyrs" in Arabic, and the Saudi TV has raised millions in a Jerry Lewis style telethon to pay off the families.

The Jenin "massacre" that never was is yet another Big Lie in the Palestinian PR campaign, a campaign that for its persistence and audacity would have made Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler's propaganda chief, proud. And with good reason. Goebbels's legacy lives today from Damascus to Ramallah to Cairo. According to a prominent Egyptian writer, the Egyptian press ministry was set up in the early 1950s by the East Germans who learned the trade under Stalin, but before that, under Hitler and Goebbels. And Communist archives in Moscow demonstrate that many Palestinian leaders were trained at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow and KGB camps in the Crimea, both temples of Soviet propaganda and subversion.

One of Goebbels's contributions to the world of "black" PR was the concept of the Big Lie repeating something so loudly and persistently that people begin to believe it. Yasser Arafat is fond of blaming Israelis for using "uranium" shells against Palestinians, implying radioactive damage. The Egyptian propaganda machine made up the "immoral" Israeli chewing gum, purported to drive up the libidos of Egyptian women. President Bashar Assad of Syria accused Israel at the recent Arab League Summit of killing "thousands of Palestinians a day." His long-time defense minister, Mustafa Tlas is getting into show business: He wrote a book called The Matsa of Zion, and is now producing a movie in Egypt that accuses Jews of using the blood of a Christian priest for baking Passover matzah breads. The Saudi government-owned newspaper recently also ran a story alleging that Jews use baby blood for another traditional food, the triangular cookies known as Hamentashen, baked for the holiday of Purim. It is no surprise, therefore, that Hitler's Mein Kampf is selling briskly on the Palestinian street.

Other people at other times have used the Big Lie to dehumanize their targets. The Soviet KGB planted rumors that the CIA manufactured AIDS. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has said repeatedly that Jewish doctors infected black babies with AIDS. And the grand wizard himself, Goebbels, used the Big Lie to poison the image of Germany's Jews so successfully that when the Nazis began rounding the Jews up to ship them to the death camps, fellow Germans or other Europeans cheered and helped in the process.

The truth is, Arafat's PR foot soldiers are trying to use Jenin as a sort of "instant replay" of the tragedy in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. Twenty years ago, a Lebanese militia killed Palestinians in revenge for the murder of President Bashir Jemayel of Lebanon, but the Palestinians and their fellow travelers blamed Sharon for the massacre. In 2002 a Belgian court refused to hear a case against Sharon brought by families of the Sabra and Shatilla victims.

Yasser Arafat's strategy is to turn Sharon into a war criminal, and to turn the West against Israel. He is using Slobodan Milosevic as a model. Arafat wants to preside over his sheikhdom of terror from behind a human shield of international observers. Then Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Tanzim, and the Al Aqsa brigades would be free to continue killing Israelis while Arafat himself could issue periodic denunciations (much like the one he issued Saturday when pressured by Secretary of State Colin Powell), and maintain (im)plausible deniability.

To achieve this, Arafat needs the world to ignore the mountains of documented evidence connecting him beyond reasonable doubt with the terror campaigns of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Tanzim, and Al Aqsa. He needs the U.S. government and the Western media to shut their eyes to his close links with Iran and Iraq. He needs Powell not to look at the Israeli streets where the real massacres are taking place: in Netanya, Haifa, and Jerusalem.

This is why Arafat invented the "Jenin massacre" a story that never was. Why the Arab and European media hastily reported it is another question.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.