Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

June 17, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Arafat's Secret Bank Account
    The Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan reports on a private account in the Cairo branch of an Arab bank held by Yasser Arafat, showing a balance of $5.1 million. According to sources, the money comes from Arab aid funds allocated to the Palestinians.
    The funds are reportedly used to cover some of Arafat's personal expenses, including the costs of his wife Suha and their daughter who live in Paris and Switzerland.
    Some weeks ago, Muhammad Rashid, acting on Arafat's instructions, bought 14% of the shares of the Jordanian Cement Company with funds Arafat received from the Arab Gulf states, "to increase the profits of Arafat's investments abroad," in light of the enhanced demand for cement for the reconstruction of buildings damaged in the recent fighting.
    In addition, these funds from Kuwait and the other Gulf states meant for the reconstruction of homes were instead distributed to PA and Fatah leaders close to Arafat.
    The sources added that most of the food aid sent to the PA was sold in Palestinian and Israeli markets without being distributed to the poor and needy. (Al-Watan - Kuwait/MEMRI)


Canadian Foreign Minister Reexamines Iraq Policy
    Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham, Chair of last week's G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in British Columbia, told the Southam Press that, if military equipment is being smuggled into Iraq through a Syrian rail network, Canada will re-examine its position of working strictly within the United Nations to put pressure on Saddam Hussein.
    Canadian MP Irwin Cotler met with Graham prior to the G8 Meeting and briefed him on the subject of escalating international anti-Semitism.


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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Rice: No U.S.-Brokered Peace Plan
    National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice: "The Palestinian Authority, which is corrupt and cavorts with terror...is not the basis for a Palestinian state." Reformed Palestinian institutions "will give the Israelis confidence they're going to be living next to a state that any of us would actually want to live next to." (Mercury News)
  • Daschle Calls for Palestinian Regime Change
    Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle: There has to be a regime change in the Palestinian movement in order to reach a peaceful arrangement. Sooner or later Arafat needs to go, but it has to happen from within. Sen. Daschle also expressed disappointment with the degree of Saudi Arabia's help in fighting terror. (FOX News)
  • Bush Orders CIA to Topple Saddam
    President Bush early this year signed an intelligence order directing the CIA to undertake a comprehensive, covert program to topple Saddam Hussein, including authority to use lethal force to capture the Iraqi president, according to informed sources. (Washington Post)
  • Failed Attempt to Shoot Down U.S. Plane in Saudi Arabia
    A terrorist in Saudi Arabia attempted to shoot down a U.S. Air Force plane there a month ago. U.S. security discovered the remains of a portable anti-aircraft missile after it had apparently been fired at the Prince Sultan Air Base. The terrorist, now in custody in Sudan, was trained by al Qaeda. (ABC News)
  • Rumors about Purported Israeli Nuclear Capabilities
    According to former Pentagon and State Department officials, Israel has three diesel submarines that it is arming with newly designed cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The Israelis reportedly tested a cruise missile launched from a submarine two years ago off Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. In response, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ron Kitrey denied that the army possesses cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • 2 Soldiers Killed, 4 Wounded in Gaza Ambush
    Givati Brigade soldiers Yehezkel Gutman, 22, and Alexei Gladkov, 20, were killed and 4 others wounded when they were ambushed by Palestinian terrorists near Dugit in the northern Gaza Strip Saturday night. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Suicide Bomber Explodes Near Israeli Arab Village; No Casualties
    Border Police troops riding in an armor-clad jeep early Monday outside the Israeli Arab village of Mardza near Netanya approached the bomber who blew himself up, badly damaging the jeep but leaving the soldiers unhurt. (Ha'aretz)
  • Sharon: Not the Time for a Palestinian State
    Prime Minister Sharon told President Bush at the White House last week that a Palestinian state can only be established once Palestinian violence stops and serious reforms are implemented. Sharon told the Cabinet on Sunday, "The conditions are not yet ripe for the establishment of any type of Palestinian state." (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli Christian Arabs Flee Muslim Nazareth
    The wealthier ones emigrate to Canada, the U.S., or Chile, or they move to Jewish Nazareth Elit. The less well-off move to apartments in Haifa. The destinations may not be ideal, but the option of continuing to live in a Muslim village is much worse, and involves not a few violent encounters, some that have ended in murder. (Makor Rishon)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Statehood Would Reward Suicide Bombings - David Makovsky
    To put the force of the U.S. behind prematurely creating a full-blown Palestinian state in virtually all the West Bank would be a reward to the suicide bombers who have terrorized Israelis. To advance such a Clinton-era strategy would send the terrible message that terrorism pays. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Open Door for Saudi Terrorists - Joel Mowbray
    Residents of Saudi Arabia, including non-Saudi citizens, can apply for non-immigrant visas to the U.S. at private travel agencies, never needing to visit a U.S. embassy or consulate. Three of the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. in this way. (National Review)
  • Why Terrorism is Attractive to Saudi Youth - Scott Peterson
    The young men of Saudi Arabia's Generation-X face unprecedented unemployment and are searching for meaning in lives defined by a host of restrictions. Saudi Arabia's earnings per capita have tumbled from being on par with America, 20 years ago, to matching that of Panama today. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Ballistic Missiles in Iran - Yiftah S. Shapir
    Iran does not yet have a nuclear capability, but the deterrence role of its missile force points to the possibility that the missiles will be equipped with nuclear warheads if and when Iran is able to produce them. (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Shall We Talk about Due Process Today? - Uri Dromi
    When I was the spokesman of the Israeli government in the early 1990s, I had to face tough questions from U.S. journalists about Israel's detention of suspects. "If you have something against them, bring them to trial. If not, let them go," they said. As the case of Jose Padilla and the "dirty bomb" illustrates, since 9/11, Americans have woken up to the need to catch terrorists and to detain them while getting information about the others, in order to curb their evil plots. (Miami.com)
  • Bay Area Becomes Anti-Israel Center - Karen Alexander
    In the liberal, open-minded city of San Francisco, the UC Berkeley and SFSU campuses are home to a deep wellspring of free-floating, hard-left authoritarianism whose adherents have set their sights on Israel. The few Arab students have found eager allies among the Bay Area's preexisting, off-campus lefty groups, which gives pro-Palestinian groups an unusual capacity to turn out large crowds. (New Republic)
  • Talking Points:

    Provisional Palestinian State is a Trap - William Safire (New York Times)

    • Recognizing a state on West Bank and Gaza land now occupied by Palestinian forces unwilling to control suicide bombers is a lose-lose idea.
    • Statehood, even if qualified as provisional or interim, confers a degree of sovereignty. That means control of borders, the ability to make treaties, and to import arms from Iraq and Iran.
    • Partial statehood would give Arafat control of an airport. A plane loaded with fuel or explosives could hit a major Tel Aviv building within three minutes, too quickly for Israeli jets to scramble.
    • Any form of statehood would limit Israel's ability to search out bomb factories and arrest terrorist leaders. Such Israeli actions would be denounced in the UN as invasion, triggering European economic boycotts and drawing Arab allies into a wider war.
    • Why offer Arafat's autocracy a prize? Recognition of an unreformed PLO will offer a taste of triumph to jihadists from Netanya to New York.


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