JCRC fighting terrorism through Arafats personal fax

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One Jewish organization is hoping Bay Area Jews will fight Palestinian terrorism — via fax.

Following this week's suicide bombings in Israel, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council is giving out Yasser Arafat's fax number so that local officials and citizens can urge the Palestinian leader to take swift and decisive action against terrorism.

"I hope his fax machine doesn't rest," says Doug Kahn, JCRC's executive director.

Kahn won't reveal how the agency acquired Arafat's fax number, but he will say he "has no hesitation" about making it available so that people can "respectfully but forcefully" communicate their opposition to terror.

This week, Kahn will be contacting all major local, state and national governmental officials in the area and asking them to fax Arafat.

He wants Bay Area citizens to send "a clear, consistent signal of public condemnation against acts of terror." In turn, he hopes Arafat will pass on the urgency of this message to the Palestinian people.

In addition, Kahn wants the fax campaign to convince Arafat that he must immediately "make good on his promise" to repeal those sections of the Palestinian National Covenant that call for the destruction of Israel.

Kahn stresses that the fax campaign is being launched in the context of JCRC's continuing support for the peace process and "our deep anguish over acts of terror."

Earlier this week, JCRC sent its own one-page fax to Arafat indicating its position and ending with an impassioned plea to keep peace alive.

"The murderers of innocents must not be allowed to prevail," the fax states. "Peace between Palestinians and Israelis must not be stillborn in its cradle."

The JCRC hopes the letter will serve as a model for similar correspondence from the Bay Area.

As for the potential clogging of Arafat's fax line, Kahn says he hopes the leader isn't irritated, but rather motivated by the onslaught of correspondence.

"Hopefully," Kahn says, "he will recognize the magnitude of our concern."