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 19, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

U.S. Readies Mission to Capture Al Qaeda Fighters in Yemen (ABC News)

    The CIA and U.S. military are standing by off Yemen, ready to mount an operation to grab or kill what officials believe to be a growing number of al Qaeda fighters there, intelligence sources have reported. More than 800 special operations troops - including some from the secret Delta group that specializes in "snatches" of accused criminals on foreign soil - have been gathered in the nearby nation of Djibouti.


U.S. Army Maneuvers in Persian Gulf (News24 - South Africa)

    Up to 2,000 U.S. Marines will participate in "Eager Mace 02," an amphibious landing in Kuwait in late September, part of a month-long exercise in the Persian Gulf that coincides with U.S. diplomatic efforts to keep the pressure on Iraq, U.S. military officials said.
    The U.S. Army has also begun moving forces into Kuwait as part of a six-month rotation of its armored units in the country, where two armored brigades are engaged in training near the Iraqi border.
    Two U.S. aircraft carriers, the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS George Washington, have brought to 20 the number of U.S. Navy ships with the Fifth Fleet that are currently in the region.


Number of Muslims in U.S. Below Estimates (Washington Times)

    According to the Religious Congregations and Membership survey of 2000, U.S. Muslims affiliated with America's more than 1,000 mosques number just 1.6 million, far below the estimates of Islamic groups.


Saddam's Record of Deception and Defiance (White House)

    The Iraqi regime has shown a repeated pattern of accepting inspections "without conditions" and then demanding conditions, often at gunpoint.


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News Resources - USA and Europe:

  • Homicide Bomber Strikes Tel Aviv Bus
    A homicide bomber blew up a public bus in downtown Tel Aviv on Thursday, murdering at least five people and injuring at least 60. (FOX News/Yediot Ahronot)
  • Bush Pushes Congress on Iraq
    President Bush will submit a resolution to Congress Thursday calling for the authorization of "all appropriate means," including a full-scale military assault, to deal with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. (Washington Times)
        Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said Tuesday that a vote on an Iraq resolution will come "well before the election" in November. (USA Today/AP)
        See also Rumsfeld Says Other Nations Promise to Aid Attack on Iraq (New York Times)
  • Arabs Doubt that War has been Averted
    The relief in Arab capitals is tinged with doubts that war has been definitely averted. Arab leaders hope that there will be no repeat of the frequent crises that bedeviled Baghdad's relations with the UNSCOM inspection team from 1991 to 1998. Jordanian officials said they could envisage a scenario in which inspectors operating under a new UN resolution clashed with Iraqi troops, providing justification for full-scale military action. (Financial Times - UK)
  • War in Iraq Seen as Quick Win
    Senior Bush administration officials have concluded that the United States will quickly win a war against Iraq, based on superior American technology and a sharp deterioration of Saddam Hussein's armed forces since the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict. Officials also believe a significant number of Saddam's army commanders and units will either refuse to fight or will assist allied troops in toppling the Baghdad regime. "I am very certain that this military engagement will not be very difficult," said Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam War combat pilot. (Washington Times)
  • Unconventional Weapons are Secret of Saddam's Survival
    In Saddam's view, possession of weapons of mass destruction had saved the regime on two occasions. The first time was in the 1980s when Iraq was able to stop Iranian "human wave" assaults by firing shells filled with chemical agents. The second time was during the 1991 Gulf War when Saddam distributed chemical and biological shells to units with orders to use them should the Allies try to enter Baghdad. (Telegraph - UK)
  • Why Winter is Best, Tactically, for an Iraq Strike
    November through February is the optimal window for an Iraq campaign, given seasonal considerations of daylight, temperature, and climate, military experts say. (Christian Science Monitor )
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Homicide Bomber Kills Policeman
    Policeman Moshe Hizkiyahu, 21, was killed Wednesday as he approached a homicide bomber who sought to board a public bus near Umm el-Fahm. Four others were wounded, including a second policeman. The bombing was the third such incident in the area in the past year. The bomber is believed to be from the Jenin area where the army had lifted its curfew for a few hours. (Ha'aretz)
  • Father of Four Murdered by Terrorists
    Yosef Ajama, 36, a father of 4, was shot to death by Palestinian terrorists who ambushed his car in northern Samaria on Wednesday. (Ha'aretz)
  • Saudi Arabia to Fund Palestinian Universities
    Universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are to receive $200,000 each from Saudi Arabia, according to Palestinian Authority sources. The Saudis have also agreed to pay the university fees for more than 11,000 Palestinian students. More than 85,000 students are currently enrolled in PA universities and colleges. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Stuck to the U.N. Tar Baby - George F. Will
    Some critics seem to say that in order for the president to "make the case" for proving that the danger is present, its presence must be evidenced by a "smoking gun." As Condoleezza Rice has said, let us hope the smoking gun is not a mushroom cloud. (Washington Post)
  • Disarming Saddam - Editorial
    Having rejected United Nations inspections for years and again only last week, Saddam Hussein has now responded to President Bush's determination to disarm him by inviting the UN back in. And the world is supposed to take him seriously. Those 16 UN resolutions have from the first demanded not merely inspections but disarmament. That implies the use of force not just to help inspectors knock on doors in Baghdad but to ensure that Iraq's weapons capability is destroyed. There is only one kind of inspection regime that can truly disarm Saddam - the 82nd Airborne, aided by armor and air power. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iraq's "Yes" Isn't Quite Good Enough - Philip H. Gordon and Michael O'Hanlon
    The administration should be able to lead the international community in crafting a Security Council resolution that toughens the 1999 UN Resolution 1284 - which made some sanctions relief contingent on Iraqi cooperation with weapons inspectors, rather than complete disarmament. The U.S. needs to keep arguing that Iraqi disarmament, rather than inspections per se, is the core demand that must be met before the lifting of sanctions can be considered. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Saudi Anti-Semitism - Deroy Murdock
    Saudi Arabia's flamboyant anti-Semitism alone should dislodge it from its place at America's table. According to a new study from the Saudi Institute and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, "Saudi officials disseminate hate literature openly in the United States." (National Review)
  • Israeli Women Bringing Hope to Impoverished Village - Eric Silver
    On a budget of $20,000, two young Israeli women are quietly combating a catalogue of Africa's ills - AIDS, hunger, disease, illiteracy, and female victimization - in an impoverished lakeside village in Malawi. They began by "adopting" Chembe, a village that has 900 AIDS orphans among its 11,000 residents. (Jerusalem Report)
  • Mubarak's Son Enters Limelight in Egypt - Heba Saleh
    Gamal Mubarak, son of President Hosni Mubarak, now the third most senior official in Egypt's ruling National Democratic party, has just been appointed to the newly created post of secretary for policy, in charge of developing and formulating party thinking on a range of issues. (New York Times)
  • Talking Points:

    Address by Foreign Minister Peres to the UN General Assembly - September 18, 2002 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

    • We cannot allow dark forces to possess weapons of mass destruction, aware of their whim to destroy the life of innocent people. We don't have the right to ignore the danger.
    • Terror is condemned to lose. It will be defeated because it carries no hope. It respects no human being, nor the values of humanity.
    • We offered the Palestinians a comprehensive solution without the terror. A solution that was close to their national aspirations. We related to their desire to be free, to be equal, independent. Terror postponed their destiny.
    • We are following the profound debate taking place in the Palestinian midst. We respect it. Debate is the beginning of democracy. When democracy will prevail, peace will arrive undoubtedly.


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