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Factoids - Reality Check   Factoids

The following eight "factoids" are from the 2002 Simon Wiesenthal publication "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!" This format is a modification of the Portable Document File (PDF) the Simon Wiesenthal Center distributed by email.
"As a people under occupation, the desperate Palestinians must use violent measures, including suicide bombing, to gain their state. Only when Israel withdraws to its pre-1967 borders will the violence stop."

At Camp David, then-Prime Minister Barak offered Arafat a Palestinian state on 95% of the West Bank, all of Gaza and major portions of East Jerusalem, and the Moslem holy sites of the Old City. Arafat rejected the offer with the encouragement of major Arab leaders.

President Clinton blamed Arafat for the collapse of the negotiations, saying, "…I believe Chairman Arafat missed a golden opportunity to make that agreement... the violence and terrorism which followed were not inevitable and have been a terrible mistake."

Subsequently, President George W. Bush has refused to meet with Arafat and called upon the Palestinian people to elect a new leader.

(Excerpt from "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!," A Simon Wiesenthal Publication 2002. Courtesy of SWC)

"The recent Saudi initiative - endorsed by all the Arab states - promises Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for Israeli withdrawal to June 1967 borders and is a real breakthrough for peace."

Since 1948, the State of Israel wanted nothing more than to live in peace with her Arab neighbors. But no Arab state, except for Egypt and Jordan, has been willing to accept the notion of a Jewish State in the Middle East.

Now, Saudi Arabia - tarnished by the revelation that fifteen of the nineteen September 11th suicide terrorists were Saudi citizens - has held out the possibility of peace with Israel. Israel regards this as a development worth exploring and has offered to discuss it with the Saudis directly. But the Saudis have refused.

In addition, at an Arab summit to discuss the peace plan, the Arab states insisted on the "right of return" for millions of Palestinians to Israel, an idea that would lead to the immediate demographic demise of the Jewish State.

Meanwhile, as Prince Abdullah talks peace, his Ambassador to London, Ghazial Gosaibi, writes a poem praising suicide bombers. And, rather than use their influence in the Arab world to lead a campaign of protest against the terrorist organizations, the Saudis show their tacit approval by raising millions of dollars to aid the families of the so-called Palestinian "martyrs," thereby encouraging young men and women from poor families to volunteer for such missions.

(Excerpt from "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!," A Simon Wiesenthal Publication 2002. Courtesy of SWC)

"The European Union has consistently labeled Israeli anti-terrorist incursions into Palestinian cities as violations of Human Rights, and has even discussed implementing commercial sanctions against the Jewish state because of it. Criticism has also been leveled against Israel for barring Red Crescent ambulances from the fighting. A Portuguese Nobel laureate, José Saramago, summed up the sentiments of some European leaders and media when he said the Jewish state's incursion was 'in the spirit of Auschwitz.'"

The policies and posturing of the European Union are hypocritical and based on a double standard. While they are quick to threaten Israel with sanctions and boycotts, they ignore the anti-Israel terrorism emanating from the Arab world. They cite Israel for barring ambulances, but say nothing of the fact that some of those ambulances were caught transporting explosives. Sadly, wars create innocent victims.

But the civilized world must never accept a moral equivalency between those who commit evil and those forced to respond to it. The truth is that Israel had no desire to invade Palestinian cities. But when Arafat ignored the suicide murders of Israeli citizens on buses, in restaurants and at shopping centers - some committed by Arafat's own Al Aksa Brigades - she was left with no choice.

If this is called "in the spirit of Auschwitz" then there would be no difference between Hitler's Blitzkrieg attack on Europe and the Allied landings at Normandy...no difference between Himmler's cattle cars deporting innocents to the gas chambers and Allied planes that bombed European and German cities in the fight against Nazism.

Europe, once late to recognize the threat from fascism, is again blinded because of her dependence on Mideast oil and cannot recognize that Israel is fighting for her very existence against the forces of terror.

(Excerpt from "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!," A Simon Wiesenthal Publication 2002. Courtesy of SWC)

"If terrorism is the cause of the violence in the Middle East, why hasn't the United Nations condemned the terrorist organizations by name?"

The more than 50 Arab and Muslim states will never allow the General Assembly to consider a resolution specifically condemning the terrorist organizations. As a matter of fact, in the history of the United Nations and its agencies, there have been more than 1,000 resolutions condemning Israel. Yet not a single resolution has ever been passed specifically condemning Arab terror against the Jewish State.

