Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

in association with the Fairness Project
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

October 1, 2002

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info@prescon.org

In-Depth Issue:

New Joint Military Exercises Planned in Jordan (UPI)

    Preparations are underway in Jordan for military exercises next month involving special forces from Britain and the United States and a handful of selected Arab countries.
    Previous joint exercises with U.S. troops in southern Jordan between Aug. 12 and Sept. 4 were reportedly a cover for the insertion of British and U.S. spotter teams into Iraq for the latest wave of air attacks on Iraqi air defenses.
    Senior sources at Amman's international airport privately confide that hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops have been flying into the country in recent weeks to "finalize the details of the war against Iraq."
    The sources insist that Jordan was not allowing the use of its territories to launch attacks, but that the kingdom was providing "communications support."


Kurdish Survivor Recalls When Gas Attack Came From Skies - Robin Pagnamenta (Times - UK)

    On March 16, 1988, during the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein's forces bombed the Kurds in Halabja with mustard and nerve gas, killing about 5,000 civilians. Thousands more have died since from injuries or related cancers and birth defects.
    Some Halabja residents wore protective masks on that day, but because there were two types of gas, they were of limited use: mustard gas suffocates victims by eating away at the lungs and eyes; nerve gas can kill after being absorbed by the skin.


CJC Questions Toronto Bookstore's Selective Button Policy - James Cowan (National Post - Canada)

    A Toronto feminist bookstore has angered the Canadian Jewish Congress by refusing to distribute buttons calling for an end to suicide bombings in Israel, even as it sells buttons protesting Israeli policies.
    ''We're trying to digest the information that the Toronto Women's Bookstore is somehow averse to a button that says Stop the killings or Stop the bombings,'' said Ed Morgan, chair of the CJC for the Ontario region.


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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Bush Rebuffs Congress on Jerusalem
    President Bush said his administration was not legally bound to follow a congressionally-mandated provision to identify Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act, signed by the president on Monday, includes a provision that requires all federal documents listing countries and their capitals to identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said that White House lawyers read the provision as "advisory, not mandatory." (CNN)
        See Talking Points for text of law.
  • Doubts that Arafat's Can Enforce Reforms
    With the 11-day Israeli siege of his compound over, calls are growing for Yasser Arafat's resignation. "It's close to impossible with Arafat as leader," said an aide to security minister Abdel Razak Yehiyeh. He complained that Yehiyeh's efforts to streamline the Palestinian armed forces and denounce the violence against Israeli citizens had been "undercut at every turn" by the Palestinian leader. (Globe and Mail - Canada)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • Soldier Killed in Nablus Clash
    Sgt. Ari Weiss, 21, of Ra'anana, was killed and a second soldier seriously wounded in a fierce gun battle in the Nablus casbah on Monday. Weiss immigrated with his family to Israel from Dallas, Texas, in 1992. Only two weeks ago, the Jerusalem Post ran a report on how Weiss's mother, Susie, enlisted area merchants to provide food for his unit in Nablus. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Former Dallas Resident Shot While Aiding Fellow Soldier (Dallas Morning News)
  • PA Gen. Masri: We Can Stop Hamas, But Won't
    In an interview, Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Masri, head of the Political Security Department at the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, said a PA crackdown on Hamas will likely never happen. "We have enough men and arms, but no political horizon and no incentive to enter into bloody conflict with other Palestinians," said Masri. (Jerusalem Post)
  • New Tactics Encourage Terrorists to Give Themselves Up
    Since the IDF has stopped asking neighbors of terrorists to knock on their door and tell them to give themselves up - in the wake of the recent shooting death of one such neighbor by a Palestinian fugitive - the army is now using much larger forces to capture terrorists. One new tactic is to visit the terrorist's home every few days and even to remove the contents of the house. Family members, fearing that their house will be destroyed or damaged, often turn in the wanted man. (Israel Radio)
  • U.S. Halts Aid to Lebanon
    The U.S. has decided to suspend $35 million in aid to Lebanon because of administration dissatisfaction with Lebanese policy toward Hizballah, threats against Christian opposition leaders, and over the decision to pump water from the Wazzani River, the Lebanese daily As-Safir reported. (Ha'aretz)
  • UK Jews Upset Over Media's Israel Coverage
    Relations between British Jews and the British media have fallen to a new low in recent weeks after three anti-Israeli documentaries were broadcast on the three leading television channels. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Syrian Sponsorship of Global Terrorism: The Need for Accountability - Matthew Levitt
    Syria provides safe haven to the leaderships of at least seven terrorist groups on the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Many recruits have been sent to Syria, where they receive weapons training as well as lessons in the preparation of explosives, suicide operations, intelligence activities, and hostage taking. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Libyan Weapons of Mass Destruction - Yiftah Shapir
    Libya lacks the industrial base to achieve nuclear capability. Although it has produced chemical weapons, it appears to have failed miserably in its al-Fatah ballistic missile project, which is a much less complicated undertaking than building a nuclear weapon. What lies behind observed nuclear-related activities may actually be collaboration with Iraq. (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Planned U. of Mich. Conference has Anti-Jewish Agenda - Nolan Finley
    Coming soon to a college campus near you: A student workshop that expresses tacit support for terrorism and has as its mission the destruction of Israel - the Second National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, to be held at the University of Michigan in mid-October. How would the university react had the Klan or some other extremist group spouting racist, sexist, or homophobic hate speech asked for a platform on campus? (Detroit News)
        See also Letter by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman rejecting the idea of divestment in Israel. (University of Michigan)
  • Where to Draw the Line? - Cathy Young
    The sheer hatefulness of anti-Israel rhetoric in much of the Arab and Palestinian press has morphed into overt anti-Semitism. For whatever reason, extremist anti-Israeli rhetoric today has become, all too often, a vehicle for the kind of Jew-bashing that one might have hoped was extinct in the civilized world. For drawing attention to this issue, Harvard University President Lawrence Summers deserves praise. (Boston Globe)
        See also A Question of Anti-Semitism - Jonathan Alter (Newsweek)
  • Fictions Embraced by an Israel at War - David Grossman
    It's true that the Palestinians have committed serious errors and war crimes in the last two years. It also may well be true that, had they acted otherwise, they would have a state today. But if Israel is interested not just in punishing the Palestinians but also in extricating itself from the trap it's in, it must wake up and reinsert into the tragic story of the conflict those parts that have been expunged from its consciousness during the last two years. (New York Times)
  • Talking Points:

    United States Policy with Respect to Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
    (U.S. Congress)

    The Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 1646), signed by President Bush on Monday, includes the following provisions (Sec. 214, 215):

    • The Congress maintains its commitment to relocating the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and urges the President, pursuant to the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, to immediately begin the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
    • No funds may be spent on the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, which deals mostly with Palestinian issues, until the post comes under the supervision of the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Currently, the U.S. consul general in Jerusalem reports directly to the State Department.
    • All federal documents listing countries and their capitals must identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
    • American citizens born in Jerusalem can demand that U.S. government-issued documents, such as passports and birth certificates, identify Israel as their birthplace.
    • The Secretary of State is to report to Congress within 60 days on U.S. efforts to ensure and promote Israel's full participation in the world diplomatic community.


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