Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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DAILY ALERT

August 2, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Jordanian Prince Hasan: The Next King of Iraq? - Sami Moubayed (Gulf News - UAE)

    The Hashemite monarchy in Iraq was toppled in 1958, yet there remains one Hashemite with the intelligence, ambition, and stature to serve as leader of Iraq - Prince Hasan, the former Crown Prince of Jordan.
    Prince Hasan lived a lifetime in the shadow of his brother, King Hussein of Jordan. When the king went to the U.S. for medical treatment, Hasan was left in charge of Jordan's day-to-day affairs. When the dying king returned to Jordan in February 1999 and learned of Hasan's plans to dethrone him and appoint his own son, Rashed, as crown prince, Hussein sacked Hasan from his post and appointed Abdullah as crown prince. Upon Hussein's death on February 9, Abdullah became king.
    Hasan appeared little in public during the years 1999 to 2001, then surprised Arabs in general and Jordanians in particular by showing up at the Iraqi opposition conference in London in July 2002.
    Hasan attended the meeting with Dr. Ahmad Al Shalabi, the self-appointed mastermind and financier of the Iraqi movement who had been close to the ex-crown prince when serving as Director of the Petra Bank in Amman in the 1980s.
    The Paris-based Lebanese weekly Al-Watan al-Arabi published news of a meeting in London between Hasan and members of the Iraqi opposition early in 2002, entitled "King Hasan Ibin Talal: King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq." If the U.S. operation against Baghdad takes place, the magazine reported, then Hasan will become constitutional monarch.
    Hasan's involvement in the Iraqi opposition means that the U.S. administration is serious in its desire to change the regime of Saddam. Otherwise, he wouldn't have dared take such a controversial move.
    Hasan has stressed the "common roots" between the Amman Hashemites and the Hashemites in Baghdad (his grandfather Abdullah I, founder of Jordan, is brother of Faysal I, founder of modern Iraq).
    Yet coming to Baghdad on a U.S. tank will be difficult for any politician, even someone with Hasan's skill, intellect, and experience.


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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Bush "Furious" at American Deaths in Israel
    President Bush declared on Thursday he was "furious" at American deaths in a Palestinian bombing in Israel. "I'm just as angry as Israel is right now," he told reporters in the Oval Office a day after a bombing at a Jerusalem university cafeteria killed seven people, including five Americans. "I'm furious that innocent life was lost." (Reuters)
  • Latest American Victims of Palestinian Terror (Chicago Tribune)
    See also Who Were the Victims? (Jerusalem Post)
    • Marla Bennett, 24, had been doing graduate work at Pardes Institute and Hebrew University in Judaic Studies. In a column for the San Diego Jewish Press-Heritage, This Struggle Is Worthwhile, Bennett wrote, "My friends and family in San Diego are right when they call and ask me to come home -- it is dangerous here. I appreciate their concern. But there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now. I have a front-row seat for the history of the Jewish people. I am a part of the struggle for Israel's survival." (Los Angeles Times)
    • Benjamin Blutstein, 25, of Lancaster, Pa., was on a two-year study program to be a teacher of Jewish studies. According to A World of Ideals Beckoned Victims, Benjamin Blutstein was the hip-hopping Orthodox kid from Pennsylvania who banged the drums in late-night clubs in Jerusalem and endlessly debated fine points of philosophy. With his former girlfriend, he started a hip-hop Jewish band known as Women, Slaves and Minors. The name comes from the Torah. (Washington Post)
    • Janis Ruth Coulter, 36, assistant director of the Office of Academic Affairs of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in New York, was chaperoning a new group of students who had just arrived to begin their studies. See also Slain Brooklynite Martyr for Her New Faith (Newsday)
    • David Gritz, 24, of Peru, Mass., had come to learn for a year at the Shalom Hartman Institute for Jewish Studies and was at the university to register for Hebrew lessons.
    • Dina Carter, 38, was a librarian and archivist at the Jewish National and University Library.
    • David Ladowski, 29, immigrated to Israel from Argentina in 1992. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001 and was shortly due to assume his first diplomatic assignment at the Embassy of Israel in Lima, Peru.
