Note: The one time CNN uses the word “terrorist” is about Netanyahu’s political movement, with no specifics, no justification for the use of the word. The one terror incident mentioned concerning Arafat is Munich, 1972, and its “alleged” connection to Fatah. The eader of the Black September which murdered the Olympic athletes is today a high ranking security officer of the PA “Police”. Not worthy of mention. But what about Ma’alot 1974, Lod 1972, the US diplomats murdered on Arafat’s orders in the Sudan in 1974 ? What about the fact that the PLO operated aerial piracy for more than a decade? Not worthy of mention?

Perhaps some feedback to CNN sponsors is long overdue…

Jack Golbert

Here are the CNN profiles:

CNN Insider
Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister

Born: October 21, 1949; Tel Aviv, Israel
Education: BA (architecture), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974; MBA, 1976
Military Service: Israeli army (Sayeret Matcal anti-terrorism force), 1967-72; Army, 1973
Occupation: Diplomat
Family: Wife, Sara Netanyahu; 1 son, 1 daughter (from first marriage)
Religion: Jewish
Early Years: Participated in several high-profile commando missions including a raid on a hijacked jetliner outside Tel Aviv, 1972; Was pursuing a business career in the United States when his brother Jonathan was killed in the Israeli raid on a hijacked plane in Entebbe, Uganda, 1976; Returned to Israel and founded the Jonathan Institute, a group that studies the origins of terrorism and develops strategies to combat it.

Political Career:Deputy chief of mission, Israeli Embassy, Washington, DC, 1982-84; Israeli Ambassador to UN, 1984-88; Member of Parliament, 1988-96; Deputy Foreign Minister, 1988-91; Deputy minister, office of prime minister, 1991-92; Likud Party leader, 1993-; Prime Minister, 1996-
Office: Kiryat Ben-Gurion, 3 Kaplan St, P.O. Box 187, 91919 Jerusalem, Israel

Related Site: Israel Information Service

Sources: Current Biography, 1996, Who’s Who in the World, 1996; Israel Information Service

Benjamin Netanyahu’s political philosophy is representative of Israel’s so-called revisionist movement, which evolved into the conservative Likud Party after Israeli independence in 1948. This political philosophy espouses Israel’s justification in carrying out terrorist revenge attacks against Arab civilians and the British government, and argues that Israel’s borders should extend eastward to include what is now Jordan. It rejects the relinquishing of any Israeli territory as dangerous to the country’s security.

In the 1977 election, the Likud Party, for the first time in Israel’s history, won enough votes to knock the Labor Party out of power. The Likud Party then launched a feverish expansion policy to build Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, disturbing the native Palestinian population. Netanyahu aligned himself with the Likud Party and found in it a home for his hawkish views.

In 1982, Netanyahu was appointed deputy chief of mission at the Israeli mission to the United States. He served as Israel’s U.N. representative 1984-88, deputy foreign minister 1988-91 and deputy prime minister 1991-92.

Netanyahu gained international prominence during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when he was interviewed live on Cable News Network as Iraqi Scud missiles fell on his country. His remarks and demeanor aroused sympathy for the Israeli cause. In 1992, he served as Israel’s chief spokesman at the Middle East peace conference in Madrid, establishing himself as a shrewd negotiator.

Netanyahu was elected leader of the right-wing Likud Party in 1993 and elected prime minister in May 1996. He was a fierce opponent of the pacifist policies of his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin and the Labor Party, which had followed the mainstream Ben-Gurion tradition of military restraint and a willingness to compromise on territory for the sake of peace.

He won the election by persuading a majority of Israelis to join him in opposing relinquishing Israeli control of the city of Jerusalem. He also opposed Israel’s 1993 land-for-peace agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which granted self-rule to Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu will have to walk a very fine line in following his conservative political approach. Although he may successfully defend Israel’s security, he runs the risk of igniting violent confrontations with the Arabs, arousing opposition from liberal, pacifist Israelis, as well as angering the chauvinistic, conservative Israeli settlers who, living among hostile Arab neighbors, depend on the Israeli government for their defense.


Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Leader

Born: August 24, 1929; Cairo, Egypt
Education: Degree in engineering, University of Fuad I (now Cairo University), 1956
Family: Wife, Suha Tawil
Religion: Muslim
Early Years: In 1946, began procuring arms for an anticipated battle for Palestinian territory; Helped found Fatah, a guerrilla group dedicated to the liberation of Palestine, mid 1950s; Began mounting raids into Israel, 1965; Elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 1969.
Recent Years: Signed draft agreement with Israel providing for Palestinian self-rule in Gaza and the West Bank town of Jericho, 1993; Awarded Nobel Peace Prize along with Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, 1994.
Office: Gaza City, The Gaza Strip, via Israel

Related site: The Palestine Home Page

Source: Current Biography, 1994; Biographical Dictionary of the Middle East

The Palestinian-Arab politician, former terrorist and nationalist leader Yasser Arafat was born Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat al Qudwa al-Hussein in Cairo, Egypt, on August 24, 1929, son of a successful merchant. His mother died when he was 4, and he went to live with an uncle in Jerusalem, at that time a British protectorate. It was during those years that Arafat was first exposed to the clash between native Arabs and immigrant Jews who aspired to build a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

When Arafat went to college in Cairo, he undertook a study of Jewish life there, associating with them and reading the works of Zionists such as Theodor Herzl. By 1946 he had become a convinced Palestinian nationalist and was already procuring weapons in Egypt to be smuggled into Palestine in the Arab cause.

When the first of five Arab-Israeli wars broke out in 1948, Arafat slipped into Palestine to fight the Jews. He was incensed when he and his compatriots were disarmed and turned back by other Arabs who did not want the help of Palestinian irregulars. After the Jews won the war, Palestinians suffered another humiliation when the Arab states concluded a peace with Israel that dispossessed three quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs, leaving them stateless. He maintained that the Arab states should have accepted a U.N. proposal to divide Palestine into two separate states — one for the Jews, and one for the Palestinian Arabs.

In the mid-1950s Arafat and several Palestinian Arab associates formed a movement which became known as Fatah, an organization dedicated to reclaiming Palestine for the Palestinians. This and other groups eventually operated under an umbrella organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization, formed in 1964. Running Fatah became Arafat’s full-time occupation, and by 1965 the organization was launching guerrilla raids into Israel.

Israel again emerged victorious in the Six-Day War of 1967, and captured the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt. The war widened the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to include other Arabs. In 1968 Arafat and the Fatah got international publicity when they inflicted a significant defeat on an Israeli incursion into Jordan. The PLO’s activities increasingly troubled Jordan’s King Hussein however, and in 1970 he forced the Palestinians to leave Jordan. They set up bases in Lebanon and continued to carry out raids against Israel from there.

In 1972 Arafat was vilified because of an alleged involvement with the Arab terrorist Black September group that massacred Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.

In 1974, Arafat addressed the United Nations in New York. The sympathetic world body voted to give the PLO observer status at the U.N. and acknowledged the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. That year Arafat appeared to be willing depart from his desire to destroy Israel and instead reach a political settlement with the Israelis.

The bleakest period for Arafat and the PLO came in June 1982 when, provoked by terrorist raids, Israel launched an all-out counterattack, destroying the PLO headquarters in Beirut and forcing the PLO out of Lebanon. Arafat re-established PLO headquarters in Tunisia. Soon however, world attention was drawn away from the PLO toward rioting by Palestinians in the West Bank and their plight in the Israeli-occupied territories. The PLO supported the West Bank Palestinians, and the international sympathy they aroused thrust the PLO back into prominence.

In the Algiers Declaration of November 1988 the PLO proclaimed an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and recognized Israel’s right to exist. Further, Arafat declared before the United Nations that the PLO renounced terrorism once and for all, and supported the right of all parties to live in peace — Israel included. The United States declared itself ready to negotiate, and by the year’s end some 70 countries had recognized the PLO. This diplomatic victory was undermined when Arafat backed Iraq in the Persian Gulf War. Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait split the Arab world into pro-and anti-Iraq camps.

Although long deemed a “terrorist organization” by Israel, the PLO recognized Israel in 1990. In 1993, Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin forged a peace agreement. which provided for the gradual withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Palestinian Authority — the Palestinian governing body in the occupied territories — was created under the 1993 peace agreement. The Palestinian Authority’s legislative body, the 88-seat Palestinian Council, was elected in January, 1996, and Arafat won a landslide victory as its president.

Rabin and Arafat shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for their achievement in bringing peace.

Arafat has been criticized by Israel and others for a lack of control over extremist Palestinians such as Hamas. Arafat has vowed to crack down, and repeatedly has expressed sorrow over Hamas terrorist acts, but remains the champion of Palestinian rights and their quest for a homeland.

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