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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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DAILY ALERT

July 29, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Airstrike Hit Hamas Treasury

    Hamas leader Salah Shehada was holding large sums of money he had received from Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia, that were intended to finance Hamas terrorist attacks.
    About $100,000 in cash (in Jordanian currency) was believed destroyed in the blast at his residence, IDF Chief of Staff Major-General Moshe Ya'alon has revealed. (Yediot Ahronot)


Arab States Halt Funds to Arafat

    Several Arab countries have cut off financing for the Palestinian Authority after press reports charged that Yasser Arafat had embezzled $5 million in Arab allocations meant to aid Palestinians. Among the countries that have suspended funding are Morocco, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, sources said. (WorldTribune.com)


U.S.-Taiwan Deal Could Double Israel's Submarine Fleet - Amnon Barzilai

    Israel has an opportunity to benefit from a submarine deal between Taiwan and the U.S. When Taiwan turned to Europe to obtain eight advanced conventional submarines, the Europeans turned them down, reluctant to upset Beijing. President Bush then agreed to have them built in the U.S., but the Americans have been building only nuclear subs for the last 50 years.
    Israel contacted Northrop Grumman, one of the companies vying for the deal, pointing out its recent experience and know-how in planning the Dolphin submarines that were constructed in Germany's HDW dockyard in the 1990s with German aid funds from the Gulf War. So Northrop Grumman decided to include a "Dolphin-design submarine" among the options in its proposal to Taiwan.
    Whichever company wins the contract, the American decision to establish a submarine assembly line in the U.S. will enable the production of submarines for the Israeli Navy - that could be funded out of American defense aid packages to Israel.
    Egypt is also interested in obtaining American submarines, financed by U.S. aid. (Ha'aretz)


