On May 24, 2000, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) completed a unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, ending a 22-year occupation. Shi‘ite guerrillas from the Hizbullah and Amal militias, which had waged a war of attrition against Israeli troops since the mid-1980s, quickly moved into IDF-vacated territories and established positions only meters across from populated Israeli communities. Many Israelis breathed a sigh of relief.

Yet only four months later, on September 28, the Palestinians launched the "Al-Aqsa intifada," another war of attrition against Israel. In fact, the Palestinian choice was profoundly influenced by Israel's choice in Lebanon. Palestinians believed that Hizbullah's violence precipitated Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon and that Palestinian violence might drive Israel out of the West Bank and Gaza.

It did not, for a simple reason. Israel's decision to withdraw from Lebanon unilaterally was not based on a strategic cost-benefit analysis. It was a response to Israeli public opinion, which no longer supported government policy. Israeli public opinion, not strategic calculation, drove the decision to leave Lebanon. And Israeli public opinion has driven the Israeli response to the Palestinian intifada - in a completely different direction.

To substantiate this analysis, one has to go back and review the debate over the Israeli withdrawal, particularly the strategic reasoning against it, and the growth of Israeli public opinion in favor of it. And one has to establish the link between the May withdrawal from Lebanon and the launching of the Al-Aqsa intifada by the Palestinians in September.

A Disturbed Frontier

The origins of Israel's involvement in Lebanon date to the early 1970s; prior to that, the Israeli-Lebanese frontier was Israel's quietest border. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), founded in 1964, operated against Israel from Jordanian territory. But in 1970, King Husayn of Jordan drove the PLO from his kingdom, and its remnants relocated to Lebanon. Soon thereafter, Lebanon became the PLO's center of operations from which it launched daily attacks against Israel.

Israel began cross-border attacks against Lebanon-based Palestinian guerrillas as early as March 1972 and launched a major operation against them in March 1978 (Operation Litani). But Israel's northern towns and settlements remained exposed to PLO attacks, even as the PLO made international diplomatic gains. In June 1982, Israel launched a full-scale invasion of Lebanon (Operation Peace for the Galilee), with the explicit aim of creating a PLO-free 25-mile zone north of the Israeli-Lebanese border. But Israeli troops eventually occupied Beirut itself: Israel sought to remove the PLO from the Arab-Israeli equation altogether.1

The campaign succeeded in driving the PLO out of Lebanon (to exile in Tunisia). But it did not bring peace and quiet to Israel's northern frontier: radical Shi‘ites from the Hizbullah and Amal movements filled the vacuum left by the PLO. In June 1985, the IDF withdrew from most of south Lebanon, with the exception of a nine-mile-wide buffer zone north of Israel's border. It handed this zone to the South Lebanon Army (SLA), a pro-Israeli militia commanded by General Antoine Lahad. The SLA was recruited from among the inhabitants of southern Lebanon and was supplied, trained, and paid for by the IDF. The SLA's task was to maintain the buffer zone north of Israel's border, in close coordination with about a thousand Israeli troops.

At first, the zone was fairly quiet, while Hizbullah and Amal battled for control of the areas evacuated by Israel. But beginning in 1989, the "security zone" came under a sustained guerrilla assault, mostly from the Iranian-backed Hizbullah. Syria, the dominant force in Lebanon, facilitated the activities of Hizbullah and Iran. The conflict eventually developed into a war of attrition, which was usually limited to the "security zone" and the territory just north of it. But the battles occasionally boiled over into Israeli air strikes on central Lebanon and Hizbullah rocketing of northern Israel. Both sides suffered military and civilian casualties in the conflict.

During the long years of conflict, there were always senior officers and analysts in Israel's defense establishment who thought that Israel should leave Lebanon altogether. They regarded Hizbullah's guerrilla war as a kind of surrogate intifada, promoted by Syria. Syria needed more leverage to force Israel to consider withdrawing from the Golan Heights; Syria suggested it would restrain Hizbullah, but only if Israel were flexible on the Golan. Israeli analysts who thought the Golan crucial to Israeli security argued that withdrawing from Lebanon would remove the Lebanese card from Syria's hand. While Israel remained in Lebanon, Syria could fuel a war against it. But once Israel left, so these analysts argued, Syria would not dare to turn Lebanon into a base for Shi‘ite or Palestinian cross-border attacks against Israel. Syria had too many interests in Lebanon, which was now on the mend, and Israel could effectively deter cross-border attacks by threatening retaliation against Syrian troops and assets in Lebanon.

