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May 24, 1996 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-05-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

is Y'v

ADL Spy Studies
Terrorists

ALAN HITSKY ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Yehudit Barsky doesn't chase
terrorists nor spy on them. She
just keeps watch and records and
information.
And she transmits that infor-
mation to airline security per-
sonnel, Middle East experts,
Atlanta Olympic Games officials,
and security and police agencies
throughout the United States.
Since 1985, Ms. Barsky has
been a senior Middle East re-
search analyst for the Anti-
Defamation League in New York.
Most of her information about
Middle East terror organizations
comes from the organizations
themselves: handbills and news-
papers from the Middle East,
publications by support groups
in the United States, and home
pages on the Internet.
"There is a lot of Islamic ma
terial on the Internet," she says,
"including extremist sites."
Ms. Barsky was a student of
international relations who orig-
inally focused on Israel. She also
wanted to discover "why the
Arabs do what they do," which
has led to a career of studying
terrorists, "some of the most in-
teresting — yet extreme — peo-
ple in the world."
She is quick to emphasize,
however, that the majority of
Arabs, both in the Middle East
and the United States, are mod-
erates who oppose the extrem-
ists.
The end of Palestinian terror-
ism, she believes, will not come
until Palestinian society changes,
deglorifies the "martyrs," mod-
ernizes, and interacts with Is-
rael. Gaza society will take a long
time to come to that point, she
says.
People who get their news from
handbills and the local imam
know little or nothing about Is-
rael and the United States, she
says. The ADL took teens from
Afula to Oklahoma. City (after the
federal building bombing last
year). The youngsters not only
shared the aftermath of terror-
ism, they also shared the same
music and culture.
"You couldn't do the same
thing with kids from Gaza," she
says, because the cultural dif-
ferences are so great.
In the short run, she believes
Israelis will vote next week on
whether Palestinian leader Yas-
sir Arafat has fulfilled his oblig-
ations to Israel. Palestinians in
the future will have to decide if
Mr. Arafat has delivered for
them.
`There's not much Israelis can
do about this. The Palestinians
must be concerned about their
future and what their relations
will be, and the Israelis are out-
side that process." O

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