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 18, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Dissident Iraq General: U.S. Can Easily Oust Saddam

    Maj. Gen. Najib al-Salhi, who headed a Republican Guards division before defecting in 1995, said he expected the Iraqi army to fold immediately if the United States attacked.
    "Morale is at a disastrous level and the troops are sick of continuous war. Saddam will find himself surrounded by a few hundred soldiers," Salhi said in London, adding that the Iraqi army was a shadow of its strength before the 1991 Gulf War and had received no significant supplies since.
    The Iraqi army was divided along sectarian lines. Sunni Muslims from Takrit, Saddam's birthplace in central Iraq, comprised the Special Republican Guard entrusted with the president's personal protection. "The Shi'ites are mostly relegated to the infantry," said Salhi. "They will be the first ones to leave their posts and either join the advancing forces or go home." (Reuters)


PA Officials Build Mansions with Aid Funds

    A Palestinian pointed to one of the many new multistory homes on the hillside overlooking his village: "There is the UNESCO money sent to help our children."
    Hundreds of new mansions for Palestinian Authority officials dot the West Bank, most with their own water purification systems and backup generators. (WorldNetDaily.com)


Saudi Prince Smuggled Drugs Under Diplomatic Immunity

    A Saudi prince smuggled a 4,400-pound load of cocaine from Venezuela to Paris on his personal aircraft under diplomatic immunity, U.S. drug investigators charged Wednesday. (ABC News/AP)


Useful Reference:

Visions for Peace

In a special series of reports, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ehud Barak discuss their visions for Israel's future. (JTA)


