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

November 18, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

How Israel Aided UN Inspectors in Iraq (Jerusalem Post/AP)

    In a forthcoming book The United Nations and Iraq by Jean E. Krasno and James S. Sutterlin, former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter says former chief inspector Rolf Ekeus authorized his close contacts with Israeli intelligence beginning in 1994.
    Ritter obtained information from the Israelis about the inner workings of Iraq's Special Republican Guards, the military unit assigned to conceal weapons programs from the UN experts. He also found that the Israelis were better than the Americans at interpreting U.S. reconnaissance photos.


Saddam Hiding Weapons in Mosques, Hospitals - Philip Sherwell and David Wastell (Telegraph - UK)

   Saddam Hussein is hiding chemical and biological weapons supplies in mosques and hospitals in an effort to thwart the new United Nations inspection mission to Baghdad, Iraqi dissidents have revealed.
    America says Saddam has also set up highly-trained "clean-up" squads at his most sensitive secret weapons sites to hide evidence even as inspectors are on their way.
    Several scientists responsible for Iraq's WMD program have been shifted out of the country on false passports to prevent inspectors questioning them.
    The claims of Adnan al-Haideri, an Iraqi civil engineer who defected to America last year and revealed how Saddam was building underground vaults to hide chemical and biological weapons laboratories, have been backed up by U.S. intelligence aircraft fitted with a device that detects underground bunkers and tunnels.


Iraqis Infiltrated UK Germ Labs (BBC)

    Some of Britain's top laboratories were infiltrated by Iraqi scientists researching germ warfare in the run-up to the Gulf War, according to Dr. Joseph Selkon, a leading Oxford microbiologist.
    About 10 top Iraqi microbiologists - financed by generous grants from the Iraqi government - obtained research posts in academic and medical institutions around Britain.
    Dr. Selkon concluded the Iraqis were working on plans to make bacteriological weapons resistant to standard methods of treatment by antibiotics.
    The Iraqi researchers were arrested at the outbreak of the Gulf War and sent back to Iraq.


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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • Senators: Hit Hizballah and Hamas First
    Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla. told CNN on Sunday that the U.S. should launch attacks on Hizballah and Hamas headquarters and training camps. Graham said the U.S. made a major mistake in the 1990s when "al Qaeda was training hundreds, thousands of people in the skills of terrorism in those camps in Afghanistan. We had the capability to take those camps out. We chose not to do so." "In my judgment, it is a dereliction of duty to the American people not to disable those organizations to the maximum extent possible before we get into that position where we are the bull's eye of Saddam Hussein's attack, and we have the capability of such disablement."
        Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., added, "Hizballah and some others are probably the A team, not the B team or the C team, as far as potential terrorist threats to this country." The U.S. must start planning to take out Hizballah "before they take us out." (CNN)
  • Israeli Diplomatic Pioneer Abba Eban Dies
    Abba Eban, the famously eloquent statesman who helped persuade the world to approve the creation of the Jewish state, died Sunday at age 87. Born in South Africa, Eban grew up in England, spoke 10 languages, and served as Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Ambassador to the U.S., and Foreign Minister. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, called Eban "the voice of the Hebrew nation." (Washington Post)
  • Jordan's King Abdullah Sends Army Against Islamists
    In its biggest military campaign since crushing the 1970 Palestinian revolt, Jordanian army soldiers backed by tanks have been deployed against Islamic militants in Maan in southern Jordan. The targeted group - Takfir wal Hijra - is said to adhere to the same Salafist ideology as Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Iranian Dissident Academic Facing Death Gains Reprieve
    After Iranian students staged the biggest protests in years against the arrest of history lecturer Hashem Aghajari, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's most powerful figure, has ordered the judiciary to review the case. (CNN)
  • News Resources - Israel and Mideast:

  • 12 Murdered in Hebron Sabbath Ambush
    12 Israelis were murdered and 14 wounded when Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists opened fire at security forces safeguarding Jewish worshipers returning to Kiryat Arba after praying at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron Friday night. Most of the casualties occurred as successive waves of rescuers were cut down trying to reach wounded comrades. Those killed included Hebron Brigade commander Col. Dror Weinberg, 38, 3 soldiers, 5 border policemen, and 3 civilian members of the Kiryat Arba emergency response team. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Murder on "Worshipers Way" (Jerusalem Post)
  • Sharon Seeks to Link Kiryat Arba and the Tomb of the Patriarchs
    In the wake of the terrorist attack in Hebron, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday that a window of opportunity existed to establish a "compact" zone of Jewish territorial contiguity between Kiryat Arba and the Jewish enclave in Hebron, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs, as he had first proposed in 1996. Sharon believes that the Israeli-controlled sector of the city could include some 2,000 Arabs instead of the 20,000 now living under Israeli control on the basis of the 1997 Wye accord. (Ha'aretz)
        See also The Jewish Presence in Hebron - Nadav Shragai
    After each terror attack in Hebron, a new Jewish presence was established in the town. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Arab Tries to Hijack El Al Flight to Istanbul
    A suspected hijack attempt aboard an El Al flight to Istanbul was foiled Sunday night after an Israeli Arab passenger tried to rush the cockpit of flight 581 from Ben-Gurion Airport to Istanbul, an El Al spokesman said. The plane's security guards and other passengers overcame the man who was armed with a pocketknife after he tried to stab a stewardess. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • With More at Stake, Less Will Be Verified - David Kay
    The experience with Iraq leaves the international community with a set of unhappy lessons: Voluntary arms control arrangements may fail to prevent or detect massive violations when faced with a clever, determined violator. Military action may stop short of removing the industrial and technical capabilities needed to support weapons of mass destruction programs, and leave untouched the political will that led a state to seek such capabilities. Finally, coercive disarmament by inspections, even when backed by economic sanctions and access to intelligence information, can fail when met by a determined regime that believes its own interests require possession of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. [The author served as chief nuclear weapons inspector of UNSCOM in 1991.] (Washington Post)
  • Pull the Plug - Editorial
    Leaders of the U.S. entertainment industry must come up with some sort of suitable admonition to Egyptian state television for running its 41-part series called "Horseman Without a Horse." The series is nothing short of an anti-Semitic propaganda treatise and is a clear summons to the Arab world to eliminate the state of Israel. The U.S. pumps some $2 billion a year in aid to Egypt and Hollywood dispatches a flow of movies and TV shows to that nation. But if state-run television in Egypt effectively transforms itself into a primetime propaganda organ, it should hear about it from Hollywood. Loud and clear. (Variety)
  • The Arabs and Iraq - Asher Susser
    If the Arabs have serious reservations about American policy, they can't do much to change it. The U.S. is not even compelled to pay any real price to the Arab states in exchange for their reluctant acquiescence in the military action against Iraq. For Israel, Arab weakness is a mixed blessing. It tilts the balance of power in Israel's favor. But it may also plant the seeds of even greater despair and fury that could find an outlet in greater terrorism, political adventurism, or the more determined pursuit of the ultimate equalizer - weapons of mass destruction. (Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies - Tel Aviv University)
  • Talking Points:

    IDF: PA's Preventive Security Force is a Terrorist Organization (Ha'aretz)

    • IDF forces Sunday night raided the Gaza headquarters and training base of the PA's Preventive Security Force - set up by peace agreements to block terrorist acts aimed at Israel and headed until recently by Mohammed Dahlan.
    • The IDF commander of the Gaza Division, Brig.-Gen. Yisrael Ziv, said, "instead of blocking terrorism, the organization initiates and manufactures terrorism....There is no doubt that over the past two years, people in the organization were engaged in manufacturing and distributing weaponry and even actively participated in terror attacks along with Islamic Jihad and Hamas."
    • Preventative Security initially worked closely with the Shin Bet secret service, often with the help and supervision of the CIA. Ziv said, however, that Preventative Security now has broad ties with Fatah militants as well as Islamic radicals.
    • A captured officer of the force, Yusuf Mukdad, admitted that the organization operated a network of arms workshops that produced Kassam missiles, mortars, land mines, and anti-tank grenades, which were then distributed free to terror groups from Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. (Yediot Ahronot/Maariv)


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