    • Levina Shapira, 53, was head of the student services department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
        See also For U.S. Students, a Shattered Illusion An estimated 120,000 to 130,000 U.S. citizens reside in Israel, according to U.S. embassy officials. (Washington Post)
        Study in Israel? Each year, so many families send high school graduates or college juniors to Israel - for study both secular and religious - that it has become a proud rite of passage in some circles, almost as predictable as a bar mitzvah. On the college level, thousands of American students spend their junior year abroad at one of a half-dozen Israeli campuses; until the violence of the past two years, the number at Hebrew University alone was 1,000. For the past two years it has been 150. (New York Times)
  • Pentagon: Hamas Experimenting with Chemical Weapons
    The Pentagon has determined that the Hamas terrorist organization has been conducting research in the use of chemical weapons for suicide bombers. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Marshall Billingslea told the Senate International Security subcommittee on Monday, "Hamas is working with poisons and chemicals and an effort to coat suicide bomber fragments."
        Billingslea said Hamas and other groups could be obtaining help from Iran, Iraq, and Syria, who are themselves pursuing weapons of mass destruction programs. "These countries give wide latitude to terrorist groups that operate within their borders," Billingslea said. 'Terrorists are able to establish training and research camps where they are free to develop WMD and to perfect their plans for delivery." Terrorist "groups are aggressively trying to procure the necessary materials to conduct such an attack." (WorldTribune.com)
  • U.S. Weighs Strike on Iranian Nuclear Plant
    A former senior intelligence officer told the Forward, "The U.S. is seriously considering a preemptive strike against Iran because it fears Iran might give product from the soon-to-be on line nuclear plant to Hizballah," on Israel's northern border. "The concern is driving policy talks at the Defense Department and at the National Security Council about the value of a preemptive strike and I understand that the Pentagon is arguing quite strongly for an attack on the nuclear power plant that is still under construction....The operational planning is quite advanced." However, Anthony Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that while "some people in the administration are thinking about a strike, it is very vague and it will have very little effect on the Iranian nuclear program" since most of it is likely developed in secret locations elsewhere in Iran. (Forward)
  • U.S. Foils Bomb Plot Against Israeli, U.S. Embassies in Singapore
    A Canadian man accused of organizing a plot to blow up U.S. and Israeli embassies in Singapore is being held in a secret location in the United States, where he is cooperating and revealing information about terrorists' plans, U.S. officials said. The man, Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, 20, a native of Kuwait, was arrested in the Persian Gulf state of Oman and is being held at a military base in the northeastern United States as a material witness, U.S. officials said. Authorities allege that the operation, involving members of the militant Jemaah Islamiah group, had significant logistical support from Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. (Washington Post)
  • U.S. Returns to Theory of Iraq Link to Sept. 11
    Despite deep doubts by the CIA and FBI, the White House is now backing claims that Sept. 11 skyjacker Mohamed Atta secretly met five months earlier with an Iraqi agent in the Czech capital, a possible indication that President Saddam Hussein's regime was involved in the terrorist attacks. On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a news conference that Iraq had "a relationship" with the Al Qaeda terrorist network, but he declined to be more specific. "I mean, we're not on the ground" in Iraq, he said. "But are there Al Qaeda in Iraq? Yes. Are there Al Qaeda in Iran? Yes. Are there Al Qaeda in the United States? Yes." (Los Angeles Times)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • IDF Hunts Hamas in Nablus
    IDF infantry and armor entered the West Bank city of Nablus Friday morning and took over the Casbah (Old City), meeting light resistance. Military sources said the army would remain in the city for several days in an attempt to damage the infrastructure of the militant Hamas organization, uncover bomb laboratories, and apprehend Palestinians on the IDF's wanted list. IDF sources believe that groups based in the Casbah carried out several of the latest terror attacks.
