Why Is Bush Administration Defending A Palestinian Arab Who Aided Saddam?
July 11, 2002

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is disappointed that the Bush administration is defending Sari Nusseibeh, Yasir Arafat’s representative in Jerusalem, in view of the fact that Nusseibeh assisted Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War, publicly denounced America’s liberation of Kuwait as “aggression,” and just last month the praised “Jihad fighters” against Israel.

The Israeli government has closed down Nusseibeh’s office in Jerusalem, because the Oslo accords prohibit the Palestinian Authority from activities in Jerusalem, Israel’s capitol. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the Israeli action was “troubling” and “does not contribute” to implementation of President Bush’s Middle East plan. (New York Times, July 11, 2002) The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer “called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Chief of Staff, Dov Weinglass, expressing American bewilderment at the [closure of Nusseibeh’s office].” (Jerusalem Post, July 10, 2002)

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Sari Nusseibeh’s illegal operation of a Palestinian Authority office in Jerusalem was a blatant violation of the Oslo accords, which the U.S. sponsored and the Palestinian Arabs signed. It is also disappointing that the Bush administration has not seen to fit to criticize the many recent PA actions which violate the Bush Plan, such as refusing to arrest or disarm terrorists and continually broadcasting television programs urging violence against Israel and America.”

“Israelis Not Human”: In an interview with the Israeli Arab newspaper Al-Ittihad on June 20, 2002, Nusseibeh said “the [Israeli] enemy has not a trace of human characteristics.”

Praises “Jihad Fighters”: Nusseibeh appeared in a panel discussion on Qatari Television on June 29, 2002, alongside Hamas official Khaled Mashal and Mrs. Umm Nidal, the mother of a suicide bomber, who encouraged her son to carry out the attack. Nusseibeh said: “When I hear the words of Umm Nidal, I recall the Koranic verse stating that ‘Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.’ All respect is due to this mother, it is due to every Palestinian mother and every female Palestinian who is a Jihad fighter on this land.”

“We Do Not Condemn Suicide Bombers”: On the Arab web site Albawaba.com on June 24, 2002, Nusseibeh explained why he signed a recent statement saying that for tactical reasons, the Palestinian Arabs should refrain from attacking “civilians within Israel” (i.e. within the pre-1967 borders): “We did not address our brothers in the various resistance factions to chastise them, or to condemn them, or depict the resistance as terror, or to de-legitimize it. None of these words appeared in the communique.” (Translations courtesy of MEMRI.)

In addition:

Nusseibeh 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. Afterthe 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.” (www.themedialine.org, Dec.28, 2001)

Nusseibeh 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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