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 24, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Chechnya-Al Qaeda Links (BBC)

    Muslim volunteers have travelled to Chechnya to join the fight, reportedly after attending training camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
    This week a man suspected of helping to carry out the 11 September attack told a German court that the alleged leader of the hijackers, Mohammed Atta, had wanted to fight in Chechnya.
    One of the main field commanders, until his death in April at the hands of Russian forces, was an Arab called Khattab - a veteran of the Afghan conflict with the USSR, who is alleged to have been in occasional telephone contact with Osama Bin Laden.


The Brains Behind Iraq's Arsenal - Mark Clayton

    Saddam Hussein has assembled an army of microbiologists, chemical engineers, and nuclear physicists who may reveal as much about weapons development as any search for petri dishes or aluminum tubes.
    Many in Hussein's weapons-development brain trust apparently got their training at universities in the U.S., Britain, and Europe.
    Researchers at Georgia State University in Atlanta found that from 1990 to 1999, 1,215 science and engineering Ph.Ds were granted to students from five of the seven countries listed by the U.S. State Department as sponsors of terrorism. (Christian Science Monitor)


Qatar Bets on the U.S. - Craig S. Smith

    Since Saudi Arabia has said it may not allow America to stage an invasion from its soil, Qatar is an increasingly attractive alternative.
    Qatar's progressive leadership, its small population, and its moderate strain of Wahhabi Islam form a friendlier and more manageable environment for the U.S. military than now exists in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia. Qatar is now one of the most liberal, democratic countries in the traditionally tribal-ruled neighborhood. (New York Times)


Hizballah Appreciates Jews' Return to Israel - Badih Chayban

    Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday that "if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
(Daily Star - Lebanon)


Key Links

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Iraq's Missiles Remain a Threat
    Iraq's missiles remain a threat to U.S. forces and allies in the Persian Gulf, particularly shorter-range missiles that can fly under or overwhelm U.S. missile defenses. "Part of what the Iraqis would want to do is cause massive casualties in Kuwait with a chemical attack," said military analyst John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org. "It could create some real dilemmas for the American commander if the Iraqis are firing missiles faster than the Patriot can shoot them down." (USA Today/AP)
  • Turkey May Increase Forces in Iraq
    Because the Turks want to keep any fleeing Iraqis on the Iraqi side of the border, Turkey may increase its military presence in Iraq by thousands of troops. Turkey now has 2,000 to 5,000 troops in northern Iraq, assigned, in conjunction with Kurdish militias that control the area, to chase remnants of the Kurdish Workers' Party guerrilla force, which seeks autonomy for Turkey's large Kurdish minority. Turkish officials have warned that Kurdish efforts to expand the autonomous zone in the north could prompt Turkey to grab territory for itself. (Washington Post)
  • Border Police Memorial Unit Hit by Terror
    Sgt. Esther Pesakhov, 19, was in charge of compiling a bound dossier, including pictures, personal notes and effects, of each Israeli Border Police officer killed in the line of duty. Pesakhov's colleagues must now assemble such a dossier for her and two other soldiers killed Monday by a suicide bomber. The six-person unit that runs the Border Police memorial lost half its members in the attack. (Washington Post)
  • Sniper Suspect Sympathized with Islamic Terrorists
    John Allen Muhammad, arrested on Thursday in connection with the sniper shootings that have taken 10 lives in the Washington, D.C., area, may have been motivated by anti-American sentiments in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A Muslim convert and former soldier, he was known to speak sympathetically about the men who attacked the U.S., sources said. (Seattle Times)
  • IMF Calls for Faster Saudi Economic Reform
    The International Monetary Fund has called for the acceleration of economic reforms in Saudi Arabia. With a budget dominated by wages and debt service payments, the government has little room to maneuver when oil prices drop. Economic growth is not keeping up with the population increase of about 3.5% a year, with real GDP growth a mere 1.2% last year and projected at 0.7% this year. (Financial Times - UK)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • IDF Officer Accused of Spying for Hizballah
    Eleven Israeli citizens, including an IDF lieutenant colonel, were recently arrested by the Shin Bet Security Service on suspicion of spying for Hizballah. According to the allegations, the IDF officer gave Hizballah sensitive information on the army's movements along the northern border and weak spots in the border security fence, in exchange for money and drugs. (Ha'aretz)
        All those arrested are Bedouin from a village in northern Israel. (Reuters)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Historic Alliance in the Making - Editorial
    Last Sunday some five million Christians from Maine to California were expected to take part in a "Day of Prayer and Solidarity" with Israel and the Jewish people. Christian America is reaching out to Israel and the Jews, and it would be wrong to reject the gesture out of hand. A historic alliance is in the making, one which could go a long way toward healing the wounds of the past and forging a united front of Jews and Christians in the struggle for a safe and secure Middle East. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iraq: The Case for Invasion - Kenneth Pollack (former National Security Council Persian Gulf Director and CIA Analyst)
    I spent the better part of the last 11 years trying to make containment of Iraq work and believed it was the best policy for the United States and still believe that if we had done things differently, and certainly if our allies had, containment might have worked as a policy into the future. But I have grudgingly come to the conclusion in the last few years that we have no alternative but to remove Saddam from power before he acquires nuclear weapons, and the only way to make sure we do so and with the minimum damage and loss of life is a full scale invasion employing all of our conventional military capabilities. (Washington Post)
  • A War of Zealot Muslims Against Everyone Else - Martin Peretz
    The nearly 200 dead in Bali was not an attack on Jews or Americans but on Hindus and Christians, Australians and Europeans. This is not just a war between Islam and the Jews or Islam and the West. This is a war of cosmic losers against all that offends them. It is a war of zealot Muslims against everyone else. (New Republic)
  • Talking Points:

    The Real Roots of Arab Anti-Americanism - Barry Rubin (Foreign Affairs)

    • During the last half-century, in 11 of 12 major conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims, Muslims and secular forces, or Arabs and non-Arabs, the United States has sided with the Muslim/Arab groups. American backing for Israel has been the sole significant exception to this rule, with the U.S. merely helping Israel survive efforts from Arab neighbors to remove it from the map.
      • In 1973, the United States rescued Egypt at the end of the Arab-Israeli War by forcing a cease-fire on Israel. Washington then became Cairo's patron in the 1980s, providing it with massive arms supplies and aid while asking for little in return.
      • The United States saved Yasser Arafat from Israel in Beirut in 1982, when Washington arranged safe passage for the Palestinian leader and pressed Tunisia to give him sanctuary, overlooking a history of Palestinian terrorism and anti-Americanism as well as the PLO's alignment with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
      • The United States has spent blood and treasure saving Muslims in Afghanistan from the Soviets; in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Iraq; and in Bosnia and Kosovo from Yugoslavia. It has supported Muslim Pakistan against India and Muslim Turkey against Greece.
    • The basic reason for the prevalence of Arab anti-Americanism is that it has been such a useful tool for radical rulers, revolutionary movements, and even moderate regimes to build domestic support and pursue regional goals with no significant costs.
    • No other peoples evinces anything like the level of anti-American sentiment that exists in the Middle East or commits acts of terrorism against the United States with popular and governmental support.
    • It has been the perceived softness of the U.S. in recent years, rather than its bullying behavior, that has encouraged the anti-Americans to act on their beliefs. After the U.S. failed to respond aggressively to many terrorist attacks against its citizens, stood by while Americans were seized as hostages in Iran and Lebanon, let Saddam Hussein remain in power while letting the shah fall, pressured its friends and courted its enemies, and allowed its prized Arab-Israeli peace process to be destroyed, why should anyone have respected its interests or fear its wrath? Further concessions will only encourage even more contempt for the U.S. and make the anti-American campaign more attractive.
    • If Arab anti-Americanism turns out to be grounded in domestic maneuvering rather than American misdeeds, neither launching a public relations campaign nor changing Washington's policies will affect it. Only when the systems that manufacture and encourage anti-Americanism fail will popular opinion also change.


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