Key Links

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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Homicide Bombers Strike Tel Aviv, Kill 3
    Two Palestinian suicide bombers detonated outside a convenience store in Tel Aviv Wednesday evening, killing 3 and injuring 40 people, mostly foreign workers. (Washington Post)
  • Banks to Shut Doors on Saudi Royal Cash
    Western banks may refuse deposits from members of the Saudi royal family under guidelines drawn up to identify "politically exposed" wealthy individuals whose assets could in the future be confiscated. The anxiety of the banks follows the embarrassing experience of having to trace and hand back vast fortunes looted by such notorious former dictators as Marcos in the Philippines, Mobutu in Zaire, and Abacha in Nigeria. (Guardian - UK)
  • Nukes You Can Use
    A new Bush administration military strategy contemplates pre-emptive first strikes - and even the remote possibility of using nuclear weapons - against outlaw states such as Iraq. For example, an earth-penetrating nuclear bomb might be used to destroy underground bunkers - often hundreds of feet deep - that may hide chemical and biological weapons labs and are out of reach of modern conventional weapons. (U.S. News)
  • Congress Presses for Palestinian Accountability
    The Arafat Accountability Act would immediately impose sanctions on the grounds that the Palestinians have violated their commitments to renounce terrorism, end violence, and halt incitement. The bill would deny visas to PA officials and restrict the travel of Palestinian UN officials, freeze the American assets of Palestinian leaders, and downgrade the Washington office of the PLO. (JTA)
  • Gaddafi Show Baffles the Starving
    Throwing fistfuls of cash from his open-top limousine to puzzled villagers lining the route, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his flamboyant roadshow rumbled into drought-stricken Malawi. One car in his entourage was reported to be stuffed with $6 million in cash. Gaddafi was in Malawi to enlist support for his newly created African Union, and has paid part or all of the membership dues of at least ten African states. (Times - UK)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:
  • Officer Killed in Clash with Emmanuel Terrorists
    The Palestinian terrorists who attacked the Emmanuel bus on Tuesday ambushed IDF units chasing them, killing Lieutenant Elad Grenadir, 21, from Haifa, and wounding three soldiers, one seriously. (Ha'aretz)
  • Impact of the Security Fence on the Palestinian Economy
    The fence, aimed at preventing suicide bombers and car bombers from entering Israel, will also stop thousands of Palestinians from working in Israel, representatives of donor countries and the UN said. However, Professor Gerald Steinberg of Bar-Ilan University believes, “The economic impact of the fence is marginal since the number of workers has fallen dramatically in the past 10 years.” He said the remittances of tens of thousands of Palestinian workers living in Israel illegally was much more important to the Palestinian economy than the earnings of a few thousand entering and leaving on a daily or weekly basis. (Jerusalem Times/MiddleEastWire.com)
        Map of the West Bank Security Fence (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Fighting Until Victory - Aluf Benn
    This week, Sharon set forth Israel's war aim: the unconditional surrender of the Palestinian side. In messages to Secretary of State Powell and the Mideast Quartet, Sharon demanded that the Palestinians lay down their arms and their leader be removed as conditions for any diplomatic progress. (Ha'aretz)
  • Shortcut to Saddam - Ehud Ya'ari
    The attack on Saddam Hussein will surely come. President Bush has no way of retreating from his commitment to a confrontation, and toppling Saddam is an attainable goal. The moment that the American military has a foothold inside Iraq, it will be possible to talk at a different level both with the opposition movements and elements within Saddam's army. (Jerusalem Report)
  • Al-Quds U. and the Rule of Law - Minister of Internal Security Uzi Landau
    How long would it take President Bush to shut down a university operating in the center of Washington, D.C., from the moment he found out its president and board members had been appointed by the Taliban? (Jerusalem Post)
  • Back to Jenin - Ze'ev Schiff
    During a Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies conference, Lt. Col. Fuad Halhal, who had been a Civil Administration officer in Jenin, described how during the battle in Jenin in April, even during the combat and explosions, there were efforts made to assist the civilian population, including supplying food, oxygen canisters and an Israeli generator to the Palestinian hospital, the transfer of 83 patients from that hospital to Israeli hospitals, sending technicians from the Jerusalem Electric Company to fix damaged lines in Jenin, repairs to the drinking water pipes, and repairs to a well that ceased to function. (Ha'aretz)
  • A Global Surge of Anti-Semitism - Yossi Klein Halevi
    The chances of a murderous skinhead wandering around an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood without premeditated intent to kill are about as likely as an armed Muslim fanatic who just happens to open fire at a counter of Israel's national airline. Why the tendency to downplay Jew-hatred? (Los Angeles Times)
  • Ousting Arafat Aids Arab Cause - Sulaiman Al-Hattlan
    Since 1965, Arafat has dragged his people from one defeat to another, from one misery to another, and from one humiliation to another. It is time for Arabs to say publicly what we have been saying privately: Yasser Arafat must go. His removal would be in the best interest of the Palestinian people. (USA Today)
  • Talking Points:

    Assessing the Quartet's New York Statement - Robert Satloff
          (Washington Institute for Near East Policy - July 17, 2002)

    Secretary of State Colin Powell joined with leaders from the UN, the European Union (EU), and Russia in issuing a "joint statement" on Middle East policy in New York.

    • The statement reaffirmed the April 10 Madrid communique, an Arafat-centric document which repeatedly appealed to Arafat -- by name -- as "the recognized, elected leader of the Palestinian people." However, with the June 24 speech, the United States entered the post-Arafat era.
    • Madrid outlined a process of "immediate, parallel and accelerated movement toward near-term and tangible political progress," which runs counter to the "security first, diplomacy later" sequence articulated by the president.
    • The Quartet said that "implementation of an action plan [on Palestinian reform]...should lead to the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state." However, there is no reference to the fact that negotiations -- not just fulfillment of the "action plan" -- should be a prerequisite to statehood.
    • The statement made no reference to three important aspects of the president's speech: the need for Arab states to stop the flow of material, financial, political, and ideological support to terrorist groups; the unmistakable warning to Damascus that the United States would only support peacemaking with "a Syria that supports peace and fights terror"; and the abject failure of the existing Palestinian leadership.


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