Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

July 15, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Humanitarian Aid Waits Unclaimed
- Ben Caspit
    Last week Gen. Amos Gilad met with Palestinians and presented them with a list of 200 humanitarian contributions of food, medicine, and baby food from various sources, waiting at Israeli ports. "Why don't you pick it up?" Gilad asked.
    Apparently, they don't yet really need such supplies. (Maariv)


Syria Buys Arms for Iraq - Ze'ev Schiff
    Syria, current president of the UN Security Council, is violating the UN arms embargo on Iraq by sending weapons and military equipment delivered to Syrian ports on to Iraq via trucks and rail.
    The Syrian weapons purchases for transfer to Iraq include refurbished T-55 tank engines and other replacement parts for T-72s, from Bulgaria and Belarus; military trucks from Russia; and anti-aircraft cannon from the Czech republic.
    Ukraine and other countries have sold 80 engines for MiG 29s, as well as radar systems for those planes. In addition, spare parts have been bought by Syria and sent on to Iraq for MiG 21s, 23s and 25s. Syria has also passed on equipment from Hungary and Serbia to Iraq.
    Among those involved in these transactions is the son of Syrian Defense Minister Firas Talas, who owns a large holding company in Syria. Talas is also involved in purchasing oil from Iraq.
    The commercial-security relationship that has developed between Syria and Iraq since Bashar Assad came to power in Damascus is a significant strategic change in the region. The late Hafez Assad aligned with the West against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. (Ha'aretz)


Intifada Victim's Family Enjoys Rewards of Fame
    On September 30, 2000, 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura was killed in full view of television cameras at Gaza's Netzarim junction.
    Extensive investigations by the Israeli Army and the German ARD television network concluded that the fatal shots were fired by Palestinians.
    Nevertheless, the al-Dura family is now financially comfortable, with money, awards, and invitations pouring in from Iraq, Iran, and other Arab countries eager to fete the first family of the intifada. (Times - UK)