        The IDF also destroyed two homes belonging to families of suicide bombers in Tulkarm and Hebron. IDF troops are preparing to demolish several other homes in the West Bank and to make sweeping arrests of family members of suicide bombers. If proof is found connecting them to a terrorist organization, the aim is to expel them to Gaza. (Ha'aretz)
  • Threat of House Demolition Deterring Bombers
    Suicide bombers on their way into Israel had second thoughts and decided not to complete their missions on at least two occasions recently because of reports of Israeli intentions to demolish the homes of the families of terrorists, Shin Bet security service sources say. (Ha'aretz)
  • Hamas Planned Mass Cyanide Attack
    The head of the military wing of Hamas in Tulkarm, Abas el-Sayyad, planned to use cyanide to carry out of a mass terrorist attack inside Israel, according to an indictment submitted against him Thursday in Tel Aviv District Court. Sayyad was allegedly behind the suicide bombing attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya on Seder night, March 29, in which 29 people were killed and 160 wounded, and the bombing outside the Netanya mall on May 18, when five people were killed and 86 wounded. Sayyad is also charged with receiving large amounts of funds from the Hamas leadership in Syria to purchase guns and ammunition. (Jerusalem Post/Itim)
  • Jordan Denies Palestinians Entry
    Around 700 Palestinians have been stranded in Jericho for up to three weeks, waiting for Jordanian permission to cross the border. According to Palestinian sources, 200 to 300 people are camping in the Jericho terminal, where the temperature reaches 45 (over 110 F) during the day.
        Whereas previously Jordan issued as many as 5,000 passes per day to Palestinians, most of whom possessed Jordanian passports, since June 12 they have issued 1,200 per day, only 300 of which are honored, claim Palestinian Authority officials. Until hostilities erupted almost two years ago, there were up to 12,000 daily crossings in the summer months.
        Jordanian officials began to withhold entrance permits last month, causing the human gridlock near the Allenby Bridge. Jordanian sources say that the country, whose population is already about 70 percent Palestinian, fears another mass immigration that will upset the delicate balance of its society. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Peres: Arafat Should Be Shot
    The French weekly L'Express reports Foreign Minister Shimon Peres as saying in a private conversation, "In order to get out of the present situation, Arafat needs to be shot and killed, but certainly not from our bullets." Peres visited Paris earlier this week on his way to the U.S., and had spoken with government officials and reporters. (Maariv)
  • New Conditions on EU Aid
    European Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Paten detailed the new conditions for the resumption of ten million Euros in monthly aid in a letter to Palestinian Minister of Finance Salam Fayad. In the letter, Paten said the money would be paid through one account handled by an employee of the International Monetary Fund. Paten also demanded a new internal accounting system to be founded in every ministry and to appoint an external auditor to check the Palestinian budget. In addition, Brussels has demanded that each Palestinian ministry provide a detailed monthly list of expenses, beginning in September 2002. (Jerusalem Times/IMRA)
  • Saddam Hussein's Gifts to Families of Martyrs
    "The Ba'ath Party and the Arab Liberation Front held a big rally in Jenin to honor relatives of martyrs and to distribute President Saddam Hussein's gifts amounting to $10,000 for each martyr and $25,000 for each suicide martyr. The hall was decorated with pictures of President Saddam Hussein, Iraqi and Palestinian flags, and slogans hailing the unity between the two nations." (Al-Quds - Jerusalem)
        "Saddam Hussein's grants were distributed among 48 families of the intifada martyrs in Khan Yunis and Rafah....The celebration included speeches honoring Saddam's support of the Palestinian revolution...and the crowds shouted slogans in support of Iraq and its leader." (Al-Thawra -Iraq) (MEMRI)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • America Attacked - Editorial
    The proper response by President Bush in this situation is the same as it was when the World Trade Center was attacked, or if the American Embassy in Israel had itself been targeted. It is the same response that President Reagan undertook against Libya when that country set off a terrorist bomb in a Berlin nightclub and killed one American serviceman. Mr. Reagan said then, "When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world, on the direct orders of a hostile regime, we will respond, so long as I'm in this Oval Office." Mr. Reagan ordered the bombing of Colonel Gadhafi's home and offices in Tripoli on April 14, 1986. The Libyan residential neighborhood of Bin Ashur was struck in an attack that killed 37 people and wounded 93, many of them civilians. Among the casualties at Gadhafi's home were his 15-month-old daughter Hana, who was killed, and two of his sons, ages 3 and 4, who were wounded.