But this was very much a minority view. The dominant strategic calculation argued for an ongoing Israeli presence in Lebanon. The case for remaining rested on these rationales:
  • Were Israel to leave Lebanon, it would be unable to monitor or preempt Lebanese-based terror. Terrorists could operate right on Israel's frontier.
  • Withdrawal from Lebanon would contradict the IDF's doctrine on conducting all operations inside enemy territory.
  • There was no certainty that Lebanese or United Nations forces would move into IDF-vacated areas to exercise control, or that they would do so effectively.
  • Abandonment of the SLA would lower the IDF's credibility in the eyes of its allies and seriously damage the likelihood of future cooperation between Israel and Arab cohorts.
  • A withdrawal, if perceived to be a capitulation to Hizbullah's violence, would harm Israel's deterrent posture in the Middle East and invite aggression.2
Furthermore, military analysts regarded the "security zone" as a great success from a strictly military standpoint. Between 1985 and 2000, only nine guerrilla squads were able to reach the international border, and of these, only two infiltrated Israel (in both cases the infiltrators were killed by IDF troops before reaching civilian targets).3 In addition, the "security zone" covered the range in which Katyusha rockets are most effective and accurate (six to eight miles). A withdrawal would bring sixty-four additional Israeli communities and an additional 150,000 Israelis within the range of Hizbullah's artillery.4

The public posturing of Hizbullah only strengthened the argument for remaining in Lebanon. Its spokesmen continually warned that a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, without an agreement on a total Israeli withdrawal from the Golan, would not bring an end to hostilities. The warnings had added force after the failure of the Israeli-Syrian talks held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in January 2000.

Furthermore, Hizbullah's entire ideology rests on the view that Israel is an illegitimate entity that must be uprooted from the region. In a statement issued shortly before Israel's withdrawal, Hizbullah's secretary general, Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, declared that Hizbullah fought not only to "liberate" south Lebanon but also to "liberate Palestine," which, in his own words, "belongs to the Palestinians and not to the Jews."5 According to Nasrallah, "[even] a peace settlement will not change reality, which is that Israel is the enemy and that it will never be a neighbor or a nation."6

In sum, the assessments by Israel's defense and intelligence communities were reinforced by the declared intentions of Hizbullah. Among strategic analysts, there was a broad consensus that a withdrawal could be disastrous for northern Israel and for IDF posts guarding it.

Yet Israel did withdraw, disregarding the considered opinion of its most respected generals, planners, and "wise men" of defense affairs. What explains the decision?

Factor X: Public Opinion

When examining decisions of liberal democracies, it is not enough to make a disinterested calculus of cost-benefit. Pluralistic democracies respond to public preference, especially when the preference is clear and enduring over a long period of time. Domestic analysis elucidates the real reason behind Israel's decision: the Israeli public objected to the war in Lebanon, and its disapproval ultimately determined the agenda of Israel's decision-makers.

Israeli public opinion on the IDF's involvement in Lebanon had always been volatile. The 1982 invasion of Lebanon initially enjoyed overwhelming support: a survey conducted in July 1982 showed public support for the Lebanon war at 83 percent.7 But this support eroded quickly as the campaign broadened beyond its original plan, and Israeli casualties increased. By May 1983, support for the war had dropped to 51 percent; during the same period, opposition to the war increased from 13 percent to 44 percent.8

Similar erosion took place between 1995 and 1999. In 1995, 77 percent of Israelis supported the IDF presence in the "security zone" and believed it contributed to Israel's security. This figure dropped to 72 percent in 1996; then to 62 percent in 1997; it remained stable at 64 percent in 1998; and plummeted to only 50 percent in 1999. In 1997, only 41 percent of Israelis favored a unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon. This rose to 44 percent in 1998, and jumped to 55 percent in 1999. Significantly, this was not accompanied by any greater public willingness to withdraw from the Golan. Throughout this period, most respondents still rejected a return of the Golan to Syria and considered the Golan non-negotiable.9 Public opinion on Lebanon was not being driven by a greater willingness to make concessions generally but by a growing public perception that the presence in Lebanon constituted a liability.

