from the Congress Action newsletter

The Massacre That Wasn't

by: Kim Weissman
May 5, 2002

The United Nations' "fact-finding" probe into the alleged "massacre" at the Jenin refugee camp appears to have collapsed, in part because the Palestinian leadership has admitted that the "massacre" wasn't anything of the sort after all. They've even begun calling it a great victory over the Israeli army (which hasn't prevented some in our media from continuing to call it a massacre, proving that our media's willingness to think that admitted liars still have something useful to say isn't confined to certain American politicians). Even after Palestinian spokesmen spent two weeks working the world's naive human rights activists into a frenzy of self-righteousness, Colin Powell and a Human Rights Watch observer also concluded that there was no evidence of a massacre, although now there are new allegations that war crimes may have been committed (but not by the people who send children to kill themselves while blowing up Israeli civilians).

One commentator put it bluntly -- unhappy about the prospect of exonerating Israel, the UN decided not to investigate Jenin at all. Also in part, the investigation was called off due to Israeli dissatisfaction over the composition of the mission, that seemed to be designed to condemn first and find out the facts later, and then only those facts carefully tailored to support their pre-conceived judgment. According to the Weekly Standard, a "special public affairs committee" of Palestinians in Jenin were busily inventing massacre facts for the UN to discover, and concealing evidence that there were terrorists operating in Jenin who themselves put civilian lives at risk. Palestinian spokesmen deny such duplicity, and have spent the last few days blanketing American talk-shows, proclaiming that Israeli intransigence proves they have something to hide. But who was it that entered the Church of the Nativity by force in the first place, seeking to use it as a stronghold for military operations? There is no way to know where the truth about Jenin lies, but a look at some undisputed facts might provide some clues.

The UN mission was originally composed of people with no military or counter-terrorism expertise who could provide a balanced view, and such experts were only added as an afterthought, and then only as consultants, not as full members. Another area that might shed light on the UN's objectivity is the long string of resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Commission (that Human Rights Watch recently said has "become hostage to human rights abusers"). Those documents are filled with charges of Israeli "occupation" and human rights abuses, but virtually no acknowledgement of, let alone condemnation of, suicide bombing against Israeli civilians.

It is the UN's stated position that any territory outside Israel's 1967 borders (that was captured during a war of annihilation launched against Israel by five Arab nations) is illegally occupied, thereby legitimizing PLO actions to resist foreign occupation "by all available means, including armed struggle" (emphasis added) (UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/37/43; December 3, 1982; and recently reaffirmed by UN Human Rights Commission Resolution E/CN.4/2002/L.16; April 9, 2002). All available means includes, apparently, suicide bombing, about which the Egyptian head of the Arab Psychiatrists Association said, "There are no Israeli civilians. They are all plunderers. … The real means of dealing with Israel directly is those who blow themselves up. …This is the only Arab weapon there is."

TYSK Note: Be sure to check the links that follow this article!

One member of the UN mission to whom the Israeli government objected was Cornelio Sommaruga. Two years ago Charles Krauthammer, a columnist for the Washington Post and other publications, reported a November, 1999 meeting between Sommaruga, at the time president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Dr. Bernadine Healy, at the time president of the American Red Cross. They discussed the ICRC's refusal to allow Israel to join the ICRC, which had 176 member societies from many nations, as a full member. In deference to Islamic countries, Muslims are permitted to substitute the Red Crescent for the Red Cross on their ambulances, and Iran is allowed to use the Lion and Sun. Israel sought to use the Shield (Star) of David.

According to Krauthammer's account, Sommaruga, in the presence of several witnesses, he said to Healy, "If we're going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the swastika?" UN spokesmen claim that this exchange is being mischaracterized, and that the swastika reference was to an ancient Indian or Buddhist symbol, not a comparison of Israel with Nazis. Of course, an ancient Indian or Buddhist symbol is the first thing anyone thinks of when the word "swastika" is mentioned. And no doubt that ancient Indian or Buddhist symbol is exactly what the vandals and arsonists have in mind when they paint swastikas on synagogues and Jewish cemeteries across Europe, and what the pro-PLO protesters in Europe and the U.S. have in mind when they replace the Star of David with a swastika on the Israeli flags they carry in their marches.

Another aspect bearing closer scrutiny is the UN's and the Palestinian Authority's own responsibility for the squalor of the refugee camps, and for the terrorist breeding grounds they have become. These camps were established by, and are paid for by, the UN, but are policed solely by the Palestinian Authority. The UN website proudly declares that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) runs 59 camps and "provides education [paying for those propaganda and hate-filled text books that vilify the United States and Israel, that we've heard so much about], health, and relief and social services to 3.9 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank [including Jenin] and the Gaza Strip."

Where does the money spent by the UNRWA come from? According to the UNRWA website, in the last 18 months more than $46.1 million was contributed by the United States. You didn't know that? Do you think the rioting, cheering Saddam from the sidelines of the Gulf War, dancing in the streets on September 11, hate-America Palestinians know that? Or care? And during the same period of time, how much did France -- so ready to vilify America and home to some of the most virulent pro-Palestinian, anti-Semitic violence in Europe over recent weeks -- contribute to the UNRWA for support of the Palestinian camps? The UNRWA website lists French contributions at only $1.08 million over the past 18 months.

