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

August 21, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Bethlehem Mayor Describes Christian Emigration

    Bethlehem Mayor Hanna Nasser told the Jerusalem Post more than 1,000 people, mostly Christians, have left Bethlehem and surrounding towns in the past few weeks.
    "More than 1,000 people have emigrated to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and even Latin America after they lost everything," Nasser said. "These are people who have friends and relatives there and they tell them to come and live with them. If the economy continues to deteriorate, we will see more emigration."
(Jerusalem Post)


Holland Becoming Islamic - Mark Steyn

    Islam For All reported the other day that, at present demographic rates, in 20 years' time the majority of Holland's children (the population under 18) will be Muslim.
    It will be the first Islamic country in western Europe since the loss of Spain. (Watch - Sweden)


Gadaffi To Head Human Rights Body

    Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi is to head an international watchdog on human rights as Libya begins a one-year term next March as chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
    Libyan terrorists were responsible for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing which killed 270 people. (Sky News)


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Back Issues


News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Rumsfeld: Attack Can't Wait
    Defense Secretary Rumsfeld believes we can't afford to wait before dealing with threats from places like Iraq and warned that U.S. intelligence about Saddam Hussein's development of weapons of mass destruction may be years behind. Rebutting arguments opposing military action against Iraq, Rumsfeld said, "The people who argued have to ask themselves how they are going to feel at that point where another event occurs and it's not a conventional event but an unconventional event, and ask themselves the question, 'Was it right to have wanted additional evidence or additional time, or another U.N. resolution?'" (FOX News)
  • The Fall of Abu Nidal - Kenneth R. Timmerman
    Led by a much sought-after hit man for a handful of Arab governments, Abu Nidal's terrorist organization murdered 300 persons and wounded at least 600 more, according to the State Department. Nidal masterminded attacks on Jewish schoolchildren in Antwerp in 1980, a synagogue in Vienna in 1981, a Jewish restaurant in Paris in 1982, and the El Al ticket counter at the Vienna airport and the Rome airport in 1985. In 1986, Nidal struck a synagogue in Istanbul and hijacked a Pan Am flight in Karachi. On June 2, 1982, an Abu Nidal hit team shot Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in London, an event that triggered Israel's entry into Lebanon. He also targeted Palestinian "moderates" - murdering Ezzedine Kalak in Paris, Said Hamami in London in 1978, and Issam Sartawi in Portugal in 1983. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Al Qaeda Presence in Iraq Reported
    At least a handful of ranking members of al Qaeda have taken refuge in Iraq, according to U.S. intelligence officials. "There are some names you'd recognize," one defense official said. The "second- and third-tier" al Qaeda operatives in Iraq are considered responsible for managing much of the terrorist group's activities and may possibly still be in a position to plan future attacks against the United States, officials said.
        As additional evidence of Saddam Hussein's links to terrorism, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer noted that Abu Nidal had been living in Baghdad for the past four years. "The fact that only Iraq would give safe haven to Abu Nidal demonstrates the Iraqi regime's complicity with global terror," Fleischer said. (Washington Post)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Gaza: No Sign of Ceasefire
    IDF sources said they saw no sign that the PA security services in Gaza had made any efforts to stop the Palestinian shooting, but there are indications of Hamas and Islamic Jihad trying to escalate the violence. The IDF reported that Palestinian police did set up checkpoints along the main road in the strip, conducting vehicle checks of passing cars. The IDF, for its part, cut back on the number of checkpoints in the Katif junction area, as it promised the Palestinians. (Ha'aretz)
  • Bethlehem: The Test is Yet to Come
    Palestinians in Bethlehem said the real test of the new security agreement for the PA would be when and if it decides to arrest Fatah, Hamas, and other terrorists who have declared that they will continue to launch attacks against Israel. Many gunmen and activists belonging to the extremist Palestinian factions have either been killed or wounded or arrested since the IDF reoccupied Bethlehem. On Tuesday there were no signs of gunmen roaming the streets as they have done in the past. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Defense Minister: Israel would Provide Bases for U.S. If Asked
    Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Maariv Tuesday, "We are on a level of mutual responsibility with the United States. If the Americans ask for bases to deal with an attack on Iraq, if and when it comes, we will provide them." But "the Americans have not yet asked us for any assistance." (Maariv)
  • U.S. Monitoring Jordan Port to Block Iraqi Smuggling
    The United States is said to have targeted Jordan in a renewed effort to stop the Iraqi smuggling of weapons and oil. Arab diplomatic sources said Washington informed Jordan that the U.S. military will monitor traffic to and from the Red Sea port of Aqaba. One unspecified ship has already been stopped and was determined to have been carrying smuggled Iraqi oil from Aqaba, the sources said. (Middle East Newsline)
  • Court Freezes Transfer of NIS 100 Million to PA
    The Tel Aviv District Court has frozen NIS 100 million marked for transfer from the government to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of suits filed by a group of Israeli hotels against the PA and the Fatah organization. According to the suits, the PA has caused a drastic drop in tourism by encouraging terrorist attacks against Israelis. Hotel Association president Avi Ella said the hotels lost income of NIS 508m. in 2000, growing to NIS 2.5b. in 2001, and added that they are likely to lose income of NIS 3.5b. by the end of this year. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Twisting the Cause of International Human Rights Against the Jewish People - Irwin Cotler
    A new, virulent, escalating, globalizing anti-Jewishness has emerged in the world which singles out Israel and the Jewish people not only for deferential and discriminatory treatment in the family of nations, but also for specific, targeted terrorist assault in the form of genocidal anti-Semitism - the public call for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. As Professor Fuad Ajami has written, "The menace hovering over Israel is the great Arab-Palestinian refusal to let that country be, to cede it a place among the nations." (Jerusalem Issue Brief - Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Kuwait: An Island of Religious Tolerance - Doug Bandow
    Evangelical activity in Saudi Arabia can earn a foreigner prison time; death rewards the Christian convert. But in Kuwait, religious leaders put the number of observant Christians at roughly a quarter-million. While Islamist influence in Parliament is strong, in general, Christians do not fear the government. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Talking Points:

    Air Force Chief Defends Shehade Bombing Mission - Vered Levy-Barzilai (Ha'aretz)

    • Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Dan Halutz told Ha'aretz that the operation to drop a one-ton bomb on a crowded Gaza neighborhood to kill Hamas military leader Salah Shehade was proper - "militarily and morally." "The decision-making process was correct, balanced, and careful. The problem was with the information, the information changed. I reject all the criticism about this operation, before, during and after."
    • Is it legitimate to strike at a terrorist even if innocent bystanders will be hurt? "Against a man who committed or is positively known to have the planning in hand for 'mega-terror,' my answer is categorically yes."
    • As for the method chosen to kill Shehade, "for a half-ton bomb to achieve the effect we wanted, we would have needed two, because of the chance one wouldn't hit the target at all. And that was a decisive factor."
    • "The attempt to find people to blame is shameful. I know of no armed force with the moral level of the IDF."


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