That perception owed much to the organized activism of groups opposed to the presence in Lebanon. During the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, these groups proliferated.10 The most vocal among these groups were Yesh Gvul ("There's a Limit" - the word for "limit" is the same as the word for "border"); Soldiers against Silence; the Committee against the War in Lebanon; Parents against Silence; and the Movement for a Peaceful Withdrawal from Lebanon (headed by Labor party parliamentarian Yossi Beilin). These groups had a different profile from the generic peace groups in Israel. While they included traditional "peace" constituencies, many of them were led by IDF officers, some of them still in command of reserve units in Lebanon.

But the leading pro-withdrawal movement was Four Mothers, also considered the most effective and influential protest movement in Israel's history. The Four Mothers movement was established shortly after the February 1997 crash of two IDF transport helicopters ferrying troops to Lebanon. Seventy-three soldiers died in the disaster. For the movement's leaders - mothers of IDF soldiers serving in Lebanon (among them also mothers who had lost their sons in Lebanon) - the escalating price of remaining in Lebanon was one they were unwilling to pay.11

Four Mothers launched the most aggressive campaign for a territorial withdrawal that Israel had ever seen. It included protest rallies, public petitions to Israel's prime ministers and Knesset members, distribution of information pamphlets, television appearances, seminars, campus lectures, and public conferences. Many argue that the strength of the movement in mobilizing dormant Israeli opinion derived from the special position of its members: mothers of combat soldiers serving in Lebanon.

The media greatly amplified the message of Four Mothers. The 1990s were years of media proliferation and growing media competition in Israel, and Lebanon became a media staple. Specifically, the state television lost its monopoly, and a competition ensued over scoops and ratings. Lebanon in particular lent itself to the drama and visual impact of television.

When, as mentioned earlier, the two transport helicopters ferrying IDF infantry troops into Lebanon collided, Israeli television channels transmitted continuous, haunting pictures of the tragedy. This extensive and detailed coverage of the helicopter disaster produced an intensified anti-Lebanon outcry in Israel, and many mark this day as the turning point in the Israeli public debate.

Beginning with the helicopters' crash, the Israeli media altered their method of covering the events in Lebanon. They offered less in-studio reportage and more graphic field coverage of IDF casualties in Lebanon, from the battlefield and from the helicopter landing pad at Haifa's Rambam hospital (to which Israeli casualties were transported from Lebanon). It was the kind of coverage that the army dreaded but could not prevent. In February 2000, IDF spokesman, Brig. Gen. Oded Ben Ami, sharply criticized the graphic television coverage of wounded soldiers. Ben Ami said that "the super close-ups … and difficult scenes of suffering by human beings … exposing their bodies, their blood, and their agony and pain" were demoralizing and shocking.12

Not coincidentally, beginning in 1997, Hizbullah started videotaping every ambush, roadside bomb, and mortar attack on IDF soldiers. The documented footage was acquired by Israeli television stations and aired during prime-time Israeli news on the night of the occurrence. Especially disturbing were the gruesome images of the aftermath of the abortive raid on an Amal base in September 1997, in which eleven Israeli naval commandos died. To the casual observer, it might even have seemed that the Israeli media had formed an alliance with Hizbullah, assisting it with its propaganda campaign and psychological war against the IDF and Israeli public.

But a closer scrutiny reveals that the real alliance brought together the Israeli media and the pro-withdrawal movement. The media and the movement developed a symbiotic relationship. The graphic images of Israeli soldiers being ambushed, shelled, and killed in Lebanon transported grim reality from the Lebanese battlefield to Israeli living rooms - precisely the objective of the pro-withdrawal movement. The media brought the public debate over the Lebanon issue from slow simmer to rolling boil.

The crucial point here is that Hizbullah did not break the IDF militarily. In fact, the IDF preferred the status quo to withdrawal. Its strategic assessments consistently argued against departing from Lebanon - which may be why, when the IDF did depart, it did so in a disorganized and unplanned manner. In the end, it was a shift in public opinion, driven by activist groups and the media, which effectively overrode the professional judgment of the military.

