When speaking extemporaneously George W tends to reveal things in his simplictic black and white world. Remember of course his references to the "crusades" in the early post-9/11 days. And now he reveals in a few words why he has ended Arafat's White House visits (with an implicit warning for all the other 'client regimes' in the area as well. Here's the key sentence in the following article: "Bush urged the Palestinian Authority to shed 'officials who haven't been able to deliver' -- a group that Bush has said should include Arafat himself."
3 Americans Killed in Jerusalem
Bombing at University Leaves 4 Others Dead, More Than 60 Hurt
By John Ward Anderson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, August 1, 2002; Page A01
JERUSALEM, July 31 -- Three U.S. citizens were among seven people killed when a large bomb exploded here today in a busy cafeteria at Hebrew University's Frank Sinatra International Student Center, spraying shards of glass and metal across a lunchtime crowd. The Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, asserted responsibility, calling it revenge for an Israeli bombing raid that killed its military leader.
A fourth U.S. citizen was missing and presumed dead, although the victim's identity was not firmly established, and four U.S. citizens were among the more than 60 people wounded in the blast, a State Department official said in Washington. One of the Americans killed had just arrived for studies in Israel on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy here reported. Two of the Americans killed were women.
One of the victims, Janis Ruth Coulter, 36, worked as assistant director of academic affairs in New York for Hebrew University's Rothberg International School. She left the United States on Monday to accompany a group of American students who were enrolling at the university, according to Amy Sugin, an official at the New York organization. Coulter had been expected to return to New York at the end of the week.
The explosion left pools of blood and debris around the cafeteria and charred some walls. Tables, chairs, plants and garbage containers were overturned inside and on a cafe-style patio outside, which was carpeted with pieces of glass large and small. Wires dangled from spots in the ceiling where tiles and insulation were blown to shreds. Shoes and blood-drenched clothing littered the area.
"I was eating in the cafeteria with two friends and all at once everything exploded," said David Kosok, 35, a rabbinical student from Los Angeles studying Hebrew at the university. "At first I thought that an oven had exploded or something, but then there were all these things flying through the air. If I can say that I was lucky in this attack, I'll say it. I was really lucky."
Police said preliminary evidence suggested the explosion came from a bomb left in a bag on a table inside the cafeteria, rather than from a suicide bomb -- the trademark weapon used by Palestinian radicals in their 22-month uprising against Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said it organized the blast to avenge the July 22 killing of its leader, Salah Shehada. Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas spiritual leader and one of its founders, also linked it to the killing of Shehada, in which Israel bombed a house where he was spending the night with his family in a crowded Gaza City neighborhood. The 2,000-pound bomb killed Shehada and 14 other people, including nine children.
Several thousand Palestinians participated in a march through Gaza streets tonight organized by Hamas to celebrate the bombing in Jerusalem, the Reuters news agency reported.
The Palestinian Authority, headed by Yasser Arafat, condemned today's bombing "absolutely." But the authority's leadership, in a statement also alluding to the Gaza attack, added that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is "responsible for this cycle of terror."
President Bush, speaking after a Cabinet meeting in Washington, criticized the bombing "in the strongest possible terms" and charged that the people who organized it are "clearly killers who hate the thought of peace." As he has before, Bush urged the Palestinian Authority to shed "officials who haven't been able to deliver" -- a group that Bush has said should include Arafat himself.
"Israel is fighting a pitched battle against terror and for the right to walk down the street, take a bus or sit in a cafeteria without the fear of being decimated by Palestinian terrorism," an official in Sharon's office, David Baker, told reporters.
Today's blast was the most serious in Jerusalem since June 18 and 19, when 26 Israelis were killed in back-to-back suicide bombings on a bus and at a crowded intersection. Those attacks led Sharon to launch a massive crackdown in the West Bank, erecting new roadblocks and checkpoints, reoccupying seven of the eight largest Palestinian cities with thousands of Israeli soldiers, tanks and armored vehicles, and imposing curfews that have left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians confined to their homes for weeks at a time.
Despite those efforts, the violence has continued. Analysts and Israeli security officials had warned of an upswing in attacks in retaliation for the Gaza bombing. On Tuesday, the director of Shin Bet, the domestic security service, warned that 60 suicide bombings against Israeli targets were being planned.
Frustrated by the attacks, Sharon's security cabinet moved today to deport to the Gaza Strip any family members who could be linked directly to terrorists, a tactic that drew intense international criticism when it was proposed earlier this month. Israeli press reports said the first to be deported would be a relative of a Palestinian who ambushed a bus outside the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel on July 16, killing 10 Israelis and injuring 20.
The cabinet also decided to formalize a policy of destroying the homes of suicide bombers and other attackers, which the Israeli military has already been doing, according to Israeli media reports. In addition, the security cabinet -- which did not announce its decisions -- reportedly recommended cutting off government assistance to families of alleged terrorists, punishing Islamic religious leaders who incite violence through their preaching and banning funeral processions for suicide bombers.
The bloody cycle of bombings and other killings has left more than 1,600 Palestinians and about 570 Israelis dead since the current uprising began in September 2000. But today's incident was the first violent attack against an institution of higher learning and one of the few times that attackers detonated a bomb inside a building rather than recruiting a suicide bomber.
Many of those injured at the Sinatra center, named for the late American crooner, a donor to the school, were exchange students from overseas here for summer classes. Hospital officials said they included the four Americans, a French tourist, an Italian man, two people from East Asia and several Arabs. Many of the injuries were burns, rather than the shrapnel wounds typically caused by suicide bombs, which are often loaded with nails and other sharp objects.
"There was a huge boom and then a fire," said Arye Edrei, 46, a law professor at Tel Aviv University who was eating lunch on the far side of the cafeteria when the explosion occurred at 1:45 p.m. "There was fire, everything was destroyed, people were lying on the ground bleeding all over, and people started helping everyone get out. People were crying, screaming."
The bombing at one of Israel's oldest and most prestigious universities, attended by Jews and Arabs, shattered what students and university officials said was the illusion that they were in an enclave of tolerance nestled on Mount Scopus in northern Jerusalem.
Some student leaders said on Israeli television tonight that they had complained to university officials several months ago about lax security. But most said they had few worries as they attended classes, ate meals and strolled across the campus, which has strict security checks at all entrances.
About 23,000 students attend the university, officials said, including about 1,700 Arabs.
Students said, however, that they have avoided trips to the bars, shops, restaurants and malls in downtown Jerusalem, where eight suicide bombings have occurred in the past 16 months. The most recent was Tuesday, when a 17-year-old from the Bethlehem area blew himself up at a popular falafel stand, injuring five Israelis.
"We felt the university was safe. After all, people learn there," said Sawalha Asad, 27, a dental student. "I thought that it was a place of peace, a place where Jews and Arabs could meet and be together."
Many students said that rather than shaking their confidence, the attack strengthened their resolve to stay at the university.
"I told my family that I'd come home if something happened, but I just went over and wrote them an e-mail that I'm fine, and I don't want to come home," said Sophia Aron, 19, a student from Los Angeles who arrived last month.
"Too many kids didn't come this year because they were scared," she said. "But this is Israel, I'm Jewish, and it's important to me that Israel exists. If you're going to come to Israel, you should come, good or bad."