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[casi] Seeking clarity on the question of payments to suicide bombers

Hello, all. I will soon be speaking at a huge rally we in Texas have
organized to protest Bush's and Blair's meeting (at Bush's ranch in
Crawford, Tx) to plot the war on Iraq. Organizers are estimating that there
will be over 1000 people (amazing, considering how big Texas is and that
Crawford is not exactly the Paris of Texas -- that would be Paris, Texas).

The question of the payments to suicide bombers is now confusing me, and I
don't really trust the AP reports, since their fact-checking on these
matters, as we know from the issue of Saddam's purported "expulsion" of
weapons inspectors and many similar incidents, is abominable.

I understand from Colin's post that the original payment, of $10,000, was
to the family of any Palestinian who died in the struggle, whether killed
by Israelis or by their own suicide bombing -- this accords with all the
reporting I have seen until very recently. Now, the payment has been raised
to $25,000, and at least one report I've read suggests that there's a
two-tier system -- $10,000 if you're just killed, $25,000 if you do a
suicide bombing. Most reports just repeat standard White House propaganda
that the payment is only for suicide bombers, which we know not to be true.

Can anyone shed light on this? Is the raise to $25,000 applicable to
everyone or only to suicide bombers? I think the payment is far more
defensible -- certainly to the average person on the street -- if it is
compensation for a family's loss than if it is, even in part ($15,000), a
bounty for trying to kill Israelis.

As always, I take such questions to CASI, because they're the best at
finding out the real story.

In solidarity,

Rahul Mahajan

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