The widespread error in the Arab world was to regard the Israeli withdrawal as a kind of Arab military victory. The Arabs had long hungered for such a triumph - a victory that could be chalked up solely to the courage and determination of Arabs in arms. What they failed to understand was that Israel would have remained in Lebanon indefinitely had not the war lacked a fundamental rationale in the eyes of the Israeli public. Wherever that rationale existed, Israel's hand could not be forced. Paradoxically, those Arabs who least understood this were the same Arabs who purported to understand the Israelis best: the Palestinians.

The Wrong Lesson
Blessed be Beirut who broke the enemy and proved that we can defeat the superpowers. Blessed be the resistance [Hizbullah], which gave us the hope that the future is in our hands. The Lebanese victory is the great and most important example of the reality in which the Israeli enemy is living.
These were not the words of Hizbullah's secretary general, Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah. Nor were they the words of some other Hizbullah, Syrian, or Iranian spokesman. Rather, they belonged to the late Faysal al-Husayni, former Palestinian Authority (PA) minister for Jerusalem affairs.13 He was not alone. After Israel's May 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon, Palestinians repeatedly argued that the Lebanon experience had taught them a lesson: the road to realizing their territorial and national aspirations led not through diplomacy, but through armed struggle.

On the day of the withdrawal, an editorial in the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida deduced that the Israeli withdrawal was a consequence of "the pressure of [Hizbullah's] mortars and Katyusha missiles."14 An editorial in the independent Palestinian daily Al-Quds read: "The Israeli side must internalize the Lebanese lesson when it deals with the Palestinian track."15 On May 28, PA minister of treasury, Muhammad Zuhdi an-Nashashibi, argued that what "happened in Lebanon is a lesson for whoever wants to win in Palestine like [Hizbullah has won] in Lebanon."16

The Palestinians launched their "Al-Aqsa intifada" on September 28, 2000. It has exacted Israeli casualties not only in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. There have been fatal suicide attacks in major cities (Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kfar Saba, Hadera, Netanya, Sderot), shootings at vehicles on Israeli highways and byways, and mortar rockets on Israeli towns launched from Palestinian territories. The human cost of the intifada to Israel as of December 15, 2001, stood at 2,325 Israelis injured (1,655 civilians), and 242 killed (184 civilians).17 In fifteen months of violence, the Palestinians inflicted on Israel more dead and wounded civilians than Hizbullah inflicted in fifteen years.

According to the Palestinian assessment, the IDF's withdrawal from south Lebanon was a capitulation to Hizbullah's violence. The steady and heavy price in IDF casualties exacted by Hizbullah weakened Israel's resolve and demonstrated that Israeli society was no longer willing to fight. A demoralized society then applied pressure on the Israeli government and army to withdraw unilaterally without an agreement. If Hizbullah's violence could produce an unconditional Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, why couldn't Palestinian violence break Israel's determination to hold the West Bank and Gaza? After all, many Israelis seemed prepared to cede most of these territories anyway. Perhaps Israel could be driven out without compromising on any Palestinian "rights" whatsoever.

Israeli military analyst Ze'ev Schiff argued that "no issue has affected the Palestinian way of thinking - in the context of the current intifada - more than the IDF's withdrawal from Lebanon."18 The July 2000 Camp David summit persuaded Yasir Arafat that bilateral diplomacy would not produce the massive Israeli concessions he demanded. But in other circumstances, this realization need not have produced a rush to an intifada. What tipped the balance in the Palestinian decision to opt for an armed struggle was Hizbullah's "successful" experience - the demonstration effect of Hizbullah's high-profile "victory" over Israel.

A year later, the error in this analysis had become plainly manifest - even to some Palestinians. In the course of the intifada, Israelis did experience violence at home on a scale unprecedented since the 1948 war of independence. Israel paid a heavy price in both military and civilian lives. Yet all this had the opposite of the intended effect on Israeli public opinion. The results of the February 6, 2001 Israeli elections were the first manifestation of the Israeli reaction to intifada. The leader of the Likud party, Ariel Sharon - the very same ostracized "architect" of the Lebanon war, the man who led Israel into the "Lebanon quagmire" - was elected Israel's eleventh prime minister by an unprecedented 62.4 percent majority, the largest in Israel's history. Sharon's landslide victory was owed in large part to his campaign pledge to counter Palestinian violence with an iron hand.

