The following article on PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's secret meeting in Stockholm with Arab diplomats in January 1996 was distributed by Israeli private radio station Arutz Sheva / Channel 7.
Arafat's Stockholm Address
by Yedidya AtlasPosted: May 10, 1996 / Iyar 21, 5756
The following article is in response to the many letters Arutz-7 National Radio received regarding Yasser Arafat's secret meeting with top Arab diplomats in Stockholm's Grand Hotel on January 30, 1996. Despite the story's independent verification by a number of top investigative journalists and terrorism experts in several countries, there is a campaign afoot to deny it's accuracy which appears to be emanating from the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem and the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
The ensuing article, entitled: "Arafat's Secret Agenda Is to Wear Israelis Out" appeared in the April 1, 1996 issue of Insight magazine in Washington D.C. written by this correspondent. Additional comments follow the article:
In the dark shadow of horrific suicide bombings in Israel carried out by Hamas terrorists operating from the safe haven of Mr. Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA), an Israeli government which had asserted that the leopard of the Palestine Liberation Organization had changed its spots, finds itself questioning its basic premise: Does Yasser Arafat really believe in the peace process with Israel, and what are his true intentions?
The above article was written in mid-March. During and since that time, others have published confirmations. For the sake of brevity, I shall quote only two wholly respectable and establishment accepted sources: The first, BIPAC (British-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the British version of "AIPAC" in the U.S.). In its quarterly publication, "BIPAC Briefing" of March 1996, BIPAC reported:
"Arafat's remarks... were reported by the Norwegian daily Dagen and confirmed to BIPAC Briefing by senior Arab sources in London."
The second: Ehud Ya'ari, Israel Television's (government-sponsored Channel One) premier Arab Affairs reporter and commentator, wrote the following in his column in the April 4, 1996 issue of The Jerusalem Report:
"The government of Israel already has, for example, full confirmation of the accuracy of the words Arafat has been quoted as saying in his meeting with Arab diplomats in Stockholm. He spoke there, as reported [by Arutz 7 Radio], about the 'psychological pressure' and 'demographic pressure' that will cause Israel to crumble in the end, and its Jews to run for cover. For reasons of momentary convenience, the [Peres] government chose not to challenge Arafat on his vision of the New Middle East. In the Israeli press, the item was pushed to the bottom of the inside pages."
Ya'ari clearly indicates that the Peres government, although fully cognizant of Arafat's Stockholm speech, has deliberately ignored both its existence and political ramifications. It appears to this reporter that given the official public statements issued by the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem as well as by the highest Israeli officials in the Embassy in Washington, there is a concerted effort by the Peres government to not only ignore the story, but to actively spread disinformation abroad and deny its validity.
A recent story in The Washington Jewish Week is a classic example of Jewish yellow journalism. The headline and its contents try to systematically deny the accuracy of the Arutz 7 Radio reports and that of the Norwegian daily newspaper Dagen. The Jewish Week's reporter, if he can be called that, managed to write a whole story about Arutz 7 without having the professional courtesy of even talking to Arutz 7. Nor is it clear that he spoke with the reporter from the Dagen.
He sets great store in quoting "Arutz 7's key source," a Mr. Berlinger in Stockholm, as denying he confirmed the story for Arutz 7. Apparently it is The Jewish Week's policy that its reporters are not only not required to speak to those who wrote and reported the stories which The Jewish Week wishes to discredit, they are not even required to read the target stories either.
Had The Jewish Week's "reporter" read Arutz 7's reports, he would have known that Mr. Berlinger was not mentioned anywhere in the story, he was not a key source, or even any source. The only Swedish source mentioned by name who confirmed the existence of the hitherto secret meeting was Ms. Annika Soder, director of the Press Division of Sweden's Foreign Ministry who told Arutz-7: "...The [Arab] ambassadors, as we call them, were not in the official program, but I heard that he [Arafat] met them in the hotel after dinner."
Moreover, although The Jewish Week quotes the Tel Aviv based Institute for Peace Education as confirming The Jewish Week's contention that the Arutz 7 report was false, here too its reporter neglected to speak with Yigal Carmon, former advisor on terrorism to the Prime Minister of Israel, and head of the Institute. And when he spoke with him after the publication of the malicious and slanderous article, Mr. Carmon told him that on the contrary, he believes the story true and faxed The Jewish Week a letter stating just that wherein he made reference to Ehud Ya'ari's column previously mentioned.
At this point, Arutz 7 is waiting for The Washington Jewish Week to publish a prominent apology for its shoddy and malevolent story, and wonders why The Jewish Week's editors felt the need to attempt to deny the story more than a month after it was initially released. One Washington observer opined to this reporter that the impetus for The Jewish Week's "hatchet job probably emanated from the Israeli Embassy in view of the appearance of the Insight magazine article on Capitol Hill the previous week." One hopes The Washington Jewish Week is only guilty of poor editorial control, and not political bias to the extreme.
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