New York Times Is Wrong–Sari Nusseibeh, Arafat’s Man In Jerusalem, Is No “Moderate”
July 10, 2002

Supports Violence,
Spied for Saddam

NEW YORK- While the New York Times is describing Sari Nusseibeh, Yasir Arafat’s representative in Jerusalem, as “the leading voice of moderation among Palestinians,” the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) points out that, in fact, Nusseibeh is a longtime supporter of violence against Israel and assisted Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War.

The Israeli government has closed down Nusseibeh’s office in Jerusalem, because it was operating in blatant violation of the Oslo accords.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Sari Nusseibeh is an extremist in moderate clothing. He has always supported violence against Israel, he spied for Saddam during the Gulf War, and he called America’s liberation of Kuwait an attempt by ‘the forces of aggression’ to ‘humiliate the Arab world and rub the Arabs’ nose in the dirt.’”

Sari Nusseibeh’s Record of ExtremismSupport for violence against Israelis:

The New York Times (July 10, 2002) reported that Nusseibeh was among the Palestinian Arabs who recently “signed a statement urging their compatriots to abandon suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.” The text of the statement, as published in the pro-Arafat newspaper Jerusalem Times (June 21, 2002) proposed, for tactical reasons (there was no suggestion that it is morally wrong to murder Jews) that there be a halt to what it called “military operations targeting civilians in Israel.” The term “civilians in Israel” is used by Palestinian Arabs to refer to Israelis residing within the pre-1967 border. Palestinian Arab spokesmen have said repeatedly that any Israeli beyond that line is regarded as a “settler” and violence against him is considered legitimate.

Thus official PA radio justified the recent Jerusalem bus bombing, in which 19 Israelis were murdered, as an attack against “colonists,” because it took place in the neighborhood of Gilo, which is slightly past the 1967 border. Since the entire Old City section of Jerusalem is beyond the 1967 border, any Jew praying at the Western Wall is, in Palestinian Arab terms, a “settler” whose murder would be legitimate act of “resistance” against “the occupation.” Thus the statement Nusseibeh signed basically endorsed the murder of Jews in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and many parts of Jerusalem.

Speaking to the pro-Arafat Jerusalem Arab newspaper Al Fajr in August 1993, that “military means against Israel are vindicated by Israeli practices” and that he supports “the use of force against Israelis as a means of support of our negotiating position.” (As quoted in the Cleveland Jewish Times, Sept.8, 1993)

In 1986, Nusseibeh called a terrorist hijacking of an Israeli bus “a very daring attack.” (Jerusalem Post, July 3, 1986) In 1987, he endorsed Arab rock-throwing attacks against Israelis, saying: “I think it is a kind of exorcism to throw a stone at Satan.” (International Herald-Tribune, June 4, 1987)

Senior role in “intifada” violence: Nusseibeh also played an important role in the mass Palestinian Arab violence (intifada) of 1987-1989. In bills of indictment brought against seven leaders of the violence in Lod Military Court in 1989 (bill 108/89 and 109/89), the Israeli Government prosecutor stated that Nusseibeh served as a conduit for money “for financing the ‘intifada’”; and that Nusseibeh was responsible for “drawing up reports and leaflets for ‘intifada’ purposes such as instructing ‘intifada’ activists,” including leaflets which called for “throwing firebombs” at Israelis and “fighting with knives.” (A summary of the charges appeared in the New York Times on May 5, 1989 and May 21, 1989.)

Helped direct Saddam’s missile attacks on Israel: Nusseibeh’s activity as a spy for Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War has been documented by Prof.Michael Widlanski of Hebrew University: “During the 1991 Gulf War, Nusseibeh was caught contacting Iraqi intelligence officials in order to help direct the Scud rocket attacks of Saddam Hussein in which four Israelis were killed (one directly) and many wounded from 39 missile strikes. ‘While the rockets were falling it became clear to us that this gentleman was telephoning the Iraqi ambassador in one of the neighboring countries to tell the Iraqis where to shoot the missile,’ stated Col.(Res.) Shalom Harari, former Arab Affairs Advisor for the Israeli Defense Ministry… Nusseibeh was arrested by Israel’s counter-intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, and put in administrative detention without trial for several weeks. After the Gulf War ended, Israeli officials, under pressure from the Israeli Left, allowed Nusseibeh a kind of ‘plea bargain’ under which he voluntarily left the country for three years, said Harari, today a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.” (, Dec.28, 2001)

Calling for Israel’s destruction: In a 1986 article, Nusseibeh described Israel as “a racist Zionist entity” and called for a three-stage plan of consolidating the Arab position within Israel, increasing the Arab population, and then “the final stage will be the stage of a Palestinian democratic and secular state, achieved as and when Arab Palestinians naturally become a majority.” (Jerusalem Times, May 9, 1986)

Authored Anti-American article: During the Gulf War, Nusseibeh authored an extremist anti-American article which appeared in the Arabic-language edition of Al Fajr on Jan.23, 1991 (for the English translation, see the edition of Feb.4, 1991). When Iraq invaded Kuwait, “War generals, military strategists and the military-industrial complex in the United States were ‘rejuvenated’ with this recent development,” Nusseibeh wrote. “They saw in this invasion a golden opportunity to test their machines and theories and to revive their industry and profits…The forces of aggression got themselves together to start the annihilation process using the most advanced and sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and dropping hundreds of tons of explosives on Iraq which exceed the power of the bob on Hiroshima…In order to further humiliate the Arab world and rub the Arabs’ nose in the dirt, the war in the Gulf was dubbed the ‘six hour war.’”

Jewish leader called Nusseibeh “con man” and liar: The vice president of the World Jewish Congress, Isi Leibler, has written: “Nusseibeh’s behavior does not imply ‘moderate’ dissent from Arafat. It is more likely a propaganda weapon ultimately controlled by Arafat—a man who has established a consistent tradition of speaking with a forked tongue…At best he is a propagandist playing his role in a good cop, bad cop performance orchestrated by Arafat. At worst he is a straightforward con man.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 24, 2002)

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