Even when resolutions are introduced in the Security Council, they always follow a similar pattern of condemning Israel by name, but never naming the terrorist organizations. Currently, only the United States and Israel have condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The European community has not taken such steps. Some refuse to do it, arguing that only the military wing of Hamas carries out suicide attacks, but that Hamas operates schools and social welfare agencies as well. Such an argument is hypocritical and duplicitous. Every criminal organization could make such a claim. The S.S. and the Gestapo, who were condemned by all the World War II Allies as criminal organizations, also ran schools and social welfare agencies.

(Excerpt from "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!," A Simon Wiesenthal Publication 2002. Courtesy of SWC)

"Israel may not like him, but if peace is to be achieved, they can only reach a deal with the Palestinian's duly elected leader, Yasser Arafat."

Israel has no desire to choose a leader for the Palestinians, but since the 1993 handshake in the Rose Garden, successive Israeli governments, both Labor and Likud, have been forced to conclude that Arafat is either unwilling or unable to make peace. In fact, despite winning a Nobel Peace Prize, he has thwarted every opportunity for peace.

At Camp David, he not only spurned Barak's generous offer for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, but he made no counter-offer whatsoever. Instead, he launched Intifada II as a deliberate attempt to gain further concessions from Israel such as the return of the 1948 refugees.

Both Ehud Barak of Labor and Ariel Sharon of Likud agree on one thing: Arafat has shown himself more a supporter of terrorism than a reliable peace partner.

Every Palestinian spokesman recites that line like a mantra. But the facts are that in the first year and a half of Intifada II, when Arafat had all of his police institutions intact, he never arrested a single terrorist leader. The Palestinian Authority knows the identity of those terrorist leaders, continues to attend joint conferences with them, knows where they live and where they work; yet has never arrested them, put them on trial, or sentenced them for their crimes. When the PA does arrest someone, the suspect is either let go through a so-called revolving door, or treated like royalty, making a sham of the entire process.

"What happened at the so-called Jenin 'massacre'?" "How can Israel fault Arafat when it has destroyed many of the Palestinian Authority's police stations and security institutions in reprisal for terrorist attacks?"

The PA often exaggerates events. When the Israeli forces went into Jenin in search of terrorist bomb-making factories, the entire leadership of the PA, from Arafat to Saeb Erekat, announced to the world's media that Israel had committed genocide and that more than 500 Palestinians had been buried in a mass grave. A subsequent United Nations investigation concluded that no massacre ever took place.

(Excerpt from "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!," A Simon Wiesenthal Publication 2002. Courtesy of SWC)

"Israeli 'settlements' on the West Bank led to the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization and constitute the central impediment to peace. They must all be dismantled."

The Palestinians keep citing the settlements as an obstacle to peace, but those settlements would have been largely dismantled if Arafat had accepted Barak's offer. It is worth remembering that when Arafat first began his terrorist attacks against Israel in 1964, the entire West Bank, Gaza, and the Old City of Jerusalem, were under Arab control. Yet he still attacked Israel. That's essentially true of Hamas and the other terrorist groups. Their sole objective is the elimination of a Jewish State anywhere in the Middle East.

(Excerpt from "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!," A Simon Wiesenthal Publication 2002. Courtesy of SWC)

"America's response to the September 11th attacks, unlike Israel's response to suicide bombers, is justified because the U.S. is not occupying someone else's land. Israel, however, is an occupying force."

Israel is the only democracy in a region dominated by dictatorships and feudal states and is entitled to the same rights of self-defense and has the same responsibility for the welfare of its citizens as any other country. Facing deliberate attacks against their civilian populations, European countries now criticizing Israel, would do exactly the same.

America was attacked by Arab terrorists from al Qaeda on September 11. The U.S. responded by immediately warning the Taliban to give up the terrorists or face the consequences. When they refused, the U.S. attacked Afghanistan by air, sea and land. Israel has said the same to Arafat - stop the terrorist attacks against our civilians. But Arafat has refused. Worse, his own military units, among them the al Aksa Brigades, have, in fact, claimed credit for many of those attacks.

(Excerpt from "Israel is Fighting for Her LIFE!," A Simon Wiesenthal Publication 2002. Courtesy of SWC)

Simon Wiesenthal Center
1399 South Roxbury
Los Angeles, California 90035