        How many more Americans must die before Mr. Bush and all Americans join this war with the rapid, sustained, and all-consuming effort required to attain the sweeping and decisive victory that is necessary? The war will cost the lives of American soldiers. Not as many as the pessimists warn. But each one is precious. The troops, though, are at least armed and trained and enlisted to fight for freedom. Which is more than can be said for the traders and secretaries and firefighters and, yesterday, university students who are being slaughtered afresh each day that the offensive is delayed. (New York Sun)
  • This Fight is For the World's Future - Yossi Klein Halevi
    Many of us who once opposed occupying the territories now agree that we have no choice but to destroy the terrorist state-in-the-making nurtured by Yasser Arafat.
        We draw strength from the realization that we are the front line in a global war against a new barbarity. Not surprisingly, the Jews once again find themselves the primary targets of those intent on world domination. As history has repeatedly proved, what begins as a threat to the Jews ends with a threat to civilization. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Internet Filtering in Saudi Arabia - Jonathan Zittrain and Benjamin Edelman
    Using proxy servers in Saudi Arabia, the authors attempted to access approximately 60,000 Web pages. When Saudi-installed filtering systems prevented access to certain requested Web pages, 2,038 blocked pages were tracked. Such pages contained information about religion, health, education, reference, humor, and entertainment. Substantial amounts of non-sexually explicit Web content popular elsewhere in the world are inaccessible to most Saudi Arabians. (Harvard Law School)
  • Should We Teach the Palestinians to Shoot Straight? - Neill Lochery
    A new UN- and EU-sponsored Mideast peace plan being pieced together behind closed doors calls for thousands of international advisors to be sent to train the Palestinians in areas ranging from security to good governance. This new plan calls for their security experts to train PA forces to make them more effective. More effective at what? Shooting Israelis?
        Good governance needs time and cannot be imposed from the outside. The days of colonial rule in the Middle East are over, and the belief that concepts such as democracy, healthy civil society, and effective state bureaucracies can be taught belongs to the age of Lawrence of Arabia, not to the 21st century. It is a damning indictment of both the UN and EU that they can do no better than this.
        Let the Palestinians put their own house in order. It may take longer, but is a much less dangerous path than letting the outside world do it for them. (National Post - Canada)
  • Sizing Up the Iraq War Scenario - Anthony H. Cordesman
    The U.S. may well be moving toward launching the first major pre-emptive war in its history. It will go to war because Iraq is led by a tyrant who is too dangerous to tolerate by containment and because he is covertly building up his capability to deliver chemical and biological weapons, and may be able to acquire nuclear weapons. No one can predict today whether the bill for such a war will be astoundingly low or all too high. The only thing that is predictable is that Iraq will become a steadily more dangerous proliferator so long as Saddam is alive. (Washington Times)
  • Talking Points:

    Sharon's Strategy - Aluf Benn (Salon.com)

    • Prime Minister Sharon and IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Moshe Ya'alon are aiming for a decisive victory over their Palestinian adversaries. Two weeks ago, the prime minister set out his terms for ending the war in a four-page letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell and other world leaders:
      • Israel would not settle for a cease-fire, as it did last year, but is demanding that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat be ousted and "his armed gangs" turned into a new security force that would fight terror in earnest.
      • Until such a force takes control, Israel will keep its forces in the West Bank cities it recaptured last month.
      • According to a senior foreign ministry official, Israel could not accept deals between the P.A. and the terror groups that would allow them to keep their weapons and build up forces for the next stage of confrontation.
    • Israel's strategic weapon in this war is economic pressure, exercised through sieges, roadblocks, and curfews. The economic siege is meant to break the Palestinians' will to fight and cause them to turn their anger on their leader, Arafat, who cannot provide them with food and work, let alone political independence.
    • From the Israeli viewpoint, the combined pressure of reoccupation, economic hardship, and American calls to replace Arafat is slowly working. Cracks are appearing in the Palestinian front.
    • Sharon's strategy, however, risks causing a severe humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories, which could bring about strong international pressure on Israel to back off. Last Monday, Secretary of State Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told Sharon confidants in Washington, "We are fed up with your promises, and want to see some movement" to ease restrictions on the Palestinians.


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