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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Jew Murdered in Toronto Hate Crime
    David Rosenzweig, 49, an Orthodox Jewish father of six, was stabbed to death near the Israeli-owned King David Pizza in Toronto early Sunday morning by skinheads. (Toronto Star)
  • U.S. Seeks New Palestinian Prime Minister
    Secretary of State Powell said that the Bush administration would push for the appointment of a Palestinian prime minister before the proposed PA elections in January. Powell said, ''We think it would be very useful to have a prime minister or a minister of transformation....It has to be somebody who has some authority to act, act in a responsible way and bind that action with performance.'' (Boston Globe)
  • Palestinians Want Reform, But Not as Bush Defines It
    "The Palestinian concept of reform is totally different from the concept suggested by Bush," said a top Hamas leader. This huge disconnect has raised doubts that Bush's Middle East peace initiative will ever get off the ground. (Washington Post)
  • Palestinians Criticize Senior Officials' Lavish Lifestyles
    Two years ago, Palestinian legislature speaker Ahmed Qurea completed a 12-room mansion in Jericho with a swimming pool, lush landscaping, privacy wall, and guard tower. The mansions built by Qurea, senior negotiator Mahmoud Abbas, security chief Mohammed Dahlan, Social Affairs Minister Intisar Wazir, and others are proof for many Palestinians that their leaders have lined their pockets with public money. In addition, says Jarar Kidwa, the Palestinian Authority's auditor general, in Tunis the PLO had "2,000 to 5,000 people on the payroll. Here, there are 121,546 civil servants." (LA Times)
  • A Summer of Healing for Israeli Kids
    On a guarded kibbutz in southern Israel there is a summer camp like no other for Israeli children who've lost brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. "These kids have had their parents blown up; they've had their siblings exploded from being healthy, vibrant people to nothing," says Sherri Mandel, co-founder of the camp and mother of 13-year-old Kobi, who was murdered by Palestinians a year ago. (NBC News)
  • New "Armed Baby" Photo
    IDF troops operating in Hebron have found another photograph of a Palestinian baby posing with weapons. The photograph shows a child in a baseball cap sitting with a real handgun in its lap and its hand on a plastic rifle. A similar photo, showing a Palestinian toddler dressed as a suicide bomber, was discovered last month. (CNN)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Suicide Bomber Captured
    The Islamic Jihad terrorist, in his 20s, from the Jenin area, had a belt bomb packed with nails and screws, and a Kalashnikov rifle. He made his way to the Israeli Arab town of Umm el-Fahm, but could find no one willing to take him to the Jewish town of Afula. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Air Force Destroys Gaza Weapons Lab
    An Israel Air Force F-16 and helicopters demolished a three-story building near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday that had served as a lab for making explosive devices. A wanted Hamas military commander reportedly left the building moments before the attack. The strike followed Palestinian mortar fire Saturday night at a settlement in the central Gaza Strip. Such mortar attacks have become a daily occurrence. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Mob Murders "Collaborator"
    A 44-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was killed by Hamas members on Sunday on the second day of his trial in Khan Yunis on suspicion of collaborating with Israel. The court had recessed and the accused man was taken to a holding cell when the IAF attacked a nearby building. A commotion broke out and Hamas members broke into his cell and shot him in the head. (Jerusalem Post/Itim)
  • Let the Fruit Fall
    The number of foreigners making pilgrimage to Arafat's office is shrinking; the political oxygen in the room is running out. Israel expects that the fruit will ripen and fall from the tree by itself. According to a senior IDF officer in Samaria, the Palestinian population is tired, weakened, and in shock. The phenomenon of explosives and weapons being handed over by the Palestinian population to the IDF is very common. (Trans. J. Silverman) (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Sharon's Peace Plan? - Leslie Susser
    When Sharon visited the White House in early June, he told President Bush he was prepared to hand over an extra 7 percent from "Area C," to give the Palestinians control of 49.1 percent of the West Bank, as well as two-thirds of the Gaza Strip, in which they would be able to declare provisional statehood. Sharon showed Bush a map demonstrating how a system of roads, bridges, and tunnels would provide territorial contiguity. "No Palestinian going from one West Bank city to another would have to pass through an Israeli roadblock," said a Sharon aide. (Jerusalem Report)
  • The Calm Before the Storm - Aluf Benn
    The unspoken deal between Sharon and Bush is simple. Israel is to keep the conflict with the Palestinians as quiet as possible, thus muting a potentially sticky issue and shoring up American Jewish support for the GOP in the November midterm elections. In return, Sharon will be exempt from a new peace process, which would almost certainly break his coalition apart and threaten his bid for reelection next year. (Salon.com)
  • Terror's Aftermath: A Mother Talks about her Daughter - Alan Kaufman
    Among the dead at the Sbarro restaurant bombing in Jerusalem last summer was Malki Roth, 15. Malki's mother, Frimet Roth, said that Malki thought about terrorist attacks a lot. "Every day were new terrorist attacks. In her diary she marked them down, with the names of the victims, their ages, details of what happened. As if she knew them." (Los Angeles Times)
  • Talking Points:

    New U.S. and Israeli Strategies - Aluf Benn (Ha'aretz)

    The new American Middle East strategy has four components:

    • Regime changes in Iraq, Iran, and the Palestinian Authority
    • An active war against terror, including sending advisers to states such as Yemen
    • Working to block the spread of weapons of mass destruction
    • Working over the long term to change the face of societies in the region through democratization - a process that will begin in Iraq and the PA.

    In a cable to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented Israel's positions on the eve of the meeting of the Madrid Quartet (the U.S., UN, EU, and Russia) in New York:
    • The Palestinians must dismantle and disarm the militia groups in the territories and unite the various security forces under a single minister who has not been involved in terror.
    • There must be an end to the terror and absolute quiet.
    • Security reform must be put into practice immediately, followed by administrative, economic, and legal reforms.
    • International financial aid must not be transferred to Arafat, as some of the money is channeled toward terror.


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