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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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DAILY ALERT

September 17, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

U.S. Weapons Ship Arrives in Israel (Maariv)

    On Saturday evening, the U.S. cargo vessel Green Waves arrived in Ashdod port carrying 228 containers of bombs and ammunition to be stored in Israel for possible use by U.S. forces operating against Iraq.


Hebrew U. Bomb Was Planted Twice (AP)

    The bomb that killed five Americans and four Israelis at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on July 31 was first planted three days earlier, but failed to go off, Israeli media reported Friday.
    According to the official indictment, one of the four suspects planted the bomb at the university's Frank Sinatra cafeteria on July 28, and tried to set it off by remote control, using a cellphone. When the device did not explode, he retrieved it, had it repaired, and planted it again on July 31.


How Iraq Played Cat & Mouse - Chris Cobb (Ottawa Citizen)

    When teams of UN weapons inspectors began visiting Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War 11 years ago, the elaborate cat-and-mouse game played by the Iraqis was confirmed by high-flying U2 reconnaissance cameras.
    At more than one facility targeted for inspection, a convoy of white UN vehicles is recorded heading toward the front gate while a convoy of black Iraqi military vehicles sneaks out the back.
    "Iraq lied about almost everything," said Raymond Zilinskas, a biological weapons expert who was on three inspection teams.


Israel's Victims of Terror - Nadav Shragai (Ha'aretz)

    More than 30 families have lost at least two members in intifada attacks. Fifteen Israelis have been lynched. Seventeen foreign workers have been killed in terror attacks.
    During the past 23 months, 14,267 terror attacks have been recorded, in which 619 people were killed and 4,497 people were injured. Seventy percent of the casualties have been civilians.


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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Iraq Agrees to Weapons Inspectors
    Iraq agreed Monday to allow the unconditional return of UN weapons inspectors, a reversal coming days after President Bush warned Baghdad to comply with UN resolutions or face military action. The White House dismissed the offer as a tactical move likely aimed at dividing the UN Security Council and eroding support there for U.S. aims on Iraq. (Washington Post/AP)
        Some observers see the Iraqi statement as a reaction to the announcement that the U.S. May Use Saudi Bases to Attack Iraq. Saudi Arabia has hinted that it might offer its desert installations as a jump-off base for any U.S. military campaign against Iraq - as long as such an attack had UN sanction. (Guardian - UK)
  • U.S. "Degrading" Iraqi Air Defenses
    U.S. pilots patrolling "no-fly" zones in the northern and southern regions of the country are striking at the command and communications links in Iraq's air defense system, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday. "The recent strikes have degraded the air defense capabilities" of Iraq, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, added at a Pentagon news conference. (Washington Post)
  • Father of Baghdad Bomb Sees Work Continuing
    Dr. Khidir Hamza was regarded as the "father" of the Iraqi nuclear program until fleeing to the United States in 1994. He is convinced that Iraqi nuclear weapons development has continued. "Inspectors since 1991 have gone to the [Tuwaitha nuclear] site to check things out and have walked right past our locked room where we were working on enrichment, Dr. Hamza said. UN inspectors, according to Dr. Hamza, failed to uncover most of the clandestine work that now threatens the West and the rest of the Middle East. (Times - UK)
  • War on Terror Moves Toward Iran
    A secret new U.S. Special Forces mission to hunt down al Qaeda along Afghanistan's border with Iran is triggering cross-border accusations of espionage, amid persistent suspicions that Iran is harboring terrorists. The three dozen Green Berets are based in a desert compound three miles from the Iranian frontier, surrounded by a maze of barricades to thwart suicide bombing attacks. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • A Celebration of Terror
    On Wednesday, a thousand Muslims gathered at the Finsbury Park mosque in London to "celebrate" the bombing of the World Trade Center. Chairing the meeting was Abu Hamza, who presides over the mosque. Several of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay who were captured fighting for the Taliban and al Qaeda had received their theological training at Finsbury Park. Hamza also reportedly recruited Richard Reid, the would-be shoe-bomber. The FBI has applied for Hamza's extradition, but he is still at large. (Wall Street Journal)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • U.S. Team Visits Lebanon Water Project
    The U.S. delegation that toured the Wazzani River diversion project in southern Lebanon included an official from the U.S. Agency for International Development and a State Department official who specializes in water issues in the Middle East. Lebanese newspapers reported Monday that the water project is to be completed within three weeks. (Ha'aretz)
        See also U.S. Role in Quarrel Over Mideast Water
    Lebanon says it plans to pump about 300 million cubic feet of water a year, up from seven million now. (Reuters/New York Times)
  • IDF Back on the Offensive in Gaza
    Israel has no hopes that the Palestinians will implement the "Gaza and Bethlehem First" accord in Gaza. There is absolutely no will on the part of the Palestinian security apparatus to control the terrorists, says the IDF; there are no arrests and no substantial efforts to stop attacks against Israelis. As a result, the IDF has renewed operations along the whole stretch of the Gaza Strip to put pressure on the terrorist organizations and destroy their weapons-manufacturing centers. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Arafat's Last Hurrah? - Serge Schmemann
    Last week the Palestinian Legislative Council denounced Arafat's rule - for corruption, cronyism, lost opportunities, lost dreams, lost lives - until he gave in to their demands and dumped his entire cabinet. What is clear is that the Palestinians have had enough of the clique Mr. Arafat brought back with him from exile. Many of his most vocal critics are Fatah members who had not been with him abroad and who have been riled by the corruption and autocratic style of the returning leaders. (New York Times)
  • Shoulder to Shoulder: Israelis Strongly Support Bush on Iraq - Yossi Klein Halevi
    Israeli intelligence takes for granted that a cornered Hussein will unleash his nonconventional arsenal on Israeli cities. Those of us who sit on the front line of this imminent war have little patience with the appeasers who urge caution even as Hussein approaches nuclear capability. After all, we've been in this scenario before. We, who alone confronted Hussein's nuclear ambitions in 1981 and who must now contend with his chemical and biological arsenal, say to Washington's wavering allies: If not now, when? (Los Angeles Times)
  • Rutgers Student Recounts Her Time in the Israeli Defense Forces
    Tali Elisha, a Rutgers College sophomore, spent a month in Israel this summer serving in the Israeli Army. She participated in the Volunteers for Israel Program, also known as "Sar El," which is open to non-Jewish people as well. (Daily Targum - Rutgers U.)
  • Talking Points:

    The Arabs' Crocodile Tears for Saddam - Amir Taheri (Jerusalem Post)

    • The Arabs have now concluded that Washington is no longer bluffing and that President Bush is determined to topple Saddam Hussein.
    • Washington's Arab allies have assured it in private that, as long as a diplomatic fig leaf is provided by the United Nations, they would do nothing to oppose military action against Saddam Hussein.
    • To calm those who fear an Iranian land-grab in Iraq, Iran has 2.5 million Arabs of its own and would not wish to add a further 15 million Iraqi Arabs, even though they are Shiites. Similar assurances have come from Turkey, which has no wish to add five million Iraqi Kurds to its own 15 million-strong Kurdish community.
    • Far from being short of operational bases for attacking Saddam, the Americans have an embarrassment of riches. Apart from the Saudi and Kuwaiti bases that may or may not be needed, there is the new giant-size multi-purpose base in al-Udaid, Qatar. There are also a string of smaller bases on the island of Massirah and in the Ras Mussandam peninsula, in the Sultanate of Oman, plus reserve facilities in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. Then there is the new "facility" nearing completion in Assab, Eritrea. The U.S. has some form of military cooperation with all Arab states with the exception of Libya, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
    • One finds little evidence of any grassroots support for Saddam in the Arab world. He has antagonized traditional Islamists by preaching Ba'athism, seen as an invention of Christian Arabs. Radical Islamists have little love for him because he attacked Iran in 1980. Pan-Arab nationalists are suspicious of him because he has killed more Nasserists than anyone in history. The Arab left detests him because of his ruthless destruction of the left in Iraq.
        The author, an Iranian journalist, is editor of the Paris-based Politique Internationale.


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