According to Marc Ginsberg, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and advisor to Bill Clinton, "…extremist Islamic organizations operate freely in the camps." Does anyone really think that any UN "fact-finders" would admit that the UN had allowed a refugee camp, paid for by them, to become a haven for terrorists? Talk about a conflict of interest! Also according to Ginsberg, the U.S. and the European Union pay over half of the money donated to the UNRWA, Saudi Arabia contributes six-tenths of one percent and Kuwait less than that, because "…they want this issue to remain alive…because it continues to perpetuate the myth of the right of return that these people eventually return to what is now Israel…" and "…it deflects attention away from their own preoccupation with other domestic issues." Further, "Arafat himself…has continued to perpetuate the myth that these refugees should not be resettled, that they should not go back to Arab countries and be resettled, largely because he wants to continue the campaign…".

It is doubtful whether any truly impartial investigation of the events in Jenin is ever likely to take place. Were the Palestinians operating a massive terrorist training and staging area there, and intentionally using civilians as cover for their genocidal suicide bombings (as Israel claims); or is this a massive disinformation campaign by Israeli intelligence, with the Palestinians simply innocent bystanders singled out for extermination (as the Palestinians claim)? Perhaps we can discern who wants to live in peace, and who hopes for the destruction of their enemy, when we recall the glee of the Palestinians when Iraq targeted Israeli cities and civilians with scud missiles during the Gulf War. Perhaps more telling, we can recall that it was Palestinians -- not Israelis -- who cheered and danced in the streets on September 11.

What about our "partner" in Mid-East peace, Egypt, and our "friends", the Saudis? Here's a sample of some of the hatred spewed by Egyptian and Saudi media, as reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute:

From the chairman of the Arab Psychiatrists Association and head of the Department of Psychiatry at 'Ein Shams University in Cairo,

"Although you [President Bush] invest a lot of effort in proving yourself, you are not successful in doing so because you are stupid and understand nothing about what is happening in the world. 'Stupidity' and 'idiocy' are synonyms, and if you don't like the word 'stupid,' you are an evil person with an ugly soul. … Don't you understand, stupid, that Israel does not want peace? Don't you understand, stupid, that Sharon is a criminal murderer? Don't you understand, stupid, that the interests of your country are in great danger because of your complete bias in favor of Israel? Don't you understand, stupid, that the entire world is now standing against you and the policy of your administration? Don't you understand, stupid, that anyone who dies for the liberation of his homeland is a martyr? Don't you understand, stupid, that when a girl of 18 springs blows herself up, this means that her cause is right, and that her people will be victorious sooner or later? … On the strategic level, there must be a pan-Arab plan in order to reach our goal. The goal of all of us is to liberate Palestine from the Israeli aggressors. To use words that some people no longer like to use today: 'We will throw Israel into the sea.' [emphasis added] This phrase, by the way, is the truth."

From a member of the Saudi delegation to the Bush ranch in Texas last week,

"I am against America until this life ends, until the Day of Judgment. … She is the root of all evils and wickedness on earth. Who else implanted the tyrants in our land, who else nurtured oppression?" (This from the very tyrants and oppressors who run Saudi Arabia.)

From editorials in the Al-Riyadh daily newspaper,

"It would be stupidity on our part to be misled by Western ideas about freedom, human rights, and equality among peoples, because the one who led both world wars in the name of avaricious aspirations, racism, and annihilation of the other human civilizations, claiming racial superiority [meaning America] … wants to make us believe that an eternal barrier separates us from the West…" and "[American] generals become war criminals of their own political free will. They kill prisoners and torture people who have surrendered. What kind of civilization is this?! This is no civilization – this is debasement…".

Why do we find it necessary to appease the Saudis and mollify the rest of the Arab world so as not to offend the Saudis, and why do we turn a blind eye to sponsors of terrorism, in the face of this sort of hatred of America?

When the Saudi prince visited Texas last week we should have been able to see our president call him on the carpet over the fact that 15 out of the 19 terrorists who murdered thousands of Americans on September 11 were Saudis, demand an apology for the poems in praise of suicide bombers written by a Saudi ambassador, an explanation for telethons in support of suicide bombers, and demand that he stop the constant vilification and insults directed at this nation by their government-controlled media. Instead, we have to put up with autocrats swaggering into America and lecturing the democratically elected president of the freest nation on earth, for only one reason. Because we need their oil.

We need their oil because we don't have enough of our own. We need their oil because radical environmentalist fearmongers won't let us drill for our own oil in Alaska, won't let us drill for oil off our own east or west coasts, won't let us drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and won't let us expand our nuclear power sources.

It isn't Americans living their lives as they see fit who are holding this nation hostage to Mid-East oil -- the people holding this nation hostage to the oil sheiks are the radical environmental fearmongers, democrats, and republican-in-name-only leftists. If we ever face an oil cut-off and our economy collapses, don't lay the blame on American SUVs or even on the oil sheiks. Place the blame right where it belongs -- at the feet of the radical environmentalists and their political lackeys.

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United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/37/43 ("armed struggle"):

United Nations Commission on Human Rights Resolution E/CN.4/2002/L.16 (endorsing "armed struggle"):

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA):

Expenditures by UNRWA:

Middle East Media Research Institute:

The above article is the property of Kim Weissman, and is reprinted with his permission.
Contact him prior to reproducing.

Contact Mr. Kim Weissman at
"I gladly receive and respond to any comments and criticisms readers care to make regarding the content of what I write every week in the CONGRESS ACTION newsletter. But I do not open e-mail with attachments from unknown senders, and e-mails containing attachments are automatically deleted." – Kim Weissman

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5 may 2002