Memo To: Mort Zuckerman
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: You are ill-informed
For goodness sakes, Mort, you are one of the most powerful Jewish leaders in the world who is not an Israeli. You not only own a good chunk of the major news media, including the New York Daily News, U.S.News & World Report and the Atlantic magazine. You are also a top dog at the World Jewish Congress and are still, I think, President of the association that represents the 12 most important Jewish organizations. So how come you are so ill-informed when it comes to Yasir Arafat? I saw you on the McLaughlin Group this morning and twice you beat up on him for having rejected the deal he was offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David, in the closing days of the Clinton administration. I thought John McLaughlin or Pat Buchanan might have interjected that Arafat continued the negotiations with the Barak team at Taba, Egypt, and practically cut the deal for a Palestinian state. They were mum. The talks were only suspended so Barak could run for re-election. Yes, they were. When Barak lost to Ariel Sharon, the Arab/Israeli talks went down the drain. It was Sharon who not only refused to pick up where Barak left off; he refused to negotiate at all with Arafat, the chosen leader of the Palestinian people.
Didn't you know about all this, Mort? I really think you should call one of the newspersons who work for you and ask them to find out if Wanniski is right, or making all this up. Former President Clinton has been no help, I'll admit, as he thinks history stopped when he left office, and that any negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis at Taba do not count. I wrote him a memo a year ago April explaining all this to him, which I guess you did not read. So click on this link and check it out. It will have a link to "swiss cheese," which will show you the map of "Palestine" that Arafat was offered at Camp David. It really is funny. You should also link on to the fantastic job of reporting in the New York Times by Deborah Sontag, which points out that Arafat should not have borne all the blame for the breakdown in the talks. That Israel did not play fair. Ms. Sontag should have gotten a Pulitzer, but instead her editors reassigned her to another beat. You know how that goes. The link to her piece is provided in my memo to Mr. Clinton, but now the NYT will charge you $2.95 to call it up. It is well worth reading, Mort, and I know you have the loose change to afford it.