The intifada also produced a profound shift in Israeli public opinion regarding both Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat and the Palestinians. Whereas the war of attrition in Lebanon produced public resentment towards the Israeli political and military establishment, the intifada produced a deep public aversion towards Arafat and the Palestinians. According to a March 2001 poll, 58 percent of Israelis polled said that their opinion of the Palestinians had changed for the worse since the beginning of the intifada. Additionally, 37 percent of those polled reported that the intifada caused them to adopt more hawkish opinions, and 63 percent said they now believed it impossible to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Even among supporters of the left-wing Meretz party, 58 percent stated that their estimate of Arafat had fallen. By October 2001, only 30 percent of Israelis perceived Arafat as a negotiating partner while 60 percent of them viewed him as an enemy who should be fought.19 Two months later, a 56-percent majority of Israelis supported removing Arafat from power altogether.20

Furthermore, in a direct reaction to the unprecedented level of Palestinian violence, Israelis also stated their support for extraordinary countermeasures. In March 2001, a very large majority - 71 percent - supported military action against Palestinian terrorists, including the targeted assassination of Palestinians connected to terrorist acts.21 This figure has remained stable - in August 2001, at 75 percent, and in December at 74 percent.22 Following sixteen months of the intifada, three out of every four Israelis were in favor of Sharon's harsh counterterrorism measures.

Similarly, a March 2001 study conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University found that 72 percent of Israeli Jews believed that more military force should be used against Palestinian violence. The study concluded with these words: "A wide consensus has developed among the Jewish public for a tough and uncompromising policy against the Palestinians."23

This near-consensus in Israeli public opinion regarding strategy to counter the intifada violence has already been translated into government policy. Israeli measures amount to a virtual siege of the PA and have included helicopter and F-16 strikes against Palestinian security and police posts, targeted killings of suspected terrorists, and limited ground invasions of autonomous Palestinian areas ("Area A") - measures no government has taken since the 1993 Oslo agreement. (F-16s had not been used in the West Bank and Gaza since the 1967 war.)

It is sometimes claimed that Ariel Sharon is pursuing a private vendetta in the measures he has pursued against Palestinian terrorism and the PA. But Sharon's policies are not produced in a vacuum. He is attentive to public opinion, and his approval ratings are correspondingly high - in most polls, in the neighborhood of 70 percent. If anything, Sharon's episodic exercise of "active restraint" seems to be personally motivated. It is the Israeli public that has propelled the Israeli government not only to use harsh rhetoric but also to take harsh actions against Palestinian violence. Sharon, who received an overwhelming mandate from Israeli voters to implement policies to counter Palestinian violence, is doing just that.

What is the basis of this broad public consensus for hanging tough in the face of an unprecedented level of violence in the West Bank, Gaza, and in Israel proper - especially given the fact that this same broad consensus insisted upon unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon? For the Israeli public, the two cases simply are not comparable. Most Israelis perceived the IDF's involvement in Lebanon as a futile "war of choice" - a term coined by former prime minister Menahem Begin in 1982. The current intifada, in contrast, is viewed as a war imposed on Israel, one that targets Israeli civilians and Israel proper. The majority of Israelis today see the intifada as a Palestinian attempt to bring about Israel's destruction. When national survival and personal safety are at stake, the Israeli public has always proven its ability to persevere and willingness to fight, regardless of the cost in life, treasure, and international sympathy. This was true in 1948, 1967, 1973, and it is true with regard to this intifada as well. Ronit Nahmias, cofounder of Four Mothers, was asked whether she would send her son to fight a war to defend Israel's survival. She replied,
Of course I would … in a necessary war, I think all of us would be ready to send our sons. We know we have no one to rely on for our defense.24
Furthermore, Israeli Jews never had any religious or national connection, or any territorial claims to any part of Lebanon. There was never a single Jewish settler on Lebanese territory. In contrast, both the Jewish claim to the West Bank, and the assumed right of Jews to settle and reside there (and in Gaza), have always been at the center of the political debate in Israel. In addition, the fact that the intifada also generated waves of terrorism within Israel persuaded much of the Israeli public that the Palestinians' ultimate aim is Israel's destruction. This understanding further unified Israeli public opinion and helped to generate a near-consensus. This broad-based public sentiment supports a very wide range of counterterrorist and military means to safeguard Israelis.

