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

September 9, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Israeli Fought Hijackers on Flight 11

    On September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
    According to an internal memorandum of the Federal Aviation Administration reported in Yediot Ahronot, Danny Lewin, a graduate of Israel's elite General Staff commando unit, saw the hijackers attack one of the stewardesses and rose to protect her and prevent them from entering the cockpit.
    Lewin was overcome and stabbed in the neck. Two additional flight attendants were knifed and the captain was murdered. (IMRA/Yediot Ahronot)


Saddam's Mistress Speaks

    For 30 years, Parisoula Lampsos, 54, was Hussein's favorite of three wives and six mistresses, and saw him almost on a daily basis, she said. She fled Iraq a year ago for Lebanon.
    She believes Saddam ordered the assassination of his oldest son, Oday, because he saw him as a troublemaker and a rival for power. The attempt left Oday paralyzed.
    According to Lampsos, Hussein sometimes donned a cowboy hat, sipped whiskey on the rocks, and puffed on a cigar as he watched videos of his enemies being tortured. (ABC News)


Aerial Photos of Syrian Missile Base and Chemical Weapons Depot

    See detailed satellite photos of the Al Safir Scud missile base and chemical weapons depot in Syria. (Global Security.org)


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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • U.S. Pours Arms into Gulf Region
    The United States has begun the massive military build-up required for a war against Iraq, ordering the movement of tens of thousands of men and tons of materiel to the Gulf region. (Guardian - UK)
  • Saddam Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts
    More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said on Saturday. In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. (New York Times)
  • Al Qaeda "Plotted Nuclear Attacks"
    Al Qaeda initially planned to fly hijacked jets into nuclear installations - rather than the World Trade Center and the Pentagon - according to an Arab journalist who says he interviewed two of the group's masterminds for al-Jazeera. The two also claimed that the fourth hijacked plane was heading for Congress, not the White House, when passengers overpowered the attackers. (BBC)
  • Hard Times for Hamas
    According to Israeli intelligence officials, since the start of Operation Defensive Shield last spring, 98% of the members of Hamas' military wing in the West Bank who were known to them have been killed or arrested - a total of 70 men. Many of its activists are urging a temporary halt to terror attacks, fearing the group could be wiped out as a political as well as a military force. But others, particularly Hamas leaders based outside the West Bank and Gaza, argue against this. (Time)
  • Saudi PR Campaign on Capitol Hill
    Saudi Arabia says it is a full partner in President Bush's "war on terror," and a victim of terrorism, according to a document that Patton Boggs, a Washington lobbying firm, has distributed to staffers on Capitol Hill. Highlights: "Osama bin Laden is a dissenter who remains unpopular among our citizens. People must understand that we are also victims of Osama bin Laden's terrorist acts. Our educational system does not teach anti-American doctrines and hatred of the West. Islam teaches peace, amicability and tolerance, not violence and hatred." (O'Dwyer's PR Daily)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Sharon to Meet Abu Mazen
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to meet in the coming days with Yasser Arafat's deputy, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), to discuss an end to two years of fighting, a senior Palestinian official said Monday. Meeting are also being scheduled between Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian cabinet ministers. (Ha'aretz)
  • PLC to Convene in Arafat's Office
    The Palestinian Legislative Council is expected to meet Monday in Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, sending the message that Arafat is still the one calling the shots. Israel said it would not allow 12 legislators involved in terror activities to travel to Ramallah for the meeting. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Arafat Faces Public Pressure to Reform
    Palestinian lawmakers plan to demand that Yasser Arafat change his strategy toward Israel and deal with corruption in his government at the legislature's first meeting in months, lawmakers and analysts said. (Washington Times)
  • U.S.: Scud Launchers to be 1st Target of Iraq Attack
    Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers said Sunday that if President Bush ordered a military offensive against Iraq, "job number one" would be pre-emptive strikes to take out Scud missile launchers capable of retaliatory strikes at Israel and other nations. (Ha'aretz)
  • U.S. to Stockpile War Materiel in Israel
    The U.S. will be sending large quantities of war materiel to Israel in the coming days to be stockpiled at IDF bases prior to a possible American attack on Iraq. Tens of American officials and officers are currently at bases in Israel to prepare for the arrival of the equipment. Said one American officer, "The amount that is to arrive, and that has already arrived, is enormous, because Israel is the only state we can count on." (Maariv)
  • IDF Panel Clears Soldiers in Civilian Deaths
    An Israel Defense Forces panel has released its findings on the deaths of 13 Palestinian civilians in three recent incidents. The committee, headed by Major General Yitzhak Harel, found that soldiers followed correct procedures in all three cases. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • The New Bush Doctrine - Martin Peretz
    There is no reason to believe either Iraq or the entity to be called Palestine (when - and if - the Palestinians finally grasp that they cannot have both a state and a warrant to kill Israelis) will succeed in the democratic experiment that has failed or, to be more precise, has not been seriously tried in the Arab world. But there are improvements short of democracy. (New Republic)
  • Talking Points:

    Sharon: Oslo No Longer Exists - Eli Kamir (Maariv)

    From Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's annual New Year's interview:

    • "So far, to my regret, we have seen no real activity on the Palestinian side to prevent terror."
    • "In opposition to what the Palestinians expected, the people of Israel did not break. They were sure this people had no staying power. More and more Palestinians understand today that they achieved nothing" [through violence].
    • "Our forces act in ways that cause the terrorists to face a situation that changes daily. It drives them crazy. Some have already left the cities for the villages, or the fields. We now find them hiding in bunkers under the ground."
    • When Sharon meets with top IDF officers, he begins the meeting with, "Let's skip what I already know. I've come to hear new things." When he visits soldiers in the field, his tone becomes almost fatherly. He exchanges jokes with them, asks about their personal lives, and encourages them to suggest ideas for operations. "It's quite possible you have the solution," he tells them.
    • "The basic problem in our relations with the Arab world involves the Palestinian unwillingness to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have a Jewish state in their homeland. We will only reach an end to the conflict when that recognition occurs."
    • "I have a political program, most of whose principles are acceptable to the American government. The first stage includes an end to terror, violence, and incitement. The second stage, involving an interim agreement, needs to include the development of a system of relationships. The third stage is the permanent agreement which will define the border between Israel and the Palestinians."
    • "Real damage occurs only if you are unable to undo something. No such agreement [regarding Jerusalem from the Camp David negotiations] exists. Shall I tell you how we were saved? Apparently, He who sits in the heavens came to our aid. This wasn't due to the wisdom of the Jews. Arafat's intention from the first was to bring about, in stages, the end of Israel. Oslo no longer exists. Camp David doesn't exist, nor Taba. We won't be returning to those places again."


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