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News Resources - USA and Europe:
  • U.S. Exploring Baghdad Strike
    Senior U.S. officials are exploring a Baghdad-first option - taking Baghdad and one or two key command centers and weapons depots first, in hopes of cutting off the country's leadership and causing a quick collapse of the government. The aim would be to kill or isolate Saddam Hussein and to pre-empt Iraq's use of weapons of mass destruction, whether against an incoming force, front-line allies, or Israel. (New York Times)
  • Palestinian Delegation to Meet Powell in U.S. Next Week
    Secretary of State Powell announced he will meet with a delegation of Palestinian officials in Washington next week. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the delegation would include himself and new PA Interior Minister Abdel Razak Yehiyeh. (Washington Post)
  • Bethlehem Exiles in Spain
    Members of the Spanish Guardia Civil patrol in front of the residence of Ibrahim Abayat, former commander of Bethlehem's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, keeping him and his two fellow exiles under virtual house arrest. "In a short time they will be moved to a different location," EU special envoy Miguel Moratinos said recently. "They will be having as much of a normal life as possible." But 52 U.S. congressmen have demanded that Abayat stand trial in the U.S. for the murder of American citizen Avi Boaz. (Newsweek)
  • What to Do about Iran's Emerging Nuclear Plant
    Russian and Iranian construction crews are working to complete a nuclear power plant at Bushehr, Iran, a country named by President Bush as part of the "axis of evil." Some U.S. defense officials argue that Bushehr should be destroyed before it receives its first load of nuclear fuel from Russia, and "There is some support for preemption within the administration," said Anthony Cordesman, a leading Middle East expert. "Within the next year, either the U.S. or Israel is going to either attack Iran's [nuclear sites] or acquiesce to Iran being a nuclear state," said John E. Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a military and intelligence research center. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Friday Terrorist Ambush Leaves 9 Orphans
    Ya'acov Dickstein, 44, and his wife, Hannah, 42, the parents of 10 children, were killed along with their son, 9-year-old Shuv-el, on Friday when terrorists ambushed their car south of Hebron. Two other sons were wounded including Adiel, 2, and Shlomo, 12, who took his father's cellphone and called the army for help. "My mother and father were killed in the light of day in front of their children, because they were Jews living freely in their land that they loved so much and without fear," said Tzvi Yehuda Dickstein, 20, at the funeral. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also "The Gunman Looked Us Straight in the Eyes" (Ha'aretz)
  • Why the Palestinians Miss Opportunities
    Tunisian columnist Al-'Afif Al-Akhdhar writes: "Clinton presented proposals to the Palestinian leaders on a golden platter, and they answered him with an intifada of armed struggle and suicide bombings - in an era when these are no longer appropriate. Thus, at one blow, we lost [both] the land...and our reputation." "When the vast majority of Arab intellectuals, the Arab street, and 80% of the Palestinians supported them [suicide attacks], we were slapped with an image of one who disdains life - his life and the lives of others." (Al-Hayat/MEMRI)
  • Israel Cancels Einstein Exhibit in China
    Israel has cancelled a major cultural exhibition in China about the celebrated Jewish scientist Albert Einstein because the Chinese demanded deletion of any mention that Einstein was a Jew and a warm supporter of the Zionist movement who was asked to become Israel's first president. "We cannot be reconciled with 'correcting' history, which would represent a humiliation to the State of Israel and the Jewish people," said Beijing Embassy spokesman Amir Saguy. [Trans. J. Silverman] (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Ross: Ferment among Palestinians Could Provide Hope
    Dennis Ross, the Clinton administration's former point man for Middle East peace negotiations, reports that "I have never seen such uncharacteristic ferment on the Palestinian side. Everything is open to debate, including the use of violence, and there is much criticism of Arafat." Yet, "There is no mechanism for translating this ferment into policy. The majority of Palestinians realize that the intifada, which is now a war, has been a complete disaster, but they cannot exert their will" to implement basic changes, Ross told the Los Angeles Jewish Federation. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Civilian Casualties: No Apology Needed - Ralph Peters
    Why are Palestinian terrorists allowed to target civilians without exciting an international outcry, while every accidental civilian death inflicted by Israel is a crime against humanity? When terrorists attempt to hide amid the civilian population, we must pursue them without hesitation. They cannot be allowed a single safe haven. If they use their neighbors as shields, it is the terrorists who are to blame should civilians die. This is not about diplomatic table manners. It is a fight to exterminate human monsters. (Wall Street Journal)
  • How to Get Beyond Arafat - James Kitfield
    "I believe our experiences with Milosevic offer some degree of hope that the American goal of finding an alternative to Arafat - who I always believed was either unwilling or incapable of making peace - is reachable," said former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. "We had a sustained campaign, run by a special task force...that used overt and covert means....We assisted independent media and reached out to opposition leaders, often in complete secrecy."
        In Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, career Foreign Service officer Louis Sell detailed this comprehensive, $77 million program of U.S. assistance to Serbian opposition groups. Applying the lessons learned from aiding democratic opposition groups that toppled authoritarian regimes in Eastern Europe during the latter stages of the Cold War, the campaign included sanctions to restrict the flow of international money to Milosevic and funding for independent print and broadcast media. (National Journal)
  • Oust Saddam First, Then Pursue Peace - Ehud Sprinzak and Robert J. Lieber
    Many critics of U.S. Mideast policy scold the Bush administration for wanting to go after Saddam Hussein before progress toward an Israeli-Palestinian peace is achieved. Yet, successfully moving against the Iraqi president first, rather than later, would create conditions for a new and more realistic peace process. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Talking Points:

    Israel Eases Restrictions on Palestinians - (Ha'aretz)

    • Israel's Finance Ministry will turn over $15 million in Palestinian tax payments to the Palestinian Authority's finance minister today.
    • The IDF will shorten curfews and lift some roadblocks. The curfew was lifted "indefinitely" in Kalkilya, and cancelled in Tulkarm and Hebron.
    • The IDF will allow 12,000 Palestinians to enter Israel for work.
    • Fishing zones off the Gaza Strip will be expanded.
    • Palestinian public transportation restrictions will be eased.
    • International aid organizations will be allowed to move more freely within the Palestinian territories.
    • The Prime Minister's office also announced that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres would be "responsible for coordinating all activities to assist the civilian population in the Palestinian Authority territories."


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