In sum, the Palestinian leadership made a signal error in assuming that violence could compel an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza - an assumption based on their reading of the Lebanese "precedent." It was a grave miscalculation, which has already damaged Palestinian aspirations for the future. It is paradoxical that the Palestinians, who supposedly know the Israelis better than any other Arabs, should have made such a disastrous error. Had they listened carefully to the Israeli street (on which they themselves were free to walk), and had they studied Israeli opinion polls, they might have understood the differences between their situation and that of south Lebanon. Instead they raised the flags of Hizbullah and assumed that its violence alone precipitated the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. But their own violence has precipitated an Israeli backlash they did not imagine, causing them many casualties, eroding their quasi-sovereignty, and postponing their plans for statehood indefinitely.

Why Palestinian leaders made this costly mistake is another question - an enigma that some Palestinian insider perhaps may explain in the future. The Arab media hype surrounding the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, and Hizbullah's own boastful claims, may be part of the explanation. Still, other Arabs showed much more caution in drawing lessons from the Israeli withdrawal, and even Hizbullah and Syria showed cautious restraint, knowing full well that Israel would react harshly to post-withdrawal provocations. The Palestinians seem to have been alone in believing they could force Israel's hand. Perhaps this is why they now find themselves so alone in facing Israel's fist.
Ronen Sebag is a research fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
11 Shai Feldman and Hada Rechnitz-Kijner, Deception, Consensus and War: Israel in Lebanon (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 1984), p. 21.
2 Shai Feldman, "Israel's Deterrent Power after its Withdrawal from Lebanon," Strategic Assessment, June 2000, at http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v3n1p3.html.
3 Gal Luft, "Israel's Security Zone in Lebanon - A ‘Tragedy'?" Middle East Quarterly, Nov. 2000, p. 14.
4Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt, eds., The Last Arab-Israeli Battlefield? Implications of an Israeli Withdrawal from Lebanon (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2000), pp. 27, 98.
5 Quoted by Adel S. Elias, "Speaking Out of Terror," World Press Review, Jan. 1998, pp. 47-48.
6 The Washington Post, Jan. 1, 2000.
7 Minah Zemach, Dahaf Institute poll for The Public Opinion, Oct./Nov. 1982, p. 38; Shai Feldman and Hada Rechnitz-Kijner, Deception, Consensus and War: Israel in Lebanon (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 1984), p. 62.
8 Feldman and Rechnitz-Kijner, Deception, Consensus and War, p. 62.
9 Asher Arian "Public Opinion on Lebanon and Syria, 1999," Strategic Assessment, June 1999, at http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v2n1p4_n.html; Asher Arian, "Israeli Public Opinion on National Security, 1998," Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies Memorandum, no. 49, chap. 3, p. 7, at http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/memoranda/memo49chp3.html.
10 Michael M. Laskier, "Israeli Activism American-Style: Civil Liberties, Environmental, and Peace Organizations as Pressure Groups for Social Change, 1970s-1990s," Israel Studies, Spring 2000, pp. 128-152.
11 The Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2000.
12 Yedi‘ot Ahronot, Feb. 8, 2000.
13 Faysal al-Husayni speech to forum of Arab lawyers in Beirut, As-Safir (Beirut), Mar. 21, 2001, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), at http://www.memri.org/sd/SP19701.html.
14 Al-Hayat al-Jadida (Gaza), May 24, 2000.
15 Al-Quds (Jerusalem), May 24, 2000.
16 Al-Ayyam (Ramallah), May 28, 2000.
17 IDF website, at http://www.idf.il/english/news/nifg.stm.
18 Ze‘ev Schiff, "Misreading History Risks Catastrophe," Ha'aretz, Apr. 5, 2001.
19 Ma‘ariv, Oct. 19, 2001.
20 Ibid., Dec. 7, 2001.
21 Yedi‘ot Ahronot, Mar. 30, 2001.
22 Ibid., Aug. 31, 2001, and Dec. 7, 2001.
23 Ephraim Yaar and Tamar Hermann, March 2001 Peace Index (Tel Aviv: Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, 2001), at http://www.tau.ac.il/peace/Peace_Index/p_index.html; Ha'aretz, Apr. 4, 2001.
24 The Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2000.