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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November 29, 2002

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In-Depth Issue:

Israel Extends Range of U.S. Air Force Fighters - Dror Marom (Globes)

    The U.S. Air Force will equip its fighter wing, the world's largest, with Israel Aircraft Industries' conformal fuel tanks. The 450-gallon tanks, built by IAI's Lahav Division, are flown to the plane's manufacturer, Lockheed-Martin, in the U.S. to be fitted onto USAF F-16s.
    The conformal fuel tanks increase the F-16's fuel carrying capacity by 50%, compared with underwing drop tanks. The USAF says the fuel tanks greatly enhance the plane's operational capability, by allowing the underwing hard points to be used for ordnance. They also provide greater operational range before the need to refuel.

How Hussein Gets Anything He Wants - Bob Drogin (Los Angeles Times)

    Hussein has relied on a global maze of front companies and offshore banks, shady arms merchants and factory owners, crooked middlemen and brokers, plus corrupt officials and border guards.
    Between 1994 and 1998, UN inspectors intercepted transactions worth $50-60 million for components, raw materials, high-tech spare parts, and other equipment that could be used for weapons of mass destruction. Shipments or deals were traced to about 20 countries.
    Most involved Iraq's efforts to produce chemical weapons or to acquire liquid propellant chemicals and solid propellant rocket motor ingredients for long-range ballistic missiles.

Israel GDP Per Capita: $18,000 - Zeev Klein (Globes)

Israel's GDP per capita is $17,900, the highest among the world's 43 emerging markets that have extensive commercial and investment relations with OECD-member countries. Israel's GDP per capita is 88% of the OECD average of $20,300, and increased by over 50% in the 1990s.
    The figures take into account the severe contraction in Israel's GDP per capita in the past two years, which has fallen by 10% since the outbreak of Palestinian violence in October 2000. Other factors contributing to the decline are the high-tech crisis and the U.S. economic slowdown that affected Israeli exports.
    Foreign investment in Israel in 1992-2002 was over $18 billion, more than Greece ($9.4 b.) and Turkey ($11.8 b.), but less than Hungary ($22 b.), Portugal ($24.3 b.), the Czech Republic ($26.8 b.), and Chile ($34.9 b.).
    49% of foreign investment in Israel came from the U.S. and Canada, 27% from Europe, 6% from Far Eastern countries, and 18% from the rest of the world.

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News Resources - North America and Europe:

  • 6 Israelis Murdered at Polling Station, 30 Wounded
    Six Israelis were killed and at least 30 wounded Thursday after Palestinian gunmen opened fire and threw grenades near a bus station and an election polling station in the northern Israeli town of Beit Shean. One of the attackers carried an explosives belt that did not detonate. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah group, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Three sons of former Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy were wounded in the attack, one of them seriously. Shimon Levy, a reserve officer in the paratroops, went for a terrorist with his bare hands and was shot in the chest while trying to grab his gun. (VOA News/Ha'aretz/Maariv)
  • Israeli Airliner Survives Missile Attack
    Passengers targeted in Thursday's failed missile attack on an Israeli aircraft said they heard a loud "boom'' just after takeoff, but were told by the crew it was a technical problem. Only an hour before landing did the pilot tell the hundreds of passengers the truth.
        Two Strella anti-aircraft missiles were fired toward the plane from a white four-wheel-drive vehicle parked more than a mile from the airport, said Kenyan police spokesman King'ori Mwangi. The jet's captain, Rafi Marek, said he and some passengers saw two white vapor trails on the left side of the aircraft. One passenger said they passed one meter from the wing. (New York Times/AP)
        See also "I Saw Something Flying Toward the Wing" (New York Times);   Pilot: We Saw Smoke Trails (CNN)
  • Poll Shows Palestinians Seek Crackdown - Mark Lavie
    A majority of Palestinians want their police to crack down on militants attacking Israel - a shift after two years of violence against Israel, according to a Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll released Thursday, indicating that Palestinians are souring on their uprising after the death of almost 2,000 Palestinians and 700 Israelis in clashes, military operations, and terror attacks. Up to now, polls have consistently shown widespread support among the Palestinian public for the violence, including suicide bomb attacks.
        According to the latest poll, conducted Nov. 14-22, 56% favor steps by the Palestinian Authority to stop attacks in Israel. In May, 86% opposed arresting Palestinian militants involved in suicide bombings inside Israel. 53% still support attacking Israeli civilians and 90% support attacks on soldiers and Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 76% said they backed efforts to reach a mutual cease-fire, a sharp rise from 48% just three months ago.
        While Arafat's popularity remained unchanged at 35%, 73% favored selecting a Palestinian prime minister to take over some of Arafat's powers. "There is no doubt that the public very strongly blames Arafat," said Khalil Shikaki, the center's director. (Washington Post/AP)
  • Palestinian Poll: 62.5% Dissatisfied with Intifada
    A survey of 1,200 Palestinians conducted 30 Oct.-2 Nov. by the Development Studies Programme (DSP) at Birzeit University found the following:
        After two years of intifada, are you satisfied with how it is proceeding? Yes 16.8; to some extent 18.6; No 62.5.
        Do you believe that attacks against Israeli civilians in Israeli cities will lead to: Positive results for the Palestinian cause 45.8; Negative results for the Palestinian cause 29.3.
        Do you support or oppose the creation of a prime minister's position, in addition to that of the president? Support 56.8; Oppose 30.0. (IMRA/Bir Zeit University)
  • News Resources - Israel, the Mideast, and Asia:

  • Israel Brings the Victims Home
    The Israeli army sent a team of 150 doctors, psychologists, and soldiers, as well as medication and food to the victims of the terrorist attack in Kenya on Thursday, hours after the attack. An IAF Hercules plane carrying the three Israelis killed as well as nine of the wounded Israelis landed in Israel Friday morning. Three other planes will bring Israeli tourists from Mombasa on Friday. The Israelis killed in the attack were tour group leader Albert de Havila, 60, from Ra'anana; and two brothers - Noy Anter, 12, and Dvir Anter, 14, from Ariel. The boys' mother, Ora, was badly injured in the attack and is still unconscious. The father, Rahamim, and sister Edva, 8, were lightly injured.
        Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the targeting of Israelis in Kenya marked a "dangerous escalation of terror." "This shows that terror organizations and the regimes behind them are able to arm themselves with weapons which can cause mass casualties anywhere and everywhere," the foreign minister said. "Today, they're firing the missiles at Israeli planes, tomorrow they'll fire missiles at American planes, British planes, every country's aircraft. This shows there can be no compromise with terror." (Ha'aretz)
  • Security Services Will Take the Offensive - Ze'ev Schiff
    Israel's enemies have renewed attacks on Israeli targets overseas, trying to register as many deaths as possible. As a result, Israel, particularly the Mossad and the Shin Bet, will have to reorganize outside the country's borders - and not only in a defensive posture. (Ha'aretz)
  • Sharon Wins Likud Party Primary
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon won a primary election held Thursday for leader of the ruling Likud Party, receiving 55.9% of the vote over Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - 40.1%, and Moshe Feiglin - 3.5%. Sharon will face the Labor Party's Amram Mitzna in January 28 general elections. (Ha'aretz)
  • Palestinian Terrorist Infiltrates Jewish Village in Gaza, Wounds 4 - Amos Harel
    Palestinian gunmen infiltrated into the hothouses of the Gaza Strip settlement of Bdolah on Friday. Two Thai workers, an Israeli citizen, and an IDF soldier were injured in the attack. One Palestinian, wearing an explosives belt and armed with a Kalachnikov rifle, was killed. (Ha'aretz/Maariv)
  • Terrorists Kill Palestinian Child, Blame Israel - Amos Harel
    A 4-year-old Palestinian boy, Abbas Atras, was killed in Hebron Thursday. IDF officials said an explosive device was thrown at troops standing near a house, and fragments of the bomb hit the child inside. Palestinians claim that Israeli troops shot the child. (Ha'aretz)
  • Foreign Ministry Warns Israelis Traveling Abroad
    In the wake of the double attack in Kenya, the Foreign Ministry has issued new guidelines for Israelis traveling abroad, specifically warning against visits to Thailand, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Egypt - including Sinai. (Yediot Ahronot)
  • Study: Israelis More Patriotic, But Afraid of Terror
    According to a survey of 2,000 Israelis, conducted by Prof. Gabriel Ben-Dor of the University of Haifa's National Security Studies Center, there is a great deal of faith the country will succeed, which is "an expression of national resiliency." 89% of the Jewish respondents in October 2002 said they "love and are proud of Israel," while 77% believe the country will successfully face its challenge. 69% are afraid either they or their families will be hurt by terrorism. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Terror Warning Shuts Down Israeli Embassy in South Africa
    Israel decided Thursday to shut down its embassy in the South African capital, Pretoria, in the wake of warnings that terrorists intended to attack the facility, diplomatic sources reported. "Information we received on the matter worried us," an Israeli source said. (Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

  • Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the War on Terrorism - Mordechai Abir
    Many analysts believe that if America were to establish a new regime in Baghdad, the recuperation of Iraq's oil industry could prove a major threat to the oil-dependent Saudi economy. Saudi per capita income has fallen from about $23,000 in the early 1980s to about $7,000 last year.
        Prince Abdallah has attempted to reform the Saudi economy and reduce expenditures on subsidies and perks, including the costly stipends paid to 7,000 royal princes. King Fahd's full (Sudairi) brothers, particularly Defense Minister Prince Sultan and Interior Minister Prince Na'if, have shored up their relations with Saudi religious conservatives and endowed Islamic foundations that fund the militants. (Jerusalem Issue Brief - Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Saddam's Chamber of Horrors - Margaret Wente
    For three decades, the most vicious war Saddam has waged has been the one against his own people. Sometimes, it is almost impossible to believe the accounts of people who survived Saddam's chamber of horrors. They seem like twisted nightmares, or perhaps crude propaganda. But there are too many survivors who have escaped Iraq, too many credible witnesses. Saddam has made Iraq into a self-policing totalitarian state, where everyone is afraid of everybody else. Neighbor is encouraged to inform on neighbor, children on their parents. "Being in Iraq is like creeping around inside someone else's migraine," says veteran BBC correspondent John Sweeney. "The fear is so omnipresent, you could almost eat it." (Toronto Globe and Mail)
  • What Would Defeating Saddam Trigger?- William Schneider
    Professor Robert Lieber of Georgetown University argues that removing Saddam would eliminate a key source of support for Palestinian terrorism and obstructionism. It would further enhance U.S. power and influence in the Middle East - an outcome that could make peace between Israel and the Arabs more likely.
        Throughout the Middle East, anti-Americanism has grown along with U.S. influence. That sentiment threatens any leader who sides with the United States. The lesson: Great power breeds great resentment. (Atlantic/National Journal)
  • Remaking the Middle East - Michael Barone
    The Saudis are continuing to use their oil money to propagate Wahhabi totalitarianism around the world. This spreading of Islamist fundamentalism will continue to be a grave threat to our civilization after Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction are in safe hands, for our war is not only against evil regimes but against evil ideas. After the liberation of Iraq, the United States will be in a strong position to work with discontented Saudis to move the royal family on the course toward freedom taken by Qatar and Bahrain and to insist that the Saudis stop the propagation of Wahhabism in their lands and around the world. (U.S. News)
  • If Saddam Steps Out of Line We Must Go Straight to War - Bill Emmott
    You can oppose the ultimate use of force in this very special case if you are a true pacifist. But do not call on foreign troops to be used to stop genocides in Rwanda, or ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, or to promote democracy elsewhere if you are not willing to have them used to deal with this genocidal, ethnic-cleansing, power-hungry dictator. (Guardian - UK)
  • What Iraq's Exiles Can, and Can't, Do - David L. Phillips
    An advisory committee focusing on developing principles for a federal democratic Iraq post-Saddam Hussein seems likely to emerge from a conference of Iraqi exile groups to take place in London in early December. (New York Times)

    Weekend Features

  • Jerusalem's Children: Innocents Amid Conflict - Elizabeth Sullivan
    The Internet cafes of the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem are full of patrons. Business is brisk in the bookshops and bridal salons. A Palestinian bride is expected to change outfits often, using the money her betrothed has given her. The magnificence of her costumes reflects his generosity and wealth. (Newhouse News Service)
  • Israel Faces a Growing Water Crisis
    The water level of the Sea of Galilee has dropped almost 20 feet in the past four years. The lake provides a third of Israel's fresh water. In response, Israel's Water Commission decreased the amount of water available for agriculture by a third. Three water desalinization plants are planned, one of which is already under construction. (National Public Radio)
  • The Good Samaritan - Gloria Deutsch
    Sophie Tsedaka, 27, a model-turned-actress and a fixture on Israeli children's television, has been chosen for a key role in the Festigal, the 22nd annual Children's Song Context held during Hanukkah. Tsedaka was born into the small Samaritan community of Israel and grew up in Holon in a family whose religion dates back to biblical times. Tsadaka believes she is the first Samaritan in the world to become an entertainer. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Talking Points:

    Terror Attacks in Mombasa, Kenya - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ron Prosor (Israel Foreign Ministry/CNN)

    • For the first time there has been a direct attack on civilian aviation - a precedent. We cannot live this way with civilian aviation and citizens on airplanes being directly endangered by terrorist organizations.
    • We are at the forefront of dealing with international terrorism, and if we don't stick together and fight it around the world, we will see more scenes like Mombasa, where more Kenyans were killed and wounded than Israeli citizens.
    • This is a direct escalation of international terrorism and we should all join in trying to stop it in order to make sure that everyone in the world will be able to travel safely, live safely, and go to restaurants and go to work safely without being bombed to death.
    • If people are not aware of what is happening, this is really a wake-up call for all of us around the world. We have to fight terrorism, because if we don't bring terrorism